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Christmas Decorating 2021

Remembering Loved Ones

Our traditional Christmas decorating day (the first Saturday in December) fell on Aiden’s dad’s birthday this year. It was a bittersweet day for us all as his dad died last December, a week after his birthday.

We bought a special decoration to put on the mantelpiece to remember him.

Christmas remembrance ornament

Getting Older

It was a different kind of day for us as well because KayCee is a full-time catering student and she has 2 part-time jobs working in kitchens.
She had to work on our decorating day so we had to wait until she came home before we could make a start.

It usually takes all day to decorate which meant the decorating took place over 2 days instead of one because of our late start.
I didn’t get as many photos this year, either. I managed to get 1 of Aiden who allowed me to put it on the blog (he hates having his picture taken!) but I didn’t get any of KayCee. She wasn’t up to having her photo taken after a very busy day at work.

Snowball cocktail

First snowball of the year ๐Ÿ™‚

Ceramic Christmas tree


I’ve wanted a ceramic Christmas tree for a few years so I was really pleased to receive this from everyone on decorating day.

Aiden and Ella Christmas decorating
Ella putting the fairy on the tree

Ella’s tall enough to put the fairy on without help. It made me a bit sad because they’re all growing up too fast.

Lots of Christmas lights
Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations
Christmas decorating
Christmas decorations
Christmas village
Christmas decorations
Christmas tree

Our treat trolley is one of our favourite things about Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas treat trolley

Our Christmases feel different now they’re getting older but we’ll get used to the changes and enjoy them in time.

M&S Christmas Ads 2021

Make The Season Anything But Ordinary

M&S Christmas ad 2021

The first M&S Christmas ad 2021 is sparkly and fun! I like the music choice and the dancing.

Percy The Pig – M&S Food advert

Percy the pig - M&S Christmas ad 2021 M&S Food
Tom Holland is the very cute, Percy the pig.

The second ad, however, is better because it features a funny fairy, voiced by the wonderful Dawn French and the lovely, cute Percy who is voiced by Tom Holland.

Dawn French as the Christmas fairy

John Lewis Christmas Ad 2021 #UnexpectedGuest

John Lewis Christmas ad 2021 #UnexpectedGuest

For some reason, I haven’t really thought about the John Lewis Christmas ad 2021. I was actually quite surprised when I found out it had been released today!

It’s another one that’s just OK; I’m not that impressed.

2012 John Lewis Christmas advertย โ€“ The Journey

2013 John Lewis Christmas advert โ€“ The Bear & The Hare

2014 John Lewis Christmas advertย โ€“ Monty The Penguin

2015 John Lewis Christmas advertย โ€“ Man On The Moon

2016 John Lewis Christmas Advertย โ€“ Buster The Boxer

2017 John Lewis Christmas Advertย โ€“ Moz The Monster

2018 John Lewis Christmas Advertย โ€“ Elton John Lewis

2019 John Lewis Christmas Advert – Excitable Edgar

2020 John Lewis Christmas Advert – Give A Little Love

Boots’ Christmas Ad 2021 #BagsOfJoy

Boots' Christmas ad 2021 #BagsOfJoy

It’s getting to my favourite time of year again and today, I was pleased to see my first Christmas ad of the year!
I have to say, the Christmas ad from Boots this year already had my approval when I saw it had Jenna Coleman in; she’s one of our favourite actresses.

The advert is lovely and very Christmassy, which is what is expected of a good Christmas ad in my opinion!

Click here to see Christmas ads from previous years.

Our Christmas Eve & Christmas Day 2020

Merry Christmas 2019

I set the date of this post to Christmas Day 2020 so we can easily find it when we want to look back, but it didn’t get written until 11th January 2021.

December last year was hard for us all as we had a death in the family. My son’s dad, who was also a second dad to KayCee and Ella and a dear friend to Ant and me, went into the hospital with Covid-19 and didn’t make it home.

Christmas Eve

Covid-19 cases were on the rise in December and the country was split into different tiers.
This meant no Christmas Eve party and restricted numbers in households on Christmas day.
We still had a buffet tea and KayCee and Ella got dressed up. It made a change to have such a quiet Christmas Eve.

KayCee and Ella Christmas dresses 2020
Christmas Eve pjs

A Quiet Christmas Day 2020

We usually have Grandad, Jervais and Jerome for dinner on Christmas day but this year we just had Jerome.
Grandad and Jervais had dinner with Kellyann and Nanny.

Despite everything, we enjoyed our Christmas day. I just hope, though, that this year Christmas will be back to normal.

Christmas Morning

Aiden’s presents
KayCee’s Presents
Ella’s Presents
Ant’s Presents
My Presents

Christmas Dinner

Have A Creative Christmas With Design Bundles


This is a collaborative post.

When I got my Cricut in February 2019, my first project was to make a wedding gift for my cousin and his wife.
I didn’t really know what I was doing, having never used a Cricut before but I managed to figure it out, eventually!
The first SVG file I ever used was from Design Bundles; as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for what I needed.

Butterfly Bouquet Cutout Framed personalised wedding gift

Early Christmas Decorating

We put our decorations up on November 29th. We’ve never put them up in November before and I always said I never would! However, after the year we’ve all had thanks to Covid-19, we all needed something fun to do and something to look forward to.

Gnome tree decoration from Design Bundles
I love these gnomes. They’re super easy to make.

Everyone in the country seems to have gotten into the Christmas spirit a bit earlier than usual. We’re grabbing hold of it like a lifeline and even though it’s not going to be a normal Christmas, it can still be a brilliant one.

A Design Bundles Crafty Christmas

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year and one of the things I look forward to is crafting with the children.
We used to do lots of different crafts when they younger and I loved spending the time with them. Nowadays they prefer social media to crafting with mum but I can sometimes cajole them into crafting with me!

I downloaded loads of Christmas svgs from Design Bundles. They have so many you’re spoilt for choice! I use Design Bundles a lot so I decided to sign up for the Plus Membership. I can now choose new files every month using my Plus Credits ๐Ÿ™‚

We’ve made tree decorations, 3D layered scenes, Christmas cards and Christmas t-shirts.

3D layered deer scene from Design Bundles

You can find tutorials below for some of the things we’ve been making.

3D Layered Penguins Scene Tutorial

This 3D layered penguin scene is simple and fast to make. All you need is a Cricut or other cutting machine, the 3D Christmas SVG papercraft bundle from Design Bundles, your choice of coloured/glittered card for each layer and some glue.
An optional extra is to add some wired fairy lights that you can put inside the scene behind the first inner layer. The finished product looks lovely when the lights are on.

3D layered penguin scene

Step 1 – Cutting

Cut all the pieces using your cutting machine. If you’re not sure how to use an SVG file, I have an in-depth tutorial here.

I used:

Black card – 2 outer layers
Silver glitter card – inner layer 1
Cream card – inner layer 2
Light blue card – inner layer 3
Dark blue card – Inner layer 4

Design Bundles penguin 3d scene

Step 2 – Assembling

Glue the 2 out layers together using the flap on the front piece.


Step 3 – Insert inner layers.

Starting with the back layer, insert all inner layers by slotting the tabs into the holes.

Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Design Bundles - Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers
Design Bundles - Penguin 3D scene - adding the layers

Step 4 – Closing the frame

All you need to do now is to apply glue to the tab on the outer back piece and stick the front penguin layer to the back.

Glue the flap

Christmas Tree Decorations Tutorial

This is a great project to use up all those card scraps; if you’re anything like me, you’ll have boxes of them!

We made our bauble decorations to go in the kitchen window rather than on the tree and they look lovely when they spin and catch the light.

All you need is scraps of card, glue, ribbon/string and adhesive gems.

Step 1 – Cut your pieces

I resized all the bauble files when I got them in Design Space because they were huge!
I resized them to around 10cms and changed the colour from black, making each design a different colour so they would be placed on different mats by Design Space.
If we were going to hang them on the tree, I’d have made them smaller but ours are going in the kitchen window so we need them a bit bigger.

Bauble files in Design Space

Step 2 – Duplicate and Flip

Now click on each bauble in turn, right click and duplicate then with the duplicated piece selected, click on Flip and flip the ornament horizontally.

Flip the duplicate piece horizontally

Once you’ve saved your work, click the Make It button in the top right corner of Design Space and cut all the pieces.

Step 3 – Assembling and Decorating

Put glue on the back of one the pairs of ornaments then stick the other piece to it, making sure they’re lined perfectly.

Using adhesive gems or any decorations you choose, decorate both sides.
If you’re using glitter card like me, it’s a good idea to put a dab of glue on the card where you want a gem to go, even though they’re adhesive, they sometimes fall off when put on glitter card.

Hang them using ribbon or Christmassy string.

Iron-On Vinyl T-Shirts Tutorial

My last tutorial today uses iron-on glittery vinyl to create some Christmas Movie watching t-shirts for KayCee and Ella.
Now before I start, I have to say I’m no expert when it comes to working with iron-on vinyl. I was really excited to try it when I first got the Cricut but I didn’t enjoy it the way I did when working with card.

I haven’t mastered layering yet so this is a one colour vinyl tutorial. I have to say, though, I do love the glitter and the svg files I got from Design Bundles made this a quick and easy craft.

KayCee and Ella wearing thier Christmas movie watching t-shirts

Step 1 – Choose Your SVG file

Go to Design Bundles and in the search box, search for Christmas Movie. This search term is enough to give you hundreds of results.

Choose your design and add it to Design Space.

Set the size and click Make It.

Step 3 – Cutting Your Design

The most important thing to remember at this stage is to MIRROR your design. I totally forgot with the second t-shirt and I wasted a whole sheet of glitter iron-on!

Design Space glitter iron-on settings

Click Continue then select Glitter Iron-On for the material.

When the cut has finished, weed away the excess material and your design is ready to be put on the t-shirt.

Step 4 – Applying The Iron-On

I used the Heat Press 2 with the following settings for Glitter Iron-on, a Cricut t-shirt and using the Cricut Easy Press mat:

Heat press 2 settings 1

Centre your design on the t-shirt and use the Easy Press to stick the design to the t-shirt. Let it cool before trying to peel off the carrier sheet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorials. I’ll be back tomorrow with some free Christmas printables I made using gorgeous artwork I bought at Design Bundles ๐Ÿ™‚

Personalised Christmas Gift Ideas

Girl wearing Mrs Claus skirt with red and white striped tights, surroundd by Christmas presents
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Christmas is just around the corner so you may want to start thinking about the gifts you’re going to buy for the special people in your life.
Here you’ll find a selection of personalised Christmas gift ideas for people of all ages ๐Ÿ™‚

Personalised Christmas Gift Ideas For Her

Personalised birth flower scarf – Not On The High Street

This gorgeous pashmina can be personalised with a birth flower and a name or initials.

Personalised birth flower scarf from Not On The High Street

3D Laser engraving – ArtPix 3D

A luxurious black gift box arrives in the mail. You open it and find a flawlessly cut crystal nestled in the satin lining. It catches the light and sparkles brilliantly. The magic begins when you upload a photo to our website. ArtPix3D talented team of designers will prepare it for the etching process with state-of-the-art conversion software that transforms your 2D picture into a 3D model. The resulting 3D photo crystal is a unique work of art designed to last for over a lifetime. When you view it from the front, youโ€™ll see your loved ones and pets depicted with incredible realism.

ArtPix 3d laser engraved crystal

For Him

Personalised dad’s superhero book – Not On The High Street

Create a superhero book all about daddy. The book can be personalised all the way through and can be from one child or numerous children.

Personalised Superdad book

Personalised engraved decanter – Prezzybox

This engraved decanter is perfect for any celebration including birthdays and father’s day.

Personalised engraved decanter

For Babies & Children

Baby’s first Christmas bauble – Studio

This gorgeous Tatty Teddy bauble can be personalised with a name on the front and your own message on the back.

Personalised Tatty Teddy baby's first Christmas bauble

Personalised Unicorn Notebook – Mulberry Bush

The unicorn lover in your life is sure to love this personalised notebook.
Also available at Mulberry Bush is a pack of personalised unicorn pencils and a personalised unicorn pencil tin to make a lovely set this Christmas.

Personalised unicorn notebook

For Teens

Personalised Rose Gold Ladies Watch – Getting Personal

Roe gold accessories are very popular with teen girls right now and this pretty watch will delight your special girl.

Rose gold personalised watch from Getting Personal

Personalised Gaming Light – Menkind

A retro-style games controller light with six colours to choose from and can be personalised with up to 12 characters.

Gaming controller light from Menkind

Our Christmas Day 2019 Photos

Our Christmas Day 2019 wasn’t as enjoyable for me as it usually is.
If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE Christmas and plan for it all year.
This year was no different except that I couldn’t enjoy it as I usually do because the hernia pain that started on Christmas Eve carried on for the whole of Christmas Day.

I couldn’t move much and everyone else had to clean up the mess, set the table for dinner and clean the kitchen afterwards.
Ant cooks our delicious Christmas dinner and I always clean the kitchen after. I felt terrible having to leave it to everyone else this year.
Also, like Christmas Eve, I didn’t get to take many photos and I’m sad that I didn’t get any of KayCee passing out the presents.

A&E On Boxing Day

The pain was getting worse and I ended up sleeping on the reclining chair as I couldn’t make it upstairs.
The next morning, instead of going to Derbyshire to visit my family, I had to go to A&E. I spent all of Boxing Day in the hospital until around 7 pm when The good thing is that I was allowed to go home after the surgeon was able to put everything back in place without surgery ๐Ÿ™‚
The bad bit was not being able to see my family and not having any photos to do my usual Boxing Day photo post.

Ella - Christmas day 2019
Aiden - Christmas day 2019
Christmas presents under the tree
We didn’t go overboard with the presents this year as KayCee and Ella had new cabin beds last week and we had to buy a new cooker the week before Christmas due to both ovens not working!
Delicious Christmas dinner cooked by the super wonderful husband
Christmas dinner
KayCee, Ella, Jervais and Jerome playing board games after dinner

Aiden’s Presents

KayCee’s Presents

Ella’s Presents

Ant’s Presents

My Presents

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