Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Christmas TV: It’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

Christmas is about chocolate, cocktails and unbridled TV watching.  Or at least it is round here.  Yeah yeah, there’s the giving and the caring, and the feasting and celebrating.  But there’s also so important goggleboxing to do.  Square-eyes don’t get square by themselves you know.

Christmas TV

So what’s in store for us?  Pretty much the usual stuff, the obligatory Strictly, the traditional Christmas eve Bond, blabla pass the vodka.  It can all be pretty much circumnavigated if you have a subscription to Netflix or Amazon or whatever.  But what if you don’t? Well, don’t worry. We’ve had a look through the TV schedules and there’s something for everyone.  You don’t have to resort to watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the gazillionth time.

Christmas Eve

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt  7.30pm Channel 4  Michael Rosen’s much loved children’s book has been animated.  Stars Olivia Coleman.

Muppet Christmas Carol  5.50pm Channel 4  I’m reliably told that the Muppets stick surprisingly close to the Dickens original story.  And who doesn’t love the Muppets?

Peter Kay’s Comedy Shuffle  22.05 BBC1  Waiting up for Santa?  The best bits of Phoenix Nights and more, should keep you occupied while the varmints fall asleep.

Christmas Day

Raymond Briggs Father Christmas  8.30am Channel 4  Settle the kids in front of this and go back to sleep for a little while

Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal  9.00am Sky2  Will keep everyone occupied while you pull yourself together and get over Santa’s hangover.

Polar Express  1.00pm ITV2  Children’s favourite, belief in Father Christmas is restored in an epic journey to the North Pole.

The Great Christmas BakeOff  4.45pm BBC1  Your last chance to get your BBC Bake Off fix before it hightails it over to Channel 4 next year.

Dr Who  5.45pm BBC1  Essential Christmas Day watching obvs.  Apparently a good sprinkling of superhero references in this Christmas special.

The Last DragonSlayer  5.45pm Sky1  If you’re more of a fantasy family than a scifi family, check this film out.  A little bit Pratchett, a whole lot of adventure

Call the Midwife  8pm BBC1  Special Christmas episode.  Box of tissues at the ready.

Eastenders  9.30pm BBC1  The obligatory Eastenders disasters await: someone’s bound to be found out / get murdered / leave in a taxi, as Max Branning returns to the Square.

Boxing Day

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn  11am BBC2  Something to aim to get up for.  Or watch it in bed with the kids.  Or without them.

West Side Story  2.20pm Channel5  If you didn’t make it up for Tintin, surely you can drag your sorry ass to the couch for West Side Story?

World’s Strongest Man 2016  6.00pm Channel5  Action from the contest at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.  Yeah, it’s traditional. 

Revolting Rhymes   6.30pm BBC1  Animations based on poems of Roald Dahl.  Features Dominic West and Rob Brydon

Captain America: The First Avenger  9pm Film4  Superheroes for older kids and big kids.

 

 

 

 

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It’s time you made a start on the Christmas Cocktail

Cocktail

Cocktail

I had my first proper Christmas cocktail of the year last night.  While present wrapping.  A dirty martini.  Allegedly, it was Churchill’s favourite cocktail. It’s really not much of a cocktail, but  I’ve always been a bit of a gin-girl so it suits me fine.  4 parts gin to 1 part green olive brine.  You can add a dash of dry vermouth, but I don’t bother.  Shake over ice.  I forgot to hold down the lid and ended up having to lick quite a lot of it up from the counter.  Strain into a glass and serve with a couple of olives.  If there’s any left in the shaker after the lid flies off.  Want something a bit more, cocktail y (as oppose to spilt gin and olive brine)?  Here’s a selection of vaguely Christmassy recipes to try.

Christmas Cocktails

The Refreshing One: Cranberry sea breeze punch

  • Frozen cranberries
  • 1litre cranberry juice
  • 500ml vodka
  • 400ml grapefruit juice
  • 2 limes cut into slices
  • Ice

Pour the cranberry juice, vodka and grapefruit juice into a punch bowl or large jug and add lime.  Add some ice and the frozen cranberries.

The Fizzy One: Sloe Prosecco Royale

  • Crushed ice
  • 50ml Prosecco
  • 25ml sloe gin
  • 25ml cherry brandy
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Fill a glass with crushed ice and pour over the prosecco. Slightly bruise the leaves of the rosemary by rubbing lightly.  Drop it into the glass.  Slowly pour the sloe gin and cherry brandy into the glass so that they sink to the bottom.

Something Warm: Mulled white wine

Fancy something warm, but not a fan of red wine?  Try this unusual mulled white wine.

  • 750ml white wine
  • 100ml madeira
  • ½ lemon sliced
  • 4 dried apricots
  • 5 cardamom pods bruised
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half
  • 1bsp honey
  • A few drops of rosewater

Pour the white wine and madeira into a large saucepan.  And the rest of the ingredients except the rose water.  Bring to a simmer then strain into a jug.  Stir in the rosewater before serving.

Is it a drink or is it a pudding? : Nutella Frangelico

  • 50ml double cream
  • 1tsp Nutella
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 25 g milk chocolate chopped
  • 25ml hazelnut liquer (Frangelico)
  • 1 tsp chopped hazelnuts

Whip the cream till thick then fold in the nutella.  Try for a marbled effect.

In a saucepan warm the milk until simmering.  Take off the heat.  Add the chocolate and stir till melted.  Return to the heat to warm through.  Add the Frangelico

Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and add the whipped cream.  Sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts.

The One With A Rude Name: The Blow Job Shot

You’re supposed to drink this without using your hands.  It could get messy.  Infact, it will definitely get messy.

  • 15ml Baileys Irish Cream
  • 15mils Coffee syrup
  • Whipped cream

In a shot glass, layer syrup, Baileys then cream.  Drink in one go, no hands, or however you like.

Have fun, drink responsibly x

 

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How Not To Kill Grandma: Coping With Christmas

Coping with Christmas

The Aspiration and the Reality

Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time.  An occasion for love and togetherness.  But we all know the reality can be so so different.  Enforced socialising, financial stress, being cooped up together.  It can all put huge pressure on relationships.

We watch happy families in films and TV adverts.  We aspire to be those families.  But we all know our Christmas is far more likely to be bored farting in front of the TV and a few disappointing presents.  Far more Royle Family than John Lewis.  And you know what, I’m OK with that.

Coping with Christmas

It’s just a couple of days.  You don’t need to bottom the house, or get new decorations, or a new sofa.  You don’t need to buy enough food to feed the entire town.  Just plump up the cushions and follow our 5 Point Plan On How Not To Kill Your Grandma.

Your Stay Out Of Jail 5 Point Plan

1 Remove all knives from the house

It’s harder to kill someone when there’s no weapons!  Seriously though, choose not to pick a fight.  We all have a family member who annoys us.  If they truly are trouble makers, don’t invite them.  Or uninvite yourself.  But Great Aunt Bessie going on and on about nothing: just let her ramble and leave the room.

2. Solitary Confinement

Enforced socialising is rubbish.  Make some time to be alone.  Walk the dog.  Tidy the cellar.  Sneak off to the attic for a cheeky snooze.  Even just 20 minutes to yourself will make all the difference.  Set an example and let everyone else do it too.  Teenagers want to slope off to their bedrooms to play with their new gadgets.  Let them – they’ll be far less grumpy.  And younger children might benefit from time to themselves too.

3. Family Therapy

There’s no better way of metaphorically shoving a dummy in everyone’s mouth than a great Christmas film.  If you’ve got to that point where everyone’s over tired, over stuffed, over talked and drunk, then open a box of chocs and stick the telly on.

4. Accomplices

Doing everything yourself? This is no way of coping with Christmas.  You will wear yourself ragged.  And everyone will treat you like a servant.  Or they’ll be resentful that they don’t get a look in.  By the end of the day, you’ll be ready to strangle someone.  Share out the jobs.  Make people feel involved.  Give yourself a break.

5. Calm down!

Being a control freak at Christmas is a sure fire path to murder.  Forgot the holly? Got the wrong napkins?  Cat ate the giblets?  IT DOESN’T MATTER!

Merry Christmas, have a good one!

Coping with christmas

 

 

 

 

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8 things you should do right now for Christmas

Christmas Preparations

 

Just 17 days to go, it’s time for some serious Christmas preparations.   Need a new sofa?  Deep-cleaning the house?  Forget all that.  Boil it down to the essentials.  Booze, cards, tree, food, presents.  Who cares about the rest?

Here’s eight things you should do right now to prepare for Christmas.

Christmas Preparations

  • Do your online shopping. Remember last year when you ordered everything last minute and had to explain to the kids that Santa had broken down on the motorway? Last date for Royal Mail posting is 21st  But you know your parcel will get stuck at the depot for three days.  Come on, how much stress do you need?
  • Get your cards written and sent. What, you’re not sending any this year?  Aww man, not any?  Here’s five good reasons why you really should.  The earlier you send them, the more likely you are to get some in return, hehe!
  • Book your supermarket delivery slot. Guess what, Tesco’s delivery slots are ALL TAKEN for the week before Christmas in our area.  Already!  Arghh!  ……. ‘scuse me while I do my order….

Christmas Preparations

  • … I’m back.  Bake and freeze some Christmas deserts this weekend. Make up some mince pies and freeze them in their tart tin.  You can bake them from frozen.  Great for those emergency last minute guests.  Or how about making up some Christmas icecream? There’s a recipe here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/78600/christmas-pudding-ice-cream  but you can mix the fruit and spices into ready-made icecream to speed things up.
  • If you haven’t already got your Christmas tree, get it now. Who hasn’t spent days driving round town looking for the last tree.  And not finding one.  And having to cut out a tree shape in green paper and stick it on the wall?  Oh, just us then.

Christmas Preparations

  • Wrapping paper.   Have you got?  It’s surprising how long it takes to wrap presents.  Unless you’re a bloke/cheat who just bungs everything in gift bags.  Anyway, start doing it now, and save yourself drinking time on Christmas eve.
  • Hide the sweets and chocolate. Places that have proved childproof in this house: inside flour packets, behind the most dull looking books, in my sock draw.  Nowhere else is safe.  Plus, if you forget, that makes a nice surprise sometime in the future.
  • And get into the Christmas spirit. Come on, you know you want to.  And if you can’t find any, try the wine instead.

Christmas Preparations

 

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Hygge Christmas Cards with Melissa Holmes

My, it’s busy at DYP headquarters this month.  But that hasn’t stopped us from producing a fabulous new range of Hygge Christmas cards.  And in the spirit of Hygge it’s come about with a lovely collaboration with a great friend.

Hygge

If you’ve not yet heard of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) it’s a Danish word that describes simple pleasure, comfort, and good times.  It’s all about being with friends and family, cosying up, happiness, kinship and simpleness.    Well, running a greetings card company is not always simple and cosy, but we do thrive on friendship and family.  So we were thrilled when a friend got in touch with a proposal.

Hygge Christmas Cards

Collaboration

The fabulous papercutting artist and all round good egg called us to see if we wanted to collaborate with her.  How could we say no?  Her designs are amazing, and we couldn’t resist.  This is a first for DYP, and we’re really excited about it.

Hygge Christmas Cards

Melissa Holmes

Melissa Holmes of Holmes-made Papercuts is a self-taught papercutting artist.  She creates her delicate works of art using paper, fabric, watercolour and a scalpel.   Formally a journalist, Melissa shares our passion for words, and combines those with her love of natural surrounds.  Her work often includes flowers, architecture, quotations and typography.  She produces special personalized commissions for clients, as well as teaching workshops.

Hygge Christmas Cards  melissa1

Hygge Christmas Cards

We have worked with Melissa to create a gorgeous range of Hygge Christmas cards.  The artwork by Melissa is inspired by her papercutting and is printed using luxury archival ink on luxury 400gsm paper.  We think you’ll agree, they’re a little bit special.

hygge-christmas-cards

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Black Friday Sale, 30% Off!

Black Friday

Black Friday Sale

It’s Thanksgiving this Thursday, so all our US friends will be getting ready for the big celebration.  But wherever you are, the third week in November means it really is time to get your shit together with Christmas shopping.  So how’s this for a bit of motivation: our Black Friday sale will give you a MASSIVE  30% off in our shop from this Friday 25th to Monday 28th.  Just use the the code: BF30 at checkout.

Gifts

Black Friday  Black Friday Mugs  Black Friday Black Friday  Mugs

Black Friday  Black Friday Black Friday  Black Friday

Cards

Black Friday Black Friday Black Friday Black Friday Black Friday

The Gold Standard

Black Friday  Black Friday   Black Friday  Black Friday  Black Friday

Thankyou

Don’t forget the Thankyou card for all those fabulous presents you’re going to get!

Black Friday

 

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DYP Mugs, Which Hot Drinks Do You Put In Yours?

Mugs

Have you seen our glorious new DYP mugs?  I bet you’re thinking “just the ticket for drinking Prosecco” aren’t you?  But wait, there’s so many other things you could try.

Irish Coffee

How about the old Irish Coffee.  I always thought the name was just another of those dodgy things that gets “irish” bunged in front of it with no regard for actual Irishness.  But apparently I’m wrong.  it was invented by Joe Sheridan in 1943 at Foynes Port in Limerick for cold damp passengers.  Actual provenance.  Provenance of my recipe, cold wet field somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales circa 1993.  Here it is: Make a cup of coffee. Put whisky in it.  Top tip: don’t use your mother’s single malt because her wrath will spoil the taste.

Mugs

Mug-a-Soup

Soup is a problem.  Do you eat it?  Do you drink it?  Putting it in mugs only confuses the issue further.  I’ll definitely eat mine with a spoon.  But try this mushroom soup anyway: Chanterelle mushrooms, shallots, stock, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and large dash of dry sherry.  Sounds like the sort of supper that needs to be accompanied by Prosecco.  Which raises another problem: you’re gonna need two mugs.

Mulled Wine

Now I used to think mulled wine was wrong.  I mean who would do that to wine?  A travesty second only to putting red wine in the fridge.  But I have since revised my opinion.  It’s not red wine really, and it is rather nice.  I’ve tried loads of recipes including those kits people give you for Christmas.  And none of them are that great.  Plus you have to waste a perfectly good bottle of red wine.  So here’s one that works.  Go to nearest supermarket.  Buy bottle of mulled wine.  Pour into a pan, heat, serve.  No red wine was harmed in this recipe.

Mugs

Mugs of Hot Chocolate

So I googled this one and now I wish I hadn’t.  Bacon, Hazelnut Bourbon and Frangelico Hot Chocolate anyone?  I like the sound of the “Irish Hot Chocolate” with Guinness, whiskey and Baileys though.  Even though the last time I drank Baileys it mostly ended up down a friend’s broken toilet.

If all of this sounds way too scary, we’ll not penalise you for using your mugs for a good old cuppa tea.  But we’re diggin around in the back of auntie’s sideboard for some Frangelico.  Which according to Wikipedia is made of ancient Italian monks.  And hazelnuts.  Enjoy.

Mugs Mugs Mugs Mugs

 

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Cheeky and Rude Christmas Cards from DYP

There, we’ve said it, the C word!  We’ve got a stack of new juicy rude Christmas cards for you.

Christmas is 11 weeks and 5 days away.  Yup.  And if that doesn’t seem very close, get this. The last date for sending cards economy (surface) mail from the UK to USA, Canada and Hong Kong is 9 days away!  And if you wanted to send a card economy class to the far East, well tough, that was a week ago.  See what we mean?  It’s definitely time to order your Christmas cards!

And anyway, we’ve been working on our selection of rude Christmas cards for months now. We can’t wait any longer to show you them.  So, without further ado, (drum roll), here’s the DYP 2016 Christmas specials!  Well, some of them anyway.  There’s really a very large selection in the shop.

Rude Christmas Cards

Drink and Food and Drink

Rude Christmas Cards

Rude and Cheeky

And finally, our piece de la resistance, the gold standard.  We really are rather chuffed with these gold cards.  They’re in our Luxe range and are all hand foiled.  Absolutely gorgeous.  And they are limited edition, so get ordering super quick before they run out.

Rude Christmas Cards

The Gold Standard!

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Christmas Shopping 2014

wullibulli

Christmas Shopping 2014! No I haven’t been on the gin, yes I’m doing a non profanity post! Can you believe it? 😉

Christmas isn’t too far away and if you’re like me I love to give new and quirky gifts to my family that you can’t find on the High Street. Also if you spend at least £100 on your local shops and with designer makers, you increase your local economy ten fold. So here is a list of some of the fabulous Designer Makers of Yorkshire and some gift ideas that are beautiful and lovingly made. So this Christmas Shopping 2014 make it a special one by choosing these amazing designer makers.

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The Christmas countdown begins…

tinsel tits cards

Hello!

So we’ve had Bonfire night (a brilliant British tradition) and Halloween and now the next major event on my calendar is: Mix up Sunday!

Here in my house we traditionally use the last Sunday of November (known as mix up Sunday) to make all of our Christmas goodies like Christmas pudding, cakes, sauces, biscuits. (It gets frozen where needed!)

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