Today we went to see Father Christmas ( or Santa as he is fondly known by my YouTube addled children) in the wonderful house at Dyffryn Gardens. We all like it there very much (I actually asked a volunteer there today if I could have my ashes scattered there!) and Jack is especially comfortable there. The morning started well with no complaints from Jack and I had my fingers and toes crossed for a successful meeting.
It’s been a bit wet and grey here today so we had a little wander around the grounds and then retreated to the warmth of the house. After much hilarity playing pool and taking a million photos in front of the stunning Christmas Tree, Ava decided that she needed a wee. Off we went down the corridor but who should step out from a door way? The Man himself. Jack had gone before I could even turn around and I found him back in the hallway terribly distressed. After what felt like an eternity trying to coax him up from the floor (huge thanks to the charming people stepping over me to get to the Christmas Tree, patience is a virtue and all that) we settled on a bench where he decided that he was not going to see Father Christmas. Sitting with him, beautiful tree in front of us, carols playing in the background, my heart broke. My baby, so unreachable at something so simple. Something that’s meant to bring immense pleasure to him was destroying him. I sat and rocked him, promising over and over that he didn’t have to, nuzzling my nose into his (currently purple) hair, I was both sad and thankful. I realised yet again, that I have no reason to be sad about the things that he can’t manage just yet. I am blessed beyond belief! I was able to sit in that wonderful hall, surrounded by warm Christmas carols and rock my boy. To comfort him and calm him. The other three were relatively oblivious to this all going on and were loving seeing the house so Christmassy!
When the time came for them to see Father Christmas I was delighted to see that Jack’s upset hadn’t rubbed off on Ava. Emma, Charlie and Ava went and sat with Father Christmas and talked about everything, from sausages and ice hockey to Christmas gifts. It was, by far, the most magical Christmas experience I’ve had with the children. It was executed perfectly by all staff members and the elves doing crafts with the children was such a lovely touch. I won’t go into detail about exactly what gifts the children received, but suffice to say, we were very impressed. I had tears in my eyes when Father Christmas told Em to stop growing up, he knew exactly what I was thinking! As we wandered back to the car (the rain was still coming!) my cheeks hurt from smiling so much! It’s a Christmas event that we will be doing for many more years to come and hopefully Jack will get there too.
Tickets to see Father Christmas at Dyffryn Gardens were £4 per child. Visit the National Trust website for details of an event near you (and we strongly recommend becoming a member too!)