We were the hosts for Christmas this year and after spending last Christmas in busy Birmingham going to the theatre, lunch and cocktails at Jamie Oliver's, exploring the Christmas markets and popping into a carol service we worried about making everyone's stay as special as possible. We needn't have worried, as Christmas at home in Ceredigion was absolutely amazing.
There were Christmas Fayres to visit, Cardigan's beautiful lantern parade which finished with fireworks by the Teifi river, carol services, train rides with Santa, a great Christmas get together with friends at the Black Lion in New Quay, winter wonderlands with ice skating in Aberystwyth and so much more.
Tom's brothers glamped in our holiday accommodation and I can report back that after lighting the wood burners they were snug as bugs and it was the perfect trial run for us opening up for guests next Christmas.
We started Christmas Eve with lunch at The Harbourmaster, a great pub and restaurant in Aberaeron. This place is a little bit special with good food, views of the harbour and cocktails that are maybe a little too nice! The kids were pretty wound up and excited so we burned off some of their energy by walking from the pretty little harbour and along the seafront.
On Christmas day we went down to Llangrannog and took part in the annual swim and I think this made 2018 such a memorable Christmas. There was a lovely atmosphere, we got to wish so many people a merry Christmas and the swim gave us a high that stayed with us for the day. The mince pies and hot mulled wine provided by Mike at The Pentre Arms was very welcome and there was such a great sense of community at the pub.
We decided to have Christmas dinner in the camp kitchen and the fairy lights, candles, wood burner and amount of space made it perfect and another way to make this Christmas stand out.
On Boxing Day we felt the need to burn off all the celebrating we'd done the day before and went for a decent sized coastal walk which ended up in Llangrannog and outside The Pentre Arms, whilst the boys played on the beach right in front of us. We'd planned on having a family barbecue in the evening in our indoor barbecue hut but unfortunately the festivities at The Pentre went on a little too long and so we settled on having a cold buffet instead. This gave us more time for playing games, one of which involved blowing up a monkeys bottom (thanks Tom's mum!!) and eating a forfeit of sprout flavoured crisps.
After sometime to recover, interspersed with more time exploring the coastal path, visits to Narberth's Blue Lagoon waterpark and soft play zones and school friends trying out our nearly completed play area, the first part of New Year's Eve was spent in The Ship Inn in Llangrannog. There was live music, the restaurant was serving and it was very child friendly (our boys played pool with friends in the separate games room) - it was a great start to our evening. We weren't there at midnight but it was a lovely, mild night to wrap up warm, pop out to the beach a few yards away and wish each other happy new year.
All in all this was one of our most memorable Christmas holidays and it's going to be tough to top it next year - maybe we should just do it all over again for Christmas 2019!!!