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    • 3forholidays
    • By 3forholidays 24th Dec 15, 6:07 PM
    • 1,220Posts
    • 13,119Thanks
    * It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year * - It's the 2016 Christmas Chatter Thread
    • #1
    • 24th Dec 15, 6:07 PM
    * It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year * - It's the 2016 Christmas Chatter Thread 24th Dec 15 at 6:07 PM
    Official MSE Insert:

    Thanks to 3forholidays for creating this fab thread devoted to how to thriftily spend time, rather than cash, on your 2016 festivities. If you're coming from the weekly email, scroll down the first several posts below for a compendium of thrifty Christmas tips.

    Back to the original post...

    ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year
    With the kids jingle belling
    And everyone telling you be of good cheer
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year’

    Hello and welcome to the 5th Christmas Chatter Thread.

    This thread is not just about Christmas, but our whole year. We have had many ups and downs, deaths and births but we have all made it through to the end of the last thread and Christmas 2015.

    NOTE - For all new people please don't lurk, but come and join in with all the chatter. We are all a little mad (about Christmas!), but not dangerous.

    The following posts will be made up of all the links saved from last year with new ones added as we go.
    This will hopefully make it easier in October when we are all looking for them.

    Please let me know if any become out of date or if you would like your birthday added to the list

    Thanks to all posters on the previous threads – the thread is only a success because of your contributions!

    So on that note it is over to you and roll on Christmas 2016!

    Our Birthdays

    Newthrift 18th
    Clumsy42 28th

    murie 24th
    junior_j 25th

    vulpix 12th

    quidsy 23rd
    princesskitty29 29th

    pixtotts 4th
    Opee92 13th
    Pinksteps 21st

    Nic2075 1st
    04624181 13th
    dropsofjupiter 22nd
    msgigglewick 23rd

    mrs-moneypenny 17th
    Hanley25 19th

    Treasurequeen 12th
    patentgirl 30th

    Spendless 28th
    whitesatin 28th

    freespirit66 1st

    Peppapig 1st
    mrsinvisable 7th
    pinknfluffy28 28th

    FeistyFidget 14th
    3forholidays 15th
    CHRISSYG 25th !!!!!!!!
    Last edited by 3forholidays; 13-11-2016 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Adding the birthdays
    A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realise how blessed you are.

    SPC 10 - No 043 £520
Page 112
    • freespirit66
    • By freespirit66 9th Oct 16, 9:23 PM
    • 2,598 Posts
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    Evening everyone, nothing christmassy done today, we took all the birthday decs down today and DD1 has replaced them with halloween decs she is absolutely bonkers about halloween, she even wants her wedding day to be 31st oct

    NIC oh my lovely i havent got any advice for you, i dont understand why so many games have to be so violent or how they get away with it, sending you hugs x
    CHRISTMAS MONEY SAVED 2018 - £500.00
    DEBT FREE DAY 20/6/2014
    • mandco
    • By mandco 9th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
    • 690 Posts
    • 8,971 Thanks

    I was having a good day until bath time. My 9 year old seems to be getting more and more angrier. He wouldn't go for a bath or shower. Then just got angry and starts shaking and just fighting against me. Today he was playing Minecraft and laughing and shouting that he was murdering polar bears. I sat and watched and it actually stabs them with a knife and they run around on fire until they die. I thought the game was pretty safe :-( I don't let him play games aimed at 15 yrs + etc, so I thought I was doing ok. But he just seem so happy at the violalance. I'm so worried about his behaviour. He is very smart and knowledgable, but he doesn't tolerate anyone annoying him with noises or singing etc. So he is constantly bickering with his sisters. He has no Interest in any sports or playing outdoors. He goes to guitar lessons and that's his only hobby. Apart from gaming. But I limit that to 1hr after school. But he does sit with a tablet when his sisters are at dance class. I have now banned all electronic devices for 1 month to see if it helps his behaviour.
    Sorry for the long waffle. But he is getting to me and I worry I love the girls more as they are nicer and I'm worried he will grow up a pyscopath :-(
    Originally posted by nic2075
    Nic honestly his behaviour seems pretty normal Ds is very similar I noticed it started about the same time as other changes not sure if its the hormones maybe but he can be a nightmare somedays I feel like all I do is nag/argue with him. I do think that some of the games even aimed at younger kids make violence seems far too acceptable/fun so the fact that he enjoys them doesn't mean there is anything wrong.
    I have days when I do prefer one kid over another and even days when I really don't like one or another of them for some reason usually behaviour related doesn't make you a bad parent or mean you love one more than the other it just means your human. One thing I've always done with mine is to tell them that its ok to be angry at times but certain behaviour is unacceptable and while I might not like them very much at the time I still love them.
    Have you had a talk with his teachers? Maybe see if you can have a chat and just say that you've notice a change in his behaviour at home and wondered how he's been at school.
    this year do something that scares you for courage is not the absence of fear just the knowledge that some things are worth the risk
    • Peppapig
    • By Peppapig 9th Oct 16, 10:02 PM
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    Just a quick post. NIC I don't have any advice for you but I understand how worried you must be. I think these days we're all so much more aware of how some adult behaviours are rooted in childhood that it can make us question everything. I think MANDCO's suggestion about talking to his teachers is a good one and so is cutting access to electronic devices for a while. It's nowhere near the same but when my DDs were that age I definitely noticed that their attitudes were getting worse and I was sure it was because of the way the younger ones behaved on Eastenders (it had just started in those days). I stopped them watching it and there was a marked improvement really quickly. I do hope things improve soon and you can put your mind at rest. Sending you hugs.
    It's the most wonderful timeof the year .....
    • DomRavioli
    • By DomRavioli 9th Oct 16, 10:53 PM
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    Hi NIC,

    Just a teeny tiny bit of advice - sounds like aggression, not anger, and that's usually stemming from anxiety - I've had clinically diagnosed anxiety for the last 25 years (I'm 31) and although I don't personally have aggression (I've always held it all in), I've seen a lot of people with the same diagnosis with some serious aggression issues. It may not be, but anxiety manifests in a lot of ways. I'd have a trip to the GP to be safe, as the earlier it is treated and diagnosed (whatever it is), the better the outcome. It might just be one of those stages they go through, but better safe than spending years in therapy.


    I bought a lovely blanket for my nan today off amazon which heats up (she's usually a nightmare to buy for), so that's her done. Only the OH to buy for.
    I'm struggling with my own christmas list. I've got everything I want, don't wear make up, have enough perfume to start my own shop, and apart from buying Hotel Chocolat, I'm stuck! My only hobby outside of work and volunteering is computer gaming (specifically nintendo), I already get a lootcrate (12 month sub from my birthday), I have every console going back to NES, and every figure, tee shirt and accessory known to man - I'm a LoZ fan. The next console isnt due out until next year so nothing new has come out since my birthday. I feel I'm being super awkward! I got a gorgeous K-Mix last year, which I have used twice.
    • princesskitty29
    • By princesskitty29 10th Oct 16, 6:54 AM
    • 869 Posts
    • 11,815 Thanks
    I have finally managed to catch up, my head hurts now! I’m afraid there was too much for me to comment on so sending hugs to those who need them at the moment. There was so much to read that I think I went a little crazy, I thought I read Peppa saying ‘The gloves are off PLUMDUFF’ and I thought DomRavioli had written ‘I bought my naughty nan…..’!!!! Even when writing this post I wrote ‘I have finally managed to grow up’ rather than ‘catch up’! Oh deary me.

    I loved all of the September snow challenges – lovely and so creative! Well done to you all. I’m afraid I can’t join in with these challenges at the moment as I have my own projects I need to get done, but hopefully I can in the new year if it carries on.

    murie thanks for asking, we’re not packed up as DH is insisting the removers pack us, we treated ourselves to this last time as we had a long distance move and it was less to worry about and said we’d do it ourselves this time as we’re only moving down the road, but now it’s come to it DH wants the same service again! I was quite happy to do it myself this time as I don't think we really need to be spending money on that but once DH gets an idea in his head it's not worth persuading him otherwise. I’ve left him to do the budgeting!

    vulpix yes I am feeling much more settled in our new area now, thank you for asking. I have made a lovely group of friends much quicker than I thought I would so that’s been fantastic and made all of the difference. We’ve even started a little bake off where one of us bakes a cake each week so what could be better – new friends and lots of cake to eat!
    • vulpix
    • By vulpix 10th Oct 16, 8:56 AM
    • 847 Posts
    • 15,694 Thanks
    Pk 29 That sounds lovely.I wouldn't mind making friends like that myself.x

    Nic,I think you have had some good advice already.I had similar with my son but when he was about 16 and more difficult to ban games.His sister and I noticed that he was surley and rude when he was playing a lot.He grew out of it and at 25 is no longer surley or rude or spends much time on computer games!So there is hope! I too still prefer the company of certain children for certain times.Son is funny and witty,DD1 practical and helpful,DD2 just so eager to please,and they all at times have completely hacked me off.

    As long as he has friends at school and can interact correctly with people I don't think it is a massive problem at the moment.I notice that when i read a book it affects me for a couple of days,so I suppose it's similar for gamers but more intense.

    • nic2075
    • By nic2075 10th Oct 16, 11:48 AM
    • 2,744 Posts
    • 17,081 Thanks
    Thank you for all the advice. I feel a lot better reading it and knowing others have been through similar. He is very polite and always get comments from other parents on hiw well he behaves and how polite he is. He is confident but not precocious.
    It is just the way he turns so quickly and his glee at killing virtual animals. Apart from bickering with his sister and the odd hit out between them, he never hits others.
    I have spoken to his teachers recently at parents night and apart from the fact he hates sitting writing long stories, he is really well behaved and funny.
    Ive taken the x box and his tablet away from him for a while. So I'll see if it helps. When I talk to him about why he feels like that, he says people just wind him up. I guess he just doesn't know how to deal with these feelings. He is very stubborn. I just worry I go about things the wrong way and wil make him worse.

    Today we are going to a couple of garden centres to look at theor christmas decorations. We went to one yesterday and the girls loved it. So today I'm taking them up to Glasgow to a big one that has a great selection and a great park for them to play in for a while. It looks like it's a lovely day.
    • By CHRISSYG 10th Oct 16, 12:48 PM
    • 5,643 Posts
    • 16,146 Thanks
    Just had an interesting conversation with my DD , she commented that she couldnt do division and its not like she needs it any way. So i said sometimes you do need it if you had a cake and wanted to share it with someone you would need to half it , her answer was it wouldnt matter how she cut it as she would have half now then half later as theres no way she would be sharing any cake with anyone !
    You win some you lose some !

    We have decided to go for her laptop on Thursday which would make us officially finished presents/sweets and booze [ the whole 2 bottles we drink over the whole period]
    This is early even for me im so chuffed.
    • MoneyMission2015
    • By MoneyMission2015 10th Oct 16, 1:04 PM
    • 618 Posts
    • 3,072 Thanks
    I hope everybody had a nice weekend. I made a chocolate cake in the slow cooker yesterday and it was a success! It was a bit like a brownie, chewy on the ends, gooey in the middle. I don't normally like chocolate cake, or any chocolate dessert really, but this one was really good even if I do say so myself

    PrincessKitty - Nice to hear from you. I know what you mean about catching up. I was away for 2 weeks and just couldn't keep up with the thread as it's moving so quickly now! I hope the move goes well. I remember when we moved from our first house into the house we're in now & it was so stressful packing and moving everything as we did it ourselves, so having somebody do it for you sounds ideal . I love the bake off idea with your friends, I'd love to do that but none of my close friends particularly like baking and I know my best friend can barely even cook, let alone bake a cake!

    Nic - I definitely think the electronic devices have an impact sometimes. Our 8 year old daughter can be a right stroppy madam at times and I notice it seems worse if she spends a lot of time on her ipad, so I try to restrict it now. She spent a lot of time colouring and doing some cross stitch yesterday and she was the happy little girl that we know she is.

    DomR - I'm the same, my OH always tells me I need to give him a list because his family ask for ideas but I can never think of anything. For the past 2 years I've just ended up with a new bag even though I don't need one, because I couldn't think of anything else. I did have a list of books last year that I wanted, which I did receive but I haven't had chance to read them all so I can't really ask for anymore because we're currently trying to minimise the clutter around the house. Last night I did think to myself that maybe I'll ask for a nice fluffy robe this year, but then I also like the idea of the waffle robes that you sometimes get in hotels so I'll see if I can find any decent ones.

    Vulpix - I'd love to make my own candles, maybe I'll give it a go as your gift ideas sound very cute.

    GTQ - I managed to pick up some Quality Street and Celebrations a few weeks ago when Tesco were doing 2 tubs for £5. I'm glad I managed to catch the offer because it does annoy me when they are selling them for £5 or £6 each when they can clearly make a profit even at the lower cost. I bought 4 tubs altogether (a mixture of the above) and my OH has now banned me from buying any more chocolate for Christmas as our treat cupboard is almost full . However, he has forgotten we need chocolate oranges and mint matchmakers so he will have to allow me a few more purchases between now and Christmas.

    Free - we bought some Halloween decorations on the weekend. We don't really do a lot for Halloween. For the past few years we've been invited to a friends house so the kids can go trick or treating together, but this year we'd like to stay home so I think we'll invite them to ours for a change. I think this year is the first year since our youngest started school that Halloween is on a school day. In the past it has fallen either on a weekend or during the half term holiday, but this year they actually go back to school on 31st October.

    I've still been collecting stuff for my daughter's pink hampers. As they are both different ages with a 6 year age gap some items will be different but some of the stuff I have so far are:

    Barbie colouring book
    Barbie DVD
    Bath bombs
    Zoella bath products
    Hair bobbles
    Lip gloss and cheek stain
    Pink milkshake bottle (the ones from Home Bargains that have a straw in the top, they currently have green ones and love them)

    I'm also planning to get them both pyjama's, slippers and a hat & scarf or snood plus I was looking on A Quarter Of at all of the pink sweets, so will order them closer to the time and get a little glass jar for them to have their own pick and mix.

    I was telling my sister about it and she loved the idea so I asked if she would like me to do one for my niece, or if she would like to do it herself. She was happy for me to do it so she's told me her favorite colour (blue) and I'm going to start getting similar items as the above list but in blue and purple (just to mix it up a little bit).

    I've ordered a few more things for Christmas and also went through my Christmas stash on the weekend and have worked out that I have finished 2 people and there are 2 other people that I have more or less done, but would like to get them a little something else.
    • Peppapig
    • By Peppapig 10th Oct 16, 3:27 PM
    • 1,186 Posts
    • 15,968 Thanks
    Thank you for the Works email code CHRISSEY, it made me go onto the website and I've completed another three Christmas pressies and got discount. I also love your DD's approach to cake sharing (or not)

    VULPIX you've reminded me that I've got a candle making kit in the cupboard so I'll get it out and give it a try. I really want to do it I just never seem to get around to it. I've got some lovely vintage cups so I'll use them.

    PRINCESSKITTY how does it work when your removal people pack you up? Do you just leave everything as it is and they do it all or do you do things yourself as well. We're planning to move in the next year or so to get somewhere lower maintenance and more energy efficient than the Victorian house we have now and it sounds a very appealing proposition not to have lack everything up.

    MONEYMISSION how about pink smarties for the pink hamper and blue ones for the blue hamper. I know the big tubes of the pink ones are £1 in the supermarkets.

    Had bloods this morning so fingers crossed for chemo tomorrow. They've said that I can defer the next one by a week which means I'll be free for the two days in half term week that I'm having DGD. I know she doesn't like seeing me with my pump (she knows it as my medicine bottle) that I have to wear for two days after chemo and I don't think waiting another week will make much difference to the treatment. I had to laugh because DGD was telling people at school 'I can't stay at my nannie's as much as usual because she has to have her medicine bottle'. I just have this image of them picturing me as a drunkard who swigs her 'medicine' all day!

    Pressie buying is going really well but I still haven't started my stocking challenge - I need to get a wriggle on!
    It's the most wonderful timeof the year .....
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 10th Oct 16, 3:38 PM
    • 15,460 Posts
    • 197,557 Thanks
    Just done a list of people I need to buy/wrap for to take over my mums at halfterm. I have Christmas and 3 birthdays to do. So will be a fair bit out of the stash boxes.

    Hugs to all who need them I know health problems of your own and loved ones are making this difficult for lot.

    Welcome to all the ne people who have joined the thread now Christmas is getting closer.

    Right I'm going for a forage in the attic to see what I've already got.
    grocery challenge April budget £400 spent £108
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    cherish all living things
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    • By CHRISSYG 10th Oct 16, 4:02 PM
    • 5,643 Posts
    • 16,146 Thanks
    Theres a link on Shop but dont drop for an offer at Sanctuary [computer still wont let me do link sorry]

    If you spend £11 you can get a free candle [worth £10].

    If you spend £30 you get free delivery and i was also offered a free sample.

    They do an interesting advent calendar which ive just ordered for DD and managed to treat myself to a couple of other bits.
    • Treasurequeen
    • By Treasurequeen 10th Oct 16, 7:58 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 3,520 Thanks
    Thanks for the sanctuary offer Chrissy I saw the same offer in boots (free candle when spend £11)

    Vulpix- I love candle making its so easy but you have to stay near it when your doing it on the hob.
    Peppa- fingers crossed for tomorrow hope everything goes well.
    Hugs to everyone that needs them, my fibro and M.E is acting up too.

    Finished my mums stocking just got to finish her main present and then she's finished. Managed to get two leather valet trays on ebay for my dad and brother that fold down when you don't need to use them. Will probably get some dvd's for my brother and then he's finished.
    I got one of them grandad's goodies tin and I will fill it with dark chocolate digestives, mints and eclairs for my grandad.

    Sainsbury's have some new snacks for Christmas salted caramel pretzels which are divine. they also have large boxes of orange lindor chocs as well as the orange minis bag.
    The £1000 emergency fund challenge #223
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    • Treasurequeen
    • By Treasurequeen 10th Oct 16, 8:01 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 3,520 Thanks
    Also bought my dad for his birthday some new toiletries that were new in boots they are natural but well priced and they smell great. They are called Mancave and they did a gift set which is a good idea for a present. I also noticed that Sainsbury's is selling the range too.
    The £1000 emergency fund challenge #223
    Pay for birthdays and Christmas 2018 with surveys #17
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge #44
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2018~ 11 #40
    £2 saver club
    • DomRavioli
    • By DomRavioli 10th Oct 16, 9:45 PM
    • 2,996 Posts
    • 5,129 Thanks
    Peppa - Hope the bloods are good. Fingers crossed you're on the right path.

    MoneyMission - I didn't think of a robe - I go through them at a rate of knots, as a homeworker they are used way more than normal and my current giraffe one is looking a bit tatty.

    Not much to update, did my first bit of wrapping today, and listened to a christmas playlist. Made me feel super christmassy!

    We've had confirmed guest numbers for xmas day - 14! - with a table that seats 6. Thankfully 6 of those are under 2, so won't be too bad, but I may have some callouses from peeling veg by the end of it.

    Also had a look for a new tree - ours is really wonky and missing more than its fair share of branches - but nothing floated my boat. We have always had a black tree, bought it in 2010 when it was £5 from B&M and its done us well - two house moves, mangling from little people and it could still pass, but I've saved enough to get a new one.

    Off to ikea in a couple of weeks, I do love walking through their christmas bits. Its like a ritual!
    • Gettingtherequickly
    • By Gettingtherequickly 11th Oct 16, 8:31 AM
    • 3,608 Posts
    • 15,641 Thanks
    but I may have some callouses from peeling veg by the end of it.
    Originally posted by DomRavioli
    I prep & freeze between now & then, enough for dinner, cook from frozen on the day. It is less stressful and only the potatoes need to be prepped fresh.
    A smile costs little but creates much
    • MoneyMission2015
    • By MoneyMission2015 11th Oct 16, 9:25 AM
    • 618 Posts
    • 3,072 Thanks
    Peppa - thanks for the idea. I don't know why I didn't think of that myself because I actually bought pink smarties in Asda a few weeks ago and stashed them away and I bought blue tubes last week to stash away! That's another thing I can add to the list now and I also forgot I also have a really cute nail file set in pink that I got about a month ago, so I can add them to the hampers. I hope you're feeling well and good news on being able to have your GD in half term, I bet she can't wait to spend some time with you.

    Dom - A robe would be a good idea for you then, you could have a nice new fluffy one. I have seen some lovely ones around recently. That's a lot of people you have coming for Christmas dinner! I bet it'll be hard work but worth all the stress when you have a lovely day with everybody . I was going to suggest chopping & freezing some veg beforehand, but I see GTQ has already mentioned that idea. The only thing I heard doesn't freeze particularly well is potatoes but then I've heard mixed comments because others have said it's fine if you part boil them before freezing them. Would you be better off buying some frozen veg anyway, like carrots, parsnips etc.

    I haven't seen any good deals on trees unfortunately. We also have to replace our tree and I've been looking since the beginning of August but I've found that the cheap ones I've seen just don't look great and the ones that look good are really expensive! I did try getting one in the January sales but nowhere had any

    Treasurequeen - ooh I like the sound of those trays. That might be a good idea for my dad as he's so hard to buy for but he does like to do things on his laptop while sat on the sofa, so usually just has the laptop in his lap. Fab idea, thank you!

    Chrissy - I love what your daughter said about cake. She's right, why would she need to know division if she's not going to share her cake?

    It's getting so cold now. It's catch 22 because I hate having to go outside when it's cold but I love it when it gets like this because it makes me feel really Christmassy and cosy.
    • Dolly Rocker
    • By Dolly Rocker 11th Oct 16, 11:32 AM
    • 3,726 Posts
    • 10,642 Thanks
    Dolly Rocker
    I recently bought a new tree from Christmas Tree World online.

    Have a look, they have some great deals on at the moment.

    CWP start 16st2lbs, current 13st13lbs, lost 31lbs

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    • DomRavioli
    • By DomRavioli 11th Oct 16, 1:17 PM
    • 2,996 Posts
    • 5,129 Thanks
    I prep & freeze between now & then, enough for dinner, cook from frozen on the day. It is less stressful and only the potatoes need to be prepped fresh.
    Originally posted by Gettingtherequickly
    We have a two and a half drawer freezer, and a kitchen that is literally 8 feet by 8 feet! I don't think I'd get the carrots in lol
    • DomRavioli
    • By DomRavioli 11th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
    • 2,996 Posts
    • 5,129 Thanks
    MM - I have a tiny freezer (and a tiny kitchen - I had a one bed flat years ago and my kitchen was bigger there!). I used to get the pre done stuff from M&S but there's nothing I want this year from them. I've commandeered two of the adults to come and help and hopefully they will, its one less job off the list! I have a fairly large family, this is just my parents, my nan and uncle, and my SIL and co. I've got the MIL (Evil witch) coming for the evening buffet, if I don't kill her first - She bought me a size 20 T-shirt last year for christmas (I'm a size 12), and a book about fishing (I have never or will ever go fishing). God knows what I will get this year, but I'll hopefully be tipsy enough not to care!

    Had therapy last night - I don't know where I'm going wrong still but I do feel better. Had next door's daughter pop round as their oven broke, she had to bake a cake for school and at 8pm on a Monday there isn't much you can do. Also lent her some cake bits, I've got a cupboard full of odds and ends.

    Need to get the christmas card list sorted, I don't send many (most get e-cards) but there's a few who throw a wobbly if I don't send one.
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