Introducing my Christmas bucket list :)

I really can’t explain what’s going on but, over the past 2 years, I’ve got incredibly Christmassy which is really down to my amazing hubby. I’ve already watched a ridiculous number of Christmas films including one the other day called ‘Christmas Bucket List‘. And in true Sarah-style, it’s lead to me devising my own Christmas bucket list! Now, the things I’ve listed below aren’t just for this year but are things I’d like to do before I turn 50.

1. Go carol singing as an adult

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I remember carol singing as a child, such as with my middle school choir and when I was a Girl Guide. But I also recall going to the maternity unit at my local hospital when I was a Brownie (age 8-10 ish) and we must have walked away at the end leaving a chaotic scene of crying babies! But I haven’t gone carol singing for around 30 years. However, this week, I signed up to go carol singing with a fabulous group of young people with complex difficulties that are part of the charity I volunteer for weekly. I guess I’d better buy some kind of Christmassy headgear.  We’re going to be singing in a supermarket for a couple of hours and I just hope that everyone around me sings very loudly!

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2. Drink eggnog

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I don’t even know what eggnog is except that I assume it contains eggs?! Is it alcoholic?! But I do know that most grandmas in American Christmas films can be found drinking eggnog underneath the tree. In fact, I haven’t dried mulled wine either so I might check that out too at one of the events below. 

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3. Go to a Christmas market in Germany

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I’ve only got to look at this photo and want to be there right now! I love pretty lights and I love Germany. Whilst we do have some good Christmas markets here in the UK and I plan to visit the one in Winchester in the next few weeks, I’d love to head over to Germany one weekend with hubby and really embrace the Bavarian feel with all the wooden huts, rides, etc. This might be one for next year.

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4. Our secret Christmas project

I’m not saying much on this but there’s a plan in place and we can’t wait to share it with you next month! Veeeeeeery excited!

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5. Decorate a gingerbread house

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Years ago, hubby and I bought a gingerbread house kit from IKEA with the intention to build and decorate it. However, we seem to recall that we just ate the gingerbread in the end without an ounce of creativity which is just truly shocking! However, we plan to create something pretty this year so I need to get looking at the kits out there. I might pick one up at the Winchester Christmas market if it’s not ridiculously priced.

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6. Make a Christmas cake with hubby

I’ve blogged recently about being a non-cook although I’ve started to discover that cooking isn’t a scary thing after all. I really can’t bake but it’d be good to make a Christmas cake from scratch. I understand it’s something that has to be done well in advance so I’m not sure whether I’m took late for this year. Please let me know if you have a good (and preferably easy) recipe.

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7. Stay in the ice castle in Finland

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Now, this bucket list item is with huge thanks from another blogger who messaged me about what Finland has to offer and this castle was mentioned. I just love these photos and whilst I’ve been to the Ice Bar in London, actually staying in the Ice Castle in Kemi would be a once-in-a-life-time experience. But saying that, I don’t even like driving in the snow and I panic if there’s the tiniest bit of ice on the pavement. Honestly, the tiniest bit of snow coming from the sky and I go on shutdown! So, when we go to the ice castle, I’ll be traipsing around very carefully.

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8. Go on a sleigh ride

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I went on a super horse-drawn carriage at Mont St Michel in France last year that took me from the beautiful fairytale landmark back to my car and loved it but I’d relish the experience of going on a horse-drawn sleigh. Is there anywhere in the UK that offers this? Do you definitely need snow? 

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9. Decorate the front of my home with a Christmas wreath on the front door

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First, this is not my house although I’d love it to be! However, I really fancy decorating my house with LOTS of lights, etc. We recently changed our front door and the number one priority was for the door to have a knocker (never had a knocker before) so that I can hang a Christmas wreath. I must add that we do decorate but I feel that we can take it up a level. There’s a road near to us that attracts a lot of attention at Christmas as several owners of adjacent houses really go to town with the decorating and collect money for charity. One of my favourite places to go Christmas decoration shopping is Roundstone Garden Centre near East Preston in West Sussex so I might find myself there very soon.

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10. Go ice-skating at Somerset House, London

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Okay, there’s something important that I need to tell you! I can’t ice-skate….or roller skate for that matter! I have memories of trying to ice-skate at Richmond Ice Rink back in the 1980s and clutching the side barriers as I slowly worked my way round. Without doubt, it’s a fear of falling but also of hurting myself. I’d really love to do this although I don’t want to end up on crutches again! But, like some other places with pop-up ice-rinks in London, this looks like a beautiful location. 

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11. Send family and friends cards that we’ve designed

I can almost tick this one off! I’ve designed our cards and they’ve already come. It was really fun to use some photos that I took last year and also use one of hubby from a few years’ back dressing in something very Christmas-related. Once I’ve sent our cards, I’ll post a photo on here.

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12. Go to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London

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Again, the online photos look fabulous. It’s located in London’s Hyde Park and is open from Thursday 22 November until Sunday 6 January. It has over 100 rides and lights up the night sky but there are also wooden huts where you can buy things, eateries, etc. And it’s FREEEEEEEE! I’ve been meaning to go for a while but this is the year I’ll head up to London. I might also check out Harrods and other shops that are known for their beautiful Christmas displays in their windows. Find out more here on the Winter Wonderland website 

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13. Donate food to a food bank

I really think it’s so important to be aware of other people’s needs and whilst there is sadly a need for food banks throughout the year, I hope that donating for the first time this December then becomes something we do more regularly. My hubby’s work is collecting food for charity but there are many other places too such as hospices, homeless shelters, etc. I think some supermarkets collect food too so it’s well-worth throwing something extra into trolley and then leaving it behind at the collection point. 

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14. Donate toys to a toy bank

Similarly, there’s a real need for toys too. So many families have a very difficult time so it’d be great if we can put a smile on the faces of some children. I’ve very recently joined Post Pals (www.postpals.co.uk) where there are children who are extremely poorly and people are encouraged to write friendly cards (very much focusing on the things they like to do and are detailed in the online profiles rather than wishing they will recover). Cards are also encouraged to their siblings whose lives are affected too. You can even send a small parcel. Do check out the Post Pals website. However, in terms of toy banks and appeals for Christmas, one organisation that asks for gifts is the Salvation Army  

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15. Photograph a Coca Cola Christmas Truck

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I was going to go last year but was struck down for 10 days with flu. However, the 2018 tour dates were released last week and you can check on the Coca Cola website to see if a truck is coming near you. I think when the adverts are shown on TV, it’s almost like a sign that the Christmas season has started. I’m so excited to hear the music chanting “Holidays are coming. Holidays are coming“.

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16. Feed a reindeer

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Until this morning, I had no idea whether this was even possible. However, I googled ‘feed a reindeer near me’ and the The Reindeer Centre in Bethersden, Kent came up…..and it just so happens that I’m working very nearby there this Saturday morning! It looks like a lovely place with a 150 ft grotto, the chance to feed reindeer and, for children, many play areas and a visit to Santa.

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I don’t think that 16 isn’t a particularly round number for a bucket list so I will round up it to 20 ideas once I’ve thought of some more. If you can think of anything I can add, do let me know as I love hearing other people’s ideas My plan is to create a separate tab on the top menu next to my photography bucket list so you can see how I’m getting on. 

On top of these, we already have trips planned in the next fortnight to return to Thursford Christmas Spectacular in Norfolk and Glow Wild at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex.  Something we did a couple of times when the children were younger was the Dickensian Christmas weekend in Rochester, Kent which is a stunning event over the two days. You get transported back into the olden days with Victorian games, music, costumes, rides, etc. and even fake snow falling! We can’t recommend it highly enough.

Right, off to watch another Christmas movie ♥♥♥

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