Find out what the Christmas trends for 2016 are. I wish I could be totally trendy and follow a colour scheme, but we don’t our Christmas tree and decorations are things that we’ve collected over the years.
Let us know your Christmas Decor Hacks to make Christmas that little bit easier.
Adult Christmas Advent Calendars – As I did a round-up of some of the great Kids Advent Calendars on offer this year I thought it was only fair that I did one for us grown-ups. I’ve got my eye on one in particular but it’s a bit pricey so it’s unlikely that I’ll get it, but never mind.
Chase ’24 Days of Christmas Spirit’ Advent Calendar. Whilst this calendar is rather pricey I kinda like it. It contains 24 miniatures from Chase Distillery including Apple Vodka and Seville Orange Gin.
Kids Advent Calendars – Everyone loves an advent calendar, and things have seriously moved on since the once a day chocolate calendar with your favourite character on the front.
Last year we pinched an idea from Pinterest and did a Book Advent Calendar for Isabelle which you can read our blog post about, but essentially you wrap up twenty-four books and number each one and every day they unwrap a new book which could be the bedtime story for that day. I noticed that some people did Christmas themed books each day, but I really struggled to find enough so just chose books that I knew Isabelle would love. This went down really well with Isabelle, and to cut costs even further you could buy books from Charity Shops/ebay/selling pages.
The year before we bought a Playmobil Calendar where each day you get a new piece and at the end you complete some kind of scene. We had the King and Queen Fairy Set which was really lovely.
Here is a round-up of some of the fantastic chocolate alternatives to Kids Advent Calendars.
Toot-Toot Animals Advent Calendar. Suitable from 12 months. I love this calendar as it’s tricky getting something suitable for ‘little little’ ones. Each day you get a new piece to complete a playset and the box turns into a Toot-Toot drivers road.
Play-Doh Advent Calendar. Suitable from 3 years +. We lurve Play-Doh! This calendar includes five pots of play-doh, tow of which are sparkly ones and lots of cutting accessories and shapes.
Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar. Suitable from age 6+ and comes with 24 LEGO Star Wars themed gifts including an exclusive holiday themed mini figure. There are also lots of other scenes from Playmobil that you can get, but I was purposely trying not to make this an ‘all about the girls’ round-up.
Trolls Trollific Advent Calendar – I showed this one to Isabelle who had the widest eyes ever. Who doesn’t want a calendar packed full of lip glosses, hair clips and nail stickers.
Match Attax Advent Calendar contains 120 cards (24 packs) including a Gold Limited Edition Player. My son would have loved this when he was younger. I’m sure that we’ve got all his collectable cards and sticker books still somewhere.
A Smiggle Advent Calendar. This is packed full of Smiggle goodies, and each calendar has an envelope attached that could contain a £250 voucher for a Smiggle Shopping Spree. Isabelle’s eyes were out on stalks as this is her absolute favourite shop at the moment.
This Benross Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar has 25 drawers that you can fill with your own treats to suit your children and even comes with lights. The advantage of this is that you can re-use it year after year.
I’d love to know what Advent Calendar ideas you have for your children. Pop a comment below or head on over to our Facebook Page.
We all know that Advent Calendars aren’t just for kids. Have a look at our round-up of Adult Advent Calendars.
I normally lay awake any time from around 4.30am waiting to hear stirring from the kids rooms. I leave it until about 5.30 when I make my way noisily to the bathroom in the hope that Isabelle hears me in which case the whole house will then be awake.
It works a treat and then I pop down to put the coffee on so that grumpy daddy can be persuaded to get out of bed. Likewise with the teenager (replacing coffee with chocolate).
Present time is amazing fun not least because the dog goes absolutely bonkers for the wrapping paper and has great fun collecting it and taking it to his special corner. Great for us as it’s all in one place to clear away, even if it is a little bit shredded.
Normally we go to family after breakfast so this year will be very different adding cooking into the mix. Daddy is a whiz in the kitchen and my table laying skills are ace so dinner should be nice.
Having a dog now I think we’ll have to have a post Christmas dinner walk and then Isabelle is hoping to watch Stickman.
We had a really good time at the recent Magdalen Street Christmas Market (I should and will post about this soon) and so am looking forward to another event on Monday 14th December from 12pm – 3pm at Exeter Central Library.
This is going to be a fantastic event for Mums and Dads with their pre-school children. I’ve kept this event pretty quiet at home as my little girl would love to come and join in, and see Poco Drom.
So if you are in the Exeter area then pop along and make sure you come and have a look at the lovely Baby Gifts, Lamaze Toys, Bibs, Onesies, Teethers and much more that we have.
For a full list of our upcoming events keep an eye on our Events Page.
Fantastic Non-toy Christmas Gifts for Children. Hands up if after Christmas you could do with an extension just to fit in all the new Stuff that the kids get.
It’s lovely that friends and family natural want to buy something as a gift at Christmas time but does it always have to be a physical thing?
Here is a list of alternative Non-toy Gifts that you can buy or recommend for friends and family to buy for your little ones.
1. Cinema Gift Cards
These are ideal for older children and will give them something to look forward to do with their friends.
The possibilities are endless. This could be for swimming lessons, gymnastics, trampolining, ballet, football, cricket, badminton, tennis. I could go on…..
3. Concert or gig tickets
Surprise the teen with tickets to their favourite band.
4. Theme Park Tickets
These don’t have to just be for older children. These could be for the smalls for places like Peppa Pig World or Cbeebies Land and make a great family day out.
5. Sports Events Tickets
Do your children have a favourite football, rugby or cricket team. These are likely to go down a storm and could double us a joint father son present.
You can never have too many books, especially for bedtime story reading. We love books and could probably open our own library, but we always welcome more.
7. Tickets for local activities
Petting zoos, Farms, Swimming, Indoor play areas, Crazy Golf and activity parks. Whatever activities your children are into these will be great when you don’t have any plans. Even better, you could buy an annual membership.
Both of ours at 4 and 15 have an interest in clothes and are quite particular about what they wear. The 4 year old likes sparkles, pretties and skirts or dresses that are swishy and the 15 year old is particular about the brands that he wears. Makes an ideal gift for any age.
9. Paint your own Pottery
We have a lovely place near us where you can sign up for a class such as jewellery making, canvas painting or pottery painting. All the materials are included and you come away with your creation.
10. A Camera or Video Camera
All kids young and older would like this as a gift. My daughter has one which also has themes such as moustaches and big ears or backgrounds to the pictures taken. It’s fun to do as well.
11. Magazine subscriptions
This is an ideal present for everybody from pre-schoolers to your in-laws.
12. A watch
Help them to learn the time which is a useful and essential life skill as well as a great accessory.
13. A Journal or Diary
Not something that I’ve ever done, but I do have a bit of a thing for gorgeous notebooks.
14. Recipes and ingredients
Write or print out a recipe and put together the ingredients. You could even include some utensils or an apron.
15. Craft Supplies
The possibilities are endless with anything from chalk, paint, glitter, card, paper, coloured pipe cleaners. Collect loads of bits and bobs and put them together as a bit of a craft treasure trove.
16. Musical instruments
Have the kids been begging to learn something. The cost of these dependent on the instrument can be pricey so would make an ideal gift.
17. itunes voucher
Are you forever paying for music or apps like us. A voucher of all amounts would be a great gift for a teenager.
Put together your own little coupons with things written on them such as shopping trip, baking session, craft session for your little ones to cash in. Great for rainy days.
DVD’s are ideal for watching together. Wrap them with some cinema style snacks and snuggle down to watch together.
Set up a bank account or give them the cash to do what they please with. Sometimes for older kids this could be to go towards something expensive such as the latest games console, phone or other bit of technology that takes their fancy.
If you have great non-toy Christmas gift ideas of your own, feel free to pop a comment.
How are you getting on with your Christmas Shopping?
We’re not doing too great so off to the Christmas Market tomorrow for some much needed inspiration.
If you have a pre-walkng or toddling baby our range of Inch Blue Festive Feet Shoes are Fantastic, and why not treat their feet to a pair of Festive Feet shoes. Our favourite are the Rudolph Red which ones would you choose?
Don’t delay! Last day for ordering is 12 noon on Monday 15th December..
#blackfriday which originated in America is the day after Thanksgiving and is thought to be the official start of the Christmas Shopping Season due to it being a public holiday for many therefore capturing a bigger audience.
So on the Bandwagon we jump and #Blackfriday is the day that many retailers give fantastic discounts.
Here are some of the great offers that we have happened upon:
Baby & Childrenswear
20% Off Everything across our site including the Festive Feet Inch Blue Shoes Range www.babynotincluded.co.uk – Just add blackfriday in the coupon box.