Leonora Bamford and Nanny Anita ramp up the excitement with their cracking Christmas craft creations and delicious festive recipes.
I just went to my first carol concert – and I’m feeling pretty festive! This is such a special time of year for families and being in London is so wonderful in December with all the lights twinkling and bustling shoppers everywhere.
There are so many amazing places to visit and things to do at this time of year and one thing I’m really excited to take the kids to is Santa’s Magical Grotto at Anya Hindmarch. Everything she does has a sprinkle of excitement and I cannot wait for the tea afterwards. Booking is essential – but if it is fully booked, I know they do cakes to go!
My favourite shopping destination this year has been Not Another Bill who have so many incredible personalised presents. We just got our beautiful monogrammed advent calendars delivered and they now have pride of place hanging on my mantelpiece.
Personalised Children’s Advent Calendar, £100
I absolutely love the smell of Christmas cooking and my family are all pancake obsessed. We have so much left over pumpkin we decided to try our hand at pumpkin-spiced pancakes (see below) and I have to say they worked really well!
Pumpkin-spiced Pancakes Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
- Vegetable oil, for cooking
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and melted butter. Whisk in the milk, followed by the eggs and maple syrup. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of milk. Do not over-mix.
- Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat and coat lightly with vegetable oil. Drop about 1/4 cup batter from a small ladle or large spoon and cook until the puffy and bubbling on top and golden and crisp on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the bottom is golden, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately with maple syrup and yoghurt
As always, we have been crafting away at home and Anita taught us how to make Christingles to take into school which were very sweet. We’ve also really enjoyed making Wooly Winter Hats and Twig Christmas Trees.
Wooly Winter Hats
You will need: Loo roll tube, wool, scissors
- Cut the loo roll tube into ½ cm thick discs.
- Cut the wool into roughly 40 20cm strands.
- With each strand of wool fold it in half, then place the folded strand through the tube. Wrap the ends around the tube and pull them through the loop at the other end to form a knot. This is forming the brim of the hat.
- Repeat this with remain strands of wool, or until the whole of the loo roll tube is covered.
- Push the wool through to the other side of the of the tube. The knots that you made by looping the wool should now be at the bottom of the brim.
- Take an extra piece of wool and tie it around the end of the wool.
- Trim the extra wool down to create a pom pom at the top of your hat.
Twig Christmas Trees
You will need: Twigs, hot glue gun, wool, sequins
- Find yourself some nice twigs – if they are wet, leave them to dry somewhere warm.
- You will need 4 twigs per tree. 2 long (preferably the same length), 1 medium, and 1 short.
- Glue the 2 long and 1 medium together to form a triangle. Then glue the short one in the middle of the medium on to form the trunk of the tree.
- Decorate your tree by wrapping wool around it or gluing on sequins.
Christmas Craft Stick Decorations
You will need: Craft sticks, glue, cotton wool, pens, paint, paint brushes, pom poms, googly eyes
- To make the snowman or Father Christmas lay you craft sticks next to each other and glue one going diagonally across them. This will hold them in place.
- Paint your craft sticks and add the extra parts like cotton wool and eyes.
- To make Ruldolf glue the craft sticks in an A shape. Paint it and glue on a nose and eyes.
White Clay Christmas Decorations
You will need: 1 cup of Bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 cup of corn flour, 2/3 cup of warm water, saucepan, rolling pin, cookie cutters
- Preheat your oven to 100c
- Mix the bicarbonate of soda, corn flour, and water in a saucepan over a low heat. Keep mixing until it becomes a dough.
- Take it out of the pan and kneed it together to make it nice and smooth (be careful it will be hot).
- Roll it out and cut out your shapes. Don’t forget to make holes in them if you want to hang them up.
- Put them in the oven for about 30 mins.