This I am very excited about and thankfully only have a week to wait. This years Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be taking place at Olympia London for the first time ever. The UK’s biggest Christmas exhibition will be open from the 25th – 29th of November to provide everything you could possibly need in the run up to the festive season, from over 600 exhibitors showcasing top Christmas shopping inspiration, a plethora of celebrity appearances and a Christmas bandstand hosting live entertainment……………c’mon you Christmas lovers what more could you need?
I took a break, not a pre planned determined break but an impromptu, had no time or inclination to write sort of break all over the festive holidays. I was about on Twitter and Instagram and very occasionally on Facebook, but my little spot on the world wide web I completely stayed away from.
There was just so much going on to be honest and I applaud all of you who managed to cope with and enjoy the festivities and find the time to show your blog’s a little love! Anyway I did keep up with all your goings on via the other more instant platforms and loved seeing how you all enjoy the festive season with all your own little traditions and quirks.
Now I only have to spend 15 minutes on Twitter to know that anyone from there that reads this will be an A, you just have to take a look at the links to blogs and pictures of what your kids (and you ) are up to.
However, I bet if you were completely honest you could name a few parents that you know that are a B, right?
My friend and I have had experience of this over many years, and after taking the kids down to the local park sledging on Sunday we started talking about it on the way home. Yes we had an extra with us then ( i would never begrudge the child ever) which is what started the chat.
That said parent had contacted my friend to say she would call when she needed him back!!!!! ER excuse me……..we will not be gone for the rest of the day, maybe an hour or two!!
So then we started thinking about all the stuff we do even though our eldest’s (who will be 15 this year)are probably getting way too old:
*Halloween, we still have a get together and do the Trick or Treat thing and want to progress on to an ‘older ‘style party to include the adults dressing up too.
*Easter, although family and friends drop the Easter eggs into the boys we keep them aside and still hide them around the house so they have to ‘hunt’ for them in the morning.
*Christmas, my two are old enough to know that ‘Santa’ is not real *cough* however, they do play the game even though they roll their eyes when I go onto the NORAD site LOL
*Pancake day, we still love to have home made pancakes for breakfast before they go to school and after our tea on the same day.
*Summer beach days, in the hols we still love a day at the beach and we still make our sand angels before the tide comes in to cover them.
*Snow, as this is often a very rare sight we make the most of it, they still make a snowman and love to go sledging AND even though they are both old enough to go on their own we like to go with them!! How else do you get those pictures???
*New Year, we had friends around and celebrated with fireworks and we all set off lanterns with our hopes for 2013 written on them ( we wont mention the fact that we almost set our neighbors fence alight! *cough*)
We came to the conclusion that if we don’t as adults make the effort to enjoy these events with the kids they will grow up and never pass on that enthusiasm to their children. I cannot believe there are parents who just cannot be bothered or for whatever reason just don’t do these things. Or is it that they are happy for the kids to go off with others to do it so they don’t have to?
What do you think?
So tell me, what do you do with your kids that you hope they will pass on?
Isn’t that the general feeling after Christmas and New Year?
Christmas this year seemed to fly past, was it the same for you?
Also as the boys get older Christmas changes slightly, we no longer go for our Santa visit ( apparantly at 12 and 14 they are too old!), however, we start new traditions that will hopefully keep a bit of fun in the celebrations for them.
This year we got some colour in placemates but bear in mind we are talking teenagers and so they had free reign to do as they wished with each of theirs…………………
This was also the first year their pressies have been put under the tree on masse, as normally they will have their own pile and then they have their family pressies seperate. But as things they are interested in get smaller but more expensive it looked much better overal to put everything under the tree.
We also went for silly bibs at the dinner table and thankfully the grandparents played along!
This year my OH has been off over Christmas and New Year so we have enjoyed jammy days in, meeting up with friends, getting out for fresh air at Shorne Park and also having friends over to celebrate the New Year.
Thankfully a gust of wind came at the right time and we were spared a visit by the Fire Brigade, although admittedly our friends on their short walk home scoured the area for burned out bushes or sheds!!
Our decorations have all been packed away now and we are getting organised for the boys to return to school on Monday ( both of them are moaning about it already and I am dredding the early mornings again!)
Now for this year. What resolutions have you made? This year I plan to expand my home based craft business to try and earn some income and will be taking all the opportunities that come my way. So this time next year ( we’ll be millionaires- good ol’ delboy) it will be interesting to look back at what the year had in store for us.
For some people Christmas begins when the decorations go up or when they have all their presents wrapped or even their cards written and sent.
My decorations went up at the beginning of December, my family presents are all wrapped and have been farmed out to the appropriate people, my Christmas food shop has been done and it has all been a last minute chuck together as usual (story of my life really).
However, I have one thing that makes me sit back and think that’s it Christmas can start. I hasten to add it is none of the above. My Christmas starts when I watch Love Actually!!
Not exactly the most Christmassy film as such but it has a great feel good factor to start me feeling the Christmas spirit. We did actually watch this film last Sunday evening with a little glass of wine when the kids had gone to bed…………….just lovely.
It doesn’t mean I’m totally ‘ready’ for the holidays, no that’s generally when my panic sets in. You know the OH MY GOD HOW MANY DAYS LEFT AND I HAVENT EVEN GOT………..
Although everything gets left last minute I always have faith it will be done. Today alone I have made 2 chocolate dipping hampers for neighbours and friends:
Included was chocolate chunks to melt, Christmas tree shaped marshmallows, strawberries, fudge and honeycomb, napkins and the skewers to dip in the bits!!
I have wrapped in-laws, god daughters, a nan’s present, delivered them and popped in on friends for a mince pie and a cuppa. I have sorted all the family presents for the boys under the tree, cleared my table and decorated it with the Christmas stuff……….Oh and sorted the boys with thier presents for dad!! Then I made dinner and attended a Christmas carol service down at the local church.
However, we STILL have to wrap the kids stuff!! Should be getting done tonight but I think the OH will be getting instructions for that.
Tomorrow I have booked the cinema to see Nativity 2 in the afternoon and when I get home it will be dinner, then preparing the veg and stuffing for Christmas Day, sort the rest of boys presents under the tree, we still have to colour in our place mats ( don’t laugh my boys are 12+14 but if their Nan and Grandad can do it then so can we!! LOL)
But still my Christmas hols started OFFICIALLY last Sunday evening with a lovely glass of wine and Love Actually…………..
However, images that make me think of Christmas are another thing. Santa, mince pies, Christmas trees, Quality Street, and crackers!!
So what would you think if one year the powers that be decided to take one of those away?
Well the makers of Quality Street may just do that…….
Quality Street tin end of an era?
Watch our video to see if you agree with what the public we asked think
It’s that time of year again, Christmas is just around the corner and we are all manically organising how to make this year even more memorable than the last.
But is it all about decorating the Christmas tree? Or is it maybe something as simple as sharing a tin of the much loved Quality Street with the family?
What would you do if you found out that Quality Streets were no longer going to be sold in tin, but instead in a plastic substitute? You’d be horrified, wouldn’t you? Indeed, recent research conducted by Opinion Matters found that almost one in three (31%) people view plastic packaging as feeling less Christmassy than the traditional tin.
Well plans are afoot to scrap the tin. We invite you to join us in saying #Keepittin.
It’s sad that we haven’t even experienced our summer yet *cough* and already Christmas is being mentioned!!! Shoot me now!
But in all fairness if you have kids it’s best to get organised and be ahead of the game, so………………………………………………………………………..
Sneak Preview Of This Year’s Must-Have Christmas Toys
Log on to our live and interactive WebTV show to get the inside track on Argos’ Top 10 Christmas Toys countdown
Show date: 19th July
Show time: 3pm
Christmas may still be five months away, but millions of children will already be starting to think about what they want in their stocking come December the 25th.
Every year, there’s a must-have list of toys that all children are desperate to get their hands on, so what will be the big hits of 2012?
Last year it was all about talk-back toys such as Dance Star Mickey, a talking robot for girls called Fijit and Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo. In previous years it was all about kids’ construction toys, with the Real Construction Deluxe Workshop topping Christmas wish lists in 2010.
As the UK’s leading toy retailer, Argos will once again announce their Top 10 Christmas Toys list, a prediction of this year’s most-wanted toys and games.
Over the years many parents and grandparents have come to rely on the annual list to get the inside track on what will be on children’s Christmas lists so they’re ahead of the game when they start their festive shopping.
So what will be the new craze this year? Will digital toys continue to dominate or will we see a return to the retro? Log on to our WebTV show where all will be revealed.
We’ll also be discussing the importance of toys and how different types of toys not only keep your children entertained but also help them learn and develop key creative and problem solving skills.
Watch our live and interactive WebTV show from the launch of Argos’ Top 10 Toys Christmas event with [Richard Woolfson Child Psychologist, Mummy blogger and Toy Buyer at Argos]
I was sent a bottle of this before Christmas in order to test out a non alcoholic alternative to mulled wine.
I like normal Vimto and I’m rather partial to a cup of mulled wine to get in the Christmas spirit. So I thought this would be right up my street!
“…Vimto’s much-loved original flavor has been blended with an enticing concoction of aromatic cloves, warming cinnamon and sweet nutmeg to pack a seasonal punch. Just add hot water for a warming non-alcoholic drink or use as a mixer to create a hot winter cocktail…”
Ok I know I’m a bit late for the Christmas rush but life truly got in the way over December and although I worked my way through half the bottle before Christmas I haven’t gotten around to telling you all about it until now……………….sorry.
Now when I first made this drink up I was a little worried as I found the smell to be a little overpowering. However, as a lover of flavoured teas I had a feeling the smell would be stronger than the taste……..and I was right!
At first taste I was a little disappointed as I thought it was just a cup of hot blackcurrant. Then the taste of the mulled spices kicked in and I was hooked. It did really have the taste of mulled wine without the worry of whether you could actually drive home!
The limited edition was available over Christmas in Tesco’s for £1.89 a bottle.
If we are lucky they may have some still left! I have still some of my bottle and to be honest it is a lovely alternative to tea and coffee as a winter warmer drink. So I will enjoy what I have left…………..until the next time.
My son has now finished his run in panto this season and my body is very, very thankful it is all over.
The last few days have been spent looking through all the presents again. Taking time to read through books and listen to CD’s and actually play with some of the games that the boys got.
The decorations have come down and have been put away until next Christmas, and the house has resumed it’s normal look and feel. It has been the boy’s last day off today before they return to school and Mr B returns to work. So tomorrow will be blissfully quiet for me.
I managed to enjoy a fabulously chilled Christmas day with the family and my Mum and brother who had come to stay.
That was until my cat made a quick escape past us and caught my mum on the face millimetres away from her eye. These events are not unusual in my house as a few years ago she came and fractured her pelvis trying to play tennis with the boys. Last year we were all ill with ‘Swine Flu’….. I’m sure you are getting the picture now.
Anyway, the last panto show was on New Years Eve. After, we headed off to Bluewater for a nice meal and a cinema visit before returning home to see in the new year and let off our lanterns with 2012 wishes on.
I haven’t caught up on all my blog reading and Twitter following yet so haven’t seen all of your New Years resolutions. I’ve decided to learn new skills this year and get back to my knitting, something I really enjoyed doing many years ago. But also to learn how to crochet as it’s something I have never attempted.
I cannot go down the route of exercise and diet as my body is taking a long time to recover from the panto schedule. Conventional exercise for me is out of the question at the moment as I suffer with chronic pain and chronic illness.
I’d also like to do more reading as this is something I have neglected for some time. I’ve been given a copy of ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ as one of my Christmas gifts and I’m really looking forward to starting that.
So, that’s me back to normality, with a regular routine about to start from tomorrow.
A New Year.
A New Start.
A New Skill.
How has your New year been so far and what are your resolutions?
I have to appologise big time for complete neglect of my blog over the last few weeks.Also for the very late reviews of a few products that should have been done a long time ago.
I HAVE COME TO REALISE THAT M.E AND PANTO SHOWS DO NOT MIX!!
Virtually everyday since the end of November my youngest has been rehearsing or performing in Panto ( Chatham Peter Pan- with Vanilla Ice! if your close enough to go!!!). However, it truly has taken a toll on my health. I thought I had my M.E under control to a certain extent. With that I mean I know what I can be capable of from day to day and how much rest I will need in order to get through the day. But this has knocked me off my feet……..literally.
I am now at the stage where I spend most of the day in bed in order to cope with the drive to Chatham and chaperone duties before driving home and going back to bed. I haven’t eaten a proper meal in over a week ( great diet before Christmas LOL) not because I don’t want to but because of the constant nausea I have. I seem to be living off plain biscuits and the odd slice of toast- not great when I have to try and take Tramadol to counteract the muscle pain in my ankles and neck!
I am completely behind on Christmas and have to fit in a food shop at some point for my fresh veg etc. My house looks as though I have refugees living in it and my washing pile is taking over my little study room!
I have spent my day off today in bed until 1pm and then went shopping with my OH as I realised I had no stocking presents for the boys and had some presents still outstanding! I have managed to eat out tonight- my first main meal all week.
I have not even logged online to update or read my usual blogs I like to keep up with. I have Christmas products still waiting to be reviewed. I am back to the panto tomorrow with the next day off at Christmas day.
One thing that has become very clear is confirmation that I would struggle to go back to my job! I have often thought that maybe I could manage a few days a week or a few hours each day. But I have realised that I am able to do the things I do normally because I do not work! If I was to go back then my quality of life would go dramatically downhill. We have had no family time since this panto has started as I am in bed recovering either before or after. I am missing time with the boys and with my OH who also works shifts ( so sometimes is not there when we are!)
So without being a bah humbug I truly cannot wait until the last panto show is over on the 31st December.
In the meantime I will try to get organised, try to enjoy Christmas, and try to at least eat my Christmas dinner!!
Panto is a great opportunity for my youngest who loves his acting, and I would hate to stop him doing something like that due to me. But next year I really will think twice before committing to it!!
HOPE YOUR CHRISTMAS PLANNING IS GOING WELL
IF I DON’T MANAGE TO GET BACK ON HERE…………HAVE A FAB CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!!!!!