Pre-Christmas in London

I am amazed at just how much effort is put into making the Christmas season so very special here in London. I guess we are no different in New Zealand but the largeness of this place just seems to make it all the more extravagant!

Firstly there is the ‘Winter Wonderland Show’ at Hyde park. Judy and I walked through on a Monday night after it opened over the previous weekend. Fortunately Monday night wasn’t too popular, and it was an easy walk through and very enjoyable. By the next weekend when I went again, it was crowded. You could hardly move with all the people, but there was a great atmosphere. People were happy and having so much fun. I took heaps of photos but think this you tube clip will help show just how BIG the place is!

The streets are all lit up with amazing Christmas lights but the shop windows have become like a super competition to see who produces the most WOW factor. Let them fight it out I say while I wander through the crowded streets and admire their efforts!

There are plenty of you tube movies about each store as well, especially as they finally unveil their window displays to the public. Here is a Harrods video…

And another store that is very well known. It was voted the best department store in the world!

Here is a sample of their in store decorations! They really are amazing!

Another store with the big reveal is Fenwicks. This Fenwicks is in Newcastle but there is a huge store in Bond Street, London.

Walking home one night C2 and D2 took us into the store Fortnum and Mason. I’d never heard of the store before but I was certainly in for a treat. This store is for the RICH! I’ve attached a you tube clip of this store. Its by a chap who seems to make a living making You Tube videos about London.

John Lewis is another big department store and it’s Christmas lights are turned on with the Oxford Street light up, but they have an advert which is televised during the Christmas season. The little penguin named Monty has become very popular. Everyone wants a Monty Penguin and his little girlfriend Maude.

I frequently buy online from Debenhams Store for presents for London friends. Here is their Christmas advert and you can see some of their instore decorations as well.

Here is a link I found with a write up about each shop and their window display.

And here is what Covent Garden got up to getting their 2014 Christmas decorations up! And believe me it all looks amazing!

We were lucky enough to wander through Covent Garden and see these wonderful decorations in person.

Another big thing is when the Christmas lights get officially turned on. The public come out in force to celebrate the event. It’s like a huge concert and goes on for hours.Β  Here is Regent Street lights switch on 2014

I could only find a longer video for Oxford Street but what a celebration it was!

This short video is a general shop window one…

Libertys of London had a real celebration for the window display reveal. Once again it’s quite a long video but shows the excitement involved in this Christmas season at Liberty. It’s a wonderful store but once again quite expensive!

And if you walk along Southbank, the River Thames walkway you will also see the Christmas Markets. Actually this guy has done heaps of video clips on You Tube about Christmas in London.

I have noticed that there is a huge lack of Nativity scenes in London’s Christmas Celebrations. How sad is that! We are definitely seeing Christ taken out of Christmas, and with the stores each competing for sales, I guess ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ doesn’t help provide them with store purchases. The meaning of Christmas has become buy buy buy! Gift giving even when you can’t afford it. Well gift buying anyway!

The best gift of all and it doesn’t cost a cent is the gift that God gave 2014 years ago. It was in the form of a little baby, God’s son Jesus Christ. He died 33 years later as a sacrifice for our sins, and so that we could have eternal life. This gift of salvation is free, you only have to accept it! John 3;16. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that he who believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Having attended Hillsong London a few times while in London, I have been amazed at their influence in this city. The church is huge and is growing daily! Now they are having a Christmas celebration and it does include Jesus! It does has Father Christmas but would certainly share the true reason that Christmas is part of our lives today. Here is a video of last years production. It is 29 minutes long but a great look! If that sounds too long for you though, there is another link on my page for this years service, go to that one πŸ™‚

To find out more please open/download the link below and check out the provided information πŸ™‚

Hillsong Christmas Carols Press Release_CVH (1) (1)

So… it will be at Wembley Arena again and the cost is 5pound per person. The 7.30pm Carol service is full already but there is another service at 3pm. This will be a Christmas celebration that you won’t forget in a hurry. In fact it could be life changing for you πŸ™‚

Have a look…

I’m actually really sad that I can’t go to this Christmas service. I leave London on the 19th of December, but for those of you who live in London, don’t miss out!

Don't miss out! I'm sure it will be a Christmas Concert you will remember and be thankful for... for eternity
Please share with me how the evening/afternoon went. I’d love to hear all about it πŸ™‚

It’s January 2013!!!

I can’t believe how fast the last year went! Who would believe that we are now heading towards the middle of January 2013 already!

Well….life is great! I had a fabulous Christmas and even managed a week in Sydney with C1, D1, G1 and G3 (and had a night out with C4 and D3). Robin and the girls were also in Sydney for Christmas day so we had a lovely family time. C6 and I had to fly back home on Boxing Day because I had to work the next 2 days and C6 had booked to go to ‘Rhythm and Vines’ music festival.

Since being back home I have had Simon and the 2 boys staying plus C4 and D3 came to stay for about 5 nights as well. We tried to do as much as possible together for those 5 days. C3 left and went up to Hamilton where he is going to be best man for his friends wedding, and C4 and D3 flew back to Sydney. I still have my 2 grandsons staying and have been having so much fun with them.

Robin and C5 got back home on the 6th of January and both have been working again this week. Life is slowly getting back to normal and that means routine!

C5 turns 21 on the 15th so the next big event will be her birthday dinner. Luckily for me, she has booked her party at a local venueΒ so I won’t have to be preparing food.

My crafting life has had to be put on hold during the Christmas season, but I have plenty of photos printed out ready for when time once again becomes available. I can’t wait! One thing that I have managed to fit in though is shifting a heap of my very old photos from their old unsafe photo albums, to new albums that are acid free. I purchased lots of photo life pages from ‘Simon Says’ and have found them a very quick way of getting the photos into albums and yet making them slightly more interesting than just plain photo albums. I have a long way to go before finishing them, but I am very happy with the progress so far.

I also made a few crafty things for gifts and also for selling in my sisters craft shop. I will attach some photos!

I will also add some photos of my fabulous family and of our time together celebrating our Saviours birthday πŸ™‚

Jo Jess and Leeara Jo Ben Jess and Casey My three youngest :-) two beautiful Daughter in laws Joanna and Casey my two daughters Dad and daughter Rebecca and Casey Beautiful Joanna In the pool together Matthew and Casey Cute Casey Christmas dinner prep Christmas dinner Christmas dinner photo Ben teaching Jayden Bat down Bat down together night at the park lights two gorgeous grandsons boys doing what boys like to do At nana nanas Our santa sacks Casey and Rosey Up to mishief Christian? Dad Simon and Christian on the walkway Christian Jayden Ben and Chloe Jayden on his bike Simon helping Christian The boys at the windwand Flying Christian Jayden at Fitzroy pool feeding the rabbits at Pouakai animal farm boys feeding the animals Jayden and the goats Christian reading the map at Pukieti Map reading time a good photo spot Nana (me) and my grandsons Maori carvings and the boys Swimming at Corbett Road The water was freezing cold Cheeky Christian A Cricut creation doorstops I made for christmas My Christmas banner