Christmas and New Years

02 January

I hope everybody had a fantastic Christmas and New Years. I thought as it is such a busy period I would be better off writing one blog about the Christmas period in general rather than loads of small posts:

JJ's charity ball

The first Christmas party I had this year was a charity function at The Royal Court hotel. It was something we booked tickets for quite a while in advance and was a large organised event with a 3 course meal, a charity auction and raffle, live music and a disco. 

The location was beautiful and was a good sized function room with a fantastic atmosphere. The food was okay, you are never going to get amazing food at these type of large events but it didn't help that it wasn't very well organised. That was the only disappointment of the evening though. The raffle and auction were good fun, made especially so knowing the money was going to a good cause, plus my brother-in-law won one of the raffle prizes.

The live music was the highlight of the night for me, they had 2 bands and a west end singer. All were brilliant and provided a good range of music that plenty of people were up and dancing to.

I have been to organised events before which have been fun and it is something I would recommend if you like parties but I'd not been to a charity ball before so it made it that bit different and exciting.

If you would like to learn more about the charity go to http://jjsmemorialfund.co.uk/

   

The Work Do

The next party of the year was my annual work Christmas party. The last few years have been at the Ricoh area but this year for a change was it was at the Rialto. Unfortunately it turned out to be an awful venue! We mostly had a fun night because it was lovely to socialise with people outside of work and to have a bit of a dance. The food was the worst food I've ever had at an organised event, the soup starter in particular was disgusting (everybody was in agreement that they have had better cuppa soups). The music was very taste specific too with a UB40 tribute and then a disco with only 90's music. 

Work parties are good fun but if you are organising one, I would not recommend the Rialto.

Merry Hill

Despite having Christmas shopping done in advance we decided to go for a shopping day at Merry Hill shopping centre as a family day out. We chose Merry Hill as it is a good sized shopping centre with a large range of shops, it is all indoors and has a brilliant play area for my niece. 

We were pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't too busy at the centre so there was plenty of space in the play area and for us to browse to shops for any last bits. The play area is an enclosed space with a good range of activities for children of different ages. The activities were also quite different to those that you see at other indoor play areas. 

The variety of shops meant we could all have a browse at what we wanted and enabled us all to get anything we needed. There was also a good variety of food places for lunch.

Overall, we throughly enjoyed our day out and would definitely go back to the shopping centre.

House Party

We have had a few house parties this Christmas, one on Christmas Day, one on New Year's Eve and also in between we had my father-in-laws birthday party.

Once it gets to Christmas we massively prefer to host or attend a house party to going out. I find it is the perfect way to have a celebration and get all the family together without the cost (and in the case of New Years, crowds) of going out.

We like to put on a buffet and a playlist for the evening but don't do any more planning than that, we just enjoy each other's company and let the evening take its course. New Years we like to have a dance and get some party poppers to bring in the new year (but be warned you will be finding the discs months later!). 

House parties at Christmas/New Years is something we have done since we were kids so it pretty much a tradition for us now. We have gone out in the past but just didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much.
Games Night

We also had a couple of games nights this year. One was Christmas Eve at a friends house, we had take away, stuck on some Christmas film and played pictionary. It was great fun and got us in a Christmassy mood. We also swapped presents as it was practically Christmas Day :)

We also went to my Mother-in-law's between Christmas and New Years for a buffet and a good few games. It is a great way to enjoy the festive season as it brings everybody together and everybody has a good laugh.

We were also invited on New a Years Day to a friends house who made us a very tasty roast dinner and after we played some Cards Against Humanity, which is a hilarious game but not to be played for anybody who is easily offended.
 
  

Woodland Walk

Last but by no means least, after all the New Years festivities we decided to start off the new year with a woodland walk. It was a beautifully sunny day, although we had to wrap up warm. We went to a place we've not been before - Brandon Woods. It was a beautiful area, not massive but plenty of pathways. It also gave us the chance to see our friends new puppy who was so adorable! It was a beautiful area of woodland and the weather was great for walking and so was a lovely start to the new year.

   

Dawn x

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