Those of you who regularly visit Steve’s blogsite ( and more recently mine ( will have read the many blogs about being Bettina’s parents and some of the lessons/insights we have gained over the years.

However, we are at that point in the year which is Bettina’s absolute favourite – Christmas! And we felt that we should include this as one of our blogs too.  A short Christmas Tale, if you like.

Bettina at Disney on IceBettina is absolutely mesmerised by Christmas!  We call it “her time of the year” because for Bettina, Christmas lights her up as bright as any tree.  To begin with, starting as early as October, Bettina will be aware that the shops are gearing themselves up for the season.  She will quite happily by-pass any notions of Halloween or Bonfire Night – although she does acknowledge them – to get to her Nirvana.  The change in the air, coupled with the clocks going back one hour (which most people associate with an extra hour in bed!), give her that sense of excitement.

Then, we move through to the change in the shops.  Whether it is the change in the stock that is for sale or the change in decoration,  Bettina knows that the amount of glitter, tinsel, baubles, trees and pretty lights are building to that one day.  Outside spaces change too.  With the nights drawing in round about teatime reindeer, santas, snowmen, icicles, wooden nativity sets, market stall cabins and the aromas of hot food and spiced drinks draw her like a moth to a flame.

Now we have that grandmaster of Christmas itself, Father Christmas!  Bettina can spot a fake a mile away.  When she was younger she went to visit him at a department store with a group of school friends.  Within seconds she had exposed him as a fake by whipping off his beard for all to see with a smug smile and a loud “that’s better”.  For other children visiting him that day it was a cruel realisation that there may be more than one Santa, or maybe none at all?  Bettina is not about to fall for that trick again, yet Bettina definitely believes in the magic of Christmas.  She loves the appearance of presents under the tree, the treats, the food, the music and films, but most of all Bettina recognises that this time of year means having her family together sharing the season, the joy and the love.  You can present Bettina with something wildly expensive or incredibly cheap her reaction will still be the same – grateful and pleased.

For our family, Christmas remains young and magical with Bettina’s sense of simplicity and innocence always reminding us what it is really important in this world.  With this in mind, we always try to share this attitude to life with others,  so may we take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.