There’s always the rhetoric around this time of year that Christmas has lost its magic and that it has gotten far too commercial for its own good. I must admit, that compared to when I was a kid (and Christmas was the best word in the world), the first thing I think of these days, is an increased to-do list and a decreased bank balance. Humbug anyone?
Last night though, I found the Christmas kid in me again. We went ice skating at the York Designer Outlet at McArthur Glen just south of York. -3°C temperatures ensured that we’d not messed about when it came to wrapping up warm – which had the added bonus of providing a little extra padding. Being outside in winter, is oh so readily avoided, but if you’ve got the right clothes on, being outside in sub-zero is great – no really it is. Teaching my Sophie girl (age 6) the rudiments of ice skating was lovely – seeing how proud she was when she released her vice like grip for a few seconds and move under her own steam – it was like the patter of tiny feet all over again. She was so pleased, I thought she was going to pop. The boys loved it as well and it paved the way for ‘father-son’ moments aplenty – and when Sophie did have a spill, I was proud to see them rush to her assistance. Skidding about on ice is perhaps another one of those primeval pleasures. It certainly brings out the nice side of people.
Where was my 6 and a half month pregnant wife whilst all this was going on I hear you ask? She was watching us from the comfort of the heated café bar, drinking cups of tea that’s where. We joined her, in said heated and seated, licensed bar, where we enjoyed a round of tip-top, well above average hot-chocolates. Perfect Après skate activity.
The rest of the ‘Winter Wonderland’ Christmas themed set up was really well put together. A fun for all the family type affair, a true Yorkshire’s number 1 Christmas attraction contender. I wish we’d had more time to check it all out really. Loads to see and do. As well as the ICE FACTOR (the name for the skating bit), there were games stalls, fairground rides, and a Dickensian feeling Christmas Market and all this next to the York Designer Outlet proper. Didn’t get chance to go in this evening, but it’s a slightly more upmarket than most, shopping center. More of your Brooks Brothers, less of your Jack Fulton.
Nice stress free evening – even the drive home in the freezing fog was quite, er, chilled, and gave us time to crack open my new audio book ‘And Did Those Feet’ by Charlie Connolly. So far, so good.