Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide

Buying presents at Christmas time can be quite difficult and there is nothing worse than rushing round crowded shops looking for ideas of what to buy. Whether you are buying for him, for her, for family, fiends or secret santa it can be a nightmare. I tend to browse the internet for gift ideas and I have added a few ideas below for you to enjoy. Hopefully you might spot something you like or would like to receive which could make your Christmas less stressful.
 
World Class offer a wide selection of fragrances for both him and her. The Colour Me range are a perfect choice and the Purple is my favourite. An elegant rich modern fruity chypre fragrance. The fresh top notes of bergamot and watermelon are boosted by a subtle floral accord of pretty jasmin, rose and violet notes. The dry down is a tenacious blend of oakmoss, amber and precious patchouli woods.
 
Personalised Bottles have a large selection of gifts that would be suitable for all. I particular like the Scottish hampers. Using only the finest Scottish foods and gifts, the traditional Scottish gift hampers are a luxury gift for that someone special. As they are based in Scotland, they have access to over 60 Scottish food producers, with a total combined list of over 600 products.


 
I love the smell of gingerbread. Baylis & Harding's latest collection captures the essence of this fabulous aroma and presents it in a range of festive and fun pampering products.

Caramel Fudge, Creamy Marshmallow Frosting, Hot Chocolate and Sweet Gingerbread scents will create a deliciously festive feeling in your bathroom.

My favourite is the Baylis & Harding Beauticology Cream Marshmallow Frosting 50ml Hand & Body Lotion.
Christmas wouldn't be the same if you didn't have some delicious sweets to snack on while watching a Christmas movie. Hope and Greenwood have some amazing sweeties and this is my favourite. Splendid Stocking Fillers is packed with Sugar Mice, Sweet Bag Ginger & Chili, Sweet Bag Peppermint, Sweet Bag Cranberry & Orange and Curly Candy Canes.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Win Afternoon Tea Set And Some Delicious Kate's Cakes

 I love a nice cup of tea and some biscuits for dunking but I would be tempted to leave the biscuits for some nice scones and cakes. There is nothing quite like afternoon tea and cakes. We were recently sent some Kate's Cakes to try which were perfect for an afternoon treat.
 
The individually wrapped cake squares were just the right size to nibble on whilst enjoying a cup of tea. We sampled Chocolate Fudge Cake and Lemon Drizzle Cake. I am such a chocoholic so I thought I would have enjoyed the fudge cake more but both were equally as tasty.
 
The chocolate fudge cake is topped with chocolate buttercream and curls and the lemon drizzle cake is topped with lemon juice and sugar pearls. The cakes looked bite size when I opened the box but they are very filling and for me the portion size was just right.
 
I've teamed up with Kate's Cakes to offer my readers the chance to win an afternoon tea set and some delicious Kate's Cakes
 
All you have to do is answer this Christmas themed question.
 
Q: What is your favourite part of the Christmas Holidays?
 
Remember to leave your answer as a blog comment and only readers who leave a comment will be entered into the draw.
 
Once you have left your comment more ways to get extra entries will open up on the gleam app below.
 
Kate's Cakes Afternoon Tea Set  
 
Good Luck
 
Don't forget to check out my other competitions.
 
 
Terms and Conditions
Competition closes on Weds 10th December 2014 at 11:59PM
Entrants must have a valid UK address
Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified
All entrants and entries are checked and verified.
All entrants must follow the mandatory step and answer the question as a blog comment.
1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application.
Mummy2Monkeys will contact the lucky winner within 1 day of the competition closing
The winner must respond within 28 days. If no response a new winner will be chosen.
The prize is a Kate's Cakes Afternoon Tea Set
By entering this competition you give permission for me to pass on your details to the promoter. Only for the winner.
There is no cash alternative
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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Win a Selection of Jockey Underwear Competition

Christmas will soon be here and I haven't started buying presents yet so I really need to get a move on because before I know it, the big day will have arrived. I have a few items that I HAVE to buy each year for family and friends, socks and underwear are a must at Christmas time. They make great stocking fillers and I am so pleased to team up with Jockey to give my readers the chance to win a selection Men's Jockey underwear. A perfect gift for Christmas.
 
Jockey offer a wide selection of underwear, socks, thermals, sleepwear, active wear, sports wear and lounge wear. They come in Men's, Women's and Children's and you can view the ranges by visiting the website.
 
 
One lucky reader of Mummy 2 Monkeys will win a selection of Men's Jockey Underwear just in time for Christmas.
 
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer this Christmas question...
 
Q: Who would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?
 
Remember to leave your answer as a blog comment and only readers who leave a comment will be entered into the draw.
 
Once you have left your comment more ways to get extra entries will open up on the gleam app below.
 
GOOD LUCK
 
Terms and Conditions
Competition closes on Tuesday 9th December 2014 at 11:59PM
Entrants must have a valid UK address
Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified
All entrants and entries are checked and verified.
All entrants must follow the mandatory step and answer the question as a blog comment.
1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application.
Mummy2Monkeys will contact the lucky winner within 1 day of the competition closing
The winner must respond within 28 days. If no response a new winner will be chosen.
The prize is a Selection of Jockey Underwear - Size Small
There is no cash alternative.
 
 
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Beer52 Delivered To Your Door

You can get so much stuff now delivered to your door in the form of subscription boxes. I absolutely love the idea because whether its clothes, food, beauty products or beer they give you the opportunity to try out new ranges or brands you may not have heard of before. Beer 52 is a beer subscription box but like most you can cancel anytime and its free delivery too. I have a special £10 off code further down so don't miss that.
 
We were sent a box of 8 beers recently to try out and although I am not a beer drinker, Daddy is and he was really pleased.
 
Here's how it works
 
Beer 52 expert beer tasters sample the most cutting edge beers from around the world. Some make it, some don't. They will only choose the best and their favourites go into the beer52 monthly boxes.
 
Beer52 will send you 8 different small batch brews each month to try and love.
 
When our beers arrived we hadn't heard of any of them but that's the point of the boxes really. Its to discover beers you wont find in the supermarket.


All 7 bottles and the 1 can went straight into the fridge for Daddy to sample over the coming days and weeks.
 
Daddy is really set in his ways and usually just buys the one brand of beer and he doesn't really look at anything else when we go supermarket shopping. So it was nice for him to have a few different beers to try.
 
There are 4 plans to choose from

You can also add snacks, smokes or spirits to your boxes too.

 
If you did fancy treating a friend or family to a months subscription to Beer52 just visit the website HERE and click on the I've got a special code link. Enter MONKEYS10 into the box and you will get £10 OFF your box so it will be just £14 if you choose the monthly plan.
 
Daddy really enjoyed trying them all and he would definitely buy from Beer52 again.
 
I think its such a great idea and with Christmas around the corner it would make a lovely Christmas gift. I know a few people who would like this and I wouldn't hesitate in ordering them a box to try.
 
 
*we were sent a box to try all thoughts are our own*
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Monday, 17 November 2014

Let's End Going Home Alone

For more information visit Royal Voluntary Service

*sharing with my readers - I have not been compensated for posting this on my blog*
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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Decisions Decisions

So big J came home this week with two very important letters from school which will lead to a very important decision. Both letters were basically the same except for the first two paragraphs. Both letters were about the 2015 school trip.

The first trip to choose from was a Trip to Andalucia. With excursions to costa del sol, Granada, Ronda, Puerto Banus and a one hour flamenco lesson, visit to Alhambra Palace and Aqualand Water Park

The second is a Trip to Northern France. With excursions to Calais, Boulogne, Le Touquet, a visit to Aqualud Water Park, Nausica Sea Centre and Bagatelle theme park.

The prices were included on the letters and Spain was £140 more but for me it would be so much better because it's flights rather than a coach. I went to France on a coach and it's soooooo long and boring.

Big J has been away on three trips so far in junior school but none in seniors yet. He went to kingswood on a two day activity holiday, a five day trip to France which he loved and a full weeks skiing holiday in yr 6. We have never been skiing before and it's weird to think he has done it without us and he was only 10 at the time.

The deposit is due in less than two weeks time which I think is a little naughty as it's £150 and there is not a lot of notice to get that sort of money together so quickly before Christmas but I know he really wants to go so we will dig deep and find some pennies. All 15,000 of them.

So for now he needs to have a think about both of the destinations and which one he would prefer but I know he will discuss it with his friends first and whatever they all decide on that will be the one he chooses.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - Toys

There is just so much choice out there at the moment for little ones for Christmas. I have been browsing over the last few months and character toys seem to be the most popular at the moment, well they are in our house. Little J loves Cbeebies, Peppa Pig, In The Night Garden and Golden Bear Toys have a lovely selection at the moment and I have included 6 of our favourites below.

1. Henry Hugglemonster Henry Roarback - RRP £39.99

Have you ever wondered if your little one can ROAR as good as Henry? Well now you can put them to the test as Henry will copy their every word and sound. Press Henry's right hand which will start the ROAR back feature. Once Henry's nose starts to flash you will know that the recording mode has started. Let your little one chat away or get them to ROAR. When its time to play back Henry will repeat word for word in his own voice. Your little ones will be amazed. There is also lots of phrases from the tv show which can be heard by pressing Henry's left hand. Suitable from 10mnths+

2. Cbeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge - RRP £19.99

Is your little one getting tired? Squidge is so its time to go to sleep. Give Squidge a big squeeze and listen to him softly play the tune from Cbeebies Bedtime hour. Use him as a pillow or even a nightlight as he glows in different colours soothing your little one to sleep. Give him another squeeze to make him stop playing. He is so soft and cuddly and would make a perfect gift.
This is the cutest plush I think I've ever seen and when we got the chance to review one a few months ago I wasn't sure whether little J would be interested or not but he loves his Squidge and it has been a firm night time favourite. 

3. Peppa Pig Wooden Play Pack - RRP £23.95

There is something special about wooden toys. This gift set would be perfect for any little Peppa fan. Firstly the wooden dominoes set has all your favourite characters from Peppa Pig on them. the first player to match the pictures and lay down all their dominoes is the winner. Hours of fun and perfect for learning how to take turns. The Pepper Pig wooden vehicles are also lots of fun. Just pull them back and watch them go. Chunky and colourful and perfect for little hands to hold. The pullback range features train, car, boat and rocket.

4. Ninky Nonk Musical Activity Train - RRP £49.99

If you have a little fan of In the night garden then I am sure this will already be top of their list to Father Christmas. The Ninky Nonk Musical Activity Train is a whopping 78cm long and comes with 5 detachable carriages. Each carriage is a toy within itself but when placed together they form the Ninky Nonk. The Engine carriage, Spinning Shape Sorter carriage, Stacking blocks carriage, pop up Igglepiggle carriage and Peek-a-boo carriage will keep little ones entertained for hours. With music, sounds and glowing lights this is perfect for any fan. If you want to read our Ninky Nonk just click HERE

5. Something Special - Mr Tumble Textured Spotty Bag - RRP £14.99

Mr Tumble fans will love pretending to be him by owning their own spotty bag. Bright colours, the Something Special logo and 4 textured spots to help stimulate senses. Green satin, orange velvet, red plush and blue corduroy. Also comes with 5 finder cards with Makaton signs to help recognition of popular household items.

6. Woolly & Tig Christmas Bundle (Exclusive to Golden Bear Toys) - RRP £103 SPECIAL OFFER £50

Includes
Jumbo Woolly Soft Toy
Read Along with Woolly Soft Toy
Twinkling Counting Kisses Woolly
Woolly and Tig Backpack
Pick 'n' Match Pairs Game
Scampering Woolly Pullback
Next I have included a few items that we really like and that will be going on our list to Father Christmas.

1. VTech Baby Toot Toot Drivers Airport - RRP £24.99

Little J has a set of Toot toot cars at his Grandma's house and he absolutely loves them. We googled the range and you can buy some many different playsets. This is my favourite, it comes with a little plane. All Toot Toot playsets can connect to one another so its just endless fun. You can buy this in major toy shops and also online at Amazon.

2. Thomas & Friends Battery Operated Train and 22 piece track - RRP £119.99

Little J has a few ride on's but I love the idea of this because it's battery operated and moves along the track. Little J doesn't have very strong legs yet so he does sometimes struggle to move across the floor on his ride on but he loves sitting on this. I think this will be great because at least he will be going somewhere.

3. TOMY Counting with Luke The Loop - RRP £14.99

Luke loves counting and looping. Your little one will love flying Luke around in his stunt aeroplane. He has an easy to hold handle perfect for little ones. His engine will roar as you fly him through the air and everytime you make him loop he will count - all the way up to 10.

4. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn stride to ride puppy - RRP £59.99

Whether your little one is sitting on puppy, walking with him or riding with him there is lots of fun to be had. He will play more than 50 songs, tunes and phrases. He will teach your little one about letters, numbers, colours, shapes, greetings, manners and more. Get your little ones to sort through the coloured blocks and feed them to him. 

5. Pink Lining Knights and Dragons Wheelie Case - RRP £30.00

I absolutely love this. We go on many weekend breaks and holidays throughout the year so this would be perfect for little J. Plus he absolutely loves putting stuff in and out of bags so he would have fun with at home too. Available from Pink Lining 

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Why Do they Do It Every Year?

When it comes to birthdays or Christmas both Daddy and I struggle to think of gifts for one another. We both know what each other likes, computer games for Daddy and Disney for me. The thing is every year from September the new games that Daddy has been waiting for all year all get released at the same time, why? It starts in September with FIFA. Now for me I would love to buy FIFA for Daddy for christmas but he never wants to wait that long, and why should he? Everyone is playing it now so to make him wait 4 months is a little naughty. 

Then there will be a couple of eagerly awaited games released in September / October. This year it was Forza, Shadow of Mordor, Destiny, Alien Isolation, The Evil Within and Drive Club. Now Daddy would love all these games and I know he can't play them all at once but it is unfair to release them all at the same time.

FIFA, Forza and Drive Club are what we call a just pick up and play game. So if Daddy has any spare time he can just pop one of these in and have a quick match or race. The others do need a little more time so he will usually only play one at a time until its complete.

Then in November there is more highly anticipated games such as Call of Duty, PES 15, Halo Master Chief Collection and Assassins Creed Unity. 

So that's 11 games all in just 3 months. Its crazy. Why? If they released one every month it wouldn't be so bad on the purse strings but to release 11 games at an average of £50 each is £550. 

I know the companies are all competitive with one another and fighting to have the most sales on the run up to Christmas but its not fair.

Daddy can wait and will usually buy FIFA and maybe get a few for Christmas but I feel sorry for the parents of children who are trying to keep up with their peers. 

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Flashback Friday 07/11/2014

A very young big J meeting Tim Cahill
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Thursday, 6 November 2014

"No little J it's Mummy's iPad"

Little J has some weird obsessions. You may remember my post about his love for the washing machine. He would sit and stare at it for as long as I would let him really and he would love opening and shutting the door.
He does still like the washing machine but he has a new obsession. My iPad. Well actually it's anything like that really. iPad, phones, remote controls, calculators and computer controllers.
He just loves fiddling with the buttons or touching the screens. It was cute and funny to begin with but now it's starting to get on my nerves.
Every time I pick up the iPad or the phone he will point and make a noise, in little J's language that means "can I have it please?" If I don't give it to him he goes crazy. He will scream and lie on the floor which in little J's language means "I will continue to scream until you give me that iPad!" 
We have bought him toy remote controls, toy phones and a toy iPad but he is not interested. He just wants the real thing. 
He would happily sit there pressing and opening apps all day if you let him. He also loves you tube and will click on McBusted and Taylor Swift. He's deleted a few apps that I know I had because there is now space on my iPad where they once were but I have no clue what they were...haha. I assume I will remember one day. 
Trying to make a phone call is impossible but he will crawl over to were you are and grab it off you. 
It's so annoying and really hope this is just a phase because I can't take much more.
If I want to use my iPad I now have to use it in secret or prepare to have a tug of war with a toddler.
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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Night I Cheated on McBusted

Last week I was faced with a very tough decision. I had double booked on a night out and I had tickets to two very important events. Daddy had booked tickets for me to see The Big Reunion Boyband Tour months ago and in a panic I rushed and booked tickets to McBusted Tourplay event a few weeks ago before they sold out. I didn't check the dates and realised later they were both the same night. How stupid of me.

Now I am a HUGE fan of McBusted so I knew straight away I wanted to go and see Tourplay but I started to think what if they release it on DVD and I've missed all the bands I used to love in the Big Reunion. It was a tough choice and even right up to a few hours before I was still unsure. 

Unfortunately for my McBusted boys I chose the Big Reunion. This was the first time I had ever missed a Busted/Mcfly/Mcbusted event in the Northwest. I felt like such a cheat.

I did however try and enjoy myself watching all the bands I used to love. 911, 5ive, A1. They were all so amazing and I had a great night. 

A1 came on first and they sang one of my favourite songs.

Caught in the Middle. I love that song.

5ive were great too although I'm not sure how they can still be called 5ive when there was only 3 of them? Maybe they should think of a rename.. how about thr33??

I was so impressed with Damage. They weren't a band that I would listen to when I was younger but they are so slick and their moves were spot on. Nice chilled out music. I liked them a lot.

911 were also amazing. I just love 911 and always have. They are brilliant live and I love the fact that even now Jimmy and Spike can still pull off those dance moves.

I'm not a fan of Blue at all, but they sang Sorry is the hardest word. I love that song and I do like their version. Would have been even better if Elton John had of come on too.

Next was 5th Story. Hmmmm not sure what to say really. I just didn't get it. Adam Rickett, Dane Bowers, Kenzie, Gareth Gates and Kavana... just didn't work for me. If I'm honest they looked like they couldn't be bothered.

Lastly 3T wow those guys are amazing. They look and sound amazing and again the same as Damage I wasn't a fan years ago but they can really sing and i'm sure Michael Jackson would be so proud of his nephews.

Overall it was a great night and I was glad I went. I avoided twitter when I came home because I didn't want to know about Tourplay but I have heard since that its being released on DVD and Blu Ray YAY.

Have you ever double booked for the same night?

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Windy Day in Blackpool

Last week we braved the wind and the cold and took a trip up to Blackpool. Its not far from us at all really and we visited the Pleasure Beach last time we went but today was the Sealife Centre and the Blackpool Tower.

We have Merlin Passes so both of these attractions are included in our annual fee so we get in for free. We definitely make good use of them and get our money's worth over the year.

So it was a cold and windy day but we headed out anyway and it turned out to be a lovely day. 


We headed to Sealife Centre first. We have been before but it is nice just to pop in and little J enjoyed it. He just wanted to splash in the water all the time.

There are parts were you can touch the fish and both big and little J got to touch a crab too.

Our favourite part is the walkthrough tunnel were the sharks and fish are swimming above your head. We read a sign that you can go diving with the sharks - erm no thanks.

After the Sealife Centre we headed for a walk along the front towards central pier. 

It was so windy.  Just after we took this photo, Big J tripped and fell and cut his knee. It looked so sore. 

While we were walking along the pier it just started to rain all of a sudden. It was quite heavy so everyone dived inside the arcades. Luckily it passed quite quickly and we were able to continue our nice stroll.


After our walk we gave both big J and little J money to spend in the arcades. Big J tried to win a teddy and played some games and little J went on a few rides.

Just before we got to the Tower we had a little peek in The Disney Store. Big J tried on a Yoda hat... what do you think?

I didn't buy anything for myself but little J got a light up R2D2 and Big J got a R2D2 notebook.
When we got to the tower the queues were so big. We had to leave little J's pram by the entrance so he had to stand, or be carried. It was so hot and everyone was fed up. 

We finally arrived into the big room just before the 4D cinema experience. Again very hot and stuffy, we decided to skip the cinema part as we have seen it before. We walked straight through and again was face with a huge queue. 

There is only so many people that can fit in the lift so there isn't alot you can do really but wait. Once we were in the lift little J got excited and when the doors opened at the top, he quickly wanted to get down and explore. 

The Tower Eye level is inside and has glass windows all around so you can see out. There is also a part were you can walk on see through floor. The section is bigger than it used to be so lots of room for us all to walk about on. 

When big J was 7 we visited the Tower and he lay on the see through floor. We took the above photo of him and a few months later he won a competition with that photo for a weekend in Blackpool.


After we finished we walked up to the next floor which is all open. It was so windy. We turned the corner and almost got lifted off the ground it really was quite bad. I thought the tower was moving so got quite scared. Big J loved it and was quite happy being blown along. Little J seemed to like it too.


 On our way to see the illuminations we bought some flashing light ups.

Have you visited Blackpool? Whats your favourite thing to do?

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Monday, 3 November 2014

Unhappy Halloween

I love Halloween. It's a fun day and we will decorate the house with skeletons, pumpkins and spiders. Of course there is disney teddies too. Lots of them. We have Tiggers, Mickeys and Winnie the Pooh and lots of other decorations. 

I usually do a Halloween tea party with pizzas and cake and afterwards we will all go trick or treating. 

This year was a little different. Little J had been up most the night with a cough and cold and was very irritable. He's got a runny nose and I think he has a sore throat. He has been drooling lots and sticking out his tongue. He's not a big fan of a dummy but he will have it during the night, but he wouldn't keep it in. 

On Halloween he had a slight temperature so we gave him some calpol. He was really lazy and just wanted to sit and chill.

Big J had made plans to go swimming and play football at the local leisure centre so once big J was gone I put him down for his afternoon nap. He only had 10 mins so I knew he wasn't too good.
The rest of the night was just us trying to entertain a very unhappy little J. Then the vomiting started. Little J always vomits when he has a cold. Luckily big J was at his friends having a great time so we didn't have to worry about him.

So for us it was an unhappy Halloween but at least little J isn't old enough to actually understand what it is yet.

I do often wonder though why is it that sickness strikes in the middle of the night? Just when you are all tucked up in bed cosy and safe from the horrible wind and rain outside you hear 'that' cough. It's not the normal cough we hear our little monkeys do it's the cough that makes us jump out of bed as quickly as possible. The cough that usually leads to us rushing in with towels or anything we can find because we know 'that' cough means soon there's going to be vomit.

My mum said I always used to cough before I was going to be sick and my monkeys are just the same. They both do a little cough and then that's it. The vomiting begins.

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Saturday, 1 November 2014

My Christmas Movie List

I love Christmas so much, its my favourite time of year. Every year I make a Christmas movie list and although we never get round to watching them all. This year I am hoping to get through a few of them. 

This was on my Christmas to do list HERE so I can cross this one off.


1. Love Actually
2. The Holiday
3. Home Alone
4. Home Alone 2
5. While you were sleeping
6. The Family Stone
7. Mickeys Christmas carol
8. The snowman
9. The snowman and the snowdog
10. The family man
11. Serendipity
12. Bridget jones diary
13. Bridget jones diary - the edge of reason
14. Jingle all the way
15. Sleepless in Seattle
16. The polar express
17. The Santa clause
18. The Santa clause 2
19. The Santa clause 3
20. Santa Claus the movie
21. Hobbit
22. Miracle on 34th Street
23. Lord of the rings - the fellowship of the ring
24. Lord of the rings - the two towers
25. Lord of the rings - return of the king

You may notice that Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have made it on to my list. Now I know they are not very Christmassy but we love to sit and watch the LOTR films back to back once our decorations are up. Strange I know but its become a tradition.
Do you like to watch Christmas movies? Whats your favourite?
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