Da da da da da da da, Da da da da DA
Give me glitz, give me glamour, give me fake tan and a sprinkling of dancing dust …Give me Strictly Come Dancing baby! *pirouettes **falls over
Yes, this week saw me waltzing into the Strictly studio and loving every minute of it! I’ve only got into the show this year as I (whispers) wasnt’ the biggest fan of BF (soz!) and LOVE Lady Winkleman with all my heart.
The kids adore the show and watching it in PJ’s on a Sunday morning has become somewhat of a weekend ritual – the only day we don’t have to be out of the door early. I love watching the kids attempts at copying the dances so heading to Elstree Studios and being in the audience was pretty surreal. I wanted to take Kaya as a surprise but the minimum age for the audience is 14, so my gorgeous mate Claire and I headed off for a fun Saturday night. We were like kids on Christmas Eve and it was so much fun – I’m surprised we didn’t jump up and join in. It’s even better in the studio than on TV. I’m a BIG fan. HUGE!
Phones aren’t allowed in the studio but, given that I’m in this TV game too / know the rules / wasn’t about to publish any “spoilers” anytime soon, I might have “forgotten” to check mine in. Although my pics from the night do make me smile as you can tell I know I’m being slightly illegal! Friends commented they thought I was wearing a nighty (my new fave dress – a £9 bargain from the ASOS Black Friday sale) but given that these presenter types can witter on a bit (!) I thought I should prepare for a long night and be bed-ready!
Then it was a gorgeous Sunday of decorating the tree. Yes Christmas Police, I know, technically not even December but I’m pretty much working every other weekend so gave myself special dispensation. And the kids are finally at that age where Kaya can reach the top so I didn’t have to re-position even one decoration. No more bottom-heavy tress in this house! *sobs
Then I thought it was a good idea to put together our “make in minutes” advent carousel. SIXTY (no kidding) minutes later – it was ready!
And as if Christmas fever wasn’t already at 40 degrees in my house, this week also saw us heading to Lapland UK. You might have seen it on last years Strictly Christmas Special and it’s truly magical. I bumped into creator Mike Battle when we visited and thanked him for making such a magical place. It’s honestly like some kind of dream of a family Christmas.
Kaya is 8 so I’m not sure how much longer she’ll be in the believing camp, but this year she’s ALL in. I don’t want to say too much about the four hour experience but it’s honestly amazing – and I don’t use that word lightly. It’s not cheap, but much cheaper than getting on a plane and flying to Lapland! Put it on your family “wish list”, for this year or next year. It’s worth every penny. It feels like they’ve thought of EVERYTHING in their drive to make a magical experience for all – even one of Akira’s favourite things (no joke) – the colouring in at check-in! Love kids – they’re so bizarre.
From the minute you check-in with an Elf… to singing magical songs to get the big wooden gate open, to making toys with the elves in the Toy Factory, to baking Ginerbread in Mother Christmas’ Kitchen… it’s like being in a snowy dream!
Then there’s the Village Square where you can enjoy as much free time as you want – skating, eating and drinking, shopping in the magical Christmas Shop, seeing reindeer shoes made in the Blacksmiths – or just wandering around drinking hot chocolate and mulled wine (yes please!).
We wandered along a path through a forest of snow-capped trees and fairy lights and I could feel the excitement building in the kids. After waiting a couple of minutes in a Lappish Tent an elf came and said “Kaya and Akira”? and marched towards my two who nearly fell off their benches!
She led us through more of the forest to a wooden hut with frosted windows and we knew we were “there”! We sang some songs and waited a few moments… then the wooden doors opened, and a voice called “Kaya and Akira – I’ve been waiting for you”! BOOM!
The Father Christmas experience at Lapland UK is mind-blowingly good. FC has a lappish costume and looks like a hollywood Father Christmas – the kind you thought couldn’t possibly exist! And he knows LOADS about your kids because
you fill in a form before you go he’s Father Christmas, he knows this stuff! We were in there about 20 minutes and I could have sobbed my way through, listening to the kids chatting away about their little lives. It was honestly like a dream.
Then it was off out to visit the reindeer, see THE sleigh and get in that motorised sleigh of our own to head off home with our two sleepy heads, clutching their huskies FC had given as an early gift.
I don’t know how much longer I have of my kids “believing” but I know Lapland UK has helped me bring the magic while they do and for that I will ALWAYS be grateful!
It makes believers of all of us!