christmas decorations - kids

Every year we get the boxes down from the loft containing all the necessary for decorating our home and spreading some christmas cheer. The tree, the tinsel, the baubles collected over the years and the wreath but every year I always manage to buy one or two things to add to the collection. I just can’t help myself.

John Lewis invited me to take a look at their Christmas selection online and asked me to choose some special decorations.

christmas wreath

I wasn’t happy with the wreath I had and John Lewis have so many to choose from that I invested in a new one, here it is hanging on the door, what do you think?

cushion stag head

With the arrival of our new sofa this autumn I have had my eye on some new cushions too (even if I don’t strictly need them) Anyway, I fell in love with this one, isn’t he gorgeous? the teddies seem to think so.

This year I have bought the girls a small tree for their bedroom and have enjoyed looking at the hundreds of decorations on sale, I went for these in the end but it wasn’t easy deciding.

christmas tree

 

I have hung some of our old favourites including this Christmas garland with letters cut from card and held up with pegs.

christmas garland

We have our train on display which the girls adore and of course our new Disney Princess advent calendar too.

Advent calendar train

We’re feeling quite festive, are you?

In fact why don’t you have some of my chocolate salami? Or get lots of other lovely ideas from my Pinterest Christmas board

chocolate salami

Disclosure: John Lewis have given me an allowance to buy Christmas decorations for the purpose of this post.

NSPCC logo letter to Santa

What lengths do you go to to keep the magic of Santa alive in your children’s heart?

As you know I’ve been working with the NSPCC on the run up to Christmas 2014 and my girls were delighted to receive their Letters from Santa the other week. They have even written replies and left them under the tree for him to find on Christmas Eve.

Request your Letter from Santa for a suggested donation of £5 to the NSPCC or by calling 0845 839 9304 until 15 December. Please read here why your donation is so important and where the money goes to help.

Keeping the magic alive

We all know it won’t be long before they discover the truth and so let’s make the most of it whilst we still can. The YouGov survey of 2,007 parents with children aged 18 and under, conducted by the NSPCC for their Christmas ‘Letter from Santa’ fundraising campaign revealed

NSPCC family gifts

The UK top 10 festive family traditions

Leaving something out on Christmas Eve for Santa and his reindeers. 70%

Hand-writing a letter to Santa  51%

Wrapping Christmas presents in different wrapping paper so that your children know which presents are from Santa. 39%

Opening a letter ‘from Santa’ with your children. 36%

Watching Elf. 35%

Sprinkling reindeer food on the front garden. 31%

Opening one present from under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. 30%

Making homemade gifts with your children for family members. 27%

Watching the Queen’s speech. 22%

Watching It’s a Wonderful Life. 13%

It would seem Christmas traditions are alive and well and increasing all the time as parents want to create more than what they had as children for their own offspring.

NSPCC Top Ten Family Christmas Traditions Infographic portrait

NSPCC Chief Executive, Peter Wanless, said: “It’s great to see that treasured traditions such as Christmas letters dominate the top five in the poll with over half of UK children writing a letter to Santa.

“However, just a third actually get a reply from Mr Claus, which is why the NSPCC is offering to deliver a personalised Letter from Santa for a suggested donation of just £5 to help keep the magic of Christmas alive for all children.”

About the NSPCC:

The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity specialising in child protection. Our vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK and we make a difference for all children by standing up for their rights, listening to them, helping them when they need us and by making them safe. The NSPCC runs projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands to help vulnerable children. We also provide ChildLine, the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline and online service for children and young people and a helpline for adults who are worried about a child or want advice.

If you have concerns about a child or young person, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, text 88858 or visit www.nspcc.org.uk

Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk

Disney advent calendar

I don’t know about you but I think there is way too much chocolate at this time of year and I am a chocolate lover trust me.

Trouble is, I have chocolates for the tree, selection boxes for their stockings, I have tubs of £4 chocolates sitting in the cupboards waiting to come out and I know the twins will receive a lot more chocolate; so much we’ll still be munching through it all way into the new year.

So I was really pleased to discover the Disney Advent Calendar which still has daily doors to open but behind each door instead of a piece of chocolate there is a new addition that goes up into making the overall princess themed display.

My girls love the Disney princesses and I know they will play with this for days and days and even long after Christmas has gone. I’m looking forward to giving it to them.

The finished display features all of the favourite Disney princesses. A total of 8 Disney princess characters and 16 pop out accessories all go into creating a magical Christmas kingdom.

And no chocolate.

And no ugly foil calendars hanging around the house.

And like I said we have tons of chocolate anyway, who needs even more?

Advent calendar train

We will still be doing our Train advent calendar anyway with a To Do every day to help us pass the time on the run up to Christmas.

You can get one on Amazon and it’s currently reduced to £16.50 from £19.99 Here’s an affiliate link direct to the product

Disclosure: I was sent a Disney princess advent calendar for the purpose of this post. If you click on the affiliate link above and order I will be renumerated.

NSPCC logo letter to Santa

In my role as Ambassador of the NSPCC Letter to Santa campaign it’s my job to persuade you to ‘invest’ in these delightful messages from the Big Man himself. Last time I showed you my letter from Santa so you had an idea of what to expect. Trust me, the girls were wide eyed when they read it and I know they are going to love receiving their own ones too.

The letter can be sent all over the world for a suggested donation of £5.

Where is your money spent?

Some of the money raised will go towards the costs of the vital lifeline for vulnerable children, the NSPCC ChildLine providing someone for them to turn to when they need advice and support, this Christmas and beyond.

Why is ChildLine important?

ChildLine is all some children have to reach out when they are feeling so low and abandoned. The NSPCC have very kindly sent me through some composites based on the sorts of things children talk about when they contact ChildLine. Please read them.

woman on phone

Disclosure: All names and potentially identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the child or young person. Snapshots are created from real ChildLine contacts but are not necessarily direct quotes from the young person.

I started self-harming when my Mum left us. Mum and Dad were always fighting and Mum had a problem with alcohol. Mum was always there for me, and now I don’t see her anymore. Dad won’t let me have any contact with her. I don’t want to tell my dad how I feel as I don’t want to upset him. It doesn’t feel good to cut but I need to. I think it might bring Mum back to me and it allows me space to think and concentrate on something else. It feels good talking to ChildLine as I can say how I feel and ChildLine listens to me. (Teenage female)

girl on phone

When I get angry I self-harm. I get angry when I am called names at school. Self-harming makes the anger go away. I have tried other ways of coping but nothing works. Talking to ChildLine helps as I have no-one else to talk to. (Teenage female)

I have been cutting for a while, I can’t talk to my parents about it as they are the reason I self-harm. My parents shout at me, I feel so much pressure, cutting is a real release for me. I have contacted ChildLine as I needed to tell someone, no-one else understands me.

I’m really feeling suicidal at the moment. I have been to hospital before as I have tried to end my life by taking an overdose. I’m bullied at school and I’m feeling so angry with my dad. He drinks a lot and moved away a year ago. Sometimes going for a walk can help and I’m really close to my mum. I have medication for my severe depression, but I really feel like it isn’t working. I’m so glad ChildLine can help me. (Teenage male)

boy on phone

I cut myself the other day. I cut because some people at school made me feel angry. When I get urges to self-harm, it’s like a pain I can’t ignore and I need to set it free. No-one knows I self-harm, I don’t feel I can tell anyone – only ChildLine. I have tried to write things down, but the words don’t come out. I worry sometimes that I could get infections from cutting. (Teenage female)

Director of the NSPCC’s ChildLine service, Peter Liver, said: “Christmas is a magical time for most children, full of family traditions and fun. However, as we know from the thousands of children who contact us throughout the festive period, for some it can be an incredibly difficult and lonely time.

Every £5 raised by Letter from Santa could help ChildLine be there whenever a child seeks help either online or by phone.

Every £12 raised could help trained ChildLine Schools Service volunteers talk to one primary school child about abuse, giving them the confidence to talk and showing them who’s ready to listen.

Every £50 raised could help an NSPCC practitioner deliver two hours of telephone support to anyone with concerns about a child.

Where do I order my letter from Santa?

Santa’s mailroom is open until 15 December 2014, and all those who request a Letter from Santa this year will be entered into a draw to win a Center Parcs holiday for a family of four.

Request your Letter from Santa from 1 October 2014 at www.nspcc.org.uk/santa or by calling 0845 839 9304.

About the NSPCC:

The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity specialising in child protection. Our vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK and we make a difference for all children by standing up for their rights, listening to them, helping them when they need us and by making them safe. The NSPCC runs projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands to help vulnerable children. We also provide ChildLine, the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline and online service for children and young people and a helpline for adults who are worried about a child or want advice.

If you have concerns about a child or young person, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, text 88858 or visit www.nspcc.org.uk

Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk

All image credits to Jon Challicom

NSPCC logo letter to Santa

Prepare yourselves as I am about to mention the Christmas word out loud and it’s all for a very good cause so I hope you’ll go lightly on me.

I feel very honoured to have been asked by the NSPCC to become one of their Letter to Santa Ambassador as they fire up their very worthy campaign on the lead up to Christmas.

I love Christmas and all that goes with it, the food, the drink, the family get togethers but above all I am totally in love with the Magic of Christmas and I like to spend a lot of time thinking about how I can make this Christmas special for my children, a Christmas to remember.

What parents do to convince Santa exists

  • Wrap presents in different paper
  • Eat Santa’s mince pie and drink a small shot of whisky on Christmas Eve.
  • Bring Elves into the house to watch the children being good and report back to the Big Man.
  • Have a Magic Key for Santa so he can enter the home if there is no fireplace
  • Make some reindeer food to leave for the reindeers in the garden
  • Leave reindeer tracks in the garden
  • Make snowy footprints around the house
  • Make a Christmas Eve parcel left by the elves – a last reminder who will be passing by during the night.

The ideas are plentiful but truth is we all want to create a magical moment that will live forever in our children’s hearts. A moment in time for them to look back on forever. I still remember my Christmas’s and the excitement of finding my stocking at the end of my bed – thanks Mum. In fact one of the tasks we (my brothers and I) completed every year on the lead up to Christmas was the Letter to Santa asking very kindly what we would like for Christmas.

NSPCC gifts

NSPCC teams up with Santa to help keep the magic of Christmas alive 

To help keep the magic of Christmas alive, the NSPCC has teamed up with Santa to send personalised letters to children both here in the UK and around the world – all for a suggested donation of just £5.

Requesting an NSPCC Letter from Santa is the perfect way to support a good cause and bring a smile to a child’s face this Christmas. Simply choose from a selection of colourful, beautifully illustrated styles and provide the child’s name, age, gender and a few other details, and Santa will write a personalised letter which will be delivered by ‘Rudolph mail’.

 

Baby’s First Christmas

Santa has even written a special poem to celebrate Baby’s First Christmas – a keepsake to treasure for years to come.

NSPCC Christmas tree

Remembering those less fortunate

Director of the NSPCC’s ChildLine service, Peter Liver reminds us that “Christmas is a magical time for most children, full of family traditions and fun. However, as we know from the thousands of children who contact us throughout the festive period, for some it can be an incredibly difficult and lonely time.”

“Help keep the magic of Christmas alive for a child you know by requesting a Letter from Santa and make a donation to help us be there for vulnerable children across the UK, providing someone for them to turn to when they need advice and support, this Christmas and beyond.”

Every £5 raised by Letter from Santa could help ChildLine be there whenever a child seeks help either online or by phone.

Every £12 raised could help trained ChildLine Schools Service volunteers talk to one primary school child about abuse, giving them the confidence to talk and showing them who’s ready to listen.

Every £50 raised could help an NSPCC practitioner deliver two hours of telephone support to anyone with concerns about a child.

How can you help?

Santa’s mailroom is open until 15 December 2014, and all those who request a Letter from Santa this year will be entered into a draw to win a Center Parcs holiday for a family of four.

Request your Letter from Santa from 1 October 2014 at www.nspcc.org.uk/santa or by calling 0845 839 9304.

NSPCC family gifts

Letter from Santa

Here’s my letter from Santa to give you an idea of what it looks like. I was really amazed at the thought that had gone into it and the girls were totally bowled over at how lucky I had been. They would love something like this too.

Letter from Santa

About the NSPCC

The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity specialising in child protection. Our vision is to end cruelty to children in the UK and we make a difference for all children by standing up for their rights, listening to them, helping them when they need us and by making them safe. The NSPCC runs projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands to help vulnerable children. We also provide ChildLine, the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline and online service for children and young people and a helpline for adults who are worried about a child or want advice.