10 things that made Christmas in the 80’s the best…

I’ve neglected this blog a little recently, so I think it’s about time that I brought a little “Festiveness” (is that even a word?  No?  Oh well…  I like it, so I’m going to use it anyway) to you, in the form of a list!  Afterall, who doesn’t love a good list?  🙂

Christmas just isn’t the same nowadays is it? We find it very difficult to feel that magic we felt as kids. The whole experience has changed so much over the last couple of decades, with Internet shopping, a million TV channels and a whole host of electronic gadgetry available to us, it’s easy to forget the simpler times.

In no particular order, let’s give you my top ten reasons as to why Christmas was so much better in the 80’s.

  1. TV Times / Radio Times


With no internet or smartphones the only way to find out what was coming up on TV was on teletext or in TV listing mags. The TV Times and Radio Times were the go to TV guides and of course, back in the day, you had to buy both to know what was on all the channels. When the bumper Christmas Edition was released no one could stop us sitting and circling everything we were going to watch over the festive period.

2.  Selection boxes


Let’s face it they were just better back then.  The bars were bigger, they tasted better and they had some awesome treats inside!  Oh, you also definitely got your moneys’ worth.

3.  The Argos catalogue


The Argos catalogue, or any other catalogue for that matter (remember Index?!).  We couldn’t browse the internet back then so this is what we used to find things to put on our list for Santa!

4.  The music


At least we had a couple of REAL Christmas N0.1’s in the 80s!  The charts were filled with Christmas classics from Shakin’ Stevens, The Pogues, Band Aid, Paul McCartney and Wham!

5.  The movies


We had some classic Christmas movies in the 80s.  They were that good they are repeated every year on TV!  Santa Claus The Movie was one of my favourites, at the time.  What was yours?

6.  TV Christmas specials


Christmas specials were the business in the 80s.  What ever your favourite TV show was, I bet they did a Christmas special. Some of the Kids Christmas Specials were a little interesting to say the least!

7.  Decorations


They may seem a bit old fashioned and out of style now but back in the day the louder, the shinier, and the brighter, the better!  These decorations were hung all over our house – attached to the ceiling with a drawing pin!

8.  Christmas shopping


Remember when we actually had to leave the house to do our Christmas Shopping?  The high streets were packed at this time of year with people trying to find the perfect gift for their loved ones.  Shops went all out with the Christmas decorations, and you couldn’t carry all of the FREE carrier bags you’d been given to get your purchases home!  Oh, and let’s not forget, that for some reason, it was also much easier to buy gifts to people too!

9.  Christmas present hunt


I’m sure kids all over the world still do this, but do you remember when your parents weren’t looking, you used to dive into the cupboards and wardrobes to try and get a sneak peak at all the gifts they had bought you? You’d have to be quick though before they sent them all off to Santa for him to deliver on Christmas Day!

10.  The toys


Toys in the 80s were just better.  There’s no doubt about it all of the things we had as kids were well…  Just cooler than the toys that are around now!  I never did get that Mr Frosty though (thanks mum) 😦  Ha ha x

20 ways kids make Christmas magical

It’s easy for Christmas BC (Before Children) to feel more about our hangovers and expanding waistlines (not to mention our overdrafts) than any real festive spirit. Then you have a child and all that changes. Not since you were a nipper, anxiously listening out for Father Christmas in your PJs, have you felt so infused with joy and enchantment.

Here are 20 ways that Christmas becomes magical when you’re a parent …

1. It used to drive you bonkers that Christmas started pretty much in October (oh, yes it did…) but now you can’t wait for the shops to bust out the Christmas lights and to hear Noddy Holder’s dulcet tones. Ooh, and the advent calendars, and the ads and the Christmas lists…  How many times have you rewritten yours?

2. Nothing can prepare you for the heart-melting sweetness of watching your little one in their very first Christmas nativity or school play, whether they have a starring role or not (it’s Gning’s first Nativity on 7 December).  Don’t forget your tissues!

Children's nativity play

3. Kids make it OK to sport clashing decorations and an OTT Christmas tree.  In fact, the more of mash-up of colours and styles of baubles, the better.

4. It’s FINALLY acceptable to buy chocolate decorations again. Just remember to leave a few for the kids, eh?

5. Their Christmas list to Santa reads like a stock-taking sheet of ToysRUs and Smyths combined.  But it’s the ‘and I’ve been soooo good’ line that really makes you smile.


6. Thank goodness this year you’ve got a good excuse for the misshapen mince pies.  All your toddler’s own work, yes?

7. You love channelling your inner-storyteller with stories of Father Christmas and seeing your children’s eyes widen with delight.

8. Creating your very own traditions is something you’ll share for a lifetime.  Maybe you write a Christmas poem together, or put on a little festive play for the grandparents?  Or leave one more present in the garden to be discovered – “Oh look!  Santa must have dropped it!”

9. Leaving a glass or milk (or something stronger) for Father Christmas, and a carrot for Rudolph, never loses it’s charm.  And neither does…

10. …drinking that something stronger on Christmas Eve, when the wee ones are safely asleep.

11. Nothing beats that amazing feeling of satisfaction on Christmas Eve when everything is wrapped and ready for the next day.  Savour the scene – because the next day it’s carnage!  Hope your recycling bins are empty…


12. Not to encourage your inner bah, humbug, but it’s a great time of year to dodge any tedious social engagements: honestly, babysitters are so unreliable…

13. Family films are no longer an indulgence, they’re mandatory.  From the Muppet’s Christmas Carol to Home Alone, it’s the perfect season to snuggle up on the sofa.

14. Talking of which, make your brood hot chocolate with marshmallows. And have one yourself.


15. Place your bets on what time Christmas Day officially starts.  And yes, it feels magical even though it’s 5am.

16. As you watch them open their pressies, you remember the fizzy feeling of thrill and excitement you had as a child.  And seeing the joy your children bring to their grandparents is priceless.

17. Eating together as a family is something to take time over and savour.  Who cares if the potatoes are a tiny bit burnt, or the sprouts a bit hard?  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated.


18. Snow is what dreams are made of when you’re five.  And snow at Christmas…  Cue delirious children and giggling parents!

19. The pleasure of tumbling back into a warm and cosy house after a good old stomp outside brings the colour to everyone’s cheeks.

20. Knowing at the close of Christmas day that the hard work is over for another year – and despite the odd flurry of tears and tantrums – they’ve had a pretty wonderful day.  Well done, you.  Only 365 days to go…


Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

In case you haven’t noticed by now, each post that I make throughout the month of December has a bit of an ongoing theme when it comes to titling each post.  Todays’ is aptly named as I have literally just “rocked around my Christmas tree”.

Today I officially started my Christmas shopping.  I’m rather pleased with myself; and I have literally just finished (as in 5 minutes ago) wrapping up everything that we had bought.

My little man was kind enough to assist me with the “sticky tape”, and he carefully placed each delicately wrapped item under the tree.


A ten month olds’ letter to Santa Claus

Please note that I did not write this. I take no credit what-so-ever for this post.  It was just too funny not to reblog…  (Credit at the end of the post)


Dear Santa,

 I am a ten-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my “Christmas List” to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want.  I could give two s#*ts about receiving stacking cups.

And I know you’re ready to make the joke about ten month-old babies and how all we want is the wrapping paper and the boxes.  Touché,Santa.  Touché.   We do, of course, want those things.  But I have a number of additional things I want very badly.

My list is enclosed below.  Have a lovely holiday.

-Ten Month-Old Baby

*          *          *

A Comprehensive List of The Things I Want For Christmas:

aa xmas gifts
Dearest Santa: For Christmas, I would like the following:

*          *          *

1.) This Laptop Cord


I want this laptop cord more than I have ever wanted anything.   Please.  I also want the power strip with the orange on/off button and the white label on the other cord pictured (the one not connected to the laptop).  I would be ok with just a bunch of electrical cords in general, but I would really love these specific ones that are located behind my mother’s desk next to the air-conditioner (whose cord I also want).

*           *           *

2.) This Wall Mount Entertainment Center


I have no idea why my mother does not want me to play with this thing, as it is obviously a child’s toy.  I would like one for my room.

*          *          *

3.) House Keys


I would love a set of house keys.  To eat, obviously.  Only metal house keys will do.  Please do not buy me plastic ones.  I am not an idiot.  I know that plastic house keys are not real keys.

*            *           *

4.) Everybody’s Eyeglasses


I pull these off the face of every person I meet, only to have them pried from my fingers and reclaimed by their original owners.   I would love a pair of my own.  Again, these are going to be for eating.

*          *           *

5.) The Contents of This Thing


I would love for the contents of this thing to be emptied out onto the floor– particularly things like used, wet cotton balls and discarded pieces of floss.   If you would like to just take the contents of this bin and transfer it directly into my stocking, that would also be fine.

*          *          *

6.) Handfuls of the Dog’s FurIMG_3127

This stuff is the best.  I keep trying to pull it off but she moves frequently, making collection difficult.  My favorite thing to do with it is put it in my mouth and then immediately realize that I didn’t want it in my mouth.

*          *          *

7.) The Hole in the Hallway Floorboard


Such a strange existential dilemma.  I spend hours looking at this hole and poking at it with my fingers.  I know that I cannot “have” a hole, as a hole is not a thing that can be had.  A hole is an absence.  And yet this is supposed to be a list of the things I want, and I want this hole in the hardwood floor the way Gandhi wanted peace.  The way the dog wants to lick my face.  The way my mother wants me to stop pulling off her eyeglasses.

*          *          *

8.) This Stuff, Which is All Over the Apartment


I have no idea what this stuff is.  All I know is that I want it in my hands and no sooner have I grasped its sweet, delicate softness than my mother comes running over yelling something like, “STOP TOUCHING THAT– HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO F*#%ING VACUUM THE G*#@&MN HALLWAY?”

*          *          *

9.) The Dog’s Food


Every time I get close to this, someone pulls me away.  If they don’t want me to eat it, why is it on the floor?

*          *          *

10.) One of These


No idea what these do, but it’s clearly a lot of fun, given that my mother never stops looking at it.

*          *          *

11.) Bobby Pins


These are my favorite!  If I had a nickel for every bobby pin I found on the floor I’d have double the number of little metal things I could put in my mouth because, go figure, I also totally love nickels.

*          *          *

Here’s the original post: The Ugly Volvo

Christmas on a Budget

Like a lot of other families this year, I will be struggling a lot this Christmas.  We’re almost at the middle of November, and I have gotten to the point where I am wondering if I will be able to get any Christmas presents at all…  And that includes for my 2 year old.  Although I am sure that I will be able to work something out, here are some hints and tips for you…

Spread the cost of Christmas

It may seem a little silly storing Christmas presents away in July, but paying a little bit every so often is easier on the bank balance than buying everything all at once and being left with the hefty bills over Winter.  If you’re super savvy, you could even start your Christmas shopping when the January sales start!

Homemade Decorations

Decorations are simple to make, and can save you a lot of money.  Not only can this be a good way to get your children involved in crafting, but you end up with treasured memories and festive keepsakes that you can use year after year.

Search for Vouchers Online

Some gifts can be particularly expensive, but by searching around online you may be able to find a code or voucher so that you can pick it up at a discounted price.  Before buying anything, always look to find it cheaper – it could be worth the search.

Check out Nearly New Boards

You can find ‘Nearly New Boards’ practically everywhere.  Check out ebay, amazon local marketplace, gumtree…

Make your own Christmas Cards

Making your own cards could be the perfect way for saving a bit of money, and it will get the kids involved in some quality crafting (and quiet) time.  Be as adventurous, or as simplistic, as you like.  Making your own cards means that you’re not limited to the designs that you find in the shops.

Ask Guests to chip in for Christmas Dinner

What?  Really?  Yes!  The costs of Christmas dinner can mount up quickly, so it may be a good idea to ask guests to help out a bit.  You could even allocate a different part of the meal to each guest if you’re having a large group of people over – so one person can be responsible for starters, one can bring around the pudding, one can bring the veg, and you sort out the turkey!  It is easy to be nervous about asking, but most people will be happy to chip in if it means the meal will be that ‘little more grand’ for everybody.  Oh…  And don’t forget to ask someone to bring the crackers!

Home-make whatever you can

On the subject of food, try to stay away from pre-packaged additions to your Christmas dinner.  Not only is it the healthier option, as you can be sure of everything that is going in to your meal, but it is actually a lot easier on your purse strings!  I’m sure you can manage rolling the pig up in the blanket, and there is NEVER a need for the taste of Smash when you can buy a whole bag of potatoes for less than a portion of pre-mashed spuds.

Don’t be afraid of Charity Shops

Christmas presents don’t have to cost a fortune; in fact, some of the best toys can come from car boot sales and charity shops.  Kids love opening presents so will be much more excited at opening ten £1 presents than one £10 gift.

Print off your own ‘Santa Stop Here’ sign

There are a variety of signs available these days for children to hang up outside their doors, telling Santa where he needs to stop.  Save money on a much desired sign by printing out your own one, allowing children to give it that personal touch by colouring it in themselves.

Make Gifts Yourself!

Get your creative juices flowing and save a bit of cash by making gifts yourself.  Whether it’s a bundle of sweet treats, a hamper you’ve collected goodies from your area or a special keepsake from your children, people always appreciate that you’ve put in a special effort to make their gift.  To give yourself ideas, why not research online?  I like to use ‘Pintrest’ for inspiration.

Stock up on PLAIN Wrapping Paper

It’s so easy to get carried away buying festive wrapping paper, only for it to go unused in the cupboard for a year, getting crumpled along the way, then to be ripped open and binned… What not buy paper with no occasion writing or image on it, so that it can be used any time of the year, and will never go to waste?  You could even decorate the paper yourself with drawings or stencils.

Plastic is Fantastic

No, it’s not a real tree, but a plastic tree can be used year after year, it can be as large (or as small) as you want, it doesn’t drop needles, and it saves you more money every year that you have it.  Not only that, but a plastic tree can look just as festive while bearing the brunt of over enthusiastic children just that little bit more than a real tree.

The True Meaning

Overall, too many people are too quick to judge what other people have for Christmas.  Whether it be food or gifts, they always forget the true meaning.  That, I suppose, is why I am not particularly worried about struggling this year.  I know that even without anything to give, my family are still going to have an amazing Christmas.

%d bloggers like this: