Have yourself a cosy little Christmas

Have yourself a cosy little Christmas

14th December 2016

Christmas means full-on family and friends time, so we’re here to help you make the most of it with some hilarious games, must-watch DVDs and boredom-busting activities. So snuggle up on the sofa and prepare to get your Christmas cosy on, fun style.

Christmas. The chestnuts are roasting, the fire is roaring… and we’re all looking forward to a couple of days of festive family fun. So here are just a few ideas for the best new games, DVDs and activities to keep you entertained through to New Year and beyond. What are you waiting for? Grab a comfy seat on the sofa and let the festivities begin…

1 The best new family board games

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a brilliant board game or two. We’ve picked out three Christmas crackers of games for you, all guaranteed to get everyone (yes, even your grumpy granddad) in the holiday spirit.

  • Obaba Llama Charades for the 21st century, you win this game by finding the rhyme in time. It might be Piglet eating a Twiglet, Angelina Jolie making ravioli or soon-to-be-ex-president Obama riding that llama – go on, you know you want it!
  • Say it, Don’t Spray It Admit it, you’ve always wanted to shut your sister up on Christmas Day. Now you can. Everyone pops in a mouth guard (yup, like at the dentist) then your teammates have to decipher the phrase you’re mangling. As much fun as Pie Face but a lot less mess.
  • Simon Swipe The 1980s classic Simon game (link here for those too young to remember!) updated for the tablet generation with touch screen technology. Keep up with the flashing lights and noise combos if you can.

games

The best seat in the house?

Team board games mean players sitting together, so we’d recommend a couple of extra-large sofas around a coffee table for maximum comfort while thrashing your opponents! The Louvre, with its button back and wide cushions, would be ideal.

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2 The best new family-friendly DVDs

You’re all podged out from your Christmas lunch – so now’s the perfect time to pop on a DVD and relax on the sofa with a big box of Quality Street (save the purple ones for us please!).

  • The BFG Voiced by über-actor Mark Rylance, the BFG is another Roald Dahl triumph in film form. Follow Sophie’s adventures in Giant Country as she battles to stop nasty child-eating giants (it’s not as scary as it sounds, honest). PG rating
  • The Jungle Book Live-action version of the classic animated movie that retains all the charm of the original while ladling on the adventure, excitement and fun of Mowgli’s jungle adventures. PG rating
  • The Best of Strictly Come Dancing – Len’s Grand Finale Celebrate the end of Len Goodman’s reign as king of the Strictly studio with this feature-length DVD of his best (and worst) bits of the top dance show. Definitely one to watch when Nana starts demanding another sherry! U rating

dvds

The best seat in the house?

Family movie time means everyone cosied up together with a big bowl of popcorn, so corner or modular sofas are the film fan’s way forward. Choose one with a chaise or, better still, a recliner like the Carmelo, and you’ll never want to get up again. Thank goodness for remotes, eh?

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3 The best family fun activities

So you’ve watched a film and played a game but you still want more? Here are three Christmas-tastic activities to keep the whole family amused (and that won’t break the bank).

  • Pin the nose… on the reindeer How lucky that Rudolph has a nose just perfect for pinning. Channel your inner Picasso and create a picture of Rudy (without his snout, natch), then cut out a few circles from card and paint them red. Add some Blue Peter style double-sided sticky tape to the back of each ‘nose’, pop a blindfold on the first player, give ‘em a spin and away you go. The kids will love this version of the classic party game.
  • Christmas quiz Everyone loves a festive quiz and challengethebrain.com has lots of Christmassy ones you can print out, including Christmas movie trivia (don’t worry, you can download the answers too!).
  • Christmas karaoke Give your lungs a workout with the Christmas-inspired song list from YouTube channel Sing King Karaoke. Yell along to classics such as Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Wham’s Last Christmas or Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe (sorry, we said classics, didn’t we!), as the words bounce over your screen in true karaoke fashion.

The best seat in the house?

If you’re going to be singing about mistletoe (and wine, don’t forget the wine!) then you’re going to want to be cosy with your loved one… so a cuddler chair or sofa could be just what Santa ordered. And for singing superstars, the Starlet (apt name or what?) ticks all the boxes.

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#FlavoursofXmas

We've been sharing our favourite Christmas flavours over the last few weeks, but we want to see some of your festive touches that you love to add to the home this time of year. It could be:

  • Your favourite candles 
  • Your snuggly blankets 
  • Your Xmas tips 'n' tricks 
  • Your DIY Christmas decorations

However you're getting festive at home, we want to hear from you. To get involved, share your image using #FlavoursofXmas on Instagram or Twitter. Our favourite festive image will win a HUGE £1,000 to spend at dfs. Now that would be a nice Christmas present! But be quick you will need to upload your ideas and #FlavoursofXmas on social by 22nd December to be entered into the draw. Full T&Cs can be found HERE.

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foc

How to sparkle with gorgeous Christmas lighting ideas

How to sparkle with gorgeous Christmas lighting ideas

30th November 2016

It’s nearly time to get your twinkle on, so here are some simple yet stunning ways to trip the lights fantastic this Christmas.

You may not feel up to challenging the Gay family of New York state who hold the Guinness World Record for decorating their home with over 600,000 lights (we don’t envy their electric bill!), but there’s no getting away from the fact that Christmas and lights go together like mince pies and brandy butter. So here are six quick and easy ways to add some festive twinkle to your home this Christmas…

1 Make a wall display

  • Gather your favourite Christmas cards
  • Print out some fun and festive polaroid pictures of your guests
  • String of fairy lights
  • Craft pegs
  • Wall pins

Who says Xmas cards are a thing of the past? Not us. Display yours in style with our fairy light wall! How abut adding a personal touch for your guests by printing our your favourite polaroids or pictures and adding them to the string of lights! Get creative with your patterns too – you can zig-zag like we did, or even make a Christmas tree shape and peg the cards where the baubles would sit.

Wall of lights

2 Mirror magic

Mirror, mirror on the wall…how do you make the room look so big? By draping fairy lights over myself of course! Why have just one string of Christmas lights when you can cheat it with reflections and make it look like you have tons of sparkle going on? This is a great way to brighten up a gloomy corner or add interest to a bare wall – and if you sit mirrors opposite each other, you’ll have twinkly Christmas decorations to infinity and back.

Mirror with lights

3 Get twiggy with it

Tangled fairy lights? Don't waste your time untangling - add some rustic logs or twigs in a slatted box for a fire-y effect! This magical, rustic design is the perfect festive centre-piece to any room. All you need is a wooden crate, some twigs or small logs and a string of Christmas lights. Add it next to the fire for a fire-y focal point!

Twigs and lights fake fire

4 Stairway to holiday heaven

Wrap a prelit fake-fir garland around the banister and rods of your staircase for sparkle where you might not expect it. Add extra Christmas oomph with some hanging decorations such as these lovely Scandi-inspired hearts, and turn your stairs from functional to fabulous.

Stair garland

5 Wow wreath

Great for indoors or out, this oh-so-pretty (and simple to make) sparkle wreath we found at modflowers.co.uk is a modern take on the traditional holly and ivy affair. Simply loop wire lights into a circle and secure with some garden twine for the perfect Christmas decoration.

Sparkle wreath

6 Shining star

Create your own Christmas star by whitewashing some thin branches and tying them together in a star shape. Then simply wrap some Christmas lights around the points for a super-quick Scandi-inspired statement piece.

Star

We'll be sharing our favourite Xmas flavours over the next few weeks, but we also want to see some of your festive touches. It could be:

  • Your favourite candles 
  • Your snuggly blankets 
  • Your Xmas tips 'n' tricks 
  • Your DIY Christmas decorations

However you're getting festive at home, we want to hear from you. To get involved, share your image using #FlavoursofXmas on Instagram or Twitter. Our favourite festive image will win a HUGE £1,000 to spend at dfs. Now that would be a nice Christmas present! You need to upload your images by 22nd December to be entered into the draw. Full T&Cs can be found HERE.

Discover all of our favourite #FlavoursofXmas on our latest Pinterest board!

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