With the festive season already on its way, now’s the time to start planning your best Christmas yet. Maybe there’s something you’d like to do a little differently this year, or a new tradition you’d like to start?
If you’re after some new ideas, here are 12 bloggers who can help you make this Xmas a dazzler:
Planning and budgeting
A great Christmas starts with an even greater plan. These bloggers have some great tips to help you get your house in order and save money where you can.
Leta from Attachment Mummy has the ultimate Christmas planning guide, counting down your festive tasks week by week. She’s also got a handy list of essential Christmas dates including when to send that card to your aunty in Luxembourg, when to order your supermarket delivery and when to get your online Christmas bargains.
And to avoid that frazzled feeling at the end of December, check out these 7 ways to take the worry out of Christmas, including excellent ways to look after your energy and your sanity during this busy time.
Cass, the brains behind The Diary of a Frugal Family, is the queen of family budgeting and knows how to cut down on waste while holding on to all the fun of Christmas: “Just because we have a frugal Christmas in our house, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a fun Christmas or that any of us do without over Christmas, because it absolutely doesn’t.”
Check out her bumper frugal Christmas guide, including posts on having an amazing Christmas on a very tight budget. We also love her Christmas to-do list – print it out, pin it on your fridge and remember those important festive deadlines.
Christmas food & baking
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without extra-special festive food. These bloggers have some wonderful recipes to make this year’s celebration your tastiest yet.
We also love her recipe for Christmas leftover pie, which is almost better than Christmas dinner itself: “The best thing about this pie is that you can literally bung everything in. Got leftover roasties? Shove them in. Stuffing? Yup. Veggies? Definitely. I serve it simply with some steamed veg and mash, but it’s gorgeous served cold with pickles too.”
If you want something deliciously different on the table this Christmas, visit Great British Bake Off finalist Holly Bell’s blog – Recipes from a Normal Mum. You’ll find tonnes of winning dishes, like her last-minute tropical trashy Christmas cake – a coconutty, rum-and-coke of a pud. For the world’s quickest Xmas recipe, check out her candy-cane hearts: “a really quick and easy win to impress visitors and kids. And it really is speedy. Blink and you miss it.”
And Holly will help you do Boxing Day leftovers in style this year. Try her pulled jerk turkey sliders, mince pie brownies and Christmas pudding flapjacks – all created for her Boxing Day appearance on Channel 5’s Saturday Show.
In the build-up to Christmas it’s always a great idea to have some festive and kid-friendly baking to do. Helen of Cooking With My Kids has a super-easy but sensational Nutella Christmas Tree that looks delicious and festive.
And if you’re looking for something new to bring along to the school Christmas bake sale this year, try her Rudolf reindeer brownies: “They’re quick to make and decorate but also taste delicious – the perfect combination of crispy topping and gooey fudgy inside.”
It can be expensive keeping excited kids entertained in the run up to Christmas. Here are some great ideas for affordable, fun things to do with your family.
If you’ve got a really tiny one at home, this Christmas tree sensory box is a lovely safe way for babies to explore the twinkly lights of Christmas. Deborah has an inspired idea for a New Year’s treat that works really well for her family – giving gifts of extra special one-to-one time that kids can spend throughout the year to come.
And if you’re fed up with Christmas telly, Cerys has some great festive film recommendations – with craft activities to match. She’s also running a Storybook Advent this December – a brilliant way to countdown to Christmas while encouraging reading at home.
If, like Clare, you find yourself inundated with empty cardboard boxes at this time of year, before you flatpack them into the recycling, take a look at her top ten things to make from boxes – there’s a LEGO costume, a marble maze and a football game.
Save a couple, though, for making Christmas Eve Boxes. Over at Emmy’s Mummy and Harry’s Too, Clare suggests filling them with hot chocolate, PJs, a family film and some gentle, festive activities to help little ones unwind before the big day.
Homemade gifts and decorations
Homemade is always special. Save money and give something different this year with ideas for presents and decorations that you can make at home.
If you’re looking for homemade Christmas decorations, Angela of The Inspiration Edit has some amazing ideas. She’s got a cute reindeer bauble tutorial and the easy rustic snowman ornaments pictured above are a family-friendly activity that you’ll actually love hanging in your tree.
And if you’re bored with shop-bought advent calendars, why not make your own? Angela and her daughter Sylvia had a lovely time creating this angel-themed calendar together.
There’s nothing nicer than receiving a homemade Christmas card – especially from a special little person in your life. And kids LOVE making them too.
Mel of Le Coin de Mel has some gorgeous ideas for you. Like the thumbprint reindeer card pictured above and these cute 10-minute Christmas tree cards. And if you’re looking for alternatives to wrapping paper, check out Mel’s lovely Christmas gift bags.
Homemade confectionery makes a wonderful present. “Of course the biggest challenge is making it without eating it all! But the next biggest challenge is usually time,” writes Luci of Mums Make Lists.
Luckily, she has put together some wonderful, easy recipes for sweet Christmas treats that are quick to do, including slow-cooker candy recipes and delicious Christmas peppermint. Perfect gifts for sweet-toothed loved ones.
The clever mum behind Emma’s Savvy Savings loves Christmas crafts, especially ones made from natural elements. Emma says: “Nature provides some of the best materials for craft activities. My house is surrounded by pine trees and therefore I am always looking for ways to use pinecones when decorating the house.”
Check out her post on Christmas decorations using natural products. She’s also got a great tutorial on making a stylish Christmas rag wreath for under a fiver. And if you don’t have the space for a traditional tree, here are some clever DIY Christmas tree alternatives.
We hope you’ve found some Christmas ideas that you’re going to try for yourself this year. And if you’ve got any of your own that you’d like to share, let us know on our Facebook page.
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