Christmas 2005

We had a lovely Christmas, joined by Mum and Mike, who managed to brave the cold for a week to be with us. We had a great few days in the lead-up to Christmas, with Sophie getting more and more excited as it came closer.

Nanna and Thomas Grandad and Thomas Sophie Christmas with her sleigh pressies for the dolls the cake decorators setting up the musical tree ... ... and enjoying it princess at the market on the merry-go-round

On Friday 23rd, our friends Pippa, Don and Sacha came over and we all went out to see the lights and window displays around Bagneres. (They weren't intentionally left out of the photos though!) The evening was rounded off with a few rides on the merry-go-round.

Santa's train Sacha

On Christmas Eve, we went out to our favourite cafe for lunch and, unbelievably, it was warm enough to sit outside.

Then in the evening, we gave the children a couple of presents each, both to spread things out and take the edge off Sophie's excitement.

snuggly dressing gown Thomas needed Sophie's help... ... with his blanket stylish outfits for the dolls

Christmas Day didn't start too early, but the opening of presents seemed to go on all morning. Mum and Mike kindly took over the cooking, while we gradually helped Sophie and Thomas open and explore all their presents. Sophie had asked Father Christmas for a doll, painting clothes for the dolls and doll's clothes that stayed done up. He managed with the second and third request, but held off on the doll, as he knew Grandma had already sorted that one out. I should also mention that, just in case, Sophie had actually bought herself a doll, for all of 2 euros 92 cents, a few days before. She's very proud of her doll and doesn't mind having to put the legs or head back on regularly. Grandma's doll, now named Briar Rose, is a real favourite though, as was Father Christmas' Barbie story and sticker book.

opening the stocking fillers Thomas' stocking a new dress for Barbie 'Sophie Sparkle Viola' on her horse Thomas' lovely musical toy Sophie's main present, a sledge time for a pause Thomas' main present, a walker something to keep Patrick warm

We had a very nice traditional lunch followed by a walk through the park and down by the river.

in the Jardin aux Vignaux

The evening was pretty quiet, with two very sleepy children having a nice early night.

enthralled by the ice-skating out for the count