Well it is officially Christmas!!!!!

Well it is officially Christmas!!!!!

Well It's officially Christmas!!!!

Fireworks have been and gone and when you drive down the street you can see all the houses with their sparkly lights and some truly, ummmm, amazing decorations, that the kids love to crane their necks out of the car to see. 

Soooooooooo ring the bells and dust off the decorations from the loft!!!

This is also the time when the panic kicks in! 

Have we got enough food and drink?  Will Aunty Pauline’s present arrive in time?  The cats gone up the Christmas tree again!!! 

To let you into a little secret, I am not the most organised Mum.  Only 2 weeks to go and I only have one present sorted and hidden away!!!  It may or may not have been the free spiral photo book that we have on our site, I’m not telling!

I dream of the day when I will join that exclusive club, the Organised Mum, buying gift wrap and cards in the January Sales. A list (don’t we all love a list, especially at Christmas!) of everyone I need to get presents for, all neatly written down and ticked off.  The presents carefully hidden away and waiting before Halloween has reared its spooky head, so I can then be, da da daaaaaaaaaa, the Smug Mum!!! 

Nodding considerately as I watch everyone else run around like headless chickens, tutting as I sip my tea, clutching my pearls and saying, “but of course I already have everything organised, you don’t?”

But alas, that is not me. 

I am the mum running around Tesco seeing if that bottle of bubbly is in the sale yet, who am I kidding, I’ll buy it anyway!  Scouring Amazon and only getting gifts if they can deliver it the next day (no I can’t wait 2-3weeks people!!!)  Trying to make mince pies in an attempt to channel my inner Mary Berry, but getting the wrong pastry so now it looks more like something that I should have made for Halloween!   Last minute change of Santa list presents from the kids, I wonder if they would be fooled by a paper mache version of My Little Pony’s castle?

The tree is up but has been decorated by the children so we have a very busy bottom half, think 4 baubles to a branch!!! Buuuuuut an empty top half as they can only stretch so far, I’m keeping my POP (Perfect Ornament Placement) disorder in check!

But for me, that’s what can be fun about Christmas, a bit chaotic but full of love and laughter, especially when I look at my tree!!! 

So, buy that bubbly, find a bargain and whether you are super organised or pulling it all together at the last minute, you do Christmas your way!!!

Because that’s exactly what it is, YOUR Christmas, not the neighbours next door, not the other mums at the school gate or guys at the office.  YOURS, and I’ll tell you another secret

                                                     it’s going to be amazing!!!


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Black Friday Deals - Where to Find the Best Savings

black friday deals

On November 25th the UK will enjoy the annual shopping fest that is Black Friday. This traditional day of big discounts continues to grow in this country. Last year a lot of the sales moved from shops to online stores but the savings were just as big.

What is Black Friday? 

Since 1932, in America, the day after Thanksgiving has been seen as the start of the Christmas shopping season. Since 2005 it has become the biggest shopping day in America. In recent years Black Friday has got bigger and bigger in the UK. Many of the biggest retailers are now offering big savings and spending is expected to double from last year.

When is Black Friday?

This year Black Friday falls on November 25th.

Where can you get the best deals?

Follow your favourite brands and stores on social media.  Special offers are often posted on Facebook and Twitter ahead of time. 
Lots of the biggest stores in the UK offer Black Friday savings. 

black friday deals

Amazon have special offers for Amazon Prime members in the run up to Black Friday and then massive deals throughout the day itself. 

John Lewis are another retailer who offer lots of deals and discounts. The deals are available online and in store.

Big supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsbury's will offer savings but in 2015 Asda cancelled it's Black Friday involvement, instead offering more savings closer to Christmas.

House of Fraser have become well known for the bargains they offer. They are available in store and online.

Very offer discounts across their whole range of products.

For the best tech deals check out Currys PC World and to stay up to date on the latest tech deals visit TechRadar. They keep track off the biggest technology savings.

Become an Amazon Prime member for even more savings and deals

amazon prime

In the run up to Black Friday Amazon offer lightening deals. These savings are only available for a short period. Amazon Prime members get 30 minutes of exclusive access to these deals. You can become an Amazon Prime member from just £7.99 a month and this will give you early access to their best deals and offers.

Black Friday is perfect for saving money at Christmas and if you follow our tips you will find the best Black Friday deals and offers.


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7 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

save money this christmas

Take the cost out of Christmas this year

One of the longest running Christmas traditions is putting a silver coin in the Christmas pudding.

Today most people use a 5p piece. The trouble is you might not have a 5p left over! As fun and magical as Christmas is it's also very expensive.

It doesn't have to be that way. You can still enjoy a great Christmas without spending lots of money. Here 7 top tips to save money this Christmas

Black Friday

A tradition from across the pond, Black Friday has become bigger and bigger in the UK. The biggest retailers in the country offer huge savings across their products. It's a great time to get your Christmas shopping done.

Most online retailers offer special Black Friday deals and if you're feeling brave, you can join the scrums in the actual stores where you might find even more savings. 

Make a shopping list

christmas shopping lsit

It works for Santa so why can't it work for you? It's far too easy to go out Christmas shopping and buy more than you need.

Impulse buying is a big danger in the festive season so make a list of who you need to buy for and stick to it. Warning! You will need serious will power!

Change your supermarket

Yes, Aldi and Lidl are cheaper but that doesn't mean the quality is any worse. Food shopping at Christmas can get expensive very quickly. Give yourself a break and try a cheaper supermarket.

You can also look for own brand Christmas favourites. You'd be surprised by how tasty they are and own brand Christmas puddings are winning taste tests.

Don't buy too much food

christmas dinner

Christmas dinner at my house looks like a medieval banquet. There is food and drink everywhere.

If you're still eating Turkey sandwiches in January, you've brought too much food. Save your money and don't buy so much this year.

Use cashback sites

Cashback sites are a good idea all year round but they are perfect for Christmas.

They give you cashback on your shopping, so in effect you're getting paid to shop. With all the presents you buy this time of year its a great way to save money.

Make your own decorations and cards

christmas wrapping

Add a personal touch to your decorations or Christmas cards and make them yourself. You'll be surprised by how much money you spend on cards or decorations. Show someone how much you care about them by taking time to make their Christmas cards. Decorating your tree with decorations you've made yourself will get you into the festive mood.

Buy your decorations and cards in January

Okay if arts and crafts aren't your thing you can still save money on decorations and cards. They all go into the sales in January as stores want to get rid of left over stock. Just because Christmas is a year away doesn't mean you can't save money on it. Just don't forget where you stashed the cards you bought when Christmas comes round!

As Andy Williams sang, "It's the most wonderful time of the year". if you follow these tips it need not be an expensive time of the year. Even if you use 2 or 3 of them you can save money this Christmas.

If you have your own Christmas money saving tip share them in the comments below.


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