Christmas Preparations

We always put our Christmas decorations up on the 1st of December in the O'Hara household; the perfect start to the Advent period. Even though (almost) all my children are grown up we still keep the magic for the grandchildren.  I even let them decorate the lounge last year - it looked like someone had taken a box of decorations and thrown it in the direction of the tree but they were so proud of it.

This year I've been looking for some alternative decorations and ways to get in the mood for Christmas along with money-saving tips and bargains.  This post will be regularly updated between now and Christmas so watch out for update announcements on Twitter and Facebook.


John Lewis knitted snowmanFirst out of the decoration box is my John Lewis snowman that I knitted a couple of years ago. A lot of time and love and swearing went into making this and he sits proudly on the shelf next to all the home/school-made decorations that are stored away lovingly each year.  I was hoping that they were going to release a knitted penguin kit this year but I can't find one...

tissue paper pom poms, thinly spread, tutorial
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tissue paper pom pom tutorial from my friend, Chris over at Thinly Spread (part of her Countdown to Christmas series). I used to make these with my nana with two or more different colours of paper. This weekend, I'm going to sit down with my own grandchildren and make some for here and their own house.

Hanging Lantern Company, decorations
I've been constructing these cute little paper trees and houses from The Hanging Lantern company. They are laser-cut and come "flat packed" for you to construct yourself (a bit fiddly but I have fat fingers) and they are really effective. I'm going to buy some LED (flameless) tealights to put inside them for maximum effect!

Isle of Skye Candle Company, scented candle, cinnamon
What's your favourite Christmas smell?  Mine has to be pine needles (even though we never have a real tree) and cinnamon. To get in the mood a little early, I've been burning this candle from the Isle Of Sky Candle Company and it smells DELISH! 

Wrap.Me,  personalised wrapping paper
Now, this next item was a bit of a surprise. I received a sample piece of wrapping paper created from my own Instagram pictures. This was sent by as an example of what can be created but it would be wonderful to use for a very special Christmas present or even a Christening or wedding.

Santa's Grotto,  Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Arena
We always love a trip to visit Santa - after all, how else are we going to talk him into putting us on the "Good" list ready for his visit on Christmas Eve? Blackpool Pleasure Beach have a fabulous Santa's Grotto where your little ones can have a chat with Father Christmas, meet some costume characters, grab a warm drink and go ice skating. You also receive a Diamond Pass for the Pleasure Beach next year.  Check the website for opening days and times but it's worth £10 if you're local or visiting the area to do some Christmas shopping.

And finally (for now) the widget at the end of this post from My Voucher Codes is a Christmas Price Toy Monitor which features the top toys this Christmas with information about where you can buy them at the best prices so I thought that would be useful!


Don't forget to watch out on Twitter or Facebook for more updates to this post and let me know what you do that's slightly different to prepare for Christmas.