Archive for December, 2012

It doesn’t seem like only weeks ago that I couldn’t wait to get the box out of storage, and excitedly extracted all the little decorations from their yearly hiding place and put them on the tree.

We took it in turns to place baubles, and drape tinsel, and I enjoyed turning the lights off on a night in the living room so that I could enjoy watching telly to the twinkle of the colourful fairy lights.

Now even though I still like to sit in the glow of the tree, I’m also feeling the urge to kick at the clutter and boot the whole blasted lot off back into hibernation for another twelve months.

Whereas at the beginning of the month the tree was put up in a nice, clean and tidy room,it now seems to have morphed into the local tip due to the amount of crap that seems to have accumulated under it and round it.

Stray Christmas toys that seem to have migrated from the bedrooms and ended up under the tree.

Cards that keep falling off the windowsill and ending up under there too.

Roll on January the 1st when I’m taking the whole lot down and getting the room all tidy and back to normal again.



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The Christmas Eve party buffet has been demolished, and the small ones have calmed down long enough to be able to be peeled off the ceiling and to be put into bed.

Not forgetting of course, to put a drink and a mince pie out for Santa, (and a nice tasty carrot for Rudolph, as he’ll be tired from pulling the sleigh all that way.)

mince pie and a drink

A mince pie, a carrot and a drink of milk.

Well, he’ll probably be getting enough sherry and whatnot. I don’t want to be responsible for his drunk sleigh driving, and to hear that he’s crash landed in someone’s flower beds.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

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Every year, without fail, you can hear me say that this is the year I am going to be uber organised and have everything sorted for Christmas by the end of August so come December I can sit smugly in the knowledge it is all done.

All the presents will be wrapped, and in my head they’ll be bedecked with pretty ribbon curls because I’ve magically learnt how to wrap prettily instead of it looking like a herd of stampeding elephants has landed on it.

I’ll have watched programmes like Kirsty and Phil’s Perfect Christmas, and seen the magnificent ice sculptures and homemade table decorations.

Yes, I’ll have been meandering on woodland walks in the early autumn, and found some pine cones to spray silver and gold for the centrepiece.

I’ll have made home-made biscuits and fudge and put them in cellophane bags tied with festive coloured ribbon to hand out as gifts.

I’ll have drooled over the mince pies in the Hairy Bikers Christmas book, and been determined that THIS is the year that I’ll be baking my own mince pies, and my mince pie pastry will have the scent and taste of orange in too.

This year’s been no exception.

I’m still to make the mince pies, the biscuit baking hasn’t happened yet, never mind the fancy fudge, and the Christmas cake the husband made in September never made it into October.  Feeding it with booze and leaving for a few months? Yeah, that happened. Not. (Think it lasted a week as he couldn’t wait to ‘try’ it.)

Then once it was cut I needed to try it too. You know, just to make sure it tasted OK.

Everybody was going to get hampers of various sorts as presents, but a lack of finding suitable baskets anywhere put paid to that.

So instead, I’ve been doing my usual headless chicken act this week, and charging around the shops.

You know, the one thing I said I WASN’T going to do this year.

Sharpening the elbows and shoving little old ladies out of the way in Marks and Sparks. (OK, I didn’t literally. Although I felt like it.)

Next year is going to be different.

No, it really is. Move over Kirsty, it’s going to be me carving pretty ice sculptures and laughing merrily at witty jokes at the Christmas party I have thrown, and yes, all my fruit will be spray painted and pretty too.


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For the rest of the year, the box of Christmas decorations lies forlornly at the back of the cupboard, another load of ‘stuff’ just shoved away to gather dust.

Then, when December arrives, it magically turns into a chest of festive cheer that you can’t wait to get down, along with the tree and get on with decorating the house.

From the old baubles from your childhood that have lasted through the years to adorn another generation’s Christmas tree,

angel decoration

to the newer ones you’ve bought yourself.

glitter ball

The tinsel draped round the tree, and the Christmas crackers nestling in the branches ready to be pulled over Christmas dinner.

If you have a restrained household you even hang chocolate tree decorations on the branches. Or realise, that like us, the whole lot would be gone in a matter of days if you did. Oops.

For more Christmas tree memories visit Save Every Step’s Christmas Link Up

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I really should have bought all my Christmas cards by now, but I’m ashamed to say I haven’t.

I really should have sat down at the table and written, in my best handwriting, my cards.

What I shouldn’t have done, is leave it to the last minute again and admit I haven’t even bought them all yet, never mind written them out.

I love writing, and do it every day in one way or another. I’m used to doing my communicating via a laptop nowadays though, and the only handwriting I do is in the form of notes in my notepad, or lists of things I need to do.

(Believe me, I need a list. If I don’t have a list then it usually doesn’t get done. At least if it’s on a list it reminds me to do it, and I get the satisfaction of putting a big fat line through it to show that it’s been done.)

When it comes to writing 50 or so handwritten cards though, my hand practically goes into spasm as it’s physically not written so much for ages.Bashing at a keyboard isn’t the same as holding a pen.

I know that’s a crap excuse, and I should just get my finger out and get them written.It’s much nicer to receive a hand written card through the snail mail post and delivered through your door than a round robin one on Facebook, isn’t it? However nice the Facebook ones are, a card through your door means someone has painstakingly written a card, sealed it up and traipsed to the post box to send it to you. Not just pressed a button on the computer.

Snail mail seems more of an effort, really.

Guess a trip to the card shop is in order for me tomorrow then.


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Dear Santa

I might have grown up and not technically be classed as being on your list of children to deliver to anymore, but instead of delivering to the adult me can you deliver to the child that still lives on inside instead?

Yeah, I know that’s bending the rules a bit. It’s Christmas, and you have to have a Christmas wish, don’t you?!

Anyway, I’ll hand you over to her.

Dear Father Christmas

As I’ve been very good all year (well apart from the odd tantrum, but I’m sure you’ll understand we all have them every now and again) PLEASE please could I have the following.

A Mr Frosty Ice Drink Maker

I want to make my own crunchy, munchy drinks ‘cos it looks like FUN, and lots of bright coloured juicy drinks guaranteed to send me hyper. I want to see ice crunching!

I know you can make them at the North Pole you see, and don’t have to rely on Ebay and the fact that they cost about 5 million pounds on there due to the ‘retro’ value.

A Girls World Head

I would love a dolly’s head with lots of curly hair to put plaits and hair slides in, I could have hours of fun with that one, giving her lots of funny hairdos.

 – A My Little Pony

Well, my little pony Applejack is getting a little lonely and could do with a friend.

I know you’re busy as it’s only a couple of weeks to go, and you’ve got all them elves to organise and get the toys out on time, but hey please don’t forget me, Santa.


Wendy aged 8 (and counting)

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Nestled in between the love of all things Wii and Nintendo DS, I’m secretly pleased that there is a love of good old family board games between the two small ones.

Pleased because these traditional games never fail to get old and cause hours of fun (or should that be torment?!) over the years.

I still remember playing board games with my brother, who is two years younger than me. Although he was the biggest sore loser on the planet and used to have a right sulk if you dared to beat him. I’m willing to bet this trait is still prevalent if I challenged him to a quick game of Guess Who? or Connect Four now. 🙂

We used to love board games. These ones were firm favourites.


Cue pretend peering through eye pieces and pipe smoking while trying to figure out which dastardly character bumped off Colonel Mustard, and in which room.

“It was Professor Plum, who did it in the ballroom while brandishing a candlestick!”

I always wanted to be Miss Scarlett when playing, but if I was playing with my mum she always hogged the Miss Scarlett piece and heaven forbid if anyone else wanted it. She’d practically sit on it so that you couldn’t get to it. (Suddenly seeing where my brother’s competitive board game weirdness came from… 🙂 )


Hours spent imagining that all that lovely money was real and what I’d spend it on. Trying to buy both Park Lane and Mayfair so that you had the full set of swankiest addresses on the board, and could build about 95 hotels on them both and bankrupt every player who went within sneezing distance of them.

Yes, board games. Great ways to keep the family entertained, whatever your age.

It’s carried on down to my two as they both love board games, and firm favourites are snakes and ladders, Scrabble and the latest addition to the collection, the Family Fortunes game which comes complete with a buzzer that makes the infamous “UH UH!” noise when pressed as you’ve got an answer wrong.

Cue much hilarity.

If they’re playing with me, I play to win too. If I win, they sometimes get the “ha, ha, beat ya!” and I’ll do a little victory dance.

Oops. Looks like the competitive streak has rubbed off on me too….

To read about other board games and memories, visit Save Every Step

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The best Christmas songs

If you’ve ever watched the film ‘Elf’, you’ll know that ” the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”

Which is why I thought I’d do a round up of my favourite festive tunes as Christmas is nearly upon us, and not long now until Santa arrives.

The one song that when you first hear it on the radio, you know Christmas must surely be soon:

The one song that it’s impossible to play without singing along at the top of your voice:

The ultimate Christmas cheese to transport you back to the 80’s, childhood,  and the land of Shakey

then this to raise the temperature a bit, ‘cos it’s brrrr cold out there. Bet lucky Cindy isn’t though.

I can’t make a list of Christmas songs without adding this one. It just wouldn’t be right.

Noddy Holder yelling:

What are your favourite tunes?

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When it comes to Christmas, one of the best traditions we have is the decorating of the Christmas tree.

As it’s now December and officially the countdown to Christmas, we put our tree up this weekend. Out comes the tree, and every year without fail I try not to get into too much of a flap because I’m twirling myself into a tangle trying to get the blasted fairy lights on properly.

Once that’s all done though, the best part starts, where we all pile into the decoration box and start hanging decorations on it.

The 5 year old is in charge of the bottom branches,  while the 9 year old does the higher ones. The Dad puts the sparkly star on the top.Some people get fussy about colour schemes and have to have everything matching and stylish, but not here. Where’s the fun in that?!

No, what you need is some lovely sparkly silver tinsel draped round, different baubles, and some decorations made with love from the small people at their toddler groups over the years.

Plus the “Baby’s 1st Christmas” boot decoration we got.

You’ve got to have the Christmas songs on in the background too. It just wouldn’t be the same without a bit of Slade or Shaking Stevens in the background, after all.

Although this year we did break from tradition slightly, as the original (and best) Superman film  was on the telly so I just had to watch a bit of that instead as I hadn’t seen it for years!

So, here’s our tree…

christmas tree


Do you have to have a colour co-ordinated tree, or is it a case of the merrier the better?!


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