Christmas Memories with Missus Wolf

‘When you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories’ – Caroline Kennedy

When I asked some of my best blogging friends to help me out with a 12 Days of Christmas blog series, I had no idea we would all have so much in common. This was particularly prevalent when Gemma from Missus Wolf wrote about her favouite Christmas memory and turned out, apart from the sisters, her Christmas day routine is almost exactly the same as mine….

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I have a feeling that my favourite Christmas Memory will be re-written this year. And perhaps for many years to come. As this is the first one where I have a little human of my own to share the magic with.

But as for Christmas past, my favourite memory is not actually a specific Christmas. It’s not a specific present or year in par”cular.My favourite Christmas memory is that of how I spent Christmas collectively as a child.

We spent Christmas Day at my grandparents’ house in Nottingham. As we lived in the North East, Christmas Day consisted of travelling to their house. But that was part of the excitement. Christmas Eve, I’d rally my two younger sisters together and we’d watch Santa Claus: The Movie, The Snowman and in the later years, The Nightmare Before Christmas. We’d have ourselves a little ‘Christmas Eve’ party (which was held in alternative bedrooms each year). There’d be snacks of Twiglets, Selection Boxes and Quality Street before we said our goodnights and tucked ourselves up in bed. Where we’d eagerly await for the man in red to arrive.

On Christmas Day, we’d do the kid thing and wake our parents annoyingly early. As we had to travel, we had to get dressed straight away into our Christmas party frocks. We’d all file downstairs and stand in line outside the living room door. Waiting to see if he had been.

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Our dad would go in first using his stage voice of ‘I’m just checking to see if he has been’ while he scurried in to set the camcorder up. Ready to capture our reactions. As he excitedly shouted back that yes, Santa had indeed been, we all entered the room and scrambled to the tree. Being the eldest, I took it upon myself to hand the presents out until we all had our own piles. Then it was a free for all as we ripped the paper off and cooed over our toys.

It’s funny how you become creatures of habit. We always kept the same side of the room each year.And once all the presents were opened, we picked our favourites and packed them into the car. The rest were taken to our rooms to play with when we returned just before New year. The drive always went quick (for us kids anyway). We were entertained with our new toys, sang songs, played car games, and had a nap. Life was good. Plus there was the anticipation of my grandma’s amazing Christmas dinner and the chance toopen yet more pressies.

We’d arrive just as Top of The Pops Christmas special was playing on the TV. We tended to have Christmas Dinner while this was on. Once we’d pulled our crackers and eaten, it was time for more presents. Again, same positions taken up and presents distributed as before. Another camcorder came out to play, this time my Grandad’s.

More exciting toys and presents ensued. After all the excitement, my sister and I would play with our toys as the grown-ups watched the Christmas Telly with their feet up. Oh. And the bossy big sister would come out. I’d organize a Christmas ‘performance’ with my sisters, aptly named Sister Act. It would involve dancing, singing and instrument playing (depending on the instrument flavour of with month). One year my sister played the clarinet. The grown-ups endured this year in, year out. Embarrassingly this went on into my teens too.

So it’s not specific to one year. That’s my childhood memory of Christmas as a whole. And I’m excited to start new memories with my own little family now.

That’s what it’s all about.

Who you share your day with.

Love Missuswolf xxxx

8 problems with Christmas in an office

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day’ – Phyllis Diller

Christmas is without a doubt my favourite holiday period. I’m a traditional girl at heart, and Christmases in the Weatherstone house were always filled with love and laughter but more importantly presents and food. It’s not really until adulthood that you realise what a political time of year it can be, and especially if you happen to work in an office, it’s an absolute festive minefield sometimes. Below are some of the things I’ve observed over my last 14 years of working in offices about my favourite time of year that sometimes take the ‘fun’ out of re’fun’dable presents..

 Christmas Card Politics

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Who to send to? Who not to send to. Who is worthy of the fancy M&S ones and who gets the Asda smart price ones that don’t stand up properly? Do you wait to see who you get one from first? Do you just sack it off and give some money to charity? So many decisions over something that’s going in the bin on 1st January

The Tinsel Police

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Every year we get an email with a graphic video on how quickly tinsel can catch fire so we’re not to put it round our monitors and every year Cheryl and I ignore it and do it anyway

The Office Christmas Party

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 I’ve been lumped with organising the office Christmas lunch/dinner many a time and I feel it’s up there with being an ultra-runner’s wife in terms of thankless tasks. Half the people want traditional, half the people want ‘something different’ , no one offers any suggestions, no one wants to take over organisting duties and no one wants to pay more than a tenner. Getting a deposit off anyone is like trying to crack the enigma code so you always end up out of pocket and everyone expects you to work out who owes what at the end of the night. Oh and you’re too busy organising it to remember to take the next day off so you’re the only one who has to go to work with a hangover.

The Secret Santa/Bran Tub debacle

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Can I just clarify one thing? A bran tub is where you buy a generic present intended for anyone in the office, a secret santa is where you know who you’re buying for, got it?! I like the idea of a secret santa more than a bran tub but what I hate about both most is the rules. Once I was embroiled in a bran tub where you couldn’t buy any alcohol (some people were tea total) chocolate (for the people on diets) smellies (for the people with sensitive skin) and the budget was a fiver. So what did I buy? Napkins, I bought Christmas Themed napkins. FML.

Decorating the Christmas tree

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I never realised until I worked in an office how many different ways there are to decorate a Christmas tree, in my office, the way I decorate a tree is of course wrong, so in 2013 I removed myself from the tree decorating committee and removed I shall stay because apparently i hang my baubles with incorrect spacing

Organising Office Cover

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We get Santa to organise our office cover…

Quite naturally everyone wants to be off on the days between Christmas and New Year, being in work is boring as sin and you feel the rest of the world is at home in their new onesies eating their selection boxes. Half of me thinks I should save my annual leave and come to work on the days it’s quieter but then you know the whole onsie and selection box thing is so tempting. I worked in an office once where no one could agree on who would work when that the 3 days of doom between xmas and new year was divided into hours, Hours! Christmas Cray cray.

Pinching of Stationary

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Having never been a puncher of work stationary  or an orderer of office stationary I was naively oblivious that this went on but I have it on good authority that it does, every year. Most coveted items are tape of multiple varieties (scotch, sello, masking) blue tac (for Christmas cards I assume) padded envelopes and sticky labels. Seriously, have a word with yourselves ya filthy tea leaf, leave the blu tac alone!

Christmas Jumper Day 

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This is a reletively new one which has grown legs over the last few years. In the UK Christmas jumper day is fir charity, which of course if brilliant, however i can’t hekp but feel there a sense if oneupmanship that comes along with it. For example last years i was told that my rather lovely H&M jumper with black sparkly snowflake on the front wasn’t a Christmas jumper at all, and was merely a ‘winter jumper’ this of course was aid to me by someone dressed as an elf and we know what pernickety sticklers for the rules those guys are. This year i’m going to wear one of these and shut everyone up (right before I collect my P45)

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Feel free to add your office traditions below, and remember, and Elf is for life, not just for twatting upside the head when they slag off your Christmas jumper!

What Do You Get The Girl Who Has Everything?

‘In suggesting gifts; money is appropriate, and one size fits all’ – William Randolph Hearst

I don’t know about you but I have a distinct feeling that the older you get the harder you become to buy for. Gone are the days when I had a Christmas List as long as my arm full of cds, and gadgets or earmarking every other page in the back of the Argos catalogue.  I had a few things on my list (as mentioned here) but nothing major, and I really struggled giving people ideas of what they could get me.

Luckily, this Christmas I discovered the answer to the age old question ‘What do you get the girl who has everything’? Turns out, what you get her, is this:

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It’s a bracket that sticks to the side of the bath so you can have a glass of wine whilst having that lovely Friday night, post gym, thank fluff the weekend is here soak. The funny thing is, I didn’t even know how much I needed this in my life until i got it! Here’s mine in action:

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Bath time at the Newman’s just got way more fun!

Get your own Bath wine glass holder from the Handpicked Collection here (psst. it’s in the sale at the moment!)

Don Thee Now Your Gay Apparel

”Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves and, of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times.’ – Betsey Johnson

December is my favourite month of the year. Not only because it’s Christmas and i get some time off work, but it’s the time of year when i go out more than any other month, and that means an excuse to by a shedload of new outfits! My style (if you can call it that) is often very casual, i’m very much a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and i don’t normally get dressed up unless i’m going to a wedding.

It hit me a few months ago when i went on a hen do and for comfort reasons i just threw on a pair of black jeans and a nice top and went out. As soon as i got out i was kicking myself for not making  more of an effort and styling it out in a pencil skirt, all the other girls looked so glamourous and i looked like a scruff. So i’m upping my game this year. I probably only have a couple of good years left in me where i’m still young enough to dress to the nines and i’m not in that ’40 and frumpy’ age bracket. This year, i’m going to town, literally. Here are some of my favourite outfits from the festive season, i’ve tried to add links to each thing (or something similar) where i can!

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 Friday 5th December 2014 – Office Party. Dress ‘Livvy’ by Amy Childs, Statement necklace and black suede look court shoes by Atmosphere at Primark

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Friday 12th December 2014 – Christmas Jumper day at work. Snowflake jumper by H&M, black bootcut jeans from Dorothy Perkins

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Saturday 13th December 2014 – Girls Night Out. Top to toe in Primark!

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Wednesday 17th December 2014 – Works night out. Red Herring leopard print dress (belt not worn)

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21st December 2014 – pre Xmas dinner and drinks with Hubby, bottle green skirt and black jumper from Primark, vintage statement necklace from eBay and peep toe shoe boots from New Look

I Don’t Want A Lot For Christmas….

‘Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection’ – Pindar

With the festive season fast approaching, it appears that I may actually be the girl who has everything because it has taken me a lifetime to come up with any kind of wish list , it’s just not the same without the back of an Argos catalog to flip through!

I have, however managed to come up with a few bits and bobs that I’ve asked Santa Claus (and a couple he’s delivered early due to the elves needing to know what exact size to make!)

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Hybrid Hyde Mesh Panel Contrast Dress Oxblood available from ASOS or Lovarni

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Karrimor 3 in 1 Waterproof Jacket Ladies from Sports Direct. This is the only other thing pre-bought, again for sizing reasons and and for mine and the hubby’s trip to Iceland in March. Considering the average temperature over there is about 1 degree Celsius, i figured i would need a good waterproof jacket to keep me warm and toasty on those glaciers!

Some other goodies i’m hoping might make their way into my stocking…

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Pleasures Estée Lauder for women EDP 100ml

Estee Lauder – Pleasures perfume

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Benefit Sugarbomb face powder

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Black Faux Fur Collarless Jacket from New Look (which i now notice is sold out so her’s hoping Santa snapped one up!)

Present porn aside, i very much understand that probably the last thing Christmas is about is about what presents you get. I’ve attended a funeral over 3 of the 4 last Christmas periods and am humbly aware that there are people who aren’t even thinking about what goodies they might receive like i am, they’re dreading the thought of spending what should be such a happy time with someone missing.

So when i say i don’t want  a lot for Christmas this year, I truly mean that, what i’m looking forward to most is some time off work, and spending the day eating and drinking with the people i love the most, because if I’ve learnt anything recently its that you have to cherish these family moments because you never know what’s lurking around the corner.