I have been married 6 years, I have one daughter 4 & 1/2 and 3 stepsons 14, 15 & 20. Christmas is a huge passion of mine and I plan for it all year round much to the consternation of the rest of the family!
Well, here it is the last Rudolph Day before Christmas Day. So are everyones plans going well?
I have a big shopping trip planned for Saturday and have printed out a couple of lists of what I have left to buy and who for. I have a rough list for the food and drinks shopping. I have been buying Morrisons saver stamps through the year and will also be making use of their £25 voucher offer too. Last year the stamps and voucher paid for my Christmas food shop with about £1.40 for us to pay on top so it worked out very well!
Mistle Merryweather Jingles arrives on the 1st and I have been collecting bits and pieces for him to suprise India with including a Elf video, a Unicorn sticker book (she wants to be a unicorn when she grows up!) and some craft stuff too. No doubt he will be getting up to all sorts of mischief which i'll post about through December.
We are posting India's letter to Santa tomorrow. The Royal Mail offer a special service for Santa letters - details are here - it's not something i've used before so we will see if we get a reply!
Next week we are having our carpet cleaned and then on the Saturday i'll be decorating the house - I can't wait!!
Today I made a just over two dozen Mince Pies to go in my freezer for Christmas. I have to say not all of them made it to the freezer. We just had to try one each to make sure they were ok, India told me they were yummy so she got to have another one!
I used the following pastry recipe, which is the one we all like best. It originally came from the recipe section on Organised Christmas Elves.
1lb Self Raising Flour 1/2 lb Butter/Margarine 4oz Caster Sugar 1 Egg lightly beaten A little Water
1) Rub the fat into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs, then mix in the sugar 2) Pour the egg in and a tiny amount of water to form a dough, add a little flour if it's too sticky 3) Roll out quite thin as the SR flour causes it to rise more than normal 4) Cut out rounds for the base, fill with mincemeat (as detailed here), put tops on if required, brush with a little egg 5) Bake for around 15-18 mins at gas 180
Here are some of the finished pies, which are now safely frozen so we can't eat them all before it even gets to December!
I had a nice surprise on the way to work a few days ago seeing a giant Billboard with the Coca Cola holidays truck and Santa fixing it with the words Holidays are Coming next to it. I love this advert and I got quite excited to see it, just watching out for the TV advert now which is rumoured to run this weekend!
My Christmas Cards are now all written, bar my cousin who is expecting a baby this week so I need to wait to hear from her! Stamps are bought for the ones I need to post. I'll be posting my overseas cards tomorrow, which is in plenty of time to meet the Royal Mail last posting dates.
At the weekend I defrosted my freezer and got my smaller freezer up and running so I can stock up. I'll make some cookie dough and mince pies tomorrow to go in there. Doing the mince pies and keeping them in the freezer worked great for me last year, saved a lot of time especially as I like to make the pastry from scratch, during December and I always had some to hand. I've decided to order my turkey from Morrisons this year instead of buying a frozen one. I'll do that tomorrow also. It will be the first time in a while i've ordered fresh instead of frozen.
My Christmas list is updated and I have a new 'to buy' list. My Elf letter is printed and ready for Mistletoe to arrive on the 1st. India has been wondering if he'll come again this year already. I have a shopping trip planned for the 28th and I should be able to finish just about everything on my list - fingers crossed.
I found a great idea on the Money Saving Expert forum on this thread for Pots of Gold which I am going to be doing for some of the people on my list. The idea is for a little pot filled with gold chocolates ie gold coins, Wispa Gold, Ferrero Roche and Scratch cards - gold if possible. For my husbands step daughter I am going to put in a Gift card instead of a scratch card. I have a lot of the chocolates, the cellophane to wrap the pots up is ordered from ebay, i'm going to try Ikea for the pots next week and the scratch cards I will get a few when I put my own lottery on over the next couple of weeks.
So far so good with my Christmas planning, i'm feeling quite happy with what i've done and what's left to do!
I spent yesterday shopping for Christmas presents and managed to get just about everything on my list and a little bit more besides. We shopped at the White Rose Shopping centre, which is decorated beautifully and all the shops have their Christmas stuff out now of course. The Disney Store (my favourite) had a special offer on their large soft Christmas Mickey's, which I just had to buy, he will look lovely sat on my fireplace - if India ever lets go of him!
So now I'll have to update my list and see who I have left to buy for. The list should now be fairly short. Plus my cards are all made and I will start to write them over the next couple of days and get stamps I need for them ready to be posted.
I hope everyone had a lovely Halloween yesterday we had lots of fun here!