Anyone feeling festive yet?
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    Default Anyone feeling festive yet?

    I've just been to the garden centre at our local National Trust place. It's a beautiful big shop at the best of times, but today they had lots of stunning Christmas displays - not the tacky ones that I seem only capable of creating (apparently, lol), but really beautiful ones.

    Then I got home to an amazon order of Christmasy things. Well, birthday things really. DD's 9th birthday is at the end of November and for her party this year she has chosen a Christmas theme. We are going to start making the props and games tonight.

    I usually give her some Christmas themed birthday presents too so that she can use them throughout December. Some arrived today, woohoo. Amongst them is the cookbook 'Nadiya's Bake me a Festive Story' (we love the original non-festive one) and a Christmas songs piano book.

    I'm getting a hint of that festive tingle now - sorry to all of you who manage to keep Christmas in perspective!

    I bet some of you have also started shopping. How's it going?

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    I'm not feeling christmasy at all! I have been looking for a 'special' craft for all the mindees to make to take home, that includes a photo ... I've ended up with some frame tree decoration things, but I'm not that thrilled, but did baubles last year and snow globes the year before!

    I got a load of craft stuff from the works/home bargains and poundland ... so I'm ready ... just need to start feeling it!

    I bought all of my mindees pressies from book people recently, and have got a few pressies for other people, but no one ( DH and my children included! ) can tell me what they want! DS ( 15 ) just wants money and DD has a couple of dance 'wants' and something or the other from smiggle! ... but I can't actually find the item, so she might have to have a voucher ! I do like smiggle, but it is rather expensive for what it is!

    I am thinking that a lot of people we/I buy for will be getting Oxfam unwrapped gifts this year. I have a few people I usually do this for, but this year, I think it will be more! I don't want to buy people 'stuff' just for the sake of it, and prefer to buy something they want or I KNOW they will like, not just random ' I don't know' shopping! sorry ... having a bit of a grumble about it, but all this 'must have/latest whathaveyou' is really bugging me a I get older!

    to be fair, I don't know what I want ... and last year I asked for Oxfam unwrapped gifts ... and I only got one from DH ... everyone else gave me amazon vouchers and told me to spend them on myself not toys or work stuff !! ... needless to say ... i did spend them on toys & work stuff, because that was what i wanted!

    I need to do a last shop for stockings.

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    Pardon my ignorance - what are Oxfam unwrapped gifts? Gosh, I'm probably sounding really materialistic right now - but I'm not!

    Smiggle is expensive. However, they do pretty good sales/3 for 2 etc. Also, if you have a loyalty card then you get a free gift after 6 stamps and they are usually fairly decent. DD's friends like Smiggle and so with all the birthday parties we get the stamps fairly quickly. The 'free' gifts are then put aside as extra presents. I just need to remember not to be eligible for the free gift when I have DD with me, otherwise there would be no way I could get away with keeping the free gift for her birthday/Christmas!

    The past couple of years I have bought 'used' books instead of new, from amazon. So much better value and obviously I tell the receiver of the gift that it is used and not new. Unfortunately I bought two Christmas chapter books described as 'good' condition recently and they are not what I would class as 'good' condition, and so it has put me off a bit. I have bought other 'good condition' books which have been like new in the past.

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    I’m feeling it! I want to make a very snowy scene in my hall window and have started to put wires up to hang icicles and snow flakes etc on. It’s taking ages to get right but it’s making me feel very Christmassy. I’ve found lots of decoration to have a go at making and crafts for the mindees to do too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Pardon my ignorance - what are Oxfam unwrapped gifts? Gosh, I'm probably sounding really materialistic right now - but I'm not!
    .
    Search YouTube for: Ricky Gervaise, goat to an African family.

    .......but it is a bit naughty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Search YouTube for: Ricky Gervaise, goat to an African family.

    .......but it is a bit naughty.
    I can't stand Ricky Gervaise. He might be a lovely man in real life, so forgive me. I will happily stand corrected.

    Ok, now I understand what the gifts are.

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    I am sending one oxfam unwrapped - to a family member who returns all my presents every year....as part of her gift...themed around equality with Jess Phillips book ( in my defence she is big on equality).

    I got ahead with Christmas prep this year...just in case we were moving in December and I didn’t have time.

    We have not had an offer yet so at this late stage in the year it is unlikely we will move until the new year now....so I now have time to fill as I have completed all the baking, most presents, cracker gifts etc... but unfortunately it’s been a bit too ‘ get organised in case’...not enjoying all the lovely prep for my favourite time of the year.
    I popped to our local garden centre for frozen croissants - best ones ever - and met one of my ex babies...joy oh joy as I gave his grandma some time out to shop by occupying him in the Christmas light dept . Both DH and I had such good fun....I am missing the company of children!

    I had a bit of withdrawal of craft at Christmas and decided to make my own cards for family and friends this year - I copied an Oxfam design of lots of drawn Christmas trees on a white card in shades of green and a spot of red...I have added some embellishment on too with last years leftovers...after schoolies could manage it if you are looking for ideas:
    Large Tree Pattern Christmas card (10 pack) | Oxfam GB | Oxfam’s Online Shop
    I have donated to Oxfam in exchange of the design idea.

    I’ve been asked to go into a school next week to support on make your own Christmas card ( the ones you send away and get printed) day. They get families to work together on the design so only one card produced by all three children which makes it slightly cheaper on the demand for parents to pay for them time. Not my favourite school fund generator, pressure on parents at Christmas is never good...but I did say I would help, my intention is to try to make sure the parents are paying for decent , but child produced, cards at least.

    I sound like I am a bit ‘bah humbug ‘ , but I do love this time of year usually , like others though, I need to wind up the enthusiasm now.
    Last edited by FloraDora; 10-11-2017 at 09:32 PM.

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    That's a nice card design Floradora. DD and I love crafting together and I am in need of more grown up ideas. The £shop currently do some lovely pads of seasonal paper - great for abstract collage type of work.

    I have had to give in and buy the design your own cards this year. I have refused in the past because I like to buy my Christmas cards from Scope, and also they have up until this year been the teacher's design - why would I pay for that? As a result we got several identical cards from her classmates. This year it is all her own work. I bought the smallest pack available!

    Gosh, you all sound so organised and ahead of the game. How about you, Mouse? I remember your posts last year made me laugh so much about how chilled you were...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post

    Gosh, you all sound so organised and ahead of the game. How about you, Mouse? I remember your posts last year made me laugh so much about how chilled you were...
    It’s not even the middle of December yet. What’s the rush?

    I’m am actually ahead of the game this year and have already bought advent calendars I usually get those by about the 5th December and we have to open a few days straight away, but this year I am organised and have already bought mine, DHs and a traditional picture one. I still need to get one for DD and the boys.
    For the last few years I have made DH and DD’s - 24 small gifts each that I collect in the months leading up to December and put in numbered packages in a box. This year I’ve cheated and DH has got a Pork Scratchings one and DD will probably have a beauty one.

    Once we get to about day 14 on the calendars I know I need to start thinking about Christmas presents

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    Mouse you mean you haven't got 'Last Christmas' on repeat yet? I know it's secretly your favourite song...

    At uni my housemate's mum used to make her a gift calendar each year and I thought she was so lucky. My mum had completely stopped making an effort by that stage. I vowed never to stop making Christmas magical and sparkly for my DD, know matter how old she is, but I haven't done a treats calendar yet. I think I might when she moves away. We do an activity calendar but it is getting harder to stick to it now on school nights. It was easier before she was at school when we could fit it into our day and include the mindees.

    I had a delivery from Baker Ross today. Amongst other stuff were some white paper bags with snowmen accessories. I thought the kids could decorate them at the birthday party and then use them as their party bags. Well, they are about the size of the palm of my hand, so can't be used as party bags, lol. My fault for not checking the size before I bought. We've just been to the £ shop to get some other bits and pieces. Oh my, I HATE shopping at the weekend. Also got a new reindeer cookie cutter from Tiger, which I totally did not need.

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    ooo Maza ... I LOVE Tiger, and wish I had one up my way!

    and LOL at your little paper bags ... I did exactly the same thing, but with clear cellophane bags to put 'reindeer and snowman poo' in ( choc raisons and mini marshmallows before you ask! ) but ended up with bags just big enough for a couple of each! I am actually up to my eyes in Christmas stuff, as running a stall at local Christmas Market for dance school, but luckily my friend ( who I do it with ) is very into Christmas and has made all sorts of lovely crafty things, and then we sell baked goods ( and 'poo' as above! )

    I did buy DDs advent calendar today .. she wanted a kinder one, DS will get a chocolate one of some sort ... I nearly bought him a maltase one earlier, but had a panic that it is malteasers he doesn't like! DH and I might need a wine calendar !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I can't stand Ricky Gervaise. He might be a lovely man in real life, so forgive me. I will happily stand corrected.

    Ok, now I understand what the gifts are.
    ( I can't stand him either )

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    Haha Loocyloo, sorry, it is funny when it happens to other people! Love the snowman/reindeer poop idea. How about wasabi peas for elf poop?

    Gosh, naively I thought I would be one of the first to have started Christmas stuff but you organised lot are making me worried now! I haven't even really started Christmas stuff, it just seems like I have because of the Christmas theme for DD's party.

    What baking have you done loocyloo and Floradora (and anyone else?) DD's school want donations of baked stuff for their Christmas fair next week. I usually bake biscuits but am thinking of just buying and donating this year, as part of my 'learning to say no' resolution.

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    I'll be making Christmas scones ... make a basic scone mix and add some mincemeat.
    Stained glass biscuits ( cut centre out and fill with crushed boiled sweets)
    Gingerbread men turned into reindeer.

    The other thing that always goes down well is 'snowman soup' ... aka hot chocolate mix with a few marshmallows and a candy cane!

    Ooooooo thank you ... I like the idea of ELF POO!

    Well done on 'saying no' ... I have managed to say no to a couple of things recently and it's hard, but worthwhile! Stay strong and don't give in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post

    Gosh, naively I thought I would be one of the first to have started Christmas stuff but you organised lot are making me worried now! .
    You really don't need to worry until I'm ahead of you in the planning. Then you do need to panic

    I saw a post on facebook the other day about having a big push to make Last Christmas this year's Christmas number one. I could have cried!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Haha Loocyloo, sorry, it is funny when it happens to other people! Love the snowman/reindeer poop idea. How about wasabi peas for elf poop?

    Gosh, naively I thought I would be one of the first to have started Christmas stuff but you organised lot are making me worried now! I haven't even really started Christmas stuff, it just seems like I have because of the Christmas theme for DD's party.

    What baking have you done loocyloo and Floradora (and anyone else?) DD's school want donations of baked stuff for their Christmas fair next week. I usually bake biscuits but am thinking of just buying and donating this year, as part of my 'learning to say no' resolution.
    Great idea - a learn to say no resolution! You can buy lovely decorated cupcakes from the supermarket now, with a Christmas icing theme that don’t cost loads and are better decorated than I could do, a man in Sains yesterday in front of me had them and Prosseco for his ‘staff’ he said ( nice man).

    We have the same Christmasbaking every year, I am very predictable. Christmas cakes, mincemeat ready for mince pies, I have put 2 dozen in the freezer, coffee kisses, Swiss roll for log, Christmas puds all done. We will make shortbread, Christmas ginger biscuits, maids of honour and chocolate fudge and lots more mince pies in various forms I expect. I do entertain lots at Christmas ...DH and I don’t just eat them.

    I am only ahead because I thought I might have other moving related things to do...when we sell it will be all systems go.
    I usually make Pudding and Christmas cake and mince meat at half term and everything else as I need them or in the week before Christmas ...but I have a lot of time on my hands....I made wrapping paper this afternoon out of packing paper....( we have a lot of this) had a great time printing and drawing....it was like old times with drying art on every surface.

    I always buy Divine chocolate advent calendars for my sons....a treat but also a reminder in their picture about the reason behind Christmas time around the world. But I have bought one for a cat this year, oldest has had a Bengal cat ....the nearest I am getting to grand children at the moment so I thought I would spoil him when I saw it in wilco’s. I also bought DH a Lego like one from there too, a lot less money and you make a Christmas scene...the actual Lego one this year has a police scene?! I am slightly regretting this purchase though as I am not sure where it will go....DH will want it on the dining table I expect, it will take up a lot of space...my choice would be the upstairs den. I can’t give him it and then say I don’t want it cluttering the main room surfaces can I ! Maltesers would be nice, I rather got hooked on these over the years ( teachers get lots of maltesers as gifts).
    Niece is getting married at the beginning of December and DH is making a donut wall for her. My youngest has started a new business and DH is also helping him make upcycled drums into standard lamps and drum side tables so he hasn’t thought about Christmas yet.
    They both are pulling faces at my prep.

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    Some lovely baking ideas everyone! I think I'll make a list of things to bake when I get off here.

    Floradora, I know what you mean about calendars. I only ever buy ones with pictures inside, not even chocolate because we eat so much at this time of year anyway. Some of the gift ones are tempting though. I did look at the Smiggle one as a gift for DD's birthday, but the shop assistants are able to show you a jar of all the gifts in the calendar and they weren't impressive. DD got a play mobile once (from a friend) for her birthday and it was great. I always think about the lego ones but I think that once I go down that route there will be no going back, and the cute pictures in my usual calendar will pale into insignificance and lose their appeal. Also, gosh, we don't need another thing to make us late for school in the morning!

    I will definitely do a gift one when (if I let her, hehe) move away. It would be lots of fun putting it together, but I have enough trouble thinking of enough small gifts for the stocking! Mouse, how you think of enough gifts for your DH I don't know! Mine is impossible to buy for.

    Reading this thread made me realise that lots of you adults have calendars too - we don't - maybe we should! I do fancy the yankee candle one, but can't bring myself to pay those prices!

    Loocyloo, I saw the upside down gingerbread men/reindeer biscuits on pinterest yesterday (after I had bought my reindeer cutter - used a moose cutter up until now, lol). A brilliant idea!

    And Mouse, it just HAS to be number one this Christmas! Probably my all time favourite song - so many drunken memories from many a Christmas past!

    I'm going to stop wittering on now and making myself sound greedy and materialistic.

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    One thing I do treat myself to is a nice advent calendar. It's one of the few times I splash out on me rather than the children! I usually have a beauty one and find I'm still using the products months later, so much longer lasting that a chocolate one. Anything I won't use ends up in DDs stocking, so nothing goes to waste

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    I brought a new decoration today because if I didn't they wouldn't be there in a few weeks.

    They have wine advent calendars in Iceland.

    I made bacon chutney at the weekend and think I'm addicted.
    I have also seen a recipe for mincemeat brownies which I might just have to have a go at.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    Those recipes sound interesting. I'm going to look them up.

    The wine calendar...will be checking that out!

    Last January we went to our local garden centre and got some beautiful baubles for next to nothing in the sale, so we're really looking forward to putting them up this year, as our current tree decorations just don't do it for me.

    Not sure of the John Lewis ad this year - I loved last years with the animals and the trampolines. It made us all laugh out loud every time we saw it!

 

 
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