Childhood Christmas Memories

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, filled with love and magic and family…but what do you remember from being a child, what are those memories that have stuck with you, right into your adult life?

Sure there’s the obvious memories like sneaking into Mum and Dad’s room with our stockings on Christmas morning, and the feeling of utter disbelief and joy when we walked into the living room on Christmas morning to see ‘HE’D BEEN’…but here’s a few others of mine.

Marzipane Fruit Making at School ๐Ÿ“๐ŸŒ๐ŸŠ

The last couple of weeks before Christmas during primary school were AMAZING. We’d alternate each year between either crafts, or a Christmas show. When it was crafts week, we’d make all manner of Christmassy things (you can guess the sort), but the one that’s stuck with me is Marzipan fruit! Shaping and dying it, adding cloves to make cores/stems, and rolling some of them in sugar to make seed effects. I used to love it, and I bloomin love marzipan.

Going On Dad’s Shoulders To Put the Spire Up๐ŸŽ„โญ

Todd and I always took it in turns each year to put the spire on the tree. It was a proper tradition, Mama P even wrote down on the box, year on year, who’s turn it was. But the tradition didn’t stop there! Whoever was putting the spire on top (it turned into a star in our last few years though) had to go on Dad’s shoulders. Which made sense when we were little – but the tradition never died. He was actually insistent on keeping it up, even when we were tall enough to reach the top of the tree ourselves, and even when Todd had grown taller than Dad! Which is why, 2 years ago, at age 25, I was up there again…

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Tug of War ๐ŸŠโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ“ฆ

A tradition in my home town…pub teams in a tug of war competition OVER the river Nidd…so guess what happens to the losers ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a lovely Boxing Day tradition, and although I haven’t gone in the last few years (12pm on Boxing Day? I’ve still been in bed recovering from Christmas Day!), I’d like to introduce it into tradition again…at some point…

Bethlehemdale ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒŸ

So at primary school, in the years we weren’t busy making Christmas cards and marzipan fruit, we were getting stagy – and Bethlehemdale in 2002 will stay with me FOREVER. It does what it says on the tin really – the Mary and Joseph story, but set in Yorkshire. It was one of (if not the most!) favourite things about primary school!

“Eh up, by gum, a change is happening it’s going to come. EY UP, by gum, a change is going to come”!
SHOUT OUT to anyone who KNOWS and sung that line in their heads ๐Ÿ˜‰

Making Christmas Cards ๐Ÿ–๏ธโœ‚๏ธ

I used to love crafts, whether that was at school or home, and I absolutely loved making home made Christmas cards for the fam. Felt tips, paint, stamps, glitter glue, shiny crepe paper –ย  I was in my element!

Santa Visiting ๐ŸŽ…๐ŸฆŒ

This has been a tradition in our town for as long as I can remember…a wonderful volunteer group spend the evenings in the run up to Christmas accompanying Santa on his sleigh around the estates of the town. They’ve got their buckets so you can donate (it’s a big charity group in the town), but the MAIN reason is so all the kids can see Santa! I remember waiting in such anticipation, and getting so giddy when Mum would shout ‘Santa’s coming down the street!’. The sleigh would be playing carols, and there he’d be. It was UTTERLY magical. I’ve always managed to miss him in my adult years since moving back here, but I live in hope, that one day, Santa will appear on the estate…

Have you got any specific memories from Christmas Past? Feel free to share below in the comments! Don’t forget, you can also catch up on other Blogmas 2019 posts HERE!

Lynette x (3)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Parents

Who else struggles to find new/different/imaginative gifts for their parents or in-laws each Christmas? We know Christmas isn’t all about the presents, but the thought that goes into them, matters. Sometimes, you have the most PERFECT ideas. Other times, you have absolutely no clue. So, I’ve noted down some ideas I’ve used in the past, or think that are nice…hopefully one or two of them might inspire you if you’re struggling!

Wonky Wine Glasses

Practical, fun, and alcohol themed…what’s not to love?! Tbf, they’d make a fun gift for anyone (we have some ourselves!), but they went down a treat with both sets of parents when they got theirs!

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Spa Voucher or Nail Treatment

If you want to splash out a little, why not book a spa break, either as a solo trip or duo. And the beauty of these places (as well as the pampering), is that you can make the experience completely their own…just one treatment, a gym/sauna session included too, sometimes an evening meal and overnight stay…

Make a Gift Basket

Keep it personal, and create a Christmas hamper specifically tailored to one person. Food, drink, small games, bathroom smellies, books, DVDs…anything you can think of!

Decorated Wine Glass

I should probably wait a few years before I buy anyone any more wine glasses…but these were fun too! I wrote about these last year in my Best Places To Shop Online post.

Wall Art

I got mum and dad a metal wall art piece a couple of years back for a gift that was a bit different. It went down a treat and is now hanging up in their dining room ๐Ÿ˜‡ Hopefully they didn’t just put it up because they felt they had to…

Personalised Calendar

These calendars always go down well, especially if you take the time to source some good and meaningful photos. One year my brother and I made one full of kid pictures of the two of us, other times it’s been photos from recent family holidays/events.

Book

Fiction, non fiction, biography, question book, puzzle book, recipe book…whatever suits them best!

A Game

Whether it’s a strategy game, euro-game, a game involving technology, or something more chilled like Headbanz or Kazoos, games are a good way to inject some fun into the proceedings! I wrote about the best family games last year, so you can check out my faves there!ย 

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Jewellery

Jewellery can be a predictable gift I suppose, but only if you do it a lot. If you’ve mixed up your present genres in recent years, a lovely sparkly gift will be so nice to unwrap.

Scarves

Chiffon, silk, or woolen, it doesn’t matter…everyone needs a scarf or two in their life ๐Ÿ˜‚

Coffee Syrup and Stencils

I did this for Mama P last year, and is perfect for any other coffee lovers out there! Bring fancy, flavoured coffees into your home easily, and treat yourself early in the morning or on a lazy weekend afternoon.

I feel like parents (especially Dads!) can be tricky to by for, especially when you’re trying to find something new and different for them each year. What gifts have gone down well with your folks or in-laws?

Lynette x (3)

Christmas Decor Wishlist

Can you ever have too many Christmas decorations?

The answer is probably yes, but seeing as we’re still creating and growing our home, and this only being our second Christmas in the house (having moved in last August)…it’d be rude not to look ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I’ve noted down 8 of the decor pieces that have caught my eye this year! One or two mayyyyy have been purchased recently – but Bish, can I have them all please, they’re good investments, promise ๐Ÿ˜‡

LED wooden star – Matalan

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Nutcracker – Debenhams

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Twig Centrepiece – Dunelm

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Festive Star – The Range

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Pre-Lit Twig Tree – Wayfair

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Candy Cane Garden Stakes – Wayfair

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Personalised Christmas Cushion – Etsy

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Present Decorations – George @ Asda

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All of them, totally justified and would make lovely additions to what we already have…CAN I HAVE THEM ALL PLEASE? YES? OKAY? THANKYOUUUUUUUU!

If you’ve missed any of Blogmas 2019, you can catch up HERE.

Lynette x (3)

Country Living Christmas Fair & 20% Off Tickets!

Disclaimer: This is a gifted experience and contains affiliate links

Hello all, welcome back to Blogmas 2019! As I mentioned in my first Blogmas post, ‘December Bucket List’, I’ve been invited to attend the Country Living Christmas Fair at Harrogate Convention Centre tomorrow!ย 

I’ve never been before so don’t know what to expect…but it sounds amazing and Iโ€™m really excited!ย 

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The website is really easy to navigate, particularly when looking at the exhibitor info (which is the first place I went). There are so many different companies who are going to be there: we’re talking crafts, jewellery, photography and art, garden, skincare, gifts…but I think we all know the filter I clicked on first…FOOD AND DRINK! I just had to know who was going to be there and what I was going to be eating on the day ๐Ÿ˜‚ Now, there IS the opportunity to have a roast dinner (of either one or two courses) in the Royal Hall, which looks and sounds AMAZING! I’ve only ever visited the Royal Hall in a work capacity, when I’ve been performing or when it’s been a Showcase and I’m there in teacher/choreographer mode…so if I get chance, I’d love to lunch in there!

Lunch slots are already booking up quite quickly, but I decided not to book in advance – mainly because I’m booked into a workshop, and my best girlie’s going to come and meet me for a bit in her lunch hour. I hate having to clock watch and not enjoy experiences fully and properly, so I’ll play it by ear on the day.

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I’m particularly looking forward to all the home decor/interior stands that are going to be there! Seeing as I’m actually an adult now (I’ve been denying it for so long, but feel I can’t anymore!), anything home related excites me – but even more so since we moved into our first house last Autumn. Progress with decorating and finishing it off has been slow – which was to be expected with the wedding, but the brakes were put on again when Ed landed the We Will Rock You Tour – we’re a family, we want to do it as a team, so it just felt wrong to do anything whilst he was away. Even though we’re not continuing properly with ‘house things’ until he returns, I can’t help looking. And wishing. And wanting. So it’s not my fault if I ‘accidentally’ make any purchases at these stands… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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There’s also a lot of workshops going on, and I’m booked into the ‘How Green Is Your Christmas’ workshop at 11:45am, which, as the title suggests, will provide information on how to have a greener, more sustainable Christmas. This includes reducing waste, recycling and minimising your carbon footprint. This is the first year that I’ll be hosting Christmas (eek!) as we got married this May! I didn’t fancy taking on the challenge of cooking my first ever Christmas lunch for 11 people (plus they wouldn’t fit round our small dining table), so Ed’ll be my Guinea Pig as far as Christmas Dinner is concerned…but the rest of the fam has been invited over for the afternoon. So I don’t think this event and this workshop could have come at a better time!

As well as the exhibitors and workshops, there’s also Country Living’s Live Kitchen and Viking Cruise’s champagne bar to visit (I shall be LEAPING over the crowds to get my fizz) and the opportunity for VIP experiences and afternoon tea are available too. The beauty of this event (apart from it being Christmassy and guaranteed to get us all in the festive spirit!) is that it can be tailored entirely to suit yourself. Spend as much or as little of your day there as you want, with the most or the least amount of fuss (whichever your preference).

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This is my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year, but I rarely get the opportunity to attend these kinds of festive events because they tend to clash with my work schedule. This year however, I made an agreement with myself that I would attend at least one fair and one market – and was so excited when the invite came through! I can’t wait to feel UTTERLY festive!

Who else wants in?!
Book here for 20% off tickets!
Go on, you know you want to ๐Ÿ˜‰ Merry Christmas!

Lynette x (3)

December Bucket List

December is here which means the return of BLOGMAS! Maybe I should’ve started yesterday on the 1st, but I spent half the day at work, and the other half of the day DECORATING! Because the house HAS to get gotto’d (I’ve used it as a verb before, and I’m using it again coz I like it!) as soon as December hits!

As I did last year, I’ll be posting every other day up until Christmas. I know some bloggers manage one a day, but that’s just too much of a commitment for me! On the days I don’t publish something I’ll be sharing one of last year’s posts in case you missed them.

So, to kick Blogmas 2019 off, instead of doing an introduction like last year, I though it’d be fun to write a December bucket list. The list is as much for me as it is for you I guess, I want to FILL my December with plans and merriment, particularly as Ed is away. Here we go…

๐Ÿ’กย Decorate ๐Ÿ’ก

Self explanatory, and I nailed it already. TICK โœ”๏ธ

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๐ŸŽถ Play Christmas playlists on repeat ๐ŸŽถ

Apart from when I’m at work (and sometimes AT work in the last few lessons of the year), it’s the only music I’ll play! I love it and gets me RIGHT in the Christmas spirit.ย 

๐Ÿ’ƒย Christmas Crackers ๐Ÿ’ƒ

No, not the home of plastic rings and miniature nail clippers, the Studio’s annual Christmas show. Which is always absolutely lovely, and although I can’t make all of the performances this year because of other work commitments, I’ll definitely be there on the Saturday night to support the Studio fam, and more importantly, my gorgeous Junior and Senior Contemporary/Lyrical classes who’ve worked so hard on their routines.

๐Ÿ’ย Visit the Country Living Christmas Fair ๐Ÿ’ย 

I’ve never been before, so I’m very excited to be going in a couple of days time! It’s being held at the Harrogate Convention Centre from Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th, and if you haven’t got your tickets yet but want a JUICY 20% OFF (I KNOW!), book your tickets through this link.

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๐Ÿฎย Panto ๐Ÿฎ

It isn’t Christmas without a panto! The last few years I’ve ventured to various parts of the north to see Ed in panto, but seeing as he’s not in this one this year, I’m heading to Wakefield’s ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the end of the week, to support a gorgeous girlie friend of mine and some of my Academy kids who are taking part! I’m hoping to find time to visit Harrogate panto as well!

โ„๏ธ Watch the Nutcracker โ„๏ธ

I adore this ballet, more than I can express in words. Always have, always will. I’ve never managed to see it live, it’s never been at a theatre near home at Christmas (apart from when I was living in London, but there’s no way I could’ve afforded a ticket to the Opera House)! It’s festive and totally magical, and one of my favourite traditions.

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๐ŸŒจ๏ธย Knaresborough Christmas Market ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ

I never get to go to Christmas markets, they’re always on weekends, and I work weekends! ๐Ÿ˜ข And by the time I break up for Christmas, they’ve all finished! This year however, I’m putting my foot down. I’m going to have to go in my work clothes straight from my Wakey Sunday session…but I WILL BE THERE, even if it’s for the last 30 minutes (which it probably will be)! ๐Ÿ˜‚

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Eve Walk ๐ŸŽ„

Again, one of my favourite traditions.

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๐Ÿฅ‚ Christmas Drinks with Friends ๐Ÿฅ‚

Duh. Drinks with friends are good any time, but even MORE so at Christmas.

๐ŸŽฅ ALL the Chirstmas films with Baileys ๐ŸŽฅ

I even wrote a list so I didn’t miss any! So that’s at least one, if not two or three, for every day up until Christmas. That’s a lot of Baileys…

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๐Ÿฆƒ Cook my first Christmas Dinner ๐Ÿฆƒ

Yep. This is the year. First year married, first year to cook Christmas dinner! Wish me luck…

โœจ See the lights โœจ

Who else’s parents used to make detours in the car to see the lights? Whether that was lights in town or some horribly tacky OTT houses on the way back from your Grandparent’s house, it was part of Christmas, and a guaranteed way of making you feel festive.

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๐Ÿ›๏ธ Shopping Day ๐Ÿ›๏ธ

I love Christmas shopping. I don’t have the money to do it, but I still love it! A nice wintery outfit, a crisp cold day, the hustle and bustle of town, the smell of chestnuts in the air, Christmas music floating out of shops or down the street from a choir or singer…I just love it.

๐ŸŽ Spend an evening wrapping presents ๐ŸŽ

Baileys is crucial, and it has to be accompanied by either a Christmas film or Christmas music…I think I always change it up, dependent on how I’m feeling.ย 

โ˜•ย COPIOUS amounts of yummy hot chocolates โ˜•

I tried some new recipes out last year, have a look… ๐Ÿ˜

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๐Ÿฅง Country Pub Lunch ๐Ÿฅง

I haven’t had a country pub lunch for longer than I can remember, and Christmas seems a good time to end that dry spell! Log fires, beams, Christmas decorations, good food, good drink…I’m an eager beaver so I’ve already got it booked in…I haven’t seen Pearson properly since the wedding (in his words, “we’re literally the worst best friends ever” ๐Ÿ˜‚), so it’ll be a gorgeous afternoon.

๐ŸŽ…ย Host Christmas Day ๐ŸŽ…

It’s not the first year in the house, but it’s the first year married, and this was the right time to change Christmas for the family. So Ed and I get to enjoy Christmas morning and Christmas dinner as just the two of us (YAY, I’ve been looking forward to this for so long), and the fam will come over later in the afternoon. I’ve already started planning my buffet… Naturally. #OrganisationQueen.

I’m sure there’ll be more activities that I think of over the next week or so, but I’m SO looking forward to all of these already! ๐Ÿ˜

Thankyou for reading, see you for Blogmas day 2!

Lynette x (3)