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Our First Weekend at the The Big Sheep Christmas Market

Last Saturday we attended the first of four Christmas markets at The Big Sheep in Abbotsham, just outside of Bideford, Devon.
It was a very early start for us, getting up at 4am to pack everything into the van, and then heading off at 5am with Niamh (our 14 yr old) and Wren (our eleven month old).
When we arrived it was pitch black and there didn’t seem to be anyone in sight, but then like magic the marquee lights came on and we started to get set up.

I was very pleased with myself for putting the stand together, usually Matt helps with this. On this occasion he had stayed at home to see off our oldest daughter, who was travelling to Plymouth.
As I started to put up the chains and poles that we use to display our t-shirts, I realised that I had left the pile of neatly ironed display tees at home!
My heart sank and I rather sheepishly sent Matt a text message to see if he could get the t-shirts up to us.

With our 16 year old safely on the train to Plymouth, he got our remaining two children ready and into the car to dash up to Devon.
Meanwhile, Niamh and I had found a few spare t-shirts to spread out on the display until the cavalry arrived and the market had opened.
The marquee at The Big Sheep is suprisingly warm and it was great to find ourselves on solid concrete, rather than sinking into wet grass.
There was a great atmosphere among the stall holders and it was lovely to see so many happy faces enjoying a family day out.
As well as the craft marquee there was also a fantastic range of locally produced food and drink on sale in the food barn. Children could visit Santa in his grotto, complete with little train!

As you might expect, there was the chance to meet some sheep and with the indoor soft play barn and rides open on rotation, there was plenty of fun to be had.
Wren thoroughly enjoyed herself, babbling happily to the customers and stallholders. This is her first Christmas, so she is full of wonder at all the decorations and lights.
Between serving customers, Niamh and I enjoyed singing along to the music and getting into the Christmas spirit.
It’s so nice that our children can get involved with the business. Niamh proved invaluable on the stall, serving customers and helping with her younger sister.
The time whizzed by and soon we were packing up and on our way home.
We’ll be travelling up to Devon again this Saturday (8th Dec) and also on the 15th and 22nd. If you’re going to be in Devon, come along and say hello. It’s a great opportunity to support local makers and we’ve got some great offers every Saturday.