How to have a magical Christmas

If you’re looking for ways to to create a magical Christmas, look no further. Prompted by the wonderful Stephanie, who writes and edits Life at 139a, I’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers to create a dream list of ways to make the holidays special. We come from a range of disciplines: some are expert crafters, others skilled in the garden or kitchen (all areas where I really need some help!). If you scroll down through this post, you’ll find links to inspirational posts on creating home-made decorations, yummy festive recipes and more.

As for me – well, as regular visitors to this blog will know, I write a lot about travel, arts and culture for families, and ways to have fun in  London. My own contribution to the list is a post on how to make the most of the free festive fun to be had in the UK capital. From carols in St Paul’s Cathedral to a Christmas Pudding Race and cracker-making at the Wallace Collection, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season without spending a bean. In another post, I’ve put together a round-up of our top picks of London’s family theatre, like the Snowman at Sadler’s Wells, or The Cat in the Hat at the Pleasance. And, in an old post, I explain why Christmas with kids has its own special magic.

Now for the rest. Hang onto your hats – there are some real treasures here.

Stephanie at Life at 139a has some Christmas crafts. Find out how (and why) to bleach pine cones, how to make a Christmas wreath and inspiration for some gorgeous gift tags.


Gorgeous gift tags. Image copyright: Stephanie Robinson Cutts

Kirsty from Hijacked By Twins is planning every meal, including how to use up those precious leftovers. Find out how to make a delicious toppings for the perfect leftover Christmas dinner soup. This recipe will make you want to cook extra just for the leftovers.

leftover soup

Kirsty’s leftover Christmas soup. Image copyright: Kirsty Phillipson-Lowe

Catherine at Growing Family is sharing her tips for bringing the outside indoors this Christmas. Find out how to make easy pine cone tree decorations, how to use Spring flowering bulbs to create lovely homemade gifts, and how to choose the perfect real Christmas tree.


Easy pine cone decorations. Image copyright: Catherine Hughes

Caro from The Twinkle Diaries shares a simple idea for creating edible Christmas tree decorations.


Edible Christmas tree decorations. Image copyright: Caro Dodd Davies

After inviting family for Christmas Lunch, Morgan at Morgan’s Milieu shares her tips and advice for planning Christmas Lunch for a large number of guests.


Christmas dessert. Image copyright: Morgan Prince

Jingle Bells, Christmas smells – it really does.  Nicky at Not Just The 3 of Us is talking about the memories and smells that Christmas decorations evoke.


Christmas memories. Image copyright: Nicky Kentisbeer

Jane at Maflingo has great ideas for festive treats to make with the kids this Christmas. Find out how to make Santa Fruit Skewers and Festive Chocolate Pretzels.


Santa fruit skewers and Festive chocolate pretzels. Image copyright: Jane Elizabeth Taylor

Jocelyn at The Reading Residence is sharing some fun and easy Christmas crafts for children. Find out how to create a Christmas centrepiece, a festive arty keepsake and make kids placemats.


Image copyright: Jocelyn Reading

Do you have any plans for creating a magical Christmas?


  • The Reading Residence
    December 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Well now you have me wanting to go to London! We were there a couple of weeks ago and the lights were fab, though I want to see everything else you’ve mentioned now, too!

    • Nell
      December 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Good excuse to come back! 🙂

  • Catherine
    December 1, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve never visited London when all the Christmas lights are up – we somehow seem to always take the kids a week or two before it all gets going. You’ve made me really want to squeeze in a trip this month – I bet the carols are just magical.

    • Nell
      December 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      You should Catherine. It’s worth it, just to have a wander and see the sights.

  • Jane Taylor Maflingo
    December 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Oh, the carol concert in the cathedral would be my choice. I always look forward to the CHristmas Services at our church. I really would love to visit more of the museums. I’ve only scratched the surface. Penny Alexander of ParentShaped did an amazing Museum Crawl in London for Sport Relief and she wrote a great post on it. There were quite a few I hadn’t heard of. Thanks for sharing

    • Nell
      December 2, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Haha yes the Museum crawl was my idea and Penny & I had a blast doing it! It was fab – with Swazi (who also joined us) we raised over £1500. Such a fantastic day. x

  • Kirsty Hijacked By Twins
    December 2, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I wish we were nearer to London, I bet it looks amazing at Christmas time. But I have got to admit that the carols at St Paul’s cathedral sound absolutely magical, this will be going on my to do list! Thank you for sharing xx

    • Nell
      December 2, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      It’s worth a visit, Kirsty. Christmas every where you look! xx

  • Morgan Prince
    December 9, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I love visiting London at this time of year, it’s always so festive everywhere and I particularly enjoy visiting Hamleys! My boys don’t enjoy it quite as much because they’re not great with crowds, but we’ll get there eventually. xx

    • Nell
      December 9, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Yes, it can be quite hectic. My top tip is to get there as early as you can. then head to one of the larger parks.


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