this post contains mentions of gifted items

I have no idea where November went but all of a sudden we are full steam ahead for Christmas! We enjoyed watching The Late Late Toy Show this past Friday night. It’s a family tradition in our house like so many houses in Ireland. We all snuggle up in our pyjamas with snacks and enjoy viewing as a family. This year’s show touched on some big issues in a tender way which was nice to see.

We celebrated Thanksgiving which the kids all really enjoy. It’s a normal day with school but the teachers give them the night off homework to enjoy our holiday. I always like to encourage people to think about what they are thankful for, even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday, it’s a great thing to count our blessings.

The weekend before last, we were invited to the Westport House Winter Wonderland where we got to see Santa, Mrs Claus and the elves. They have a new format this year with different activities and set ups which we all found really fun! The elves were hilarious and Santa was fantastic. I have it all saved in a Santa highlight on my Instagram you can watch to get a feel for the experience.

 

 

 

Speaking of Instagram, I have a gorgeous Newbridge Watch up for grabs – it’s open to people in Ireland, UK and USA, so pop over to this post for your chance to win. AND I’m teaming up with a few bloggers to offer one last big prize before Christmas, so check my Instagram Sunday night to see what it is.

 

 

The kids and I have been sent Tog24 coats this year. I have done my promotion of them but I want to let you know just how excellent we find them. At Westport House, my poor husband was freezing while myself and the kids weren’t cold at all – and it’s down to the Tog24 coats! They are lightweight but made in a way that they are super warm. I can’t recommend them enough, the quality is really excellent.

This time of year is my absolute favourite when it comes to photography. The photos I share here and on my Instagram are all taken either on my iPhone XR or my GoPro. This one below is an iPhone photo, edited on Lightroom. I edit my GoPro photos on Lightroom too, I’m finding it really great for adjusting the colours and brightness of my photos.

 

 

I got a few deals on the Black Friday sales. This year I’m glad to see people being encouraged to only get things they are intending to buy anyway, rather than stocking up just for the sake of the savings.

I was sent some beautiful items from Sous Chef, a jug and glasses which were both stunning at Thanksgiving and will be a lovely addition to our Christmas table too. I was also sent their vacuum wine preserver which both fun to use and works so well to keep leftover wine fresh.

 

 

Going forward, we have a Christmas play booked for the family to attend. I’m so excited to bring the kids to a play, we haven’t been to one in years. The kids’ Christmas play is coming up soon too and I know I won’t feel until Christmas day is here.

I try to really soak up this pre-Christmas time when everything is so magical and there is so much joy and anticipation in the air.

I read a post on Facebook that reminds parents not to stress about things being perfect or overspending on Christmas. Kids are happy with family time together, that’s the memories they have going forward. The best gifts you can give to your kids is your love, time and attention. So take a deep breath and enjoy the magic of this month and togetherness as a family.

What fun plans do you have for December? Let me know in the comments! x

*Feature image is by Envisage Photography at Westport House.