We’ve only ever been on one Center Parcs holiday. Bee was about eight years old, and Belle was coming up for two. We went with our friend Lucy, who at the time only had one daughter, Ella, who was just a few weeks younger than Belle. Ours days fell quickly into a lovely routine of swimming, feeding babies and early nights, and it was all very lovely.
In fact I can tell you exactly when it was, I’ve just remembered – it must have been April 2004, as my Gran had just died, and while we were there I had to write the eulogy. I’d never been to a funeral until then, which is good going I think for a then 26 year old.
That’s jolly isn’t it?
Actually, in a morbid sort of a way, it fits quite nicely with the theme of this post. No, Center Parcs isn’t giving away some sort of funeral holiday package, but they are running a competition where you have to think about what your family means to you, and what your favourite thing about them is. Fitting then don’t you think that my time at Center Parcs was spent thinking a lot about my Gran and the important part she played in my life?
It’s a reminder too that we have to cherish our families while we can.
We go along with our everyday lives, getting annoyed with our kids when they forget to switch lights off, and wishing our partners would learn to read our minds so we didn’t have to explain every time we were irritated by something, but how often do we switch it around, and think instead about all of the things we love about them?
Some of my favourite things about my family:
I love how passionate and principled Bee is, and how brilliantly she has coped with moving to London on her own and doing her degree, even though it hasn’t always been easy. She’s graduating very soon, and I’m so proud of her and how much she has done already to make plans for the future.
I love how sassy Belle is, and how strong her sense of right and wrong is. I love that she gets annoyed if she doesn’t think other people in school are taking their work seriously. She once made me complain about a science teacher because she didn’t think he did enough practical work with them.
I love how excited my fiancé gets about new things, and how engrossed he gets. He has the most amazing creative ideas and just knows so much about proper grown-up subjects like music and history, and not because he has learnt them to sound impressive, but because he’s just interested. And I love how he laughs like a baby when I tickle him.
Bleurgh. Enough soppiness.
To enter the Center Parcs competition, all you have to do is record a short video telling Center Parcs what you love about your family. The prize is a Center Parcs break worth £500, and it doesn’t have to be fancy, a camera phone is fine. Find out how to enter HERE.
Belle wouldn’t do a video for me after her school friends all watched the last one she did, so I tricked Bee into doing it instead. As I’ve gone this far, I’m going to go all in and also show you the text messages we exchanged after I told her it was going into a blog post.
She always says the funniest bits of my blog posts are when I quote her.
The competition closes at 11.59pm on 3rd April, so get your skates on. Full T&Cs here. If you need a little more inspiration, here’s another very sweet video. No big sandwiches in this one though.
WE LOVE Center Parcs in this house – it’s literally my children’s favourite place in the whole world. We’ve been 4 times in the last 2 years!! We need to get filming and get our entry in x
Centre Parcs is up there on my list of places we really really want to visit…all my friends absolutely love it! Good luck…I’ll try and enter if the little one gives me time. Crikey we sure could do with a family holiday that’s for sure! x
Oh that video of your daughter is lovely. I’m also a single mummy and so don’t think I could ever afford Center Parcs but have heard so many great things that I’ll definitely have to get the video recorder out!
Too cute. Never been to Center Parcs but I imagine it’s a kids dream! x
Brilliant competition! I love that you have such a great relationship with your girls too – hope mine will be happy to help out with blog posts when they’re teens!
Another Center Parcs fan here! We’ve been a few times with G and there’s always so much to do – and the SPA is lovely.
We have still not made it too a Centre Parks yet but they look like such a fab place for families to run free and certainly somewhere we would love to visit soon
My other half has taken his kids to Center Parcs before and we’ve wondered about taking all five kids! It sounds like the perfect place for big families.
We’ve never been to a centre parcs but have heard nothing but good things about it and how much fun the kids have had when they went. Sounds perfect. x
I would love to treat my son and his lovely family
Puiblic vote to determine the winners? Good luck with the cheating and bad publicity…
What do I love about my family?! Where on earth do I start? Or end, for that matter?! Spending day to day moments with them is brilliant – these last four bank holiday days have been perfect and I’d love to recreate some more with them in Center Parcs! My husband and I have been (actually got engaged there in 2008) but have never been with our two children. Fingers crossed we win this!! :-)
I.would.book a three week holiday to Disney world florida for myself the husband and kids..
My family means everything to me. Money cannot buy the love I feel for them, or the joy of seeing the little ones grow and be happy and fulfilled. We have suffered a year of loss and ill-health for some of us, we may not always see eye to eye – but when need be everyone knows we are one big family and there for each other! How wonderful if I could win this prize, peace, harmony with nature, and quiet contentment would really help to give me back my feel-good factor!