Christmas gifts at the last minute for your loved one.

Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again! It’s December and there are only 4 days left till Christmas. The shops are starting to become unbearable and every single shop is getting more and more hectic by the minute. The stress levels are going up and we’re all trying to get prepared for the biggest day of the year, Christmas Day. We all have similar ambitions for a perfect Christmas Day. But picking the perfect Christmas gifts for our loved ones is not always the easiest and worse yet. We’re running out of time.

If you are done with your shopping how about checking out my 24 festive activities post, for some ideas to keep you busy this festive season.

So here’s my list of Christmas gift ideas perfect for your loved ones and easy to buy at the last minute.

Christmas gifts
Img Src. Stock free images.

Smellies are the perfect Christmas gifts.

Starting with a nice simple option. I’m sorry but really who doesn’t love getting a range of lovely Smellies for Christmas gifts. From Perfumes to bath things. I mean really it’s an essential day to day thing. I would definitely be happy with a set of bath bombs and things to use when relaxing.

Christmas Gifts in the form of hampers.

Hampers are such a lovely option. A bundle of small gifts but ones that are really thought out. A hamper is such a personalised option to go for. You can buy already made hampers in a range of places, but I would always suggest adding your own touch to these.

Something they can use for their hobbies.

Sometimes having a hobby can be so expensive. Especially for crafters like me. I am always needing (ok, wanting) new supplies for my hobbies. Craft and hobby supplies make the perfect stocking fillers, and you know for certain this will be very much appreciated by whoever you’re gifting them too.

Gifting a bottle of their favourite alcoholic beverage.

Since It’s Christmas and a time for cheer and to be merry, what best to get a drink to be drunk around the tree. Or of-course saved for later. But a bottle of their favourite drink is a lovely Christmas gift.

And! You don’t even need to spend tons of money on the stuff, there are so many different drink gift gets available.

Personalised Christmas gift.

Christmas gifts that have been personalised are just so thoughtful and kind. It could be a glass with their name or a specially printed photo. As long as it has been thought about and created with love, it will make a lovely gift for a loved one.

An experience

I actually believe that this is the best Christmas gift that can be given. Less materialistic but giving and sharing the opportunity to make memories, experience new things. From animal encounters to sky diving. There seem to be no limits to the perfect experience.

Gadgets & Gizmos

We all have gadgets on our wish lists in this day and age. Whether it’s a new phone, a games console or whatever technologies you know up your loved ones desire. You can always have one of these for the main present!

winter comforts Christmas gifts.

Finally, some winter comforts. I mean things to make your loved ones feel nice and cosy during the winter season. Slippers, candles, hot water bottles, blankets and comfy PJs. Everything you need to stay cosy.

Remember this though…

Christmas is only one day, it’s about family, friends, partners and memories. It’s not about who gives the best presents. Make sure you are not spending so much money you get yourself into debt, because at the end of the day. You can gift your loved ones any time of year.

If you enjoy reading my posts, please take a minute to follow my social media accounts, I promise you that I appreciate this muchly.

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Christmas activities: 24 festive things to get you in the Christmas spirit

As we move closer towards the end of 2019, Christmas is looming just around the corner and as the season is upon us it’s time to stop avoiding it! It is time to sit back and enjoy the festive feelings that this time of year brings. At this point, we should be enjoying the season and not worrying about it.

So now that we know it is time to get into the festive spirit however how does one actually do this?
For me, I absolutely love this time of year and I am completely determined to not let the lack of funds get in the way! So I thought I would share with you 24 activity ideas to bring on the festive spirit.

Get planning …

Christmas is the pretty much the busiest time of the year. So first things first, sit down with a notepad and your diary. write lists, plans and get everything down so you can get through it all.
I always say planning and prepping makes everything run smoothly, that and I love to be super organised, no winging it is going on in this house! that’s for sure!

Christmas Movie Night.

One of my favourite Christmas activities has to be an evening in bed. Or cosy up on the sofa with a bottle of wine, or even a hot festive chocolate, popcorn and the Christmas movies at our fingertips.

Since Christmas has its very own dedicated channel as well full of Christmas movies 24/7. There will always be something festive to watch.

Christmas crafts.

We started our Christmas crafts really early this year since we are planning to gift everyone homemade crafts, as a lack, we have a massive lack of funds available and so far it’s been working out, with only a few lefts to do. Leaving more time to craft some Christmas goodies for the day.

Handmade cards and gifts are so special and it’s amazing to receive something that has so much effort into. So get your crafty fingers ready and make your own presents, cards and decorations.

Christmas
My vinyl skills at Christmas

Spend an evening looking at Christmas lights.

Whether it’s a walk around your block or a trip around in the car, it’s lovely to use the opportunity to get out and see the effort that some people go to at Christmas, with their houses all dressed up. Twinkle lights, inflatable Christmas characters and even singing houses!

Enjoy a mulled wine & cheese night.

It is fair to say that most people love a cheese night. So grab a bottle of mulled wine (or if your feeling particularly creative cook some up yourself) and shove some cheese on a board, invite your besties around, and enjoy a festive evening of chat, Christmas foods and wine. Perfect, right?

I know that mulled wine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so bring out the gin or even Prosecco.

Get baking and decorating, and make a Gingerbread House.

Is it really Christmas without gingerbread? The smell of mixed spices and cinnamon, the most festive aroma whilst it is being baked.

Decorating a gingerbread house and making gingerbread is so much fun and of course yummy.

You can read my favourite gingerbread recipe here.

Christmas markets.

For me, Christmas markets are a love-hate relationship. A festive opportunity to get some shopping and admire beautiful things on the stalls, definitely something to consider heading out too. My town of Southampton has a German Christmas market every year. It is definitely the atmosphere that the Christmas market creates that brings festive feelings.

The only reason I say I have a love-hate relationship towards a Christmas market is that they always seem to be slap bang in the middle of town. Bringing in even more customers to the shops making a Christmas shopping trip hectic and a little stressful.

Get the Christmas wardrobe going.

Festive, silly ugly, cute, different. Call them what you may but Christmas clothes like the old Christmas jumpers! who doesn’t own a selection of these to wear. Not just jumpers either. Leggings, dresses, tops and jewellery! Get it all out. It’s an opportunity to wear whatever you like. Even if you fancy looking silly dressed up as one of Santa clauses elves. No one’s gonna think twice! Perfect!

Christmas
This was last years

Putting up the Christmas decorations

I’m not gonna lie this year we have been slacks when it comes to some Christmas involved things. Normally As soon as we reach the 1st of December I am asking to put the tree up and the Christmas decorations out. we’ve finally got this done today. Spending ages to untangle the fairy lights, swearing at trying to get the branches to sit right, and trying to retread the strings that have broken off the. It takes hours, and sometimes we wonder why we bother since it’s all for one day.
But really, by having the decorations up twinkling away just has a pure automatic Christmas vibe. My favourite Christmas activity of them all.

Turn up the Christmas Music and wrap presents and cards.

Ok. Christmas present wrapping, it’s more of a chore right? You’ve gone out shopping spent loads of money and you are really pleased with everything you have brought your loved ones, but now you have to spend hours getting them all ready for the big day.
I am a lover of giving at Christmas but the wrapping, not so much the wrapping of everything. So, making a fun evening of it with the Christmas songs blaring. Or a film, whatever you choose can make the whole mountain of presents into a festive pleasant evening getting you right in the mood for Christmas.

Get the board games out of the cupboard.

Christmas time is all about family time in this house. So what could be any better than turning the TV off and getting the family interacting and chatting with some fun competitive things between one another?
One year for Christmas a lovely gift from my uncle was a guess the Disney tune where you need to blow the tune in to a harmonica. The memories made on that Christmas Day of my Nan trying to buzz out a tune will live with me forever. It was truly hilarious. I would definitely suggest a few games over Christmas whilst your family have been drinking. Honestly trust me on this one.

Light some festive candles.

Christmas definitely has a smell to it, right? I can’t be the only one to think so!

So by lighting some festive scents, be it candles or wax melts. Getting the house smelling lovely and Christmasy definitely helps the festive vibes. One of my favourite Christmas scents is Yankee candle snowflake! But you don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive candles, head to the pound shop! Or even home bargains, at this time of year they have plenty of winter scents in stock!

Christmas
What a beautiful elf workshop

visit your local garden centres.

I’m not the biggest fan of garden centres at any other time of the year, but as soon as we hit the Christmas month I can not wait to get to a few to see their Christmas displays. The garden centres seem to make such a massive effort when it’s Christmas, with beautiful Christmas walks, Reindeers to go and see, and decorations galore. I love seeing the shops all dressed up and totally Christmas galore.

Most garden centres will have things for you to go see, I honestly suggest this as a perfect activity for an age! Some you may need to pay a small donation for especially if your planning to take a trip to see Santa, but they’re normally so worth the money, we haven’t been let down yet.

At the beginning of this month, we took an amazing trip to Keydell Nurseries in Hampshire, you can read about this experience here.

Get some late night shopping in.

As it gets closer to the big day the stores give us more and more chance to spend our money! The best time is late night shopping hours, as the stores aren’t as busy as usual working hours. Plus it’s a perfect opportunity to go for a drink with friends and shop your heart out.

Elf on the shelf

Elf on the shelf is just the best, isn’t it? The past few years the elf on the shelf has become more and more popular in the UK. With Facebook being filled with peoples pictures of what their naughty elf has been up too.

I really wouldn’t say that elf is just for kids, although it is massively fun for them, adults love elf too, and if I’m honest, the elf’s who belong to adults seem to be even more naughty. Funny that right?

Even if you don’t have children to set up elf on the shelf for Kyle don’t have to be left out of this festive activity! Get your own elf and pose him doing naughty things to share with your friends! Why not hey?

watch a Pantomime.

‘Oh no she didn’t. Oh yes, she did’. Those famous words, as celebrities hit the stage this time of year to make us laugh. I am not saying that you need to spend hundreds on theatre tickets. at this time of year, there’s plenty of pantos being shown on the TV. There is definitely something about the pantos, that just screams festive.

This is definitely going to be one of my goals for our Christmas next year, I have been to Pantos before, and have even acted in one in an armature production of one, so I have got my heart set on the mayflower theatre next year.

spend time with your loved ones.

this is the time of year that we all make time in our busy schedules to see our family and friends.

It’s a given! It’s festive to spend time with loved ones is so take every possible opportunity to spend time with the people you care about by doing your Christmas activities with them.

Go ice skating.

I’m not the best skater but it just feels so festive to shove on some funny boots and making a fool of yourself as you confidently fall over on some ice. Perfect winter activity. Since it’s a cold-weather thing it’s the perfect excuse to grab a nice hot chocolate afterwards.

Participate in RAK.

Have you heard of RAK? It’s been around for ages and I have found that not many people have even heard of this. RAK stands for random acts of kindness. This is such a lovely way of spreading some festive cheer at this time of year by doing something randomly kind for a friend, neighbour or stranger. This could even be buying a homeless person some food or a hot drink and gifting it to them.

Consider how a small act of kindness could really make someone’s day. Hopefully, the person your RAK was for will follow on to do another act for someone else.

Make snowflakes and chains

Yes, I suppose that this should really come under Christmas crafts. But making snowflakes by cutting up shapes out of folded white paper. And making your own Christ chains is so fun and definitely a lovely decoration piece.
Also, snowflakes and paper chains have been a Christmas decoration for centuries. At one point families didn’t have flashy decorations or lights, so it’s nice to think some classic Christmas traditions are still being kept.

Read a Christmas book

If your a big book reader like me, then this is the perfect activity. Get in bed snuggle up and read a Christmas story, what a lovely way to get in the mood for Christmas. I always find that I get ideas for what I want to do at Christmas by reading stories

Last but not least… ENJOY Christmas.

It doesn’t matter if you are not yet in the Christmas spirit. Or if you are planning to leave it a few more days before you start thinking about Christmas, maybe your half and half. Christmas is not about how much your you have spent or if you have outdone it this year, it isn’t about what you receive under the tree. This is a season, it isn’t just a day, it is a feeling of festiveness.
So don’t get down by stress, it’s time that you can enjoy everything that you have been doing. I really think it is so important to remember that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Even if there are things that make you feel sad around this time, family and friends seem to always come together to be supportive.
The greatest thing is we have the opportunity to embrace and enjoy, so no matter what it is your doing this year to make your Christmas season special, enjoy every moment.

I would love to hear what your excited to get doing this season in the comments below!

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Garson’s garden centre at Christmas. A wonderful woodland walk.

We all have our favourite places to visit at this time of year, but sometimes its the simplest places that have the most festive atmosphere! One of my favourite types of days out is a little trip out to Garson’s garden centre we have around Hampshire. 

Looking for some festive activities this Christmas, try my 24 festive activities list, here.

This week we took a trip out to Garson’s in Titchfield. It honestly is such a lovely family-friendly place to visit during the Christmas season. Since we got there early. We decided to take a trip upstairs to the cafe for a Costa Coffee and cake! It was lovely seeing how busy it was, with friends and families clearly doing the festive walk round like us.  If you get a chance. I would definitely suggest that a trip up there! 

Garson's garden centre


One of my favourite things about Garson’s garden centre is seeing reindeer. Frosty aged 7, and Cloudy aged 3. Speaking to the staff, these 2 have been rescued from the wildlife where they were being hunted. which is so sad to think that anyone would hurt such a beautiful animal. There is nothing more magical than seeing little kids faces light up as they are introduced with these furry friends. I mean they do live busy lives having to head back to the North Pole soon. To be ready to head out with Santa Clause, Hey? 

Need some last minute Christmas gift inspiration? try here

There is so much to get in and look at whilst you are there that you can easily lose hours by wandering around a garden centre just like Garson’s. The staff at Garson’s have clearly put so much effort into their lovely displays. With Singing Santas, A train that kind of reminds me of the one heading to Hogwarts, and twinkle lights galore! Garden centres are just the perfect way to make you feel the Christmas festive spirit. it is so easy to get carried away! 

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Christmas Food: Perfect Festive Gingerbread

So in yesterdays post ‘10 things I love about Christmas‘ I mentioned that one of my favourite Smells is Gingerbread at Christmas time, So it’s no surprise that my favourite recipe would be Gingerbread. 
So today I wanted to share my recipe for the perfect little Gingerbread Men. 

What you are going to need: 

  • 300 g plain flour 
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 125 g unsalted butter 
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup (optional)  – I’ve found that if you haven’t got any golden syrup then it hasn’t ruined the recipe! 
gingerbread
Need some Christmas activity ideas? check out my list, here.

What to do:

Step One

First things first, Don’t forget to turn that oven on and Preheat to 180, I’m terrible at forgetting to turn the oven on, make sure that the oven has plenty of time to warm up or your little ginger men will be too soft!  Once that’s has done,  line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

Step Two

Now to get started with the ingredients, In a large bowl combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the spices. Mix those together, so they are evenly spread, but don’t worry too much because your be mixing these again shortly! 

Step Three

Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan over low heat, make sure your continuously stirring and stir until the sugar dissolves, Once you’re sure you have a smooth looking mixture then add it to the dry ingredients you prepared earlier! Stir in until it forms a tough-looking dough. 

Step Four

Time for the fun bit, sprinkle some of your plain flour lightly on a clean kitchen surface and place your dough on top. Roll this out flat but with about a 5mm thickness for a nice Biscuit.  Cut out as many gingerbread characters as you like, I would say gingerbread men, but you could have gingerbread snowmen, Rudolph’s, stars, or anything!. Transfer these to the paper that led out on your baking tray. 

Step Five

Place these in your oven for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Keep an eye, and don’t do my trick of forgetting there cooking till black. 

Step Six

Leave to cool on the sheet for a few minutes – if you want to hang them as decorations, now is the time to pierce a hole through the top of each with a skewer – then move to a wire rack.

Step Seven

Once completely cooled down, it is your choice, ice the gingerbread men and decorate with sprinkles, sweets and edible glitter or whatever you fancy.

These go nicely with a nice hot choc!

So If you’ve had a go I’d love to see pictures of your Gingerbread, so leave me a message through my Facebook page. 

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10 Things I love about Christmas and why I love them.

The month is finally upon us! Happy 1st December guys. 
It’s insane how quick 2018 has gone by this year, so much has happened. 
I’m really excited that this is the first post of many this month! I’ve decided to challenge myself more. Since it is the 1st and Christmas is upon us, I thought I would share with you my top 10 on what I love about Christmas.

christmas

Spending time with loved ones

This had to go to the top of my list. One of the best and most important things to me when it comes to the Christmas period is the time spent with my loved ones. 

Festivities

To be honest, I feel like Festivities happen earlier and earlier in the year these days, but I suppose that’s because we’re just too busy as people now, and there’s just so much fun to fit in. Going out around the Christmas market, grabbing a festive hot chocolate and starting to feel the festive feel! 
When it comes to this time of year and you begin to see little kids faces light up with joy as the thought of Santa coming to visit them it cropping up, Elf is causing mischief on the shelf, how can you not think warm festive vibes. 

Stuck on thinking of something to do this Christmas, how about checking out my Christmas activity list, here.

SPARKLES:

Well, this is an obvious one on my list, I love sparkles any time of year! and you should always live by the rule that sparkles and sequins are not just for the holidays! but since they are a holiday favourite, I love how much sparkle is out right now at this time of year. 

Christmas food & drink

There is no way of avoiding it, no matter how hard you’re trying to be good. Maybe it is at home, or maybe it’s in the office, Could even be the multitude of nights and meals out in the run-up to Christmas. Who couldn’t mention the food when it comes for their love about Christmas.

Check out my favourite Gingerbread cookie recipe, here.

Festive Colours

I love them all! when you just look at something and can think ‘oh it’s so Christmasy’. Dark metallic colours always seem to catch my eye. Purples, reds, blues, golds, silver and my favourite colour any way rose gold. It is true that colours really do make the season!

Christmas Decorations

Ok, I admit it If I had my way the Christmas decorations would have been up probably halfway through November. You always know that its officially Christmas when the decorations have gone up, and the tree lights are twinkling in the background whilst chilling on the sofa, glass of wine in one hand and Christmasy cookies in the other! Oh yes!
We don’t have our decorations up just yet! but within the next few days, the lounge will be twinkling! can not wait! 

love about christmas

Christmas Jumpers

They spend all year in our drawers waiting for this month! yep, that’s right, the return of the Christmas jumper and they are definitely on my list of things I love about Christmas. Nothing says Christmas spirit better than a cheesy Christmas selfie in an in-between tasteful but still a little tacky Christmas jumper. HO HO HO. 

Traditions

We all have our traditions at this time of year and granted there’s probably a few that are not on our like list for most of us, BUT traditions are just a thing. It is hard not to get excited about the little things, whether its a day out. a movie you always watch. or whatever it is you do on Christmas eve. I love having traditions that feel just as special every time round!

Christmas winter smells

When it gets to this time of year I love the smells that start popping up, especially gingerbread. Yep, gingerbread ANYTHING. 
I’m a total sucker for Christmassy scented candles, bubble bath, room sprays. Literally the lot. 

Christmas Eve

Finally I think my favourite day, throughout December I think my favourite time of it all has to Christmas eve. Its almost a calm before the storm of Christmas day, but still a very busy day. The hustle and bustle before people eventually just give up and finally start enjoying their Christmas. 

I bet that there’s so many more things that I could list on what I love about Christmas. I found this a really list of things to write. 
I’d love to hear others favourite things? Do you have a favourite tradition, smell, food? Leave a comment!

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