Dear Santer,
I relly like Chrismas and it’s my favoriot time of the year and I was thinking about that if your relly real send me a letter please and put your name on the letter so I know YOUR real. I do belive in you still but is it true that when people don’t belive in you they get stupid presents and they get unapropret stuff. If this is true put true, but if not put false if the other one. I gave you the thing you needed to do. I hope you have a happy chrismas Santer and I will give you the best mint pie, drink and the best carrots because I like your raindeers,
yours senserly,
Boo 🙂

This is my 8 year old daughter’s letter to Santa, completely unedited. Do you think he will read it? I wonder what he will reply. The inappropriate stuff she is talking about comes from a conversation we were having, if you don’t believe in Santa, you only get socks for Christmas. I guess she thinks socks are inappropriate, so I best not get her any, I wonder if pyjamas are ok?

She also wrote a list for the big man;

This is the stuff I want Santer
A pair of Warlky Talky
new teddy
pokemon deck zapdoze
Another Santer book
a little toy
a Teksta puppy and
Teksta dinosaur
Bye, and who wrote this list is Boo 🙂
Nothing on that list is anything she has asked for previously, and as you can imagine, with five children I have most of my Christmas shopping sorted. As her big brother pointed out, the Santa list is not for Mummy though, it’s for Santa. I may be able to provide a few of the things on the list, apart from the last two items there is nothing really expensive on there after all. 
Next we have to work on some Christmas spelling 🙂
Christmas (with a T in the middle)
Santa, not Santer
Reindeer (although she was pretty close)
and I’m pretty sure Santa will prefer Mince pies to Mint pies 😉
Merry Christmas Boo, may all your wishes come true xxx

A major problem with most homes is that child bedrooms are often quite small. Even if you’re lucky to have a home with big rooms, no room will ever be as big as your child’s imagination to run riot fully. Here are a few tips to make sure your child’s bedroom is big enough for them to play as well as sleep.

Fitting a bed into a small room can be frustrating but also obviously that’s what turns a room into a bedroom. The bed is essential for the night time but will often just get in the way of the child’s play during the day. That’s why it’s best to get a bed that serves more than just one purpose. For example, you could get a trundle bed that doubles as a comfy chair that they can read books on during the day. The Serene Eleanor day bed fro Bedstar can be turned from an extremely comfy chair into a bed within minutes. It even has the option of creating a second bed that raises to the same height if your children share a room or ever want a sleepover. It’s built with a sprung slatted base for extra comfort and out of a beautiful hardwood so will look stylish in any room.

Once you’ve sorted the bed, it’s time to look at how else you can maximise the space in your child’s bedroom. when it comes to furniture, only put in what your child really needs. Your child’s clothes are probably much smaller than yours, so they won’t need as much space to store them. Buy a tall, narrow wardrobe to save on floor space. If you struggle to fit all your child’s clothes in it, you could install a second rail below where the other clothes sit to use up that wasted space at the bottom of the wardrobe.

Other than a bed and a wardrobe, children don’t really need any other furniture in their room. If they enjoy having a drink at the side of their bed at night, swap their bedside table for a small floating shelf at the side of the bed. then you’ll have more freedom on what can store underneath. If they want a chair or table to play board games or do art and craft, choose ones that will fold away when they’re not using them.
Now you’ve created a lot of room, you’ll need to make sure you have enough storage so their toys don’t end up cluttering the floor. Buy boxes that will easily stack on top of each other to give them more floor space. You could even colour code them or label them to help them know where their toys need putting away. Install some shelves within their reach where they can store their books and smaller toys. Also make use of wasted space like on your door by buying a hanging organiser  with lots of different pockets.

Once you’ve done all of this, your child will have lots more room to play games in. The only problem will be reminding them to put their toys away at the end of the day so it stays tidy.

Disclosure: Written by Emily West

Fifty! All year that number has been haunting me, but there is no turning back now. I look into the mirror and it’s a 50 year old woman that’s looking back at me.

I don’t feel 50, I’m still stuck somewhere between my late 30s and early 40s. The kids really do keep me feeling younger. The other ‘older’ women picking up kids from reception class are generally grandmothers not mothers.

I did think about having a party to celebrate my Big Birthday, but I knew I’d end up doing all the work and I didn’t fancy that. I don’t mind doing it for others but I wouldn’t have enjoyed doing it for myself. So I though about a night out, but then I got plagued by illness so I have postponed until I’m feeling better. I have the dates booked so no worries, and not long to wait.

So, how did the day go?

Well, I did feel really spoilt by my friends and family.

I woke up to some lovely cards and presents.

I was really surprised by some of them, and may have been feeling a little emotional when I opened the very last book ever written by the late great Terry Pratchett.

My eldest Daughter brought me a Sat Nav to help me stop getting lost (along with lots of other gifts, I’m sure she gets paid too much!) and my son bought me lots of chocolates (And I mean LOTS) and my gorgeous new babies Doc and Marty my Roborovski hamsters. Here’s a sneaky peak, but I’ll be posting more about them soon. They are so cute, so tiny and so fast!

Then while we were waiting for our takeaway to be delivered, you can’t cook on your birthday, I had these delivered from my lovely online friends. They are beautiful.

Of course after dinner there was cake, made by Boo and Dad. They did a real good job too!
I’ve decided that being fifty is not so bad. We all have to get older, there is nothing you can do about it so why fret.  

I love taking the kids to visit Santa and we try to do something different each year. This year we were invited to preview the Breakfast with Santa a Brewers Fayre at the Guild in Bromsgrove.

As it was breakfast we had an early start but the kids were eager to get ready and go out to meet the Big Man himself. I’m not really sure that the girls still believe in Santa but they went along with it. The Little Man was most excited and thought we were going to the North Pole. What a pity the snow from the night before didn’t stick around as it would have looked great driving through the hills to get there. Saying that, I don’t really drive in the snow so probably a good idea it didn’t stick!

We were shown to our table on arrival and the kids went straight into the colouring in and activities set out for them.

Then we helped ourselves to a choice of continental breakfast and cereals. There was a lot on offer and plenty of tea, coffee and soft drinks to wash it all down. The kids went straight for the cereal, but also had toast and croissants.
While tucking into breakfast we were visited at the table by Santa himself, looking very authentic and causing the Little Man to gasp ‘It’s really him!’

Then each table in turn was taken to visit Santa in his grotto. Santa was very accommodating and made the kids feel at ease as he chatted with them. He did look very much like the real Santa, who should be really busy in the North Pole right now! The kids were soon chatting away telling him all the things they wanted for Christmas and nearly giving me a heart attack! (How come they tell Santa the want the really really expensive things that they never mention to me?) Then Santa gave them all a little present (Denis the Menace related) and the kids asked sheepishly if they could open it straight away, to which Santa agreed if it was okay with mum and dad.

After our visit to the grotto, it was time for our cooked breakfast which was rather nice. The kids especially liked their sausages, which they exclaimed loudly, were much  nicer than mummy’s sausages that they had at home. 

When breakfast was over it was time to have some fun in the play area, which as always with Brewers Fayre,was superbly equipped for a fun time. 

The Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre starts on 5th December and is on every weekend until Christmas from 10am to 11.30am. It will also be on from Monday 21st December to Thursday 24th December. The cost is £8.99 per child and for this you get breakfast, a visit to Santas grotto with a gift and lots of other craft activities while you are waiting. You can find all the details and book your place locally by visiting the Brewers Fayre Website.

The Little Man has already has me reading his favourite Christmas books at bedtime. He loves the stories to help him build up his excitement as we race towards the holiday season. I love them too and here I am sharing a few of our favourites.

Santa is Coming to Birmingham

by Steve Smallman

This is definitely one the Little Man will always ask for. I know this book is set in Birmingham but you can get the story in various towns across the UK.

Buy from

The story tells of Santa visit going a little awry but the day is saved by a new little reindeer out on his first ever journey. It features some famous landmarks that will be recognised and is loads of fun. Although it doesn’t actually mention our suburb, it does mention some  nearby.

Mouse’s Christmas Wish

By Judi Abbot
A lovely story about animal friends coming together to spend Christmas together. But everything is going wrong for little mouse. Will he ever make it to his friend Rabbit’s house or is he doomed to spend Christmas alone?

A feel good book that has a little twist at the end. Of course everyone knows that Christmas is best spent with friends.

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Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom: Christmas Adventure

Such a big favourite on the television, Ben and Holly have a fabulous adventure when Father Christmas makes a surprise visit to the Little Kingdom. The grown-ups get trapped in various Christmas decorations and it’s up to Ben and Holly to rescue them.

The Little Man has grown out of Peppa Pig and no longer watches Ben and Holly, but we do love this story it is such fun.

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The Sheep that Saved Christmas.

by Jason Page
Everyone knows someone like Cynthia, someone that is crazy about Christmas. Only Cynthia is a sheep and her woolly friends are a little fed up of her festivities all year round, so they send her off to the North Pole to help Father Christmas. The problem is, there is not a lot a sheep can do to help…or is there?
Cynthia is a loveable character, you can’t help but wish that it all turns out good for her in the end.

So that’s what we are reading for now, I’m sure our Christmas collection will grow, we still have some old favourites tucked away that haven’t found there way out yet.
What are your kids favourite reads at Christmas time, I would love to know.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.