80 days to go...Christmas Crates and ideas for how to fill them

Christmas is 80 Days away...there, I said it...the countdown is on! I know we've got Halloween and Bonfire Night (amongst other things) to look forward to before then, but Christmas is absolutely my favourite time of year, even more so now I have Lexi. I know people like to get organised early and early orders mean my workshop is full of Christmas cheer for longer...which makes me very happy!

Today I'm featuring my 'Christmas' crates rather than my 'Christmas Eve' crates. These are available in large and small and can include a chalkboard countdown (for an additional charge) if you like. They are available in natural pine, Christmas Red and Christmas Green but if you have another colour in mind, get in touch and I'll see what I can do. The Father Christmas and his reindeer design is sooo satisfying to paint...I do love a good silhouette! I have several other festive images you can choose from, the candy canes, holly and Christmas tree are firm favourites at the moment.

You might be sitting there thinking "these are gorgeous but what do I do with them?" Well I've seen them used in a few ways:

1) they can be used as an alternative stocking or Christmas hamper (ideal for adults, children or the whole family and they can be reused each year).

2) they can be filled with all sorts of festive things (e.g. crafts and activities, books, Christmas teddies/puppets, decorations, drinks, pjs, plates even) and gifted on the 1st December to be used throughout the month

3) they make a wonderful way to present an alternative advent calendar. You could wrap up little cars or crafts or animals to be opened each day in the run up to Christmas and they can be re-used again year after year. My favourite alternative advent calendar 'filling' is books...they could be festive or not, opened every day or every other day and you can use the same or different books the next year...and I know just the person to help you fill it! She even wraps the books for you!!! Cheryl from Dino's Book Corner will tell you all about it...

Hello everyone,

My name is Cheryl - Louise and I'm the face behind Dino's Book Corner.

I'm an Usborne partner, a single mum of 3 and I also have 2 other businesses I run along side Usborne.

I started my business April 2020, when my school friend introduced me to the world of Usborne. Before then, I'd never heard of them nor put a name to the books I'd already owned. Usborne isn't just about books, but a community. With the help of us all, we ensure these beautiful books get into our children's schools, nurseries and child care settings as well as our own homes.

The website provides hundreds of books, games, puzzles, activities and much more. It's recently been update this year and now has printable, online stories, hidden gems, up coming books that will be available in the coming weeks and not to mention great educational facts.

I started Dino's Book Corner because I wanted something for myself that I could share with my friends and family. I like to think we bring an added personal touch that you wouldn't normally get in a shop. I have been able to use the business to raise much needed funds for nursing homes, get well boxes and many more over the year. I love being able to give back in any way I can and Dino's Book Corner has helped me do that.

My kids love the magic painting books, the jigsaws specifically chosen for their age and the adorable peep Through books. I provide personal bundles and use all my commission to be able to give people the added extras such as activity packs, cheaper total, gift wrapping and anything else I think will make their order special. All this based on what they've ordered and the age of their child. The quality of Usborne items are fantastic and if cared for, can be passed down through the family.

I use my social media platform @dinos.book_corner to do daily updates on all. The deals available each month. My website link can be found in the page bio and my inbox is always open for questions and enquiries. The more I know about the person who will receive the items, the easier it is for me to direct people to the ideal books and games for them.

Christmas is my favourite time of year because its the time of year I can get all creative and offer some amazing deals at affordable prices. I try and encourage people to pre-order where there can for new titles that arrive every month. This way I can get them in and they can pay on their payday. Due to popular demand, some items fly out the morning of their release and I don't blame them. There is always something I want to get my kids each month in the new titles and the best thing is, we get them a month before everyone else does!

This includes the sneak peaks.

Last year I did 24 and 13 book advents that were individually wrapped by me, labelled and stacked up ready to be posted. It took a long time but it was worth it as I knew I was helping inspire and encourage reading. This year Usborne is bringing out their own advents and we are all very excited for them. Not only this but an activity for everyday in the count down to Christmas. Both of which will be available by October and it has us all very excited. I shall definitely be getting one for my younger two to share this year. As an added touch, I will supply everyone who orders one, an extra item for day 25 as a gift from me like I did last year. Just another way of giving back to all the amazing customers that have made this last year a fantastic one.

Remember, if you have a love of books and think this is something you'd like to do yourself, you are always welcome to message me and I will answer all your questions and help you decide if it's something you'd like to do.

My inbox is always open.

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