Blogmas Bonus Day: My Christmas Routine

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I know I’ve done my 12 Days of Blogmas, but I’ve decided to do one extra post because it’s Christmas Eve! How exciting?

I’ve shared with you recently how people from all around the world celebrate their Christmas, so I thought I’d share with you how I personally spend the day.

Christmas has changed vastly since my dad passed away. Last year we decided to do things completely differently where we had guests over for Christmas dinner which we cooked ourselves, rather than going out as usual, but this year, we’re going back to original plans, but making sure we keep my father close in memory.

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A photo I decided to take of my dad one year when we helped out at a Christmas event – yes, he was very inked!

I usually hate getting up in the morning, I don’t normally get to see what early looks like, but even at 21, I’m so excited and cannot wait to get up. I barely even sleep. Since I’m now “an adult” and no longer “at the age to get up at the crack of dawn”, we usually tend to get up around 8:00am – though that’s impossible for my mother since she is an early bird, but likes her coffee and chill in the mornings. Then everyone gets up, has breakfast (usually pan au chocolât and orange juice, which is my favourite) and my stepdad will head to my gran’s to pick her up. When she arrives, tea and coffee is made before we all go into the living room and sit next to our “Santa sacks” (basically a massive Christmas bag with our presents in). The old routine was to each take it in turn to open a present, but with one missing, we’ve decided to switch things up. On the count of three, we dive into our presents and get opening, while showing one another what we received and thanking one another for what the other has bought us.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 12: Films on TV Christmas 2016

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Can you believe it’s the last day of Blogmas?! I’ve had such an amazing time working on these blog posts and sharing them with you. I definitely think I’ll be doing the full 24 days next year.

Following from yesterday’s post, because there’s so much on over Christmas, I decided to dedicate a separate post to what films are on. So for the final post, here’s what movies you need to know about being on this Christmas.

Christmas Eve

A Christmas Carol

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Jim Carrey’s animated take on the Charles Dickens’ classic magically transports you back to the 19th Century to tell the tale of miserable old Ebenezer Scrooge and his pure hatred for the festive period. While a story many of us have come to know, it’s one you can never grow tired of, especially with the fantastic animation of this movie version.

Airs 11:30AM on BBC One 

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

This fantasy sequel of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ sees the Pevensie children summoned to return to Narnia to help Prince Caspian fight the dark forces of the despotic Lord Miraz.

Airs 2:15PM on BBC One

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

My favourite Disney film! The Disney 1996 animation is what made the breed so popular and well loved (and is the reason behind my huge love for them… and owner of four in my 21 years.) Join Pongo and Perdita in an extraordinary journey to find their beloved puppies after the evil Cruella De Vil captures them for her no good selfish plans involving fur fashion.

Airs 4:20PM on ITV

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 11: What’s on TV Christmas 2016

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Today’s post is one I’m excited about, because it’s a big deal in our house; Christmas TV! Now I know Christmas specials have been playing throughout the month of December, but I think the next three days is where it’ll be the best. So, get your TV planner at the ready because here’s some picks of  what’ll be on the box Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day…

BBC One

The Great Christmas Bake Off

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Making its final appearance on BBC One, The Great British Bake Off will air one of two Christmas specials. Mel and Sue return with the baking royalty that is Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. The fantastic four return one last time before the big move to Channel 4 along with four bakers from previous series. Former contestants will return for three festive challenges, following the declaration of the Bake Off Christmas champ.

Airs Christmas Day at 4:45PM and Boxing Day at 7PM

Doctor Who

After a year-long wait, there’s just hours to go until the return of Peter Capaldi reprising his role of The Doctor in the Christmas special. ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ will see The Doctor unite with superpowered vigilante ‘The Ghost’ and a journalist in order to save New York City from an alien attack.

Airs Christmas Day at 5:45PM 

Eastenders

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With it looking like the possibility of this being Phil’s last Christmas, it’s going to be a very interesting time for the Mitchell’s around the festive period. Meanwhile, Denise’s due date is fast approaching and with Kim and Vincent on holiday, she’s hoping for a peaceful Christmas with Libby and Patrick, but will it go to plan? And surprise, Branning fans… he’s back! How will Christmas on the Square be so calm with the return of Max?

Airing Christmas Eve at 8:25PM, Christmas Day at  9:30PM (hour long special)  and Boxing Day 8PM

Outnumbered

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It’s Boxing Day and the Brockman family have to carry out a special mission for Grandad. They encounter car problems, child problems, parent problems, emotional problems and World War Two. If the adults can’t sort things out the children will have to.

Airs Boxing Day at 10PM

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly alumni will be making a return to the dance floor for the annual Christmas special. Runner up from series two – Denise Lewis, 2016’s first vote off – Melvin Odoom, Frankie Bridge – from season 12, series 8’s Pamela Stephenson, Ainsley Harriott from series 13 and Gethin Jones from series 5 will be the contestants taking to the floor to come toe to toe in Tango for a war of Waltzes.

Airs Christmas Day at 6:45PM

Call The Midwife

The nuns of Nonnatus House will be sunnying it up this Christmas as they swap the frosty East London for the heat of South Africa in this year’s Christmas special as they help a small struggling mission hospital on the Eastern Cape. But will there be a Christmas miracle millions of miles from home?

Airs Christmas Day at 8PM 

Mrs Brown’s Boys

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Britain’s best sitcom of the 21st Century returns to the tellybox again for another Christmas special. Agnes and the clan are gearing up for the festive season, with a Christmas tree conundrum, a blaze at Wash and Blow causing trouble for Rory and Dino, Cathy and her new French beau  and Grandad returning from hospital with medical marijuana, it’s hardly going to be calm in the Dublin darling’s house this year.

Airs Christmas Day at 10:30PM 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 10: Decorating a Gingerbread House

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I’ll let you into a secret; I’ve never made a Gingerbread House before. Well, I still haven’t. But I’ve now decorated one.

To get into the spirit of Christmas, I thought it’d be nice to do something more traditional and fun to decorate a Gingerbread House.

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The contents

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 9: My Fear of Father Christmas

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Father Christmas. Santa Clause. St Nick. The man of the moment. The Symbol of Christmas. Everyone loves a jolly old pudgy man who brings lots of presents for kids all over the world right?

Father Christmas. A big, scary old strange man who breaks into your house without consent, coming too close to you for your liking with a roaring laugh enough to hurt your tiny little eardrums.

The first? A description that seems to fit the typical seasonal icon that we hear so much about. The latter? My views on the terribly terrifying elderly bloke who scared me half to death.

I know what you’re thinking- “Jazz, he’s nice. He gives you presents.” Yeah, well he also knows when you’ve been sleeping and knows when you’re awake. To me? That sounds super stalkerish.

Okay, okay, I’m not afraid of the fictional character anymore, but when I was little and during the period where I believed he was indeed a real person, I was petrified. I don’t remember exactly what caused me to be so afraid (though, bare in mind, I have been diagnosed with anxiety. Could Santa be the root of the cause? Probably not, but clearly I was a nervous child since birth) but my Gran recalls that when I was just the tender age of two, a Father Christmas tried to take me off my mother outside a supermarket and I was not having any of it. The following years saw me absolutely trembling with fear over him. I remember at a very young age being in a B&Q and there he was; my version of Satan. A big bloke head to toe in red and a dodgy beard to cover his true identity. All he wanted to do was give me a lollipop, but I let loose from my mother’s grip and ran down each aisle. Every aisle I reached the end of, his face would peer followed by a high pitched scream from myself before running away again. My mother had to tell him to just give up because I did not and would not like him, regardless of how many free lollipops he had to bribe me with.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 8: Christmas Crafts

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It’s time to get creative! With the big day less than a week away, I’ve spent time with my mother to demonstrate some Christmas crafts for you to do. Whether for yourself or to give to others.

Christmas Heart decorations

Add a touch of homemade love to your Christmas tree with these easy to make heart decorations.

You will need: Scraps of fabric, stuffing of your choice, paper, pencil, scissors, pins, sewing machine or sewing kit.  

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  1. Fold a piece of paper in half
  2. Draw half a heart on the fold line
  3. Cut the heart
  4. Open to reveal a whole heart
  5. Pin to fabric and cut around the heart
  6. With right sides facing, hand or machine stitch most of the way around, leave a gap to turn out
  7. Turn out and stuff with stuffing. This could be old tights, stuffing from an old cushion, beans, rice,etc.
  8. Sew the rest and add a loop to hang. You can use the ribbon inside your clothing used to hang or string

Mammy’s note: “We used craft fabric to make ours but we have also used old ripped PJs in a Christmas pattern previously, which is ideal for crafts on a budget.”

Santa Egg Hats

Make breakfast more festive with these cute little Santa hats for your eggs.

You will need:  red and white yarn and knitting needles (4mm, UK size 8) 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 7: A Helpful Hamper

Christmas is about giving and it’s important to remember not just your friends and family, but those in need, too.

Normally at Christmas, I would do a hamper either for my uncle who live alone or my dad or even my step brother when he was at uni, but with circumstances changing, this year we have decided to create a hamper for someone in need. These could be for absolutely anyone you feel would benefit, but this year we will be giving it to the local food bank for those who need it.

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While it looks extravagant, this cost us so little as we would put one or two items at a time in with our shopping and didn’t really affect the costs at all. It doesn’t have to be branded – it could be the store’s own (ie: ASDA Smart Price), anything really is beneficial.

Of course, Christmas is very close to us now, but if you could pick up even five pounds worth on your Christmas shop. Perhaps in the new year, you could make it a resolution to buy one or two tinned items or food that isn’t dated to save and then make a hamper for someone. An elderly neighbour, someone who isn’t as fortunate financially or unable to get to the shops. If you donate to your local food bank, they usually have a list of what they typically run out of most. Any donation is hugely appreciated and the warmth you feel for helping someone is truly a special Christmas gift alone.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 6: Christmas in Cardiff

Like every city, Cardiff gets festive for the Christmas period. From the Christmas market to Santa’s Grotto and even its own Winter Wonderland, there’s something for everyone.

I visited Cardiff earlier in the week and decided to take you with me by filming the best bits.

I hope you enjoyed the video and it’s got you feeling festive. What does your local city do for Christmas?

MORE FROM BLOGMAS… 

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 5: Mushroom Wellington Recipe

Whether you’re catering for a vegetarian or just like the sound of it, Mushroom Wellington is perfect to serve with a Christmas dinner, so today I’ll be giving you my family’s recipe on how to make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions (approx. 1/2 lb or 250g)
  • 400g/just under 1Ib of mushrooms (any – we have used white)
  •  1lbs or 500g of store bought or homemade pastry (a good recipe for pastry can be found here if you choose to do homemade)
  • 125ml  of fresh cream
  • Brandy or white wine
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Parsley
  • 1tbs of olive oil
  • 1tbs of milk

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Blogmas Day 4: Christmas Around The World

I have lots of family and friends who live around the world and, personally, I find it rather interesting and exciting to see how different countries celebrate Christmas. Here in the UK, we’re all pretty familiar with the opening of presents before stuffing a lovely Christmas dinner in the shape of a Sunday roast, telling a few jokes from crackers and flopping out in front of the TV for Christmas specials, but what do other countries do to celebrate this festive time of year? I spoke to some friends and family to find out what they do for their Christmas traditions.

Denmark

My friend, Line, was kind enough to tell me about her Christmas traditions…

Follow Line over on Twitter

“In Denmark, we open gifts on the 24th December. We eat things like duck and roast pork. After dinner, we have a lot of candy and walk around the Christmas tree and sing both English and Danish songs.  We play a game and win gifts. We eat play a game where we eat Risalamande (a Danish dessert traditionally served at Christmas) and inside there is an almond. Whoever finds the almond nut wins a small gift.

We also have Christmas calendars like in the UK to open from the 1st to 24th and a calendar candle, too.”

Germany

Fellow blogger, John, talks about Christmas in Germany…

Check out John’s blog here

“Christmas is a magical time in Germany, the best bit is that we get to do it twice. The first Christmas happens on 6th December on St Nikolaus. Children leave their newly cleaned shoes at their front door in the hope that St Nikolaus will fill them with chocolate and sweets. At 2pm across Germany on 24th December, Germany falls silent and stays that way until the 27th. On Christmas Eve families come together to decorate their Christmas Tree and exchange presents. On Christmas Day most families eat Goose rather than the Turkey that is eaten in many countries. I love it that everything is closed for Christmas, everyone has the chance for a proper rest and spend time with their families.”

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.