There’s nothing worse than than going into a store and seeing Easter Eggs at Christmas or hearing Mariah Careys voice shrieking out the lyrics to All I Want for Christmas Is You in August.  However, I’ll admit I like to plan Christmas in advance.

Yes, CHRISTMAS! I said it. After all, it’s only 4 months away!

Here are my tips for preparing for Christmas early.presentsBuy gifts early

I start buying generic presents (the ones for the random aunts and uncles or your neighbours grandchild you’ve never met) in the January sales. I have a huge cupboard in our box room that’s home to presents and surplus supplies (you know those ever so wonderful buy one get one free type offers) and I try to add to it each month. I don’t buy kids presents too early because obsessions and likes are change, but everyone else is done and gifts wrapped by September! I find that buying a little each month spreads the cost and means our income in December isn’t eaten up by buying gifts.

Check deals and voucher sites

I use sites like Quidco and Topcashback throughout the year when I buy things and use any cash earned towards the my Christmas Dinner shop. I also regularly check HotUkDeals for any bargains that might pop up and regularly check for discount codes for my favourite websites.

Plan your invites and decorations in advance

I like to change my Christmas decorations and colour themes quite often so I choose the colours and either buy in the January sales or as soon as they’re for sale on the highstreet. I love looking on Pinterest for crafy ideas and ways to make my own decorations too. IMG_0229Declutter your home

It’s inevitable you’ll have a range of new things to find homes for come 25th December so make that space early. Go to a car boot sale during the Summer and make some pennies while you make some space.

If you prepare early and get as much done as you can during the year, December can be left free for socialising, seeing Santa and feeling festive.

*Collaborative post

 

 

 

 

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Our Christmas 2015

Our Christmas was lovely this year. It was peaceful and relaxing, which was nice after a manic few weeks beforehand. I had a rare year off work and it was great being able to spend time with the little man, who understood his second Christmas a little bit more.

Christmas eve

We put our Pjs on early (all nice new Christmas ones) and while I prepared veg for Christmas Day, hubby and the little man watched Christmas films and played with toys.

Once the veg and Turkey were ready we made a Christmas train from Lego, ate sweets and drank hot chocolate. The little man ended up falling asleep with us on the sofa.

Once he was safely tucked up in bed, Santa came! We moved all of the little mans presents downstairs from their hiding place in the spare room. Then we realised we were going to need an extension to house all of his new things! Eeek.

Hubby and I finally got to sit down to scoff some of the lovely things in our Christmas Eve hamper that was kindly sent by PlusNet for their #LovesYouBack campaign. It was a tasty treat and finished us off for the night. 

A rather excited but lazy little monster finally got up at 8.10am and discovered that Rudolph had eaten the carrot he’d left out. Obviously he had to have a bite too!

Unfortunately I’ve lost all of the pictures taken on Christmas Day with my SLR camera which is really upsetting. So, all of the pictures on Christmas morning are slightly dodgy Iphone pictures, but at least I have some I guess!

The little man was thoroughly spoilt. I was lucky enough to win a few things over the year for him and he got lots of lovely things from his Nana. His presents kept arriving and we were still opening presents from people up until New Year!

He opened most of his presents with Daddy and me (4 long hours of wrapping paper piles and empty boxes) and then opened more when his Nana and her partner arrived at ours around midday. 
He loves this car garage with super fast ramp. It only cost me about £5 in the Christmas sales last year but it was clearly a good buy. 
I think his favourite Christmas present was from his nana – a huge green ride on tractor and trailer. He didn’t want to get off it on Christmas day and somehow he’s managed to keep it in the house. I might have no living room floor but he’s happy. It’s also apparently the best place to watch the tv from!

Despite his miserable chops, he actually liked his Christmas dinner but didn’t eat very much. He was tired and still quite excited. He ended up eating it later in the day and then more on Boxing day as bubble and squeak. He sat like a big boy at the table rather than in his highchair and pulled crackers and and worth a hat.

After lunch the little man fell a sleep on the settee. He’d complete worn himself out running round like a lunatic all day.While he slept, the rest of us sat and relaxed and stuffed ourselves with festive Chocolates and drinks.

Christmas night was spent cuddled up on the sofa watching Inside Out and playing with toys. The little man ended up staying up until 10pm, but did have a nice lie in on Boxing Day. 

Christmas was nice this year. We got to spend it with the people that matter and the little man had a fantastic day!

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My Christmas wish list

There are a few things I’d like to see in my stocking this year, though I’m more likely to buy them myself after Christmas!

Canon 70D
I’d really like to upgrade my camera this year as my DLSR is quite basic. I want something like the Canon 70D which would take better pictures of my little monster who never sits still!

Cath Kidston Provence diary
I had a similar one last year and I loved it. I’m a bit of a stationery snob and my diary has to be just right. The page thickness in the Cath Kidston diaries are perfect and I love the week to view layout.

UGG Sutter boots
I love these! They look so cosy and comfortable. I think they’d be perfect for the colder weather and keep my feet toasty warm.

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise cologne
I think I actually need this. I’m a little obsessed with Pomegranate Noir at the moment but I recently saw this on the website and it sounds amazing. I love anything scented with vanilla.

Stone Roses tickets
I’m a little bit devastated I didn’t get tickets for the Stone Roses in June 2016. I didn’t even try as my work holidays hasn’t been confirmed when they were released. I’d love Santa to bring me some!

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Putting up the Christmas tree
It really feels like Christmas has just crept up this year. I’m usually much more prepared than this. I still have gifts to buy and a mountain of wrapping to do. 
Now the little man is older he likes to get involved in EVERYTHING, so this year he decided to help put the tree up and decorate it. Cue the start of decoration destruction! He sneakily removes the baubles and either dismantles them or stashes them under the sofa, in his toy box or the bin! Oh what fun!

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How to make Christmas Dinner – the easy way

If I’m 100% honest, cooking Christmas dinner terrifies me. I’m not quite Delia Smith at the best of times, but being under pressure to make something edible/tasty is so stressful.

Last year I cooked for hubby and the little man (who was only 10 months old and only ate a tiny amount), this year however, we have guests! I need to make sure everyone is fed, happy and alive to tell the tale the next day. I’m worried already.

If you’re a little like me, and need some assistance in the kitchen over the festive period, take a look at this helpful, pain free cooking guide from Mayfair Granite. It’s full of helpful. time saving tips to reduce your stress levels and make your Christmas lunch a success!

These helpful preparation tips for Christmas dinner can be found on The Better Baking Bible website.

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