One of my favourite things about Christmas is giving gifts. Some of these are shop bought and some I’ve made myself. If you have a small budget or want to make something thoughtful, making a gift yourself can be a great option. One really nice gift I like to make is a gingerbread decoration gift set. These are really simple to make and the gift receiver can have fun decorating their gift themselves.

Gingerbread Decoration Kit

This is the perfect gift for children, not only do they get something nice to eat or decorate their tree, it also gives them something creative to do. I included some tubes of icing and a little jar of sprinkles.

You will need:

225g flour

1tsp ground ginger

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

85g butter

170g Golden Syrup

How to Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºc
  2. Sieve together the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda. Put aside.
  3. Melt the butter and syrup in a pan on a low heat.
  4. Add to the dry ingredients and ix until it forms a dough.
  5. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
  6. Make a hole in each biscuit with a skewer.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Thread each cookie with some ribbon or string and arrange in a gift box with a jar of sprinkles and some tubes of icing.

Please let me know if you give this a try, or if you have any other festive homemade gifts that you’d recommend.

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For the last couple of years, I’ve had the same Christmas decoration theme. It makes sense to reuse decorations, rather than buying a whole new set every year. However this time round, I’m a bit sick of our old red and white theme and want to go for something completely different. Aldi was a great place to start.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsI’m going to use some of our old decorations – the really special ones and ones that have a more neutral colour scheme. But having a new theme, does give me an excuse to pick out lots of new and exciting decorations for our tree.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsLast year I completely missed out on Aldi’s lovely Christmas offering. They always have really pretty glass baubles which remind me of classic vintage ones, but often with a more modern theme. Last year they had everything from a cute robot to a fox. I wasn’t going to miss out this year, so Rob popped into Aldi and picked me us up loads of fabulous baubles.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsThey come in sets of 3 and each box costs £2.99, so they really are a great price. I love the mix of bright colours alongside classic gold and silvers and I think for an eclectic tree, they mix and match really well.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsMy favourite is the super kitsch set which comes with a donut, ice-cream and lolly pop. The colours are lovely and would work well alongside traditional colourful vintage decorations.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsThe more traditional sets include pinecones and this sweet little white fox. Another very kitsch set comes with a car sacked with gifts, a pineapple and even a flamingo.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsI love the set which comes with a teddy, a nutcracker and a vintage style Santa head. These really remind me of original vintage pieces that I’ve seen. Maybe one day I can put the real thing on the tree alongside these.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsI can’t wait to start decorating the tree and sharing the finished result with you. Over the next week, I’m hoping to have all the decorations up around the house.

Aldi Christmas DecorationsWhere are your favourite places to buy Christmas decorations? Have you seen any that would work well with my new Christmas look?

Aldi Christmas DecorationsCheck back every day in December, as I continue to post daily for Blogmas. There will be loads of recipes, cocktails, decorations and festive shenanigans.

Find all things Christmas on the Aldi website.

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As I mentioned in yesterdays Blogmas post, one of the things I like most about Christmas is all the little traditions. Making memories is important to me and this is one time of year where it’s easy to spend lots of time having fun with the kids.

Elf on the shelfOne tradition I’ve never tried is Elf on the Shelf. Since the girls asked for an elf this year, I picked one up. We had a lovely time reading the story and in the end they girls decided to name our elf Gavin 😉 .

Every day in December Gavin will hide somewhere for the girls to find in the morning. I’m looking forward to seeing what mischief he gets up to. I’ll keep you all updated on his antics over Blogmas.

Elf on the shelfIf you have an elf, please let me know some ideas for things he can do! I’ve been looking on Pinterest and some other people blogs, but I’m hoping Gavin will come up with some original ideas too!

And what about other Christmas plans and traditions? This weekend we are planning to pick up our tree. Its my birthday tomorrow and so I’d like to go somewhere fun, where we can choose the perfect tree. I’m also going to go for a new decorating theme this year. We’ve done scan red and white so many times and this year I’d like to go for something a bit more quirky and retro.

Here’s a video from a couple of years ago of the kids decorating the tree. I can’t believe how little they look! Last year we had a real tree and I prepared it, so picking out a tree together will definitely be a new and important tradition. I’ll keep you updated on tree and decoration progress.

What Christmas traditions do you and your family have?

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Having been a little absent from the blog recently, I’ve decided to set myself a little challenge. If you’ve been reading for a few years, you’ll know me and blog challenges don’t actually mix very well! But I have decided to blog every day in December until Christmas. I nearly managed Blogmas last year and hopefully this year I will succeed.

Sadly not a real invitation, just one from my Basic Invite review! But the blog will definitely be getting into the festive spirit. I want to share lots of making and baking ideas, as well as things I’m doing with the kids to enjoy the season.

I love traditions and making the most of all the fun parts of Christmas. Obviously I love giving and receiving gifts, but there is so much more to this time of year than that. For Christians it is an important festival and if you’re not religious it is a time to have fun with friends and family, to cook and eat and generally just be merry.

So join me over the next few weeks as I deck the halls, listen to cheesy music, watch old movies and just have lots and lots of fun.

Do you think I’ll manage to complete blogmas this year?

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I can’t believe its already that time of year! But Christmas is just a few weeks away now and its time to start thinking of lovely thoughtful gifts for our favourite people. I’m planning to do all my shopping online and in good time. There’s nothing worse that getting stressed about something as lovely as Christmas! I like to give useful gifts that can be enjoyed and used. As a big tea drinker myself, I thought some gifts for tea lovers, would be a great place to start.

I know in my house, tea and mugs are something that are constantly being used and enjoyed. I love creating that perfect cuppa, with a combination of an excellent blend and a gorgeous mug. I’ve searched out some Christmas treats from a few of my favourite shops, so you can find the perfect gift for the tea lovers in your life.

Christmas Gifts For Tea Lovers

Top Row –

Whittard Christmas TeaCath Kidston Snowman MugFortnum and Mason Spiced Tea

Second Row –

Laura Ashley Reindeer Mug – Crabtree and Evenlyn Shortbread – Whittard Mulled Wine

Third Row –

Fortnum and Mason Ruby Red InfusionWhittard BaubleHarrods Christmas Mug

Fourth Row –

Twinings Spiced ChaiEmma Bridgewater Tiny Initial MugTwinings Christmas Tea

Fifth Row –

Laura Ashley Snowman MugHarrods Spiced Black TeaT2 Christmas Breakfast Tea

I hope you like my choices. These are all things I would love to give and receive myself. I always think its nice when tea comes in gorgeous caddies that I can reuse and I absolutely adore some of the gorgeous tins featured here. I also can’t resist a novelty mug. Do you have a tea lover in your life? Which tea do you think would make the perfect gift for them? What other gift guides would you like to see on the blog?

For more tea related posts, check out my Tea section.

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