Sunday, 11 November 2018

Mrs Mulled Wine's Christmas Countdown - 6 Weeks To Go

I hope you didn't miss me too much last week. We had a very full-on half term and now the kids are back to school, I am very much on Christmas countdown (despite only buying one gift so far). I've pledged this year to only buy our grown-up gifts from a charity close to the recipient's heart or a small or local business this year and I'm looking forward to spending more at Christmas markets this year. A sale to a small business or charity really does make a difference and its just a little way to spread some Christmas cheer. Also, who wants another Boots gift set?

It's all about Fenwick

I have been obsessed with Fenwick this Christmas. We were lucky enough to grab tickets to their Santa on the Rooftop event (read our review here) and it really was one of the most magical Christmas experiences I've ever enjoyed. I was beaming the whole time. The elves, Father Christmas and the setting were all simply stunning. It even snowed! If you have tickets to this event you're in for a treat. If you don't have tickets this year, it's definitely one to look out for next year.

Staying with the Fenwick theme, I really like this year's window featuring The Snowman but I don't think it's as good as Paddington last year. You can read my thoughts on this year's window and why I hate people pushing in here.

Finally, I popped to The Snowman Cafe which is a pop-up Christmas cafe on the lower ground floor of Fenwick. You can't book a table here but there wasn't too much of a wait when we visited. They serve the most delicious cakes, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a fabulous range of boozy hot chocolates. You can read my mini Facebook review, see more photos and have a peek at the menu here. 

Iceland's Christmas Campaign

No doubt you'll have seen that banned Greenpeace advert by now. I've read a lot of theories saying Iceland knew what they were doing by choosing something they knew would be banned and that the advert isn't a Christmas advert but BRAVO to them I say. Instead of using their prime time Christmas slots to push another Kerry Katona ad and more consumerism, they are using this slot to gain the biggest amount of traction possible to push an issue we should all be thinking about. Yes, there's no doubt they'll make commercial gain from this too and that was probably their plan, they are a business after all but why not make commercial gain AND save the planet at the same time? It makes perfect sense to me and I hope where Iceland lead, others will follow.

We adopted an Orangutan a few years ago and although I knew about Palm Oil, I didn't really actively do anything about it but thanks to Iceland's advert, I am much more aware now and although I've realised it's impossible for us to completely remove from our lives just now, every little helps and we'll be actively switching to products which don't contain or only use sustainable palm oil and buying more Iceland own-brand products from now on.

I've found some fab resources if you'd like to take a look:

Where should we go ice skating this year?

I can't decide where to take the kids ice skating this year. We need somewhere with proper ice not the fake stuff please. I've narrowed it down to Edinburgh Christmas Market, Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland, Stockfield Park or our own Times Square. I am veering towards Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland as its the largest outdoor rink in the North and I've never been. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Operation Christmas Child - please think twice

Another year, another letter home from school asking us to take part in Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child, After researching this a few years ago, I can't believe it's still taking place. Although it may seem like a good idea on the surface, Operation Christmas Child is used as a way for the Samaritan's Purse to push their religious literature onto vulnerable children alongside the 'bribe' of a shoebox gift (the literature is provided alongside the box). As an atheist, this really doesn't sit comfortably with me. The charity's owner Franklin Graham has been on record boasting about how he has used the shoeboxes to convert Muslims over to Christianity. He's also been on record saying he wants Muslims banned from his country and has made homophobic remarks too. His views are not something I wish to support.

You can read more why I don't think you should support Samaritan's Purse here (obviously I'm not here to preach and if you still want to support them, that is 100% fine with me. You can read more about the work they do over on their website. But I do think it's important to make an informed choice on these things)

If you'd like to take part in a scheme like this, why not Link to Hope and the Rotary Club run similar schemes. However, charities providing global aid now tend to reject the Christmas Box model and say it's grossly inefficient. Charities such as Plan UK, Oxfam, Save the Children and Goodbox run sustainable alternatives.

I didn't make an M&S order

I can't believe I have decided against making an M&S food order this year! Steve could be working until 8pm on Christmas Eve this year (we won't know for definite until nearer the time or the actual day) and we're heading out for lunch to our local restaurant so I don't actually need that much food. We'll buy our cheese and meats from the Grainger Market I think. When I was browsing the M&S catalogue and online, nothing really stood out for me so I've decided to give it a miss this year. I hope I don't live to regret this!

Christmas around the web

I didn't get around to making our Christmas cake at the weekend so I'm hoping to make it at some point this weekend - have you made yours yet?



  1. Thanks for sharing my post - I started writing an ideas list for presents but that's as far as I've got... And I'm hosting this year! Eeek. Need to get organised

  2. I hadn't actually seen the Iceland ad until now. your right thought, surely we should be passing positive messages to our children and what better time than xmas. Also, went to northumberland sreet this wek, the snow makes it so magical!

  3. Thankyou so much for including me and my resting grinch face, Sam!! I succumbed yesterday and nearly bought a new Christmas tree ... yes 10th November!

    I had no idea about that about the shoe boxes .. I will be sharing this for sure.

    I also knew little about palm oil but look how much we want to be informed now just in the last few days? It's brilliant what Iceland have achieved with this 'banned' ad. I'm all for big businesses making money especially when they do it in such a positive and constructive way. Sharon xo

  4. Bloody love these posts so much!! They get me all excited. Totally agree on operation shoebox. Well done for raising awareness of both that and palm oil in this post - saving the world and bringing Christmas cheer - what more can you ask for from a christmas blog!


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