Christmas is now very much upon us, and the kids and I are having a fantastic time enjoying all the local festive activities.
Last weekend we were invited to visit Santa at his grotto in the St Enoch Centre. I have to admit that the kids weren’t overly excited about seeing Santa…. at ages 8 and 6 years old they are starting to question his existence. We had dug out photographs from other Santa visits whilst putting up the Christmas decorations, and had very cleverly noticed that the Santa’s look different… you can’t get anything by my two! They knew that the Santa we were going to see was a pretend one, acting on behalf of the real Santa, and I suppose knowing this they perhaps weren’t as keen as they have been in previous years.
Going to see a Santa in a shopping centre isn’t going to be as magical as perhaps some of the other opportunities around, but for busy families it’s ideal to get in some Christmas shopping along with a trip to see the big guy. The centre is in full festive swing, and I just love the fairy light reindeer that are dotted about the place. The grotto is up beside Debenhams, and displays a countdown to the day. Not long now!
After queuing for a few minutes, it was our turn to be escorted into the grotto by Santa’s elf. Santa had been pre-advised of the names and ages of the children, and he welcomed them into his room with his loud, friendly voice. All talk of fake Santa quickly stopped, and the kids were engrossed by the large character in the chair; he was very authentic. Obviously with a queue outside, we couldn’t stay and chat for too long, but we did have a discussion about how well the children had been behaving and what they would like as Christmas gifts this year. Next was the photo, and we did get a couple taken to pick from which was great (especially given that my son has his mouth wide open chatting in one of the frames!). We had chosen to have our photo displayed in a 3D snow frame, and it was promptly prepared and boxed up for us. The kids were given a present (puzzle book and a sequin art pack) and we were off on our way. The kids were delighted with their gifts, and I was happy that it wasn’t more plastic tat.
The St Enoch Centre had challenged us to see what we could find in the centre to make our house more festive this holiday season, and had given us a £50 gift card to make our purchases. The kids loved to work to the budget, and we had already brainstormed the type of things that we could look for before arriving that morning… Christmas candle, baubles and a Christmas tree topper.
We started in Debenhams Christmas department, and chose some stag wrapping paper and a smoke & amber candle. We were off to a flying start. Whilst I was in Debenhams, I tried a massage chair which was on display in the home department… it was super relaxing, and on offer at 50% off. A fantastic start to the day, made even better when one of the staff handed me a empty coffee cup to get a free coffee in the cafe!
Other shops that we visited were the Yankee Candle store where we bought a gift pack with a few festive votives and a holder, then we headed to The Works and chose a lot of crafty bits and pieces to make Christmas gift tags and cards. Our final stop was The Body Shop, and with our remaining budget we were able to get a mini soap and hand cream from the festive ranges… Frosted Plum, Frosted Berries and Vanilla Chai. We went for Frosted Plum.
I loved the personalised body butters that are now available in The Body Shop… we got one for my son’s teacher – “You’re on the Naughty List Mrs XXX”. I’m sure she’ll see the funny side of it!!
We didn’t find a Christmas tree topper that we liked, so that remains on the list for now… until next time!
We had complimentary entry to Santa’s grotto, and a £50 voucher for this review. Opinions as always are our own, and are honest.