The Joy of Xmas?!?!

Xmas Photo Toddler

I had been so looking forward to this Xmas.  Don’t get me wrong last year’s was special but it wasn’t that…..interactive. To be honest, H wasn’t that bothered with any of it.  No ripping open of presents, no hiding in boxes, and no preferring to play with the wrapping paper.  In fact, after all the sentiment had subsided it was probably a bit of a let down (there, I’ve said it!).  A year on, and with him being a lot more engaged, I was looking forward to celebrating the festive period.  So I made a real effort to create some special Xmas related moments.

Chester Zoo Lantern Walk

Firstly there was the annual Xmas Lantern Walk around Chester Zoo.  Once you realise that there will be hoards of children, and therefore lots of queues whilst eager parents clog up the route to take advantage of every photo opportunity, then it is a lovely occasion.  He loves monkeys, giraffes, lions, and rhinos and luckily for us they were lit up on the route.  However he was completely enthralled by a massive turkey (although he kept referring to it as a chicken).  I thought it was the ugliest thing there and a bit creepy really, but Harry couldn’t stay away from it.  He was dancing with glee every time it moved and kept going up to it telling it “go back in your house Mr Chicken”.  I even went up for a cuddle off the turkey (don’t be too alarmed, it is a man dressed in a turkey suit – I am not that animal friendly) to try to coax H over to it but he was happy just dancing up and down in front of it and barking instructions at the “chicken”.

Verdict:  We loved it and will pencil it in for next year.

Santa Express

Then we have the Santa Express at Llangollen.  This would be H’s first time on a train and for it to be a steam train, and for us to be going to see Santa on it, I just thought that this was going to be amazing.  I had arranged to go with friends and their children, and so 11 of us descended on Llangollen on a very wet Saturday morning.  In fact the heavens had opened and there was no sign of it stopping.  The day had not started well.  As a mum of a toddler I was typically laden down with bags and the buggy.  I spent most of my time trying to prevent the toddler from kicking off the rain covers, whilst carrying presents and the changing bag, and trying – and failing – to keep myself dry.  (I now officially hate hoods.  They never stay on when it is windy and rainy and when you have it up it feels like you have lost 50% of your vision).  On the train you could not see out of the windows for the condensation.  At the other end the kids had to either queue in the rain to see Santa, or stay on the train and wait until the queue didn’t look too bad and then make a mad dash for him.  H leaked through his nappy (no baby changing facilities on a steam train as they were obviously not required all that time ago!) and there was not a decent cup of coffee in sight.  To top it all off, once it was our turn on Santa’s sleigh H would go nowhere near him.  The parents were offered a mince-pie and a small bottle of Baileys that I necked in a nano-second.  I can only assume that the organisers knew that we were going to NEED alcohol to get us through the day.  The one consolation is that I got a great photo of H as the train pulled away from the station.  If all you saw was that photo then you would think it was a magical day.  They say a picture speaks a thousand words, I now know that not all of those words are truthful.

Verdict: Never again.

Santa Sleigh – you know the one where the local Round Table come around the streets showering kids with sweets and accepting donations for charitable causes.  I had tracked when it was due to come to our street.  Typically ours turned up just as H was being put down to sleep.  I whipped him up, wrapped him up in a coat and took him outside so that he could wave at Santa.  Unfortunately one of his “elves” was handing out lollipops and approached us with one.  Before I knew it H had it in his hands and was eagerly trying to remove the wrapper.  First of all I tried to reason with the toddler about why he should wait until morning to eat it, when that failed it quickly descended in to a wrestling match.  He cried for 20 minutes and only stopped when he was too exhausted to carry on and then fell asleep with his covers kicked off.  His first words to me the next morning……”lollipop mummy”.  Good morning to you to baby.

Verdict: Let sleeping dogs lie.

Xmas Photo Toddler

Putting up the decorations together turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.  I tried plenty of oohhs and aaahhs as I got everything out of the boxes but to no avail.  H was more interested in a pair of santa specs than he was mummy breaking her neck trying to put the baubles in the right place, and the angel on the top of the tree.  Much to the disappointment of my family I gave up after the tree.  I hate decorations anyhow – dust gatherers – I was only doing it for him.

Verdict: Epic fail.

So as I reflect on the last few weeks, I ask myself will I make all this effort again.  On the balance of things, NOT ON YOUR LIFE!  If I get a blow to the head between now and then and I am tempted to then at least now I have this post to read back on and remind myself not to bother.  But it is not all bah humbug.  What I have realised is that Xmas is for kids and next year I will let him decide what it is he wants to do and not inflict things on him that I want to do.  I have learnt my lesson.  Let’s see how that works out.


Harry’s Honest Mummy x

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Letterbox Cake from

When I was asked to review a cake delivery service I didn’t have to think twice.  I mean

  1. I love cake
  2. It gets delivered

What isn’t to like?

The letterbox cake produced by is designed to fit through the letterbox (just as it says), which means that the lucky recipient does not have to be in to sign for it/go and collect it from somewhere.  So it really does add to the surprise as there is no indication of what is inside when you arrive home to find the package on your doormat.  And, who would expect a cake through their door?

Bakerdays Letterbox Cake

When you open the box there is a lovely gift card included, as well as some balloons and a candle.  A nice touch that I wasn’t expecting.  The cake comes in a really pretty tin that can easily be re-used.

There are a large selection of designs to choose from and then once you have picked what you want, you can personalise the message on it.  As we are in December I decided to go with a Xmas theme.  The cake isn’t massive – pardon the pun but it does what it says on the tin – it is a letterbox cake, so it has to be of the right size to fit through one.  You can get about 3-4 decent size portions out of it.


I am not a great lover of receiving flowers.  I find it too much bother to unwrap them, clear all the leaves off the bottom, cut them, and then arrange them.  And then because I am in work I don’t really get the full benefit of them.  If like me you are the same then this is a great alternative.  At only £15 it also cheaper than sending flowers through the post.

Bakerdays LetterBox Cake

And what did it taste like?  Well, it is a tough job but someone had to do it.  There are 6 variations to choose from – Vanilla, Chocolate, Fruit, Half and Half, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free.  I chose Vanilla.  It was very light with just the right amount of icing – I hate it when there is more icing than actual cake.  Kicked back on the sofa with a cup of tea to wash it down with, it was perfect.  Definitely a service and a product that I will consider using in the future (and hopefully be a recipient of should my friends be reading!)

Thank you BakerDays.


Harry’s Honest Mummy x

BakerDays produce a whole range of sizes of cake.  If you want more information then you can find them on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.  You can also go direct to their site.