Light-up Wooden Advent – £29.95 from festive-sparkle.co.uk
The variety of non-chocolate bearing advent calendars increases every year – now there are ones hiding toys, perfumes, make-up, and there’s even one devoted to a different daily dram of whiskey. The best calendars though, are those where you can put your own treats and trinkets inside, for that extra personal touch. This charming, old-fashioned one with wooden drawers also has the added bonus of light and music – the party advent calendar, if you will.
There’s no need-les
Light-Up Green Acrylic Tree – £74.95 from festive-sparkle.co.uk
Real trees might smell and feel nice, but let’s be honest, those needle trails do sort of cancel out all those benefits. When you compare a ‘proper’ tree against this impressive 57cm colourful acrylic version, with its 200 white LED lights, you also realise real can never be as luminously brilliant as fake. Perfect for the corner of a room, the front door, or standing in your garden – wherever you put it though, Santa is sure to find you.
Inflatable Santa and Reindeers – £89.95 from woolworths.co.uk
We’re not entirely sure how two reindeers alone would be able to tow the sleigh but, logistics aside, this garden based blow-up will attract plenty of attention. This 8ft affair is certainly going to light up a few kids’ faces and, when dusk sets in, the inflatable has internal lights for evening illuminations. A classic Christmas installation.
Nodding Reindeer – £44.99 from homebase.co.uk
This mains powered animal is created from a sturdy wire frame wrapped with a rope light and, as a result, looks superb. It’s not even your ordinary static garden reindeer decoration either, this one has an additional powered nod, saying a big ‘yes’ to the ultimate festive cheer. All you need now is a red nose.
Red Soft Glow Freestanding Present Trio – £32 from DIY.com
An installation in its own right, or lined up as a landing strip for Father Christmas’ sleigh – however you position these cute glowing gifts, they’ll look brilliant. Well, not too brilliant if you don’t want them too – multiple light settings mean you can choose how the intensity of the hue, adjustable for indoors or outdoors, night or day, and sunshine or, fingers crossed, snow…
The better sweater
Santa’s Cabin Knitted Sweater – £35.99 from morphsuits.co.uk
So here’s the scene: a snow-clad cabin in the woods and wait, there’s a flickering fire and, yes, that’s Father Christmas himself popping up and waving hello… Welcome to the smartphone powered woollen wear that’s a dead cert to dominate any Christmas jumper gathering. Just download the dedicated app to your device, pop it inside the pouch, press play and marvel at the grinning faces gathering round you.
App of the Week
Minicabster – Free on iTunes and Google Play
Unlike other London-centric taxi ordering apps, Minicabster continues to expand across the UK. Tell this app where and when you want to go and it’ll immediately grab a range of quotes from minicab fleets comprising over 10,000 licensed cars. You can pay through the app or cash directly to your driver. We love the punctuality promise too – 30% of your fare back if your cab is more than 15 minutes late.
Top 10 BestSelling Kindle Apps
1. Minecraft – Pocket Edition by Mojang
2. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 by Scott Cawthon
3. Five Nights at Freddy’s by Scott Cawthon
4. Tipping Point by Barnstorm Games
5. The Chase by Barnstorm Games
6. Christmastry by The Hohng Company
7. Can You Escape 3 by MobiGrow
8. Plans vs. Zombies by PopCap Games
9. Nav for Google Maps by Voyage Maps
10. Room on the Broom: Games by Magic Light Pictures
Top 10 Free Kindle Apps
1. BrainWars by Translimit
2. ITV Player by ITV
3. Angry Birds Transformers by Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
4. The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery by G5 Entertainment AB
5. Amazon Instant Video by Amazon.com
6. 8 Ball Pool by Miniclip.com
7. SpinArt by Pseudo Studios Inc.
8. BBC iPlayer by Media Applications Technologies Ltd
9. Candy Crush Saga by King
10. Facebook Messenger by Facebook
(Both charts courtesy of www.amazon.co.uk)