Today’s video is about how you can bring the Christmas markets home during lockdown; if we are indeed going to be in lockdown this Christmas.
I hope you enjoy and I would love to hear from you in the comments.
It is easy to go wild buying stocking fillers only to find that you either have too many stocking fillers or they’re way too big to fit
Here are some great ideas for kids stocking fillers that won’t break the bank.
Blind bags or surprise toys are all the rage at the moment with LOL dolls being the most coveted of the lot. At roughly £10 each they are a little pricy, however, the LOL doll range comes with smaller blind bags of clothes or accessories which are perfect for stockings. Check out your local toy store for many other doll blind bag choices that start around £3.99.
Bath and shower treats are a firm favourite in our house, especially when they are from our favourite store, Lush. They have the most amazing goodies for stocking fillers from as little £2.95 including this gorgeous
Rudolph nose shower bomb that will fill your shower with the smell of cherry and almond.
Polar bear soap smelling of luscious mint
My daughter can spend an age in Smiggle which means anything from their store is always a welcome find in her stocking. She especially loves scented pens and markers so these vibrant coloured unicorn markers would be ideal for any like minded little ladies.
Trinkets are always such a welcome gift. What little girl doesn’t like accessorizing regardless of their age. There are so many lovely places to buy age appropriate trinkets in colours and themes that will suit your little lady.
A wooly hat always comes in handy. Especially when it in a favourite colour or is printed with a favourite character.
Blind bags are popular with boys as well as girls and Lego never disappoints.
Pokemon cards are loved boys big and small. It’s a good job they are the perfect size for stocking fillers.
Cool stationery and accessories isn’t only for girls! Once again, Smiggle comes to the rescue with loads of cool stationery. Slapbands, key rings and pencil cases come in various age appropriate patterns and fit perfectly into a stocking.
Miniature cars have been a favourite for many years and they’re still a great choice. Hot Wheels cars can be found in supermarkets and toy stores all around the country.
A wooly hat in their favourite colour or sports team is always a good idea!
These ideas can be scaled up to suit tween and even teens. Little girls love LOL dolls but tweens and teens might like Funko Pops as a more grown up version of collecting dolls. The same goes for bath and body products, trinkets, stationery and winter accessories. The same for boys.
Another favourite for stocking fillers, especially in our house are these bad boys. In days of old, an orange could be found in stockings all over England but in 2020, a Terry’s chocolate orange is the way to go
What are your kids stocking filler favourites?
Just in case you missed the the very first episode of Top Tip Tuesday, here is is for your viewing pleasure!
Before we get into the preparation list for November here’s a quick reminder. If you haven’t already, check out the free ebook Saving Christmas 2020 to for Covid-friendly ideas for making merry during the pandemic.
And now for your checklist of Christmas plans! Don’t panic, we’ve got your back… well your Christmas actually!
- Get your kids to write their letters to Father Christmas ASAP because Santa’s cut off date is 10 November.
- Get shopping for the kids Christmas gifts now that they’re written their letters to Father Christmas. If your child is anxious about Christmas this year, check out the letter from Santa about Christmas 2020 to reassure them.
- Remember those new traditions you had visions of implementing this Christmas? Plan them in now and add anything you need to buy onto your shopping list. If you’re looking for some ideas for new traditions or are wondering how to have a fun festive season despite the pandemic, check out our free ebook Saving Christmas 2020 with loads of ideas for a Covid-friendly Christmas.
- Write all your new traditions or ideas for activities from the ebook onto a calendar. Get things like decorating the tree, Pantomime (see the ebook), Magical Winter’s evening, Nutcracker ballet and Sugar Plum fairy tea, movie nights, date nights in your calendar. Et voila! December festive month of fun taken care of!
- If you had Christmas photos taken of the family for Christmas cards, send them off for printing.
- If you’re doing a Christmas newsletter and print out ready to send with your cards.
- Finish writing Christmas cards and either buy postage online for each card or buy stamps. It’s probably worth posting them off early this year as so many people will be shopping online putting pressure on the Royal Mail.
- If there’s a collection going around for your child’s teacher, consider contributing or add a gift card or bottle of wine to your shopping list. Check with your school if they are allowing gifts to be brought in this year as there may be a procedure in place with regulations that need to be followed.
- Get your Christmas present shopping done ASAP. 2020 is not the year to leave this to the last minute.
- Aim to have wrapped all gifts by 30 November, if possible. Again, it’s been a strange old year so your gifts may not all have arrived yet. If at all possible, put batteries in the toys that require them before you wrap. That way they are ready to play with on Christmas morning.
- Plan to double at least three dinners so that you can freeze half for a December night when you are home late or too tired to cook. Things like spaghetti sauce, stews and curries freeze well.
- Do a clear out of the kid’s rooms to not only recycle or toss old broken toys but look for gently loved toys that your children are happy to donate to those less fortunate.
- See which charities you would like to support during this time. You might like to make an online donation or take advantage of supermarket collections of toys or food for those less fortunate.
- If you order in any pre-made foods from supermarket catalogues get your order in.
- Did you get your advent calendars last month? If not, get them asap!
- Plan in when to make edible gifts, write a list of ingredients and write dates of when they need to be made on your calendar.
- Start putting away any normal home décor in preparation for Christmas decorating.
- Schedule in any cleaning duties you like to do before you start decorating.
- Get down the Christmas decorations down. Double check the lights still work!
- If you’re in a place of work, the Secret Santa names should be out – buy your Secret Santa gift.
- This may be a moot point, but if you are travelling over Christmas, make plans for pet care for pets.
- Download a Christmas ring tone for your phone if you haven’t already done so!
- Finalise your Spotify Christmas playlist.
- Continue adding a few non-perishables towards Christmas to your weekly grocery shopping. Don’t forget to add hot chocolate, squirty cream, candy canes and sprinkles for your hot chocolate station. Add medications like antacids, anti-nausea meds, hangover/stomach upset remedies like Lucozade and pain medication to your shopping list. We once had food poisoning on Christmas day from funky eggs and it’s forever etched in my memory as the most wretched Christmas ever! Be prepared!
- Is there anything you can make ahead and freeze towards the North Pole Breakfast or Christmas dinner? You can freeze things like Braised red cabbage, cauliflower cheese, creamed spinach, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, pigs in blankets, homemade sausage rolls, pastry for mince pies, gingerbread cookie dough and so much more.
- Add disposable oven trays to your shopping list to cook your Christmas meats in! Nobody wants to be scrubbing oven dishes on Christmas day!
- Get a festive date night booked into your calendar for you and your partner. It doesn’t have to be to go out-out but at least if it’s in the calendar you are more likely to do it. You could get a cheeky take away or do a cheese and wine night with a Christmas film.
- Finalize Elf on the Shelf plans!
- On 30 November, locate where you have hidden the advent calendars and the Elf on the Shelf and set these up after the children have gone to bed. If you have the North Pole Breakfast scheduled for 1 December then get this set up too.
- Get your hot chocolate station ready to set up for 1 December.
Hello my Christmassy friends!
I’m so excited to be able to share the latest bauble on The Best Christmas Yet tree… the Youtube channel!
The Best Christmas Yet has been a dream for so very long. I started the Facebook group in 2013 and I had no idea it would lead to a larger dream of a blog, a Youtube channel and, if I have my way, there will be many more baubles on The Best Christmas Yet tree. Watch this space for more fantastic things to come!
I’m so excited and grateful that you are on this journey with me!
I’m sure you will all agree, this year has been difficult for so many of us and in particular, it has been difficult for our children. They are learning and adapting to the new normal every day and doing their best to keep their little heads held high. However, when I spoke to Santa Claus he said he was very concerned that some children think that Christmas is cancelled! He said he has received letters from worried little souls the world over who are afraid he won’t be visiting them this year and he wanted to set the record straight. Since I know how busy it must for Santa at the moment, I promised to post this letter on my blog so you can print it off for your little ones.
You will find there is a letter for a single child and one for multiple children so be sure you pick the right one.
To print, simply right click on the letter you wish to print and save it to your desktop. Then print as you normally do.
There are several ways you could present this letter to your kids. You could leave the letter on the mantlepiece or on their pillow with a candy cane surrounded by some fake snow or glitter to make it magical.
Letter for one child
Letter for multiple children:
However you choose for your child to find this special letter from Santa, be sure they get the message.
Christmas is certainly not cancelled!
I found this song on youtube and it just sums up the year and it also happens to the blog’s name sake.
I hope you enjoy!
When my daughter was a toddler it was so hard to restrain myself from buying too many stocking stuffers. There were so many cute little things I was convinced she needed! I’ve learned in subsequent years to rein myself but I still find it tricky. Here are 5 great ideas for stocking fillers that won’t break the bank.
When it comes to crayons, good old Crayola is always a top choice. These bath crayons are non-toxic and will not only provide hours of good clean fun but will be safe if your little one decides to taste one.
An excellent choice for stocking fillers, these Early Learning Centre stacking cups come in a pack of 10 and are recommended from 6 months to 3 years. They are excellent in the bath or sandpit for pouring, scooping and moulding. The ten colourful colours help with learning colour names, hand eye co-ordination and problem solving.
Shape sorting eggs
Oh how my daughter loved these! Your little one will spend many hours pulling these Early Learning Centre eggs apart matching an sorting. There are great opportunities to learn about shapes and colours too. This gift is great for hand eye co-ordination, problem solving and even role-play.
Books are always a good gift for children and those who cannot yet read are no exception. The Jellycat Jungly Tails Children’s Soft Book is suitable from birth, is safe for little hands and boasts excellent sensory learning from the different textures. There are lots of ways for toddlers to learn colours, animal names and sounds making this an ideas stocking filler.
What is not to love about the magic of finger puppets? This 5 pack of Jungle animal finger puppets are sure to get your toddler’s imagination engaged. They are suitable from birth and cute enough to get any toddler babbling in conversation to their finger puppet pals.
There are of course many more fantastic stocking ideas out there and I’d love to hear which are your favourites. Leave me a comment below and let me know.
We all know what to get the people on our Christmas lists for the most part, but what about the eco-conscious recipient? What do you get someone who tries to live in as environmentally friendly way as possible? Here are 5 ideas to warm the heart of your eco-warrior.
POLU Bamboo fibre coffee cups
Polu was founded by two Australians who produce gorgeously designed sustainable and ethically sound alternatives to single use products. These reusable cups are 455ml (or grande) and are made from ethical bamboo fibre. They come with their own sleeve negating the need to use a cardboard sleeve. They are compostable, BPA free and dishwasher safe. With loads of colours and designs to choose from, what’s not to love?
Packed lunches just got eco-friendly! Chowie have the perfect reusable lunchbox made of from fully recyclable wheat fibre. Each lunchbox comes with a fork and spoon and has a rubber vacuum seal to keep lunches fresh and leak free. Generous dimension of 21cm x 14.5cm x 7.5cm mean even those with a hearty appetite won’t go hungry. Chose from green, pink and naked colours.
GREEN ISLAND cotton mesh produce bags (set of 3)
It’s incredible how something as simple as the weekly grocery shop can incur so much single use plastic waste. The folks at Green Island came to the rescue! You’ll no longer need single use plastic bags with these durable, drawstring, cotton mesh produce bags. These bags are machine washable at 30 degrees making them a breeze to look after. Size are: 28 x 20cm, 28 x 34cm, 28 x 44cm.
Soap Daze Harmony soap on a rope
If you thought soap on a rope was a thing of the past, think again! They’re back! Did they ever leave?
These large eco-friendly soaps are handmade in Devon, UK and have a useful waxed cotton rope that you can hang in the shower. These vegan friendly soaps contain natural ingredients and use materials that are sustainably sourced. Each of these glorious soaps weights a minimum of 185g and comes in a range of six scents with each soap containing different ingredients to suit all skin types.
While researching candles for this article, I happened upon Irusu candles and fell in love with the packaging. The aesthetic is gorgeous; there’s something about the apothecary style look that has me sold just looking at it. With names like Dusk, Dawn and Earth, you just know these products are made with eco-friendly at the forefront of the creator’s mind.
Irusu, meaning ‘to pretend to not be home when someone knocks at your door;’ create hand blended and poured soy wax candles with essential oils. They’re ethically made, vegan and cruelty free. It’s little wonder with all this going for them they have been featured in The Sunday Times Style, Elle, The Guardian and the Independent.
I hope I have inspired you with these eco-friendly gifts for those eco-conscious recipients on your gift list this Christmas.
If you have any other ideas for great eco-friendly gifts, leave them in the comments below.