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My Festive Bucket List (Blogmas 2021)

December 1, 2021 in Lifestyle
My Festive Bucket List - Blogmas 2021

Happy December 1st! The first chocolate of the advent calendar has been eaten. (Galaxy, obviously.) Heart Xmas is on. Twinkly lights are scattered around the house making things feel super festive. And here I am with my first blogmas post of the month. Today I’ll be sharing my festive bucket list: a list of all the things I want to do this month. For now, it’s mostly a list but I’ll update it regularly to share all the festive fun we have in December.

1 – See Santa βœ“

The big cheese. As a parent to a toddler (who is literally HOURS away from his 4th birthday), it saddens me that we haven’t seen Santa since 2018. I mean technically we did see Santa on his sleigh during the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade back in 2019 but… I’m not counting that since it wasn’t a direct interaction.

We’ve booked for a local Santa to visit us and we’re very excited to see the kiddo’s face when Santa pops by with a present!


The rotary club Santa was a GO. It was really magical even though it was raining at the time. The kiddo absolutely loved it and you could see from his face that the Christmas magic is very much alive. He was sad when Santa had to leave but I told him that Santa had to go see all the other kids and he accepted that as a valid reason and perked up again. πŸ₯°

2 – Visit Christmas Tree Wonderland βœ“

Living in Poole, we’re lucky enough to be so close to this festive attraction. Christmas Tree Wonderland is a FREE tree trail in Bournemouth with miles of Christmas trees.

Again, it’s been a few years since we last visited. Granted it was cancelled last year due to COVID but it’s back this year and we are so looking forward to it.


I didn’t take any photos of this because we visited in the day with the sun determined to burn my eyeballs off. There are lots of lovely trees and festive-themed decs to enjoy but my recommendation would be to visit when it’s darker if you’re able.

3 – Try a Festive Hot Drink βœ“

So many great options to choose from this year. I’m not sure which one will be THE ONE since I’ll probably only get one shot. But here are the ones I’ve got my eye on:

  • Costa’s After Eight Hot Chocolate
  • Gregg’s Mint Hot Chocolate (the mint mocha last year was HEAVEN!!)
  • McDonald’s Choco Fudge Latte
  • Starbucks’ Chocolate Fudge Brownie Hot Chocolate
  • Caffe Nero’s Mint Choc Chip Hot Chocolate

P.S. Can you tell that I really love mint in my hot drinks?


Okay so I tried the After Eight Hot Chocolate from Costa and it was GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. It genuinely felt like a festive hug in a mug. If you like mint syrup drinks as much as I do, this is one you want to try while you can.

4 – Wear a Christmas Jumper

5 – Watch Noelle

I’m not sure what happened but I completely MISSED watching this last year. Christmas movies are great but sometimes I struggle to stay interested in the ones I’ve seen dozens of times. So having something new on my festive watchlist is exciting!

6 – The Kiddo’s Birthday Day Out βœ“

I won’t go into too much detail about this one because it’s happening tomorrow so I’ll update very soon. But basically we’ve been very cautious about COVID especially after losing my grandad to the virus last winter. As such, we’ve hardly gone anywhere or done anything remotely exciting bar venturing down to the quay or local parks. But for the little one’s 4th birthday, we’re doing ALL THE THINGS. Again, I’ll be back to update this with some pics of our adventures within the next few days so I’ll spare you the details ’til then.

Okay so time for the deets! We didn’t do as much as we’d initially planned to do largely because we are absolutely skint right now. But we did do a fair chunk of it.

So we got up in the morning and opened gifts we’d received from other people. Had some croissants. And then we walked down to the bus stop and got on the bus. This was the kiddo’s first time on the bus sat on his own seat and he really enjoyed it HOWEVER he did keep doing this “are we there yet?” spin-off where we had to keep reassuring him that we WERE going to the beach but we weren’t at the beach YET. (Spoiler alert: we went to the beach.)

When we got into town, we had to pop into a few shops for a few things and then we walked down through Lower Gardens towards the beach. My husband and son went for a little run on the beach while I took a few pics.

As we approached this stretch of beach, the kiddo spotted the oceanarium advertising penguins. This is important because in the run-up to the big day, I’d been asking him “are there penguins at the beach?” And he’d answer “no.” So he was VERY interested in these penguins. And surprise – we’d booked tickets already because this was the big surprise of our day out.

There were penguins (of course) as well as sharks and other aquatic creatures. My favourite was this gorgeous turtle that greets you as you walk in. He/she/they was lifting its head up to look at us as though to say “greetings strangers, welcome to my humble abode.” I loved it. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it but here are a few pics I did take.

The kiddo wanted to buy EVERYTHING in the gift shop but settled for just EVERYTHING clownfish-related. So after that, we made our way back up to the bus. We got home and he got to open his presents from us which included a few bits we’d picked up from charity shops and also an Amazon Fire Kids because his android tablet couldn’t handle storing more than 5 apps at a time. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ Anyway, he absolutely loves it and he had a great day!

7 – Highlighting the TV Guide

…and then not watching any of it or even looking at the TV guide again. Still very much a core tradition that I’m not ready to part with.

8 – Bake Cookies

Here’s one we made a few weeks back:

9 – Marathon Festive TV Episodes

Some of our favourite shows have some hilarious holiday themed episodes and this time of year is the perfect opportunity to binge them all. We’ll probably focus on The Office US, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superstore, The Middle, Modern Family and Bob’s Burgers. That should keep us pretty busy.

10 – Read 1 Christmas Book (at least!!) βœ“

Seasonal TBRs are my downfall. I don’t stick to them. But boy do I love to buy the festive books… I’ve got a few books centred around the holidays/winter that I could read and maybe I’ll get around to them. Maybe I won’t. As long as I read at least one, I’ll be happy.

11 – Go For a Walk to See Xmas Lights

12 – Decorate the Tree βœ“

Okay so this one is already DONE! Here’s a look at our ‘our-child-is-a-human-hurricane’ toddler-friendly Christmas tree:

13 – Send a Letter to Santa βœ“

Our little one LOVES receiving letters from Santa so this year we’re going to try the Royal Mail’s Santa letter service. The deadline is quickly approaching so we’ll probably send off our letter sometime between now and Saturday?

14 – Do a Christmas Craft βœ“

Again, another one that we’ve already done. Last weekend we made this snow-family out of toilet rolls and cotton wool pads. I say we, it was all my handiwork.

15 – Throw a Christmas Eve Party for 3

Every year we throw a small Christmas party with nibbles. Normally we’d go for my husband’s last working day before the holidays but we’ve decided to do Christmas Eve this year. The logic being that we’ll have party food left over to nibble on throughout Christmas Day while we wait for a yummy roast!

16 – Listen to Christmas Music Every Day

This one is for ambience more than anything else. We like to listen to Heart Xmas. You get the same songs mainly but they’re good ones at least. It’s pleasant to have on in the background while going about the day-to-day.


I’m not sure that I’ve really stuck to this one BUT I definitely sing/hum at least one Christmas song every day so… let’s just say that counts?

17 – Blogmas!

Last but not least, I’ll be participating in blogmas/bookmas. Instead of doing 24 posts, I’ll be sticking to 12 and posting every other day. There’ll be a nice mix of bookish content and lifestyle posts like this one. So yeah, I’m VERY excited with the list that I’ve made of posts for the month.


So… you might have noticed that I haven’t exactly stuck to the every-other-day thing. Life gets in the way, ya know? (Especially with a toddler and chronic physical and mental health issues.)

But I am posting new Blogmas content whenever I can and I’m still hoping to post at least 12. Here’s what I’ve posted so far (excluding this one, of course!):

So there you have it – the 17 festive things I want to do in December! What festive fun do you have planned? Let me know in the comments.

Hayley @ Cosy Chapters

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I'm Hayley (she/her) and I'm more than a little bit bookish. Cosy Chapters is where I share all things book-related plus the occasional post about the cosy lifestyle. When I'm not reading, you'll find me spending time with my little family, rewatching sitcoms, planning the now somewhat elusive trip to Disneyland Paris and losing entire days playing ACNH.

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  • Eleanor December 1, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Ooh, this all sounds like so much fun! Noelle is such a fun Christmas film. And the Costa After Eight hot chocolate is amazinggg 😍 I hope you and your family have a lovely festive season! πŸŽ„

    • Hayley December 7, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you so much! The Costa After Eight hot chocolate was the one I tried in the end and you’re so right, it was the BEST. πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great festive season too.

  • Cristina Rosano December 8, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    They all sound like amazing plans! Can’t wait to see what you guys do for the little one’s birthday and hope you all have an amazing day! Noelle is really really cute, highly suggest it! Holiday calls for watching too much tv, eating all the sweets and reading something comfy x

  • Jess January 1, 2022 at 8:02 am

    Oh dear my heart exploded at this! Your cookies looked INCREDIBLE. I also wish we had Costa here, major fml πŸ˜› But wow, what a beautiful post! What a beautiful time to celebrate the special mini you’s birthday. Beautiful family, beautiful post! Looking forward to more x

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    Welcome to Cosy Chapters!

    I'm Hayley (she/her) and I'm more than a little bit bookish.

    Cosy Chapters is where I share all things book-related plus the occasional post about the cosy lifestyle.

    When I'm not reading, you'll find me spending time with my little family, rewatching sitcoms, planning the now somewhat elusive trip to Disneyland Paris and losing entire days playing ACNH.

    Follow Cosy Chapters on

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