christmas


Christmas, it is all about the presence not the presents 1

The older I get the more I realise that Christmas is not all about what you give or get, but about being there with your family. This was compounded with a health scare and even more when my mum died at Christmas four years ago.  So now MadDad and I focus on our presence rather than the presents. Growing up my dad always told us the following rules and this is something we have tried to instill in our children.


Cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice 3

We live in Northern England and during this time of year it is dark and we love to light up our home with candles and decided to make some cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice.  Maxi decided to make them in the shape of the sun to celebrate the shortest day and welcome the lengthening of the hours of sun we would receive. We used our white clay recipe, which is really easy to make, so much so that Maxi made it himself and once the dough had cooled down we used cookie cutters to shape our tealight holders.


Be inspired to cook with your kids and win an eBay voucher 4

I hope that my previous post about crafting with your kids this Christmas inspired you to get creative with your kids.  Now for part two! So what else I am inspired by at this time of year, well if you are a regular reader then it will come as no surprise to you that it is getting kids in to the kitchen and creating with them, baking making and having fun. Creativity is part of my make up.  It runs through my veins and has since I had the boys.  One of the biggest things I want my kids to remember is having fun making things.  I also want to to have more »


Holidays are coming – Give a little happiness 11

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming, holidays are coming, its always the real thing…………… You know when the Coke advert comes on that Christmas is on it’s way and now even the Coke lorry tours the country.  We have never seen it, but Cass from Diary of a Frugal Family has. This year however, I have to say that I adore Coca Cola’s new advert, has made a big impact in The Mad House.  The mini mads are forever to be found singing “let’s make someone happy”.  Have you seen it?


Robin Thumbprint Mugs 4

Every year we make fingerprint mugs for the teachers for Christmas.  In the past we have made Reindeer mugs and flower mugs, pigs, caterpillars and bees.  This year we decided to do Robin’s like last years Robin cards.  These Robin thumbprint mugs are so simple to make and really effective for kids of all ages.   How to make Robin Thumbprint Mugs


Putting together a Christmas Eve Hamper and other Christmas Eve Tradition 16

One of our Mad House traditions carried over from my own childhood is new night wear on Christmas Eve so that we always look smart in the photo’s on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is a magical time, full of excitement and awe and we have a Christmas Eve party each year with my best Friend and her four boys, so it is a wonderful time in The Mad House. For the last five years or so the boys have been given a mini hamper on Christmas Eve Morning for things to see them throughout the day.


How to make cake case Christmas trees 17

Christmas is a great time for encouraging kids to get creative and a great way to do this is to present them with an #invitation to create.  These Christmas trees decorated with cake cases are so easy to make and can be adapted for kids of all ages. How to make Cake case Christmas trees


Making the most of the magic 2

One of the highlights of having children is getting to re-live the excitement of Christmas. That magic and mystery that gets lost somewhere around the dawn of our teenage years is suddenly back and it’s so much fun to experience it again, this time as a parent. It feels imperative to make the most of it while it lasts, as with all the fleeting joys of childhood. What would Christmas be without the wonder of it all? With so many fond memories of our own Christmases back in the days of innocence when we believed in Father Christmas and his team of loyal elves working away in the North Pole, there’s more »


Movies, Festive Popcorn and Festive Popcorn boxes -#Spon 16

One of our favorite family tradition is all snuggling up together and enjoying a family film and to celebrate this we are working with Sky Movies this Christmas and sharing their personalised Sky Movies #MovieMe Christmas Cards, along with our festive sugar and spice seasoning and free popcorn box printables.


Animal Safe Magic Reindeer food and free printable labels 23

Reindeer food is one of our Christmas Eve traditions and we love to make it as much as the boys love sprinkling it outside as treats for the reindeer.    We have great fun each year making it for family and friends and this year I am excited to share with you 7 great free printable labels for you designed by The Purple Pumpkin Blog using the same designs as our Advent Acts of Kindness. Traditionally it is just oats (oatmeal) and glitter, but, we live in a pretty rural area and we stopped putting glitter in our reindeer food a few years back to protect the local wildlife.  Now we more »


Christmas Memories Book and Christmas reflections printable 16

Can you remember what you got for Christmas last year or the year before?  I know that I can’t.  In fact as I get older these things seem more and more important to me, so this year I am going to create a Christmas memories book for us to use. Sort of like a scrapbook where we can record our memories of the festive season.  Experiences and people that made it special. I always promise that I will do scrapbooks, but I never seen to have the time, so I am happy for this to be quick and simple and I am going to pop it in a bag in the advent more »


Tree decorations inspired by The Fir Tree 24

We love making decorations as a family for our Christmas tree and this year we are joining in again with 10 days of kid made ornaments and this year they are inspired by a book.  So ours are tree decorations inspired by The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson. Each year we buy new christmas books for our Advent basket.  This year I bought a book for me.  It is a beautifully illustrated edition of The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson.


Make your own Christmas Crackers 19

One of our family traditions is homemade christmas crackers.  Since as long as I can remember we had small cracker presents on the dining table usually made by my mum.  They were precious things that were small and once I got older we each took a turn year on year to make the crackers and full them with cracker presents. When Wrap.me sent me a couple of sheets of their amazing personalised instagram wrapping paper I knew just what I wanted to make with them……. Christmas Crackers. How to make Christmas Crackers


Make an Advent Candle or wreath 2

We love advent and one of the ways we celebrate is to have an advent wreath or ring that we light each sunday to help celebrate the lead up to Christmas.  The first Sunday of advent for 2014 in November 30th.  Me and the boys have spend the last few days making this years advent ring, even though it is more of a plinth! People light one candle on the first Sunday of Advent, two on the second Sunday, three on the third Sunday and all four on the fourth Sunday. Some people then continue to light all four candles during the Christmas period. Traditionally an advent ring has three purple and more »


Santa Hat Christmas Cards – 5 minute craft 32

We are all about the Christmas cards at the moment and today I want to share with you a really simple Santa Hat Christmas card that is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to make.  It is also the perfect 5 minute craft that is going to be our family Christmas cards this year. Nothing says Merry Christmas more than a homemade Christmas Card specially when it comes to family and grandparents a card from children is a card to cherish.


Our #PaypalMoments on The Polar Express UK 3

We are working with PayPal this Christmas on their Magical Christmas Moment #PayPalMoments campaign.  It is an ace competition where they are giving people the chance to win some great prizes (find out more on the PayPal Facebook Page). They challenged me to shop for Christmas using PayPal and then share with you our Magical Moments that we created with the time we saved. Well here is the first. The Polar Express UK The MiniMad’s are eight and nine and WANT to still believe in Father Christmas.  They both often have questions about if he is real, but are unsure, so when we were offered a trip on The Polar Express UK at more »


Easy Ribbon Christmas for kids to make 18

There is nothing nicer than receiving a homemade Christmas card and these easy ribbon Christmas cards are so easy for you to make with kids of all ages. You don’t need lots of different materials to make lots of different styles of DIY Christmas cards made with ribbons. I love that I have turned my kids into crafters.