Becc4 Christmas through the years
Becc4 Christmas through the years
Becc4 Christmas through the years
Becc4 Christmas through the years


Firstly, can you believe that it is Christmas Eve?!? The main man himself is popping down the chimney tonight, and tomorrow we'll be sat down enjoying the best meal of the entire year - I love Christmas. I always have and always will. 

As a child, I used to be a really fussy eater and didn't used to like roast dinners. I know, what a travesty. I'd pick around the good bits but turned my nose up at roast potatoes... Oh, how times have changed. It's almost as if I'm making up for missed time with my newfound obsession with roasts.

A permanent favourite of mine have always been pigs in blankets - I confessed my love for them in this post and this one, so yeah, it's fair to say I love them more than the typical person does. I've recently become more of a mince pie person, but only those fancy puff pastry ones. Miss me with those shortcrust ones - I don't fancy a mouth full of sand.

As for gifts, my sister and I have always been really fortunate and to quote my Dad 'our house used to look like a bloody Toys"R"Us store some years'. Rest in peace to the holy land that was Toys"R"Us at Christmas. Gone but never forgotten.

We received some incredible gifts over the years but I will never forget the year we were given a Nintendo Wii. They were the thing to have and my sister and I really wanted one. Christmas day rolled around, with no sign of a Wii, when my parents whipped one out on Boxing Day. My sister and I nearly weed with excitement (haha, geddit). It's fair to say that year, the rest of the festive period was spent challenging my relatives to a game of Wii bowling and pretending I knew what the heck I was doing.

Other presents of note include a nurses outfit and doctors case, a toy washing line (yep, I'm not sure why) and a wooden dolls house (that my sister ended up writing her name all over and scribbling on).

Back in the day, an absolute highlight was singing my heart out on Singstar with my neighbours, belting out Avril Lavigne's Complicated at the top of my lungs. We also used to have a board game called Rumble in the Jungle, (I'll link it on Amazon here) and it was genuinely the best thing ever. I remember being so excited when my parents agreed to play as it was a Christmas-only thing.

I've mentioned my family's Christmas tradition over here on becc4 before, but, in case you missed it, I'll mention it again. We all dance around my kitchen, whilst Fairytale of New York plays, waving bits of kitchen roll around. I think this tradition was started by my Nannie, yeaaaaaaars ago, and it's one of the highlights of Christmas.

Also, one more thing, shall we just take a moment to discuss how blonde I was as a child ?! I know I've dyed my hair darker, but wowee, I really was blonde.

Do you have any favourite Christmas memories?
Back in November, I launched my very own Christmassy hashtag; #ahomelychristmas and it already has over 400 posts, yippee! For those of you who are new around these parts, I created this hashtag with a vision of it being the go-to place for festive content over on Instagram. I'm talking food, decor, outfits, gift guides, flatlays, the lot... And, guess what, the people have delivered. 

So, for today's post I just thought I'd collate a few of my favourite posts from the tag and post them over here. Now, I had a really tough time choosing which to feature. THERE ARE SO MANY GORGEOUS PHOTOS. If you haven't already checked it out, go and do so - there's much inspiration to be found. 

Also, when is it acceptable to continue posting about Christmas? I mean, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are a given, but for how much longer can I drag out my much loved festive theme? Maybe New Year's Eve? Who knows. What I do know, however, is that come January I'm going to be at a loss of what to post. I better start thinking of some content, hadn't I... 
Becc4 / The 2018 Christmas Ads As Rated By The Martin Fam
The Christmas ads are very much a hot topic of conversation these days when November rolls around. I mean, who else was eagerly anticipating this year's John Lewis ad and was bitterly disappointed with this year's offering? Particularly after some absolute festive tear-jerkers in the past... So, for today's blogmas post, I thought I'd rope my family in to help me rate and review a selection of this year's most talked about Christmas ads and decide whether they get the Martin family stamp of approval or not. Do let me know if you agree with our reviews. Does anyone like the John Lewis one?

John Lewis

'Oh God, I don't wanna see it again. I hate it.'
It would be rude to start this post without discussing the most anticipated ad of them all first... As you've probably already guessed from the introduction, we really don't like this one. JL normally produce the Christmas ad of the season but we just really didn't get this one. Other than acting as promo for his tour next year, what is the point of the ad?!? Where's the Christmas spirit at? Gimme the man on the moon over this one any day. 

1/10 Martin Points, better luck next year


Sainsbury's

'Bright, colourful, cute'
We LOVE this one. It's festive, it's bright, it's full of life. One of the highlights is the girl dressed as the queen in the TV costume - whatta legend. But, obviously, the overall highlight has to be plug boy. If Sainsbury's started selling the plug outfit and socket I can guarantee that we'd purchase at least one. How much fun does that look?!? Our one criticism is that it's not particularly Sainsbury's related and could almost be confused for a scene out of Nativity. 

10/10 Martin Points, well done plug boy


M&S

'Mediocre at best, I like the houses lit up at the end.'
Whilst better than the John Lewis one, we were all a little underwhelmed. I liked the videography and it was another obviously Christmas related one which was appreciated. It certainly wasn't agame changerr and didn't spark any conversations - two things we think a good Christmas ad should do.

3/10 Martin Points, it was okay


ASDA

'Snow, presents, catchy Christmas song, festive outfits - it's got it all'
A bit of a dark horse this one... WE LOVED IT. It incorporated pretty much all the elements of Christmas whilst backed by one of the catchiest Christmas songs of all time - an absolute winning recipe for a fail-safe Christmas ad if you ask me. 

9/10 Martin Points, good but not quite plugboy levels


Waitrose

'So witty and I'm glad I don't have to watch the whole John Lewis one again.'
We much preferred this one to the JL one and loved that they'd linked the two. Of all of the things to fast forward it for though... Stollen? A pile of roast potatoes would've been a much better choice, or even mince pies. Stollen? No, thank you.

6/10 Martin Points, clever

McDonald's

'Who doesn't leave carrots out for the reindeer on Christmas Eve?!?'
The McDonald's one is another dark horse - what a great ad. Can we just take a minute to talk about how cute the reindeer are?! I'm also really glad they stuck with carrots and didn't decide that the reindeer fancied 20 McNuggets... It wouldn't have quite had the same festive charm, would it?

9/10 Martin Points, adorable

KFC

'Very long, very dull and very predictable'
Now, this is one we'd heard nothing about nor had we ever seen it, and I'm not surprised. It was really long, was only about selling food and didn't feel Christmassy in the slightest. It also relies on the viewer knowing what a cartoon turkey looks like, which lets be real, not everyone does.

2/10 Martin Points, still better than JL

Lidl

'An ad that specifically sells the products, wow'
Whilst there isn't one Christmas ad - there are many - they are all short and promote a variety of their products, which is a nice idea. They also all follow a common theme. My personal favourite is the ice rink in the cul-de-sac, it just makes me laugh. Whilst some of the food doesn't appeal, the ads are still funny and obviously promoting what they are trying to promote.

7/10 Martin Points, humorous 

And there we have it, a roundup of some of this year's much talked about adverts... 


Have we missed any good ones?
Which is your favourite from this year?
green christmas tree with gold rose gold and white baubles
grey room with mantlepiece and christmas decorations
black orange and gold bauble wreath
bedroom with christmassy pillows and a christmas tree

As you are reading this it is actually my sister's eighteenth birthday, so this blogmas post is just going to be short and sweet, this gal's got things to be doing today... I thought it might be a nice idea to take a few photos of some of the decorations up around my family home and showcase them over here on becc4.co.uk so today's post is going to be exactly that. Now, I'm not sure how helpful this post is going to be as I have no idea where a lot of the items are from, but yanno, maybe these photos can be taken as inspiration or if not might be a good way to waste a minute or two whilst you wait for the kettle to boil.

Our tree is a green artificial one from M&S and the baubles are from all over the world, literally. We have some from Florida and Bali, and the rest are from garden centres, Primark, M&S and The Range. The theme is gold, rose gold and white and I think it looks beautiful. Over the years we've had some pretty raucous looking trees, including a phase of having an orange and purple theme, so it's fair to say this one is miles ahead. I love it.

As for the rest of the things, I'm not entirely sure where they're from but if you have any burning questions leave them in the comments and I'll get my Mum to rack her brains. This year we got rid of all of our tinsel (sorry to any hardcore tinsel lovers) and I think our house looks so much better for it!

The theme in my room this year is red and white - much like my Instagram theme - it's almost like it was planned or something... (There's a whole post on things I've done deliberately for the gram here if you'd like to read it. This would definitely be number 8.) Again, I can't entirely remember where everything is from but the majority is M&S and the red heart baubles were new from Tiger this year!

How have you decorated your house this year?
Does your tree have a theme?
collage of christmas markets and events
If you follow me over on Instagram (linked here) you'll have seen that I've recently been going to allllll of the festive spots down here on the South Coast. For those of you who are new around these parts, I'm from Bournemouth but currently live and study in Southampton, so yeah, it's fair to say I consider the south coast my stomping ground. In today's post, I thought I'd give you a little roundup of the five Christmas spots I've been to so far this year.

girl stood in tunnel of fairy lights
gardens


I was recently invited to visit Beaulieu as a blogger on their opening night and took my Mumma as my plus one. We had a really nice evening wandering the grounds looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights. The tunnel pictured above was by far the highlight for me, it was beautiful. The only criticism we had was there wasn't enough music... If you're after an all singing, all dancing festive experience, this isn't the one for you. If you are, however, after lots of photo opps and a nice, classy evening stroll, then this is ideal.

bath christmas market and cathedral
A few weeks ago I visited Bath Christmas Market and it was PACKED. To be fair, we did go on opening weekend, so what were we expecting, but from what I've heard, it's busy all month. The city of Bath itself is so so pretty, so throw in a load of Christmassy stalls selling delicious food and homemade gifts, and it only gets better. The shopping in Bath is also incredible, so if you're looking for a proper day out then Bath is the one. Be prepared for the crowds though, everyone and their brother is planning a trip.

nutcracker at southampton christmas market
mulled wine at the christmas market
I was recently invited to experience the Southampton Christmas Market with a few other local bloggers and it was a really nice evening. We sampled alllll of the market food, and let me tell you, the crepes are INCREDIBLE. We had mulled wine in the balcony bar overlooking the entire market and chatted all things blogging. My favourite thing about Southampton at Christmas is by far the huge German bar with alllll the Christmas music playing. The market shopping isn't as good as some of the others I've been to, but if you're after good food and festive music, then this is the one for you.

winchester christmas market food stalls
Winchester at Christmas is a lot like Bath. It's a really pretty city and its Christmas market is always really well thought out and organised. That being said, compared to Bath there isn't an awful lot to see and do in the city generally, it's just a nice place to wander around. So, if all you're specifically after a pretty market, and not fussed about it being a full day trip, then this is the place to go. 

bournemouth christmas tree lights
bournemouth christmas tree lights
It's fair to say Bournemouth is a bit of a Christmas hub at this time of year... There are all sorts of things going on, from two ice skating rinks, to the lights in the gardens, the Christmas markets and the bar in the square. I've also heard there's a hot chocolate stand that is next level, so if I get the chance to check it out I will definitely report back on my thoughts... The Christmas trees that have been put up in the gardens really are pretty and are nice to wander around if you get the chance. They're also free, obviously, so a nice budget friendly option if you're out and about in town and don't want to pay for entry to something!

And there we have it, Christmas on the south coast wrapped up and rated...

Have you been to any of these spots this year?
Which is your favourite Christmas market?

So, guess who just got back from a reaaaaally last minute, spontaneous trip to Iceland? Yep, it's me. How did you swindle a last minute trip to one of the coolest (haha, geddit?) places on earth at such short notice, I hear you ask? Well, my best friend was meant to be going with his now ex-girlfriend and so, step in Becca, straight off the subs bench and onto an easyJet flight out of Luton to Reykjavik. I had the best three days ever and Iceland genuinely lived up to everything I'd hoped for and more.

DAY 1: The Blue Lagoon
Our flight departed Luton at 07.45 on Tuesday morning so we spent the night before at the Ibis just down the road from the airport. We had breakfast (smoothies and croissants) at the airport before boarding the plane and embarking on the three-hour flight to Iceland. Now, I've experienced a fair few turbulent flights but let me tell you, they were NOTHING compared to that flight. So much so, in fact, that after we'd landed it was too windy for us to leave the plane, so we spent an hour sitting in the plane on the tarmac before it calmed down a bit and we were all allowed to make a mad dash for the arrivals terminal. 

Once we'd made it through security we had about an hour to kill before our coach for the Blue Lagoon was scheduled to arrive. (It's near the airport so it's recommended to go either on your way into Iceland or on your way out). We were both starving so headed to Dunkin' Donuts for some lunch (Icelandic, I know). I had a pizza slice and a donut, and Jacob had a $10 BLT. I know they say Iceland is expensive but I had no idea quite the extent of it. 

Our coach arrived, after standing outside and being blown around by some gale force winds, and took about twenty minutes to get to our destination. When you arrive at the laggon, you have to pay to store your luggage (after coming from the airport) and then you make your way to the main entrance. Now, the tickets are not cheap. And by not cheap, I mean they're just under £100 a person when you include the luggage fee and the price of the coach ticket to get there and back. You are, however, provided a towel, given a free drink and a face ask once you're there... Not quite £100's worth though methinks. 

Anyway, the Blue Lagoon is absolutely beautiful and so relaxing. The water was nowhere near as hot as I was expecting which I think made it easier when it was time to get out, and expose your body to the -1 weather going on. 

We showered, got back dressed (thermals, boots, hats and all) and headed back to the coach. They leave at quarter past the hour and thankfully we managed to time it all really well and jump straight on a coach back. We got dropped at the BSI terminal and walked to our Airbnb in downtown Reykjavik. 

The Airbnb was really cute - it was a really cosy little cabin (read: shed) in the back garden of someone's property and had a little kitchen, a bathroom, dining table, and bed. That evening we headed to a restaurant just down the road for dinner as we were both exhausted. The food really wasn't great and I paid £32 for my chewy rather terrible lamb wrap and fries... 

DAY 2: Golden Circle Tour and Secret Lagoon
We had a pre-booked excursion on the agenda for our second day, and so woke up nice and early ready to be picked up at 9am by the minibus. The first stop on the tour was Þingvellir National Park. Now, during the winter, Iceland gets hardly any daylight at all, I'm talking four hours maximum. The sun rises at about midday and sets again by 4pm - it's really strange to get used to. So, we visited our first stop whilst it was still fairly dark, and very windy, so I don't have a lot to report nor photos to show you. 

The second stop of the tour was by far my favourite part of the whole trip; Gullfoss Waterfall. I'd never seen anything like it and we were both genuinely in awe, it really was stunning. We had about half an hour to wander around and there are multiple different viewing platforms and I loved every second of it. 

Next up on the trip was lunch and a visit to the Geysirs. For lunch, I had chicken nuggets and fries (again, not particularly Icelandic but I was starving and craving carbs). After lunch, we headed over to the geyser viewing area and watched it go up a few times. Again, this was like nothing I'd ever seen before and I really enjoyed watching it.

The final stop on the trip was to the Secret Lagoon. Which, much like the Blue Lagoon is an outdoor hot spring, just without the blue water. In Icelandic custom, one has to shower naked in a communal shower area before entering the lagoon, so guess who got their bits out in public... Yep. The lagoon itself was much warmer than the Blue Lagoon and looked like something straight out of Game of Thrones, it was really nice.

For dinner that evening we decided to make ourselves food at the Airbnb. We headed to the supermarket (which all shut at 18.30 in the winter FYI) after we'd been dropped off and grabbed some bits to make a meal. Now, we bought pasta, sauce, an onion and a packet of salami, as well as a pack of three garlic baguettes. 

We made it back to the Airbnb, shopping in tow, and decided to make a start on dinner. It was only then did we realise that we didn't, in fact, have an oven and our garlic bread wasn't going to cook itself. So, after a quick Instagram poll we decided to microwave it. Which, let me tell you, resulted in some very soggy, Casper the ghost looking garlic bread. Following this, we decided not to give up and whacked it in a frying pan to see if we could make it any better. Now, other than it being a bit burnt - the two in conjunction kind of did the trick... It wasn't particularly tasty, and Jacob wasn't too well the following day, but when there's a will there's a way. And all we wanted was some garlic bread.

The weather on our last day was grim. I'm talking really overcast, pouring down with rain and bitterly cold kind of grim... So, we stayed in the Airbnb until we had to check out and then headed for a wander around Reykjavik. The shops were all really pretty, both the souvenir shops and the bespoke boutiques, and we even spotted a charity shop... Me being me decided that we had to have a quick nose and see what the prices were like for second hand clothes in one of the world's most expensive countries... Well, a check shirt will set you back a meaty $20, so I can't even begin to imagine how much they cost to buy new!

After a bit more wandering - in a much less Christmassy Reykjavik than expected - we stumbled across the Hard Rock Cafe. Now, I absolutely love the HRC and have been to a fair few around the world in my time, and so when I spotted one in Iceland I decided we HAD to go. This was even before we spotted the lunch deal which included a burger, fries and a soup for £15, which, considering we'd paid over thirty quid for a naff wrap a couple of days before, really was unexpected. As always, the food was incredible and by far the cheapest meal we had there... Who'd have thought it, hey?

We then had a bit more of a wander before heading to Hallgrímskirkja church to take a few photos and have a look around. We had our suitcases on us and so didn't ascend the tower, but had a little wander nonetheless. We then wandered back to the BSI terminal and waited for our coach back to the airport.

Our flight was just as expected, and after spending an hour sat stationary on the M25 following a crash, I eventually made it home at about 4.30am on Friday morning...

All in all, it was a really great trip and I genuinely had the best time ever. 

Have you ever been to Iceland?
Where is at the top of your travel bucket list?
Bath Christmas Market


For today's post, I thought we'd do something a little different around these parts and take a look at various Christmas traditions from around the world. Now, I was considering researching a tonne of different countries on Google and then collating them together in this post, but ended up coming up with a much better idea... I thought I'd ask bloggers/influencers from various places around the world to describe how their country celebrates Christmas, neat huh? So, just before we start, I just want to thank the six absolute babes that helped me write this post, it means a lot!

Portugal 
On Christmas Eve extended families (aunts, uncles, cousins) will all have dinner and then open their presents at midnight. Then, on Christmas day, families tend to have lunch with their grandparents which usually consists of cod. - Marta, A Place In Her Heart

Mexico 
Families will wait up until midnight on Christmas Eve so that they can "wake up" baby Jesus and bring him in Christmas morning. - Sandra, @sandratalcaraz

Finland
Finns believe that Santa Claus (Joulupukki) lives in the northern part of Finland called Lapland, not the North Pole. Christmas Eve is the most important day over Christmas in Finland. The festivities begin with a rice porridge that has an almond hidden in it. The person who gets it is said to have good fortune the next year. The Christmas tree is brought in after lunch and decorated, and Christmas dinner is served the evening of the 24th. Santa Claus usually pays a visit after dinner and gives everyone their presents. Christmas day itself is usually a much more relaxed day spent at home. - Anu, Based On Blog 

The Netherlands
On the 5th of December "Sinterklass" (Saint Nicholas) brings the children presents and is a totally separate holiday to Christmas. This is a day full of gifts, food, songs, and poems. Christmas day itself is then typically spent eating a family meal and attending a church service. - Marta, A Place In Her Heart

Austria 
If children have been good then Saint Nikolaus will bring children gifts on the night of the 5th of December, but if they have been bad then Krampus - who is part goat and part demon - punishes them. Children also write to the Christkind and not Father Christmas when making their wishlists. - Emina, Real Talk with Emina

Turkey
Christmas itself isn't celebrated in Turkey, but people put up Christmas trees and Santa decorations to celebrate New Years. - Doga, @dogagirinti


Do you know any other interesting Christmas traditions? 
Triple Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies
Brownie ingredients
Brownie baking ingredients
Brownie baking ingredients
Triple Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies
Triple Chocolate Christmas Tree Brownies
So, let me just start this post by saying that I think these are the best brownies I've ever had and I've had a fair few brownies in my twenty years of existence. I was scrolling Pinterest for Christmas baking ideas and saw a lot of winter spiced brownie recipes, but why fix something that isn't broken, hey? So I started googling brownie recipes and settled for this BBC Good Food one. It was easy enough and they genuinely taste incredible.

A few things to mention; firstly, I didn't have an electric whisk so whisked the eggs and sugar together by hand and got nowhere near the texture the recipe called for. They turned out fine, so don't worry too much about that step. My second faux pas was buying salted butter rather than unsalted, but let me assure you, there's sooooo much chocolate in these that you'd never be able to tell. So, if you have one and not the other, I wouldn't worry too much. My brownies also took way longer than the allocated 25 minutes to bake, so just keep an eye on them and put them back in if you need to. So, onto the recipe...

You will need:
185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
50g white chocolate
50g milk chocolate
3 large eggs

275g golden caster sugar

Extra white chocolate to drizzle on top

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and line the base of a 20cm square tin with non-stick baking parchment.

2. Cut the butter into small cubes and break the dark chocolate into small pieces, and tip them into a medium-sized bowl.

3. Fill a small saucepan with a little hot water, and place the bowl on top. Use a low heat to melt the chocolate and the butter, stirring occasionally to mix them. Remove from heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

4. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into another bowl, and combine them

5. Chop the white and milk chocolate into small chunks

6. Break the eggs into a large bowl and tip in the golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are thick and creamy.

7. Pour the cooled chocolate and butter mixture over the eggs and gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Do this gently as not to get rid of all of the air you've just whisked into it.

8. Add the flour and cocoa powder mixture and gently fold in.

9. Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re evenly dotted throughout.

10. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

11. Put the tray in the oven and set your timer for 25 mins. After this, if you gently shake the tin and the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so put it back in for another 5 minutes.


12. Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold, then, remove and cut into triangles. Melt the remaining white chocolate and drizzle on top of the trees as much or as little as you'd like.

And tadaaaa, there you have it, delicious, festive, triple chocolate brownies.

What is your favourite festive thing to bake?
Makeup, beauty, christmas,
I know beauty isn't something that's often discussed around these parts but it felt wrong not to post my beauty picks for the festive season. Everyone knows that this time of year is allll about getting glammed up and going out-out, two things I haven't been doing too much of recently. So, as I'm sure you can probably guess, I am very excited for the festive period and all the getting dressed up opportunities it brings.

As for eyeshadow, the two palettes I will most certainly be reaching for are my Morphe 35OS (which I've written an entire post on here) and my Urban Decay Naked Smoky. I love the warm colours in the Morphe one for this time of year, but you can't beat a good smokey eye can you?

Highlighter, highlighter, highlighter. At Christmas, there's only one way to go; go hard or go home. I tend to layer a liquid highlighter, such as the Revolution one in Champagne, and then set it with a powder highlight for that proper in your face shine. I can see myself reaching for this Revolution highlighter palette this season, and using a mix of all of the shades. They're so buttery and work really well layered on top of the liquid one.

My Mac Studio Fix Fluid is my go-to longlasting, heavy-duty foundation. It's amazing. I apply a fairly thin layer with my beauty blender, set it with a load of powder, and it always lasts the entire night. The perfect night out foundation, no?

Now, when it comes to lips, pinks and nudes are always what I go for. But, whether it be a gloss, lipstick or liquid lipstick depends on what I'm feeling that day. Mac's Velvet Teddy is my go-to lipstick, it's an absolute classic. The Etos lipgloss I bought in Amsterdam and don't reach for particularly often day to day, but it's gorgeous with a dark eye. But, the option I go with most of the time is the Nyx Liquid Suede in Sandstorm. It's quite a dark shade of brown but I love how it looks with my skin tone. See, I don't like how red lips look on me, so this is definitely the second best thing. It's not drying and it lasts forever, a win-win.

What are your festive beauty picks?

Also, can we just quickly mention how we are halfway through Blogmas already?! How quickly has this month gone already?...
In case you couldn't already tell, I'm pretty Christmas keen. I LOVE Christmas. I love everything about it; the food, the lead-up, the festivities, the shopping, the clothes, everything. So much so, in fact, that Nina and I decided to make our own Christmas tag. It's ten questions and we'd love it if you also took part. If you do, be sure to link us and send it to us so that we can see it!

- Weirdest family Christmas tradition?
I’m not even sure where this originated from, but my family and I all dance around the kitchen waving tissues around when The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York comes on on Christmas Day... Mum, Dad, if you're reading this, where did this even come from?! Come December 25th I can fully guarantee you this will, in fact, be happening once again. 

- It's Christmas Eve, what are you doing?
Maybe some last minute present shopping... Definitely a last minute wander around the food shops for anything else that catches our eye. The evening will be spent chilling and going to bed early ready for the big day. I do NOT understand those people who go out-out on Christmas Eve?? Why would you risk even risk being hungover on the best day of the year? Although, I can imagine that a roast dinner is just the hangover cure.

- Top 3 Christmas dinner components?
Roast potatoes
Stuffing
Pigs in blankets

- When do you decorate your house? November, the beginning of December, the week of Christmas?
Typically it’s the beginning of December, but I definitely consider anything earlier than that also to be more than acceptable.

- Loved and loathed Christmas songs?
I LOVE Shakin Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone and Elton John’s Step Into Christmas. A song I literally cannot stand is Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas - I thoroughly despise that song.

- One big present or lots of little things to open?
Definitely lots of little things... I love it when people buy lots of different things they know I’ll love rather than just one big thing that I’ve hinted that I like. That being said, if anyone wants to chuck a macbook pro/car down my chimney I certianly won't be complaining. 

- What is your favourite Christmas decoration? (Include a photo if you have one)
This year, I bought this star tealight holder from Poundland. Yep, Poundland, for a quid. And I love it. It's so minimalist and pretty, and looks lovely on my bedside table.


- Do you like to have a themed tree or one with a bit of everything?
Definitely a themed one. This year, and the last few years, we’ve had a rose gold, gold, and white themed tree and I LOVE it. It’s so so so pretty and always looks really well put together. That being said there are a few rogue baubles that we’ve collected over the years from various holidays etc that still manage to make an appearance.

- Christmas pudding: yay or nay?
That is one hell of a nay from me. Pass me anything else; syrup sponge, cheesecake, profiteroles, crumble, you name it, anything but Christmas pudding. (And Christmas cake on that note, that's also a no from me)

- What's at the top of your Christmas wishlist this year?
I mean, I’d reaaaaaaally like a puppy, but the other thing at the top of my list is pyjamas... Being a student, I spend rather a lot of my time in pjs and there is absolutely nothing better than a new set of cosy pyjamas... The other thing at the top of my list is a cracking roast dinner - my Mum always makes the best roasts but Christmas dinner is always another level. Pass me allllllll the good food please. 

I tag: Fran, Lucy, Emily, Abi, Marta, Laura, Bea, Anna and Emma.
 Welcome to the third and final gift guide of the year, the gift guide for Dad's. In case you've missed the other two, you can read my gift guide for Mum's here and my stocking filler for her guide here. Is it me or are Dad's notoriously hard to buy for? Hopefully, this guide will give you some ideas, and seeing as all of the items featured are under £16, they're not going to break your bank either.

The easiest things to buy are by far Christmas related things, so it's unsurprising that three of the items in this guide are just that. How cute are these gingerbread man socks?! They're a nice little novelty gift and I'm going to make sure that my Dad opens them Christmas morning so he can wear them all day. I think they were literally a pound or two in a local shop. I'm tempted to give him the fairisle pyjamas* early and let him wear them on the lead up to Christmas, but that sort of defeats the point of a Christmas present doesn't it really. The bottoms are really soft and fleecy and I love the Christmassy fairisle print!

I picked up the Festive Games set in Superdrug, and I'm going to be honest, I have absolutely no idea what the games entail... I'll find out on Christmas day and report back, but hopefully they're a good laugh.

My Dad always buys me new recipe books, so, this year, I thought I'd get one for him. It's a chicken recipe book, and yep, you guessed it, all of the recipes involve chicken. I've had a quick flick through it and some of the recipes sound DELICIOUS. On the topic of food, I bought this Christmas Spice Chutney as it seemed like such a 'Dad gift'. I personally don't like chutney, so don't have a lot else to say about this one other than it was £3 in Waitrose if you're wondering.

What would a gift guide be without chocolate and toiletries? I spotted these limited edition salted caramel Matchmakers and knew I had to get them, my Dad looooves salted caramel. The shower gel was just a huge Dove one I spotted in Superdrug and thought I'd pick it up. Nothing fancy about that one, just shower gel. (Can you tell I was struggling to think of gifts?)

Whilst I was scrolling on Amazon I found two other gifts that I thought were a little bit different. The first is a grow your own Bonsai tress kit... Yep, so random, but if successful I think they'll look really pretty. I like getting people gifts that involve something to actually do. So, when I also spotted the Lego Star Wars set, I immediately added it to my basket as another present/activity.

Do you also find men ridiculously hard to buy for? 
(Thank God I'm single because I'm not sure I have the time right now to be faffing around with buying more presents for guys).