Monday, 18 December 2017

CHRISTMAS: 10 Ways to get into the Festive Spirit


It's that time of year again...twinkly lights adorn doors, trees and windows, presents are being bought, stockings are being hung on decorated fireplaces and preparations for Father Christmas' visit are being made. It's almost Christmas! Though if you're anything like me it's not always that easy to get into the festive spirit, sometimes it can all be a bit overwhelming. As this is the first year Isabella is starting to really understand the magic of Christmas I am feeling the pressure to get us all in the festive spirit. So, I thought I'd share ten of my favourite activities for getting into the festive spirit with children...

1) Read a festive book - Snuggling up under a blanket with a hot chocolate, the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the background and a festive book in your hand is such a perfect way of spending a December afternoon/evening. Wonderbly have a beautiful range of personalised Christmas books for children of all ages, including My Golden Ticket (as featured in my Gift Guide for Children) and The Christmas Snowflake* (£19.99). If you're looking for something really festive and heart-warming then The Christmas Snowflake is the one for you. It's about a Snowflake who is looking for a place to call home this Christmas, but only you and your family are able to help. You can have up to nine family members personalised throughout the book, which not only makes the books extra special but also makes it a lovely gift to give. As with all Wonderbly books the illustrations are stunning and attention to detail is like no other. At the end of the story there is even a pull out snowflake decoration for your Christmas tree, really helping to bring the story alive for children. 
2) Make a Christmas wish list collage - Flicking through the Argos catalogue and cutting out everything we wanted for Christmas is such a fond memory with my brothers. Things have changed a bit these days, but why not pick up a few free Christmas catalogues and get cutting? It's the perfect way for children to practice their cutting skills (Isabella uses some plastic scissors we got free in a magazine, so they're safe) and gives Father Christmas an insight into what is on the wish list this year. 

3) Make a festive decoration or gift - Anything from a Christmas star to put on top of the tree or a painted canvas as a gift, this time of year is perfect for getting creative. Pinterest is filled with craft ideas (you can check out my Christmas board here - make sure you follow, as I'm always adding to it!), so even if you don't class yourself as a 'creative person' there is plenty of inspiration out there. Also, homemade gifts are always that extra bit special and such an affordable option too.  

4) Wear a festive outfit - Fun fact for you...this is the first year I've owned a Christmas jumper. I know, what have I been doing with my life? There are loads of fun, cute and plain cheesy Christmas jumpers available nowadays, so something for everyone's taste. Places, like Blade & Rose, have fun ranges of festive baby and toddler clothing for affordable prices. I've also seen a few places sell matching Christmas clothing for siblings or parents and children, such as Next and Mothercare. You can't beat a bit of twinning in my opinion!

5) Decorate the Christmas tree - Carefully placing those sparkly, shiny and much loved baubles on your Christmas tree is a quick way to get your house looking and feeling festive. My family Christmas tree has always been one that is filled with baubles made and collected over the years, many of which were from my days at Brownies (so a long time ago!). The Christmas tree is such a perfect place to place keepsakes because they're only out for around a month of the year, therefore minimising the risk of breakages and all decorations are kept safely together year on year. Milestone have recently bought out a Christmas Keepsake Ornament* (£14.99) that makes the most of that by capturing memories over twelve years. Each year you get the bauble out with all of your others, but what's special is it comes with little note papers to write a key memory from the past year on and seal with the provided golden seals. The note can then be posted into the bauble, adding a new one each year for a total of twelve years. It's such a unique way of remembering key events/moments and keeping it altogether with the Christmas decorations is genius. I've started one for Poppy, as it's her first Christmas, but you could start it at any point in your life. The glass bauble has delicate gold and silver dots all over it, which sparkle beautifully on your Christmas tree too. 
6) Festive Baking - Cookies, gingerbread, mince pies, Christmas pudding or Yule Log are all classics to bake on the run up to Christmas. Children will love stirring the mixture, smelling the different warming spices, taste testing and finally decorating with all the sprinkles and edible glitter (if you can't overdo baking at Christmas then when can you?!). The recipe to these Nutella Swirled Shortbread is here or you could try these Nutella Flapjacks. 

7) Stroke a Reindeer - Perhaps the most festive of all animals, with their key role in helping Father Christmas deliver all of the presents to excited children across the world. Paying a visit to reindeers really is so magical and with many Santa's Grottos, Christmas tree farms and garden centres now having reindeer on the run up to Christmas; a trip to Lapland isn't necessary anymore. Our local Christmas tree farm has a couple of reindeer, who you can feed magic moss to for that extra mystical touch. 

8) Have a Party Food Tea - Everywhere you turn you are faced with food at this time of year, whether it be boxes of chocolates, endless mince pies or festive party food. After all, December is the month for parties and social gatherings, but if you're like me and your days of partying are behind you, then having a party food tea (or even better, hosting a festive party) can be just as good. Nibbly/picky/picnic teas are some of my favourite, so stock up on everything in mini size and enjoy an afternoon of grazing through them all as a family. 

9) Watch a Christmas Film - My personal favourites are Love Actually and The Holiday, but as they're not suitable for children I'm into a whole new world this year. Previous years Isabella's been too young to watch a Christmas film, but this year is the year to embrace them all. Some of my favourite child-friendly Christmas films that I've come across so far are The Nativity! and Polar Express, which are yours?

10) Go Ice Skating - Taking children ice skating might not be some people's idea of fun, but as soon as everyone is slipping around on the ice there are always so many tears of laughter shed. There are ice skating rinks open all year round, but for an extra festive touch then try to visit a pop up ice rink only open on the run up to Christmas. We took Isabella for the first time this year and she loved it, especially when she had a Penguin to hold on to and push around. It was also my husband's first time ice skating too and luckily he took to it quickly because I was on the side-line with Poppy. Though they do sometimes have baby & parent ice skating sessions where you can take the pram onto the ice!
There you have it...my favourite 10 ways to get into the festive spirit on the run up to Christmas! Though, even if you're already feeling all kinds of excitement for Christmas, these are fun activities to do anyway :) 

What is your favourite way to get in the festive mood?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x
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37 comments

  1. We have been making festive decorations and gifts and can say that gets you massively into the festive spirit! Put on some Christmas classics at the same tim and you're winning!

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  2. Christmas jumpers always get me into the festive mood I find!!

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  3. Great tips! Ice skating always makes me feel festive, we went last week!

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  4. we have loved making salt dough decorations

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  5. Good tips, I'm feeling really festive this year I think it's because we put the tree up earlier than usual!

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  6. What a lovely List. You had me at hot chocolate! I love Christmas.

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  7. This is my first year in ages that I will be wearing a Christmas Jumper as well! It is always fun to get into the Christmas spirit x

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  8. Oh, I loved going through the Argos book as a kid! And we always have snacks and party food on Christmas eve rather than a meal. I love these festive tips :) #TwinklyTuesday

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  9. We have been baking gingerbread and wrapping presents to get in the festive mood

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  10. So many great ideas here. We love going in search of that perfect christmas tree, and coming home to decorate it with a mulled wine (for me of course not the kids!) love to make salt doh decs too but I have totally not managed that up to now. Some lovely festive ideas, have a great Christmas lovely xx

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  11. Making festive decorations can be fun. I plan to get some baubles in so mine can decorate them.

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  12. You can’t beat a good Xmas book! And I absoulately love the holiday and the polar bear express is my favourite movie ever x Kira

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  13. Lovely post and pictures :) We have been getting festive by watching Christmas movies, wearing fun clothes and making mice pies :)

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