The Christmas Tag – Mk2

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Just when you think Blogmas is over, it’s time to put your feet up and enjoy the season. You get called back and tagged up for another post. So here I am. Abbie the delightfully amazing and supportive girly tagged me in this festive Christmas Tag – if you want to see her’s it is just HERE.

It’s been a crazy festive season, films, food and a hangover of all hangovers from the Christmas Party. But we live and learn.


What is your favourite Christmas candle?

I can never remember what it’s called – but it smells of Christmas. My Nan used to always get one and it was delightful.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Fairytale of New York. – An absolute tune that works at the Christmas party when we are all drunkenly bellowing it out.

Do you stay in pyjamas all day or dress up on Christmas Day?

Bit of both, all morning is PJ zone and then freshen up and get all fancy and festive for the rest of the day.

What are your plans for the holidays this year?

Christmas Eve is still to be confirmed. Christmas day at the GF’s families – there is three under 5 so the magic of Christmas is still so real, which I love. Panto on Boxing day and then my family are visiting on the Saturday.

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

Die Hard. I love so many Christmas films, but Die Hard is my all time favourite.

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Do you love or loathe tacky Christmas sweaters?

LOVE! L.L.L.LURVVEEEE Christmas Jumpers, the cheesier the better.

Who will you be kissing underneath the mistletoe this year?

The season of goodwill, so whoever wants a kiss. Probably the GF at some point too.

What are you excited for in the build up to Christmas?

The films and music. There are certain things you can’t watch or listen to in the Summer. For me I love trying to cram as many Christmas films into this one month as possible.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Tough call, the clothing, the films, the food. The whole magic of Christmas really.

What is the number one item on your Christmas wish list this year?

An NFL Houston Texans Jersey. Just so pricey.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Cheese board and Pigs in Blankets

Do you shop the Boxing Day sales?

I don’t really. I am not a fan on the crowds and rude people who just barge.

Do you prefer to give or receive presents?

Give, I am such a giver! But it’s always nice to receive something.

What is your favourite sweet treat for the holidays?

Festive Friends – damn tasty.

Do you have a favourite Christmas drink?

I’m not sure. Maybe a festive Hot Chocolate of some kind.

Which Advent Calendar do you have this year? Do you remember to open it each day?

This year I have a Celebrations one. Which is good – minus the Snickers. Nobody wants that. But I usually forget to open them every day which is fine because it means I can binge one day.

What is your favourite holiday scent?

Tinsel – it is the smell of Christmas!

Are you one of those people who wish for a White Christmas each year?

Yes! 100% – I love snow and how much more magical would Christmas be if it was a white one.

What makes the holidays most special to you?

The merriment, the good will to others. The cheer. Everyone’s a little bit happier.

What has been your highlight of 2018?

Has to be buying a house. Finally a grown up on the property ladder.


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Thank you all for having a little read, I’ve love to know what answers are, so I tag you all. But because I have to name and pick a few I want  to see Hannah, Gracie and Katie have a go.

Much Love x

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Blogmas Day 12 – Merry Christmas

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This is it guys – Day 12. Blogmas for me is over. The 12 nights of Christmas have been amazing and fun as always. I firstly want to thank you all for the constant support, the love, the comments and the followings. I’ve loved this and I hope you have too. I hope I haven’t droned on too much. But hey, it is Christmas after all.


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Remember that this time of year is amazing, beautiful and loving. A time to rejoice and celebrate all that is good in the world. Remember even in WW1 the soldiers stopped for a moment to come together as friends, play football and share the festive spirit. This is Christmas, the magic and power it has to bring people together. Enjoy this season, whatever you decide to do.

I ask of one thing though, take as many photos as possible! Create memories and just enjoy yourself.

I love you all! Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!


This Grinch GIF is unrelated – I am not saying be a Grinch. I just liked the GIF and wanted to share it.

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Blogmas Day 11 – A Letter To Yourself About The Year.

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I found this idea and thought it might be very insightful and fun to write and even read.


Dear Ross.

It’s that magical time of year again – Christmas. We love it so much don’t we. I just wanted to write a few words to remind you of what a year you have had and just to remember at this time of year we are meant to be forgiving, thankful and full of joy.

It’s been a big year in regards to the 30 before 30 list – ticking a lot of things off it.

An all-inclusive holiday in May to Benidorm – that was so much fun. A music festival in September and then Buying a House. You are now a homeowner. Scary right. This time last year you would never have thought any of those three things would be on the horizon let alone ticked off the list.

There has been sad moments too, a funeral, a bad memory full of tears and just general life’s ups and downs. But that has made you stronger, more determined and passionate. Next year is a new adventure, you know it’s time to find a new job, sort finances out and just be more prepared for a rainy day. But there is no rush for anything. Hey kids might even be next on the list . . . did I say that out loud. Good Luck!

You celebrated a year anniversary on the blog with your awesome following. The people who read this and float about on Twitter are just brilliant. Keep it up. One day you will make this blogging thing work full-time. Everyone starts somewhere.

So here is to next year, to the new adventures and the new memories we are going to make.

Take care, enjoy the festive season, be happy and share the love.

Now let’s have some photos of these memories. Imagine Green Day’s Time of your Life playing in the background.

Peace and Love.

Ross.


 

Blogmas Day 10 – Christmas Blog Tag

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Struggling to think of what to do for the final few days of Blogmas, I stumbled across Nicole’s Blogmas Tag and fell in love. Check hers out over HERE. Now let’s get in the festive spirit and make some magic.

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1. What is your favourite Christmas film?

Die Hard! But I love so many – as you can see from the previous post.

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?

I want to say yes, when I was younger. But I can’t recall it properly. Now days it’s more likely to see a White Easter in England.

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?

The past few years I have spent it with the GF’s family, as she has young sisters who still have that youthful magical look at Christmas

4. What is your favourite Christmas song?

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues. Proper Drunk Christmas Sing-A-Long Song

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

No, I always wanted to as excitement would kick as a kid. But it never happened and now it’s not a tradition I am on board with.

6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Ho Ho Ho what a challenge – No Googling. Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Donna, Blitzen, Vixen, Cupid, Comet.

7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

The Office Christmas Party! Lazy Sundays in PJ’s watching Christmas Films, a festive beer on Christmas Eve and tasty meal with the loved ones on Christmas Day. . . . oh and the traditional Christmas Day Nap in the afternoon.

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake, I do love a real tree, but I do not love the maintenance, cleaning and upkeep that comes with them.

9. What is your all-time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?

Oooh tough one. Sweet I would say Festive Friends – which are basically mini chocolate digestive biscuit bites. Savoury I would have to say Pigs in Blankets.

10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

I love to give! I can usually nail gifts for people – going down the meaningful route. Care Packages are my forte, so easy to put together but can be incredibly meaningful. Though I do like getting gifts I struggle with facial expressions and so even if I love the gift and have wanted it for ages I still sometimes pull a “Meh, unamused” face. Which is not intentional at all.

11. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

In my teens I got a Drum Kit. Which was AWESOME!

12. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

I would love to do New York at Christmas. I love the city but can imagine at Christmas it’s just the best place ever.

13. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

Back in my day I was known for expertly wrapping several gifts, including a 4 pack of beer while in a passenger seat of a car speeding down some country lanes. I am a pro wrapper.

14. Most memorable Holiday moment?

I think either, a surprise Birthday trip to London and Winter Wonderland last year. Or a few years back going out on Christmas Eve and getting so drunk while doing karaoke in the sleepy little village I grew up in.

15. What made you realize the truth about Santa?

The truth? That there is a jolly old fat man in the North Pole bringing joy to people every year. That’s what you mean right.

16. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you stick to them?

I usually make one or two and most times fail them. I also trying to make challenges to learn something within the year.

17. What makes the holidays special for you?

The whole thing. The music, the films, the clothing, the food, the love, the traditions. I just love Christmas!


Well there you have my answers to the tag! Did you enjoy reading?

I tag you ALL in this. As soon as you have read it, I want you to post a reply.

Link yours down below so we can all learn about each other!

Merry Christmas you beautiful bunch of people.

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Blogmas Day 9 – Christmas on a Budget

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The Average British Family spends £821.25 on gifts, decorations, food and drink at Christmas. Which is crazy isn’t it. I know people can and do spend more than this and there are cases where people spend less. This post is to help the former become the latter. (myself included, it’s time to follow my own advice)

(Stats from the Centre for Retail Research).

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With this cheeky five step guide on how to save the pennies over the festive period I hope I can help you all.

Part of the reason I have put this together is because Christmas for us this year is going to be CHEAP as chips due to the old house buying.


Step 1. Set Family Present Budgets.

The GF has a big family, she is one of five sisters and there’s a niece in there too. Plus my sister, then parents, friends, co-workers. The list could go on if we really thought about it. So this year between the adult sisters on her side we have decided not to get anything for anyone and just focus on the babies.

In regards to everyone else (Friends and Parents), we are setting a budget to of £10 / £20. While also being THAT guy when it comes to friends with partners. Getting one present for the both of them rather than a present each.

With little cuts like this you should be able to save some money here and there which can be put to other festive use.

Remember though – just because you save money here, doesn’t mean you have more to spend somewhere else. It’s your mission to save overall.

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Step 2. Food. Taste is about taste, not the packaging. Downsize the shop.

What is the point in spending 100’s of 1000’s on food that is either going to be eaten or thrown away. Just because it has the fancy label and the pricey price tag does it actually mean it is going to taste any better than the cheaper ranges? Remember we eat with our mouth not with our eyes and wallets.

Try a different supermarket, or a locally sourced supplier. Shop about instead of sticking with the high end super markets. I don’t want to bad mouth Waitrose, but if it means saving £20 on a joint of meat – Son I’m going to Aldi.

Also think twice before buying. Yes we love Christmas snacks but do we love them that much to be eating them well into February, or binning them mid January because they have gone off.

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Step 3. Decorations.

Yes who doesn’t love those Christmas shops that pop up early November and sell EVERYTHING Christmas related? Yes who wouldn’t love a new fancy tree with built in lights and spinning function? Yes we are all those people really. But we don’t have to be. Especially for something that is only going to be up for 5/6 weeks (or 10 weeks in some peoples case).

Try looking in charity shops or discount stores for Lights or Decorations. Or those clubcard points you have been saving all year – use them. Aim to purchase sturdy decorations that will last a few years. Then box them all up neatly and store for next year.

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Step 4. Days out and Activities

Fancy taking the kids to Winter Wonderland in London? Why not, I mean it’s a cheap day out; with Train Tickets, Tube Tickets, Food, Drinks, Gifts & Santa’s Grotto. It’s going to slowly mount up in cost, especially with the more people you go with.

Even deciding to go out for a meal, as soon as the Christmas Menu comes in the prices go up for a fancy version of Ham, Egg and Chips. This isn’t cool.

So what I am suggesting is the following; Have a Festive Film Feast. Set up some blankets and pillows in the living room, a big bowl of popcorn and work through a selection of Christmas movies. Or check your local town / cities what’s on guide and talk a walk through the local markets after a hearty breakfast at home. Saving the pennies on buying food when out.

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Step 5. The Kids

This point may fit a few nerves but let’s think logically for a moment. We spend a heck of alot of money on kids, because we want them to have everything and want for nothing. Which is cute, kind and a lovely sentiment. But when you are on a budget this might be a bit difficult and it’s really not worth getting yourself into debt over a toy that might go out of fashion in two months.

Ok so first idea. RECYCLE current toys – if you have kids already then you probably have a toy box stacked full of old toys that never see the light of day. Why not try slowly removing those toys, wrapping them and giving them back to the child. This is an age dependant thing though. Don’t try it was your 15 year old. They might notice a bit more.

Try and draw limits in the sand. One big present and a stocking. Or just a couple of mini gifts. Remember it’s not about the gifts and money, it’s about enjoying the day together. And heck if the children are so young (toddler age), just wrap a cardboard box up. Something to unwrap and then play with. Imagination can be more powerful than reality – remember that.

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I do hope this guide has helped, I have aimed to try and cut costs, in reality you might have just enjoyed the GIFs and moved on, or the advice is shockingly bad but hey it’s the thought that counts right?

Good Luck!

Blogmas Day 5 – Christmas Clothing

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This month is going quickly isn’t it, Christmas will be here in no time.


Today the post’s title is The Christmas Attire.

That’s right we are focusing on the beloved tacky and somewhat horrific Christmas jumper. I don’t know about you but I love dressing up, finding that perfect tacky jumper to wear with pride during the Christmas season and just generally going over the top – so this post is to let you know what my festive wardrobe is like.

Each year I like to buy a new Christmas themed T-Shirt, Jumper, and Shirt; as it stands currently I have a few novelty T-Shirts, a generic Santa body top, a Die Hard themed top and a St Nick Pizza Parlour – advertising Deep, Crisp and Even Pizza Pies. Which is like a dream for me, mixing Christmas and Pizza my two favourite things.

Also for the moments of professionalism in the office at work, I have two festive shirts, something to wear with a tie, jumper or jacket just to bring an itch of festive cheer to the dull working environment of the office. I have a blue one with small Santa heads all over it and a white one with Rudolph heads. What can I say, I’m a classy guy.

Finally of my pride of joys in the Christmas Attire list is my overly tacky cardigan. Imagine Santa, Rudolph and the Gingerbread man all had a night on the gin . . . yes, this is the result. But I love it so much, throw my knitted Santa hat into the mix and I am snug, warm and looking damn festive!

Let me know what you have, what you dress up in and what is a must for the festive season. I wanna see gingerbread dresses, snowmen ties and maybe a onesie or two.

Love y’all

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogmas Day 4 – Songs for Santa

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One of the best parts of Christmas has to be hands down (or should I say up) the music!

My Christmas playlist is a buzzing with joy and festive cheer and this post is going to explain and share my favourite gems and tunes.

Firstly let me start by saying I love Christmas but the music starts on December 1st. Not before! Just like people putting trees up in November, or the Christmas adverts coming out 6 weeks before the big day. December 1st is the day – the day it all begins and you can blare them tunes and put that tree up and go wild as of December 1st.

Ranty bit over, it’s time to get into the tunes – to share the gems I love, from the classics to the more obscure and unusual ones. Here we go:


My all time favourite Christmas song is “Fairytale of New York”, a jivey up beat Irish American song about the boys of the NYPD choir – what’s not to love. It’s a great sing-along song, especially after a couple of pints at the Christmas party. It’s an all time classic.

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Other classics that I highly rate and frankly love are; “Driving Home for Christmas” – it was a gem that always got blared out in my car on a frosty morning when, yes you guess it, I was driving home to my Dad’s for Christmas. “Mary’s Boy Child” by Boney M, “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders & “Last Christmas” by Wham! are a few more tunes that I love.

But I have to also mention my admiration for Band Aid’s “Do they know it’s Christmas Time” – firstly because it is a musical genius song with all those talents rolled into one. But also because of the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special where we see Smithy and Gavin singing it to each other through their phones. This became such an iconic, loveable moment that every year my friend Tom and I recreate it, usually the same time I am driving home for Christmas. If you don’t know the scene (and come on how do you not) here is the link to it – Enjoy.

Unusual hits that I like also include; “Underneath the Christmas Tree” by Kelly Clarkson, another upbeat jolly tune that instantly makes you want to jive and dance. “Never do a Tango with an Eskimo” by Alma Cogan and “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses.

I think it’s nice to add a few different gems into the mix, rather than just having a Heart style playlist of the same tunes or some list of Michael Buble covers. It’s good to get a mix right.

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Let me know your favourite Christmas song and what you’d hit up on karaoke after a few cheeky jars?