Thursday, 1 December 2011

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Ev'rywhere you go; 
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again 
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Toys in ev'ry store 
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be 
On your own front door. 

A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots 
Is the wish of Barney and Ben; 
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk 
Is the hope of Janice and Jen; 
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Ev'rywhere you go; 
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well, 
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; 
Soon the bells will start, 
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing 
Right within your heart.

Ok, so I had to start off with a cheery Christmas song that I love, as it is the 1st of December & I have finally managed to sit down & type a blog up it just had to be about Christmas!!!

I am so very pleased with myself this year as I am not normally as organised as I have been with regards to Christmas, I am very organised with most things but Christmas usually gets left to the last minute & is then one mad rush trying to get everything for everyone & then wrap & distribute presents to all & sundry, finally managing to wrap the children's presents on Christmas Eve/Morning at some unearthly hour & leaving them under the tree ready for mass carnage at about 6am by the children!!!

Cameron at 7.30am last year

What's so different this year I hear you ask?!  I have actually almost completed all my Christmas shopping & better still I have wrapped everything I have purchased so far, so I am actually way ahead of myself - what's happened, have I been abducted by aliens without my knowledge & they have programmed my brain to be so much more organised than normal?!  I wish, i think I am just motivated & almost as excited about Christmas as the children are :)

I have to say getting presents for my children this year has not been the easiest apart from Cameron (10) as he is pretty easy to please, he knows what he wants & if he doesn't say he is very rigid in what he likes so you can't really go wrong... Anneliese (4) on the other hand is the hardest to buy for as she is at that in between toy stage, too big for baby/toddler toys but not big enough for big kid toys - what does she ask for?!  Just the new Peppa Pig DVD, bless her... we did manage to get a little more information out from her eventually, but just went with gut instincts & hope that she will like what we have chosen.  

Now Hermione (8) has been the tricky one, she wrote out her list for Santa which included a lot of chocolate/sweet treat making items which we don't really want to encourage for obvious reasons (bad teeth, gaining excess weight) but she also had some items we had never heard of... well, we managed to track down most of the requests although one item in particular must be one of the top toys this year!!!  She wanted a Monster High Spectra Vondergeist - this proved amazingly crazy to find, we started off looking on-line as most things are cheaper on Amazon etc, but practically everywhere had 'Sold Out' of this particular doll on eBay they were look in excess of £45 for what is normally a doll that retails at £14.99! 

Spectra Vondergeist & Holt Hyde

I reserved a Monster High doll in the local Argos but they only had a boy doll Holt Hyde left as you don't get to pick they just bring out from the store room... this promptly went back to the store room as he just is not girlie enough for my princess, I had resigned myself to the fact that Hermione would have to make do with the Lagoona Blue doll that I managed to purchase via Amazon (at the normal retail price, I'd like to add) I hoped she wouldn't be too heart broken Christmas morning.

On the off chance I popped into Bicester Toys... Now, I don't like shopping here for too much without doing research first as quite often their items are often overpriced compared to other stores & having 3 children & the current financial climate paying over the odds is not really an option for me.  So I am perusing the store trying to get inspiration for Anneliese's presents at the time & I spot from the corner of my eye some Monster High dolls on a shelf, I think to myself surely they won't have Spectra Vondergeist left on the shelf as everywhere else is completely 'Sold Out' - so I remove the first layer as neither of the dolls on show is her, low & behold under the second doll I remove there in all her beautiful purple glory is Spectra... I can't believe my luck & she was only £2 more than the RRP, so I snap her up & promptly take her to the till - RESULT =)

So apart from pleasing my children with hopefully all the gifts they want & maybe a few they didn't expect, seeing their over excited faces on Christmas morning as they open their presents & feeling all warm & gooey inside that I have done a great job what do I like about Christmas?!  I love the smell of a real tree, the downside to this is: a) they drop a few needles (even if they supposedly are non-drop trees) b) you can't put them up too early (they prefer to be outside) c) it is wasted money... The upside to real trees is: a) they look & smell gorgeous b) you don't have to store them away all year c) they make great firewood afterwards d) no two are ever the same - so all in all more plus's than minus's so they win every time, I can't wait to get mine & put it up though!

Real Xmas Trees

What else?!  Food... I love food at Christmastime, there is so much good stuff around (although most of it is bad for the waistline) Mince Pies, Christmas Pudding, Terry's Chocolate Oranges, Quality Street, then it comes to all the lovely things that M&S do!  Now I am a keen M&S food fanatic, I really like their extremely chocolatey biscuit selection box = Heaven, only today in town when I pop in they have a sample table at the front with these on offer (but I resist) so I text my bessie Jason as he'd said he really likes these too (he'd missed out though as was already home), the boxes were only £2.99 so I got a box to put away for Christmas. As it says on the box, these biscuits do in my opinion take first place as they are amazing!!!

 M&S Extremely Chocolatey Biscuit Box

The final thing about Christmas food I particularly like is shortbread... why is it though that all the big supermarkets (also M&S) have these very pretty tins marked up as RRP £9.99 with fingers, petticoat tails & various other pretty shapes of shortbread inside, they then mark them up as half-price like it's some super duper deal at £4.99/£5 for 410g of shortbread in a decorative tin?! When you can quite adequately purchase shortbread fingers in 210g packets at just 89p... fine you get a decorative tin that catches your eye in the shop, but do you really keep that tin for ever???  I think not, you may keep it for a while but inevitably you end up filling the tins full of quite basically 'crap' & then you decide to get rid of the 'crap' & then you end up throwing the tin away - you over pay for these tins that just end up in the trash when you can get more shortbread (albeit just fingers not pretty shapes) for a fraction of the cost - I brought 3 packets today so have 630g of shortbread fingers for just £2.67... given this pricing if you wanted 410g of shortbread in a tin you are paying on average if the price is halved £3.21 for the tin you are to throw away eventually!  What a waste & who on earth would pay the RRP of almost £10 for that much shortbread just because it has a decorative tin?!  I wouldn't!!!

  Tin vs Fingers?!

Now, will there be snow this Christmas???  I figure there is a good possibility seeing as it is December 1st today & so far apart from one or two colder days, so far this Autumn/Winter season has been very mild in comparison to previous years, I am not a weather person but I just feel it in my bones - I have just googled the info & stumbled upon this report on the Telegraph's website: UK:snow - White Christmas???  Ok, so the Telegraph put this in last years edition (gotta love google) but I did also find this: Christmas Snow 2011 I do so hope that we have a White Christmas, it does make it all seem so much more magical when it snows =)


  1. I've got one of those M&S tins, I think it was a Christmas present so I guess that's OK. It's still going strong after about 3 years!

    Some real bargains around this year. Big tin of Quality St £3.99 in Tesco today!

    Spare tins very good for Ollie's huge collection of crayons x

  2. I concur, that tins have their uses... ie/ Roses, Quality St, Celebrations are all great for storing Rich Fruit Cake/Xmas Cakes in after they've been baked, while you feed them with Brandy for the weeks/months before they get marzipan'd & iced! But I just think the price of shortbread in a tin is bloody extortionate compared to that of a packet - especially in comparison to tins of chocolates too, as you don't even get THAT much shortbread in a tin!!! Lol xXx

  3. Definitely! There is an upside though (you know me, always looking for the upside).

    The more money the mug punters spend on overpriced festive fayre, the more profit for the retailer, therby enabling them to offer more bargains in other areas for us more shrewd operators to snap up.

    Might blog today on similar topic :-)