This is not just a shopping post. Last year we were disorganised, every festive family activity we tried to book had already sold out.

This will be Mabel’s first Christmas where she fully understands what’s happening and the last where she essentially gets to hog the limelight – next year there will be a little sister to compete with! I have been determined to make it an extra special time for her and for us….before we become four.

Things To Do In The West Midlands And Warwickshire

One of the first bookings I made was The Snow Dragon which is on at the Phoenix Centre – part of Birmingham Hippodrome. It’s from the same company that produced The Gruffalo and is suitable for toddlers and younger children. I’ve heard some great reviews and worth noting is that they have a special relaxed performance on the 21st December for audience members with an Autism Spectrum Condition.

As a gift for my parents and ourselves we have booked afternoon tea with carols at Coombe Abbey. We’ve been for afternoon tea at the Abbey pre parenthood and it was lovely, this will be such a fun treat with the grandparents involved. Although my Dad’s singing voice does leave a lot to be desired…..maybe he can just eat the posh sandwiches.

My sister and I are currently contemplating whether to take the children to go to one of the Enchanted lights evening at Kenilworth castle (think toasted marshmallows, twinkly lights and winter wonderland fairground rides) or Stories With Santa at Warwick Castle. Maybe we just do all the castles?!

Christmas Fashions & Frivolity

The first piece of clothing I bought was a super cute and colourful cardigan from TU at Sainsburys. I bloody love Kids clothes from there – such good quality for the price.

Bargain wise I’ve found this Snowman dress from Mini Club at Boots (another great brand that I often forget about) – only six quid. Plus they currently have an offer on where you can buy two items for £9.

Last but not least I have treated Mabel to a Christmas day tutu from H&M because….sequins. Yes I am living my life vicariously through my 3 year old daughter this holiday season.

On the subject of H&M, have you ever tried their kids socks? They are THE BEST. They work out at about a quid a pair, wash brilliantly and are that little bit thicker for the winter months. I sent the team sock shopping for their littles a few days ago so thought I would make the recommendation here too.

I’m hoping to make our own crackers this year (I am terrible at DIY anything but I’m sure Mabel will love it) and have been inspired by the recent Advent Calendar feature to have a bash at one of those ideas too.

Do let me know where you are going and what you have planned with your family for the festive season this year in the comments section below, I’m sure there will be lots of parents all over the UK looking for ideas and recommendations.