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.

The Works

It all started when I was browsing The Works for ideas for Christmas gifts, I’ve noticed lots of people on my various timelines saying they’ve started their Christmas shopping, one or two have even finished it! I felt I ought to catch up with them. I am subscribed to The Woks newsletter as they often have some excellent bargains and if there’s one thing I like to buy my children it is books.

So I started browsing for some great ideas and I came across the perfect book for the twins, The Disney Princess Storybook collection, a book filled with princess stories. My problem is do I buy 1 or 2? Then I noticed they had the Disney Christmas Storybook collection so I decided on one of each which they can then swap. It will also remind them of their fabulous Disneyland Paris trip this summer. At only £5 each I think these hardbacks are excellent value for money.

Disney Princess Storybook

Intrigued I searched a bit further and discovered they have toys and Christmas Crafts too

So here are my top ten Christmas gifts from The Works

1. Disney Storybooks – £5

2. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid game – Don’t Scramble the Egg Game £17.99 (Looks so much fun!)

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Leonardo construction set was £9.99 now £3.99

4. Amazing Space Rockets – was £12 buy for £5.99

5. Doctor Who special anniversary 11 doctors edition puzzle 500 pieces  – £4.99

6. Dinosaurs Love Underpants book and jigsaw – £3.00

7. Disney Frozen Art Case 52 pieces  – £4.99

8. The World of David Walliams boxset – was £34.95 buy for £19.99

9. Knit your own baubles kit – £6.99

10. The Stocking Filler section – go there and take a look.

Luckily when you have finished browsing and added a few things to your basket you’ll see they also sell Christmas wrapping paper, very nice prints and very reasonable prices, all delivered to your door, the only thing they don’t off is to wrap the stuff!

Have you found any online bargains yet?

cranberry flapjacks

If you, like me, still have a pot of cranberry sauce in the fridge leftover from Christmas and you’re not quite sure what to do with it, this could be the perfect solution.

Cranberry flapjacks, which are perfect for healthy snacks in lunch boxes, after school or with a cup of coffee.

They are so simple to make you won’t believe it and of course very versatile as you can change the cranberry filling with many other fruit fillings. I’ve added an apple puree idea in the variations section of the recipe card below

[yumprint-recipe id=’19’]And for an idea of the layering take a look here – all that’s needed is the final third of the oat mixture spread on top and presto in the oven it goes

cranberry flapjacks

memory jar 2014

I started 2013 knowing it was going to be a year filled with joy and laughter, there was to be a wedding, our wedding, holidays at Butlins, in France and a trip to Guernsey. I also knew that the tiny things in life are also special and one day I came across a fabulous idea – a Memory Jar.

What is a memory jar?

A Memory Jar is where you keep all the positive things that happen throughout your year. You pile them all in and at the end of the year you spend a little time and look back on what you have done and achieved. You re-read the funny things your children say, you relive the shows and films you went to through the ticket stubs, gasp again at the size of that cream tea you devoured on a bank holiday through a photo. Anything that meant something to you in a certain place at a certain time during the year, add a memory.

How do I make a memory jar?

Anything will do that will contain your memories, a glass jar with a colourful ribbon tied at the top? For 2013 I was late to the party, I didn’t have time to go out and get a jar so I finished off a box of my favourite Salted Caramel chocolates – a memory in itself – and started using that with every intention of changing further down the line. But I never got round to it :)

memory box 2013

We’ve just had Christmas, if you don’t have a glass jar to hand, don’t panic, an empty tin, tea caddy, chocolate box will do. Something you can put in an accessible place  and add bits as you go through your year.

There will be quieter times of the year when you have time to sit down and write notes and other moments will be frenetic where you stuff bits in with every intention of going back later and ‘tidying’ them up. Does it matter? You decide. I never tidied mine up and I did realise towards October that my box was too small. So get yourself a BIG container and start saving memories.

Can I just say put it somewhere that will nudge your memory to use it, kitchen window sill? Bedside table? A place you visit frequently.

Sometimes life can throw us a rough hand and everything seems to take on a grey hue, this will help you pick out the bits that are good and by focusing on them and not the grey you can see that life is good if you know where to look.

What shall I put in my jar?

I won’t run you through my entire year but here are my top memories that bring joy to me re-reading them :)

memories 2013

Post it notes with short written memories ie 1st Jan –

Funny things the kids say

Beautiful places you have been too

A lock of your husbands hair? A fallen button off his shirt (I didn’t get either if these in 2013 by the way)

A train ticket from the time he took you to a show.

An acorn – I have an acorn from a walk we did in the autumn in Camer Park close by looking for conkers, there were none left but I did come home with an acorn.

Flower petals from a bouquet or the apple tree you planted.

The name of that fantastic book that really touched you

memory jar