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The third week of December is a BIG deal in our house – it’s the official start of Christmas.

We drag the tree into the house and load up the decorations. Our motto – naturally – is ‘less is more’ when it comes to Christmas tree decorating.

Setting the right atmosphere is crucial. We pop a Christmas playlist on the Sonos, and we chat, as we decorate the tree, remembering the stories behind our favourite decorations.

There’s the Christmas Lobster, picked up on a trip to New England with Lindy a few years back. And the Santa Monica Pier ornament, collected on our travels to California. I have a fab bauble that I picked up in Tanzania, and other baubles from other trips over the years.

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Some baubles just remind me of particular people and moments. There’s the Christmas hamster, collected from Heals where we used to go ornament foraging every Christmas, and I can’t put into words quite how much it pleases me to have a Christmas hamster. The disco ball bauble that requires you to do a disco shuffle when putting it on the tree, and our Hogwarts Express, collected from the Warner Bros studios last winter.

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Over the past few years, we’ve been lucky to be gifted some fab ornaments for review – a collection of colourful Oriental-style baubles from Bombay Duck, and this year some super-cute Tsum Tsums from Disney which have added to our own fairly extensive Disney ornament Christmas collection.

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Tree decorating is one of my favourite traditions of the whole year – and it’s always, always accompanied by our favourite non-alcoholic mulled wine which isn’t mulled and doesn’t contain wine. But, you know, it’s Christmas, so who cares, really?

To make our mulled wine, we simmer a fresh bottle of good quality apple juice with the zest and peel of two clementines, half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick.

After five minutes, stir in a spoonful of honey, and serve, with whatever chocolate you haven’t already snaffled from the advent calendar.

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Perfection.

Win a F&M Luxury Christmas Hamper!

This month, I’ve teamed up with DFS to give away the most perfect festive treat imaginable – a luxury Christmas hamper from Fortnum and Mason worth £165.

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DFS wants to help you make this Christmas your best ever and have produced this awesome Christmas Inspiration Guide to help you create a magical time, whether you’re organising a big family get-together or a cosy night in for two. Check out their guide to make sure your fireside measures up to your food!

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to comment on this blog post telling me your family’s go-to festive food and drink treat. What recipe really signifies Christmas in your house? Don’t forget to complete the competition widget – bonus entries are available.

Win a Luxury Christmas Hamper with DFS

 

Terms and Conditions:

There is one prize of a luxury Hamper, The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over. Competition is closed to employees and relatives of Flea Enterprises and DFS.  The competition opening date is 14 December 2015, and the closing date for entries is 21 December 2015. One entry per person.  The winner will be chosen by the blogger and will be contacted direct on the email address provided. If the winner does not respond within 7 days a new winner will be drawn. The winner’s name will be available on request. By entering this competition participants consent to their full name being available by request from DFS/Sally Whittle.The prize will be sent within 28 days of receipt of the winner’s address. DFS reserves the right to amend or withdraw the competition at any time without notice or liability. Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.  This competition is governed by the laws of England and any dispute shall be governed by the English courts.

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.