This weekend saw the second Tots100 Christmas party, with 35 bloggers and their families meeting up at Butlins Bognor Regis for a Festive Weekend. Thanks to everyone who came along and for those who couldn’t make it, never fear – here’s your chance to find out what you missed AND get your hands on a fabulous Christmas hamper!
If you’ve never visited a Butlins resort before, it’s about as far from Hi-De-Hi as you can get – the rooms in both the Ocean and Shoreline Hotels are spacious, funky and come with all mod cons, and there’s a fabulous spa at the Ocean hotel if you get a spare hour or two.
Many of the bloggers arrived on Friday evening, after driving down in cars kindly loaned by Kia UK. This meant there was loads of time to enjoy the various activities and entertainments, before meeting up on Saturday afternoon for a spot of competitive Christmas Tree decorating. Four teams of bloggers were challenged to use the available decorations, accessories and wrapping materials to create a magical tableaux.
For a moment there, it did all get a bit Lord of the Flies, with women frantically trying to rip Christmas tree lights off Butlins’ own displays, but it all went (reasonably) peacefully, with the help of a small mountain of mince pies, and our teams created some festive magic. Although I’m not sure what my daughter made of her Dalmatian soft toy being transformed into a reindeer in a fairy skirt, and being put on top of a tree. “They did put him back to normal, right?” she asked me last night.
The winning team was led by Vic from The Shoe Blogger, who went with a traditional look, with a face made out of crackers and strings of fresh cranberries on their tree. For their efforts, the ladies all won a Christmas hamper courtesy of Aldi, filled with festive treats and gorgeousness.
In the evening we met at Bar Rosso for Christmas cocktails before heading into Turners for a fabulous Christmas dinner. Keeping 34 slightly tipsy Mummy bloggers (and one Dad blogger) happy is no easy feat, but the food was all delicious and hot, and the wine free-flowing.
After dinner, some of the bloggers went off in search of dancing at the resort nightclub (read more about THAT part of the evening over here) while others headed back to the hotel bars.
What’s always fun about these events is putting names to faces, and meeting bloggers who you’ve previously only imagined in their Twitter avatar form – there are far too many people to mention but it was brilliant to meet everyone, and catch up with some old friends, too.
One thing worth noting if you’re going to visit Butlins is that there is free, fast WiFi across most of the resort (hurrah!) but it is completely open with no password or ID needed – so the content filtering is quite strict – and you can only access Twitter via third-party apps. This is my excuse for forgetting to Tweet for the whole weekend!
Actually, the filtering is a great bonus if you’re with kids, since you can let them safely play on the Internet without worrying what they’ll access, but I should point out that around a quarter of the bloggers attending the party are deemed potentially unethical OR illegal by the security software on Butlins network. I’m less surprised by that than I should be, frankly.
If you couldn’t make the Tots100 Xmas party, then don’t be downcast. You can see photos from the event on our Facebook page, and our friends at Aldi have given us four bumper Christmas hampers to give away to bloggers, just in time for the festive season.
How to Enter:
All you have to do to be in with a chance of getting a hamper is to tell us the BEST joke you ever found in a cracker before 5pm this Friday. The ones that make us laugh (or groan) the most will be given a hamper for their efforts. Please note, you must be a Tots100 registered blogger to take part in this giveaway. We’ll announce the winners on this page on Friday, December 16th.