I realise how early it is to be talking about Christmas but we all know that before we know it, it will be knocking at the door. Trust me, if you are in retail or marketing you have already started speaking about Christmas and laying down plans to make your business boom in this period.

On that note, I am starting to receive ideas to share with you and of course, those that appeal to me are the ones that get a mention.

This post is all about family games because it is something my family make a big part of the day when we are spending time together. We have ping pong, a dart board, Pass the Pigs and many other fun games to play together… who didn’t have a go at Pie Face?

The Very Merry Christmas Game

very merry christmas game

Christmas crackers, Carol singers, Christmas presents and Brussel sprouts go into making the Very Merry Christmas game. The idea of the game is to scheme your way around the board to get all the best presents which you can only open at the end of the game. What lavish gifts will you find in your stocking? Or will it be full of naff tat?

Suitable for age 8+. 2 – 4 players can enjoy the game or it can be played in teams. The board game has 42 Cracker cards and 32 present cards to land on and collect, you can use the Christmas cracker cards to steal a better present from someone else’s stocking and if you land on a carol singers space you have to sing your favourite festive song to prevent losing one of your gifts.

As with all games, there is always the card you want to avoid – in the Very Merry Christmas game it’s the dreaded sprout cards which have a bad effect on you, watch out for those!

The Very Merry Christmas Game will be available from Debenhams and Amazon for £19.99

Mr & Mrs Family Edition

Mr and mrs family game

Think you know your partner, family and friends well? The Mr and Mrs Family game will put that knowledge to the test!

The game is aimed at players aged 10 and above and requires 2 or more players. It is based on the popular family TV show hosted by Phillip Schofield and has 100 question cards plus some blanks for you to write your own questions on.

Work your way through the questions and the Paddle round questions before arriving at the It’s a Match stage. There is sure to be a lot of laughter as you play, plus some blushing and some blank looks too!

Mr & Mrs Family Edition RRP £19.99 from Debenhams, John Lewis, WHSmith, Amazon, Next, House of Frasier

Mr & Mrs Pocket Edition RRP £9.99 from Debenhams, John Lewis, Amazon

Disclosure: I was sent the board games to review for the purpose of this post.

This sorry little lot above is what’s leftover from our Christmas food binge…before you think ‘that’s not too bad’ let me tell you we have been clearing up and finishing off since the start of 2011, first the fresh goods in the fridge, then we moved on to the freezer and now I’m left with cupboard goods, a lot of them of various chocolate products – all of which are not helpful to my 2011 diet which should be kicking in any day now with a bit of luck and willpower.

I also have a lot of cheese, different cheeses like Shropshire Blue, smelly, crumbly but utterly delicious, Cheddar with port and an Oak Smoked Cheddar to name a few all bought at the Taste of Christmas fair at Excel in early December so this afternoon these will see the end of their life cycle in the way of a Tarte au fromage, or cheese tart to you and me and that will do for my lunches for the next week or so.

It’s challenging isn’t it? Thinking what to do with a  ton of brussels, how many more ways can you present turkey and secretly polishing off Pringles and dips on the sly when no one’s looking. But with the new Super Me in mind, the one that loses half a stone, tightens up her jelly belly and strolls onto an exotic beach this summer looking like Ursula Andress in the famous Bond film. I must find homes for all this chocolate, some were gifts and shall be regifted out – so if you have a birthday soon, watch out :) Some are half eaten, like the Quality Street box, we’re left with the ones we don’t like so I shall pop them in Paul’s work bag and he and his colleagues can munch on them. The rest, well, if it’s not used by the sell-by date it may have to be binned.

Whilst on the subject of Christmas, hopefully for the last time for a fair long while. I forgot to write about my Secret Santa I received back in December. I know, there is no excuse acceptable in fact I don’t know why I enter these circles as I already know I’m stretched for time and finances but hey, the joy of receiving a gift is just too much for my childish mind and bang goes my name down again on another list. Note To Self – Stop it!

Anyway, I received in the manic rush up to Christmas a Lovely Dove gift set including Visible Effects body lotion, hand cream and a body brush all kept in a really nice gold wash bag which will come in very handy for keeping all my manicure bits together in one place. the creams are lovely and the hand cream especially nutritious for hands like mine – housework hands! I’m not sure who to thank yet because as per usual, I’m doing this all the wrong way round…but whilst we’re on the subject, I thought I’d check up on Worldstores to see when my gift was finally sent. December was snow time remember and I decided to have a look online and order to have it delivered direct. Easy right?

No! Due to my lack of promptness I didn’t order till the 9th (lazy, I know!) and then on the 16th I received an email saying, ‘They’re back in stock and will be shipped out this week.’ So I stopped worrying, I knew the post was bad but so did my receiver in Wednesbury, if it arrived shortly after Crimbo surely she’d understand.

Well, Gordon Bennet, I’ve just ‘tracked online’ and they haven’t even sent it yet!!! I phoned them immediately and got an automated voice telling me to email as they are receiving higher than normal calls…I bet you bloody are. So I have sent them a stinker of an email and hope to get my Mystic Ball whizzed over to Emma asap. I apologise to her in front of the whole blogosphere for my dreadful organisation skills and Worldstores even worse parcel delivery service!!! How could they do this to me? I’m mortified.

Have you had any similar experiences from ordering online? Is traditional High Street shopping the best and only way to make sure your gifts get there on time?

I’d like you to meet a couple of guys who could be referred to as nannys, or child carers but the place they hold in my girls’ hearts is so great that they have become inseparable, I would say as important as mummy and daddy…. please say hello to Teddy and Teddy

Please meet Teddy and Teddy

 

These two bears have been with us now for the past 2 and a half years, the girls really latched on to them at 6 months and haven’t let them out of their sight since. They are first item on any list if we happen to be going away, they come with us to relatives houses and act as friendly pointers to all family members as to which twin they are talking to. They are with us ALWAYS and come everywhere with us although I have managed to convince the girls that Teddy and Teddy are quite happy to sit on the sofa and wait while they eat but this does not prevent my freindly guys becoming very mucky indeed.

Obviously they look to me for their grooming, beauty routine and health checks and Small Teddy (Bessie’s) has had his blankie sewn on three times to date whereas Big Teddy( Alice’s) has started to unravel his nose so that will need a quick stitch in time any day now….see why I never get on Twitter now!

Of course its the washing machine that has become a major issue and until recently I managed to cleverly distracted the girls with colouring books, puzzles or a game whilst whipping the teddies up behind their backs into the washing machine and into the airing cupboard as quickly as possible hoping to return the guys to their mistresses tout de suite. But now the little ladies have cottoned on to my mischievous doings and watch me like a hawk. So just before Christmas I thought both Teddies were due a sprucing up ready for the festivities and I talked to the girls all about it, explaining a nice wash would make the teddies smell beautifully and they would be right and ready for Father Christmas but it was at the point where I took the teddies from the girls arms, shoved them in, shut the door saying bye bye teddy, have fun we’ll see you in an hour or so when all hell was let loose. TWO SCREAMING GIRLS…

‘Noooo, mummy. Look! Poor Teddy, getting wet mummy, Nooooooo.’

and on it went for the whole cycle. Every time I tried to distract them ‘ let’s go upstairs and play in the ball pit.’ Didn’t work.

I shut the door between us and the damned washing machine but this didn’t work either.

I took the girls out to play, fed them biscuits, bribed them mercilessly but they were having none of it. I have never been so pleased to see a cycle finish and yes, they got their teddies wet and there was no convincing them to dry them first.

My major problem here is, having shown the girls the knobs and buttons on the washing machine in my attempt to be open and honest about washing teddy and make them feel they were giving teddy a ‘bath’ I haven’t had one completed washing cycle since….I go to unload the machine to find the clothes haven’t rinsed at all, garments covered in washing powder or still half dry (half wash). I now have to watch the machine like a hawk whilst it is still in use and I also have to check the bin before loading the clothes for cars, books, mega blocks and any other toy they deem needs a wash…..

I have a wash on as we speak and they’ve only just realised during the spin. Thanks Crayola Colour Wonder mess free paint and thanks Aunty Jo for such a brilliant Christmas Present. Phew! At least that one will be completed :)

Do you think it’s to cold to dry outside today?

This is not a sponsored post just a special thank you to Aunty Jo for the train set, the mini lap top (Leap Frog) and the Colour Wonder :)