There's a certain November day when the light is just right, the shops are sufficiently bustling and the smell of cinnamon is in the air, and it hits you, the Christmassy feeling. With all the new Christmas adverts launching this week, including the Marks and Spencer fairies my Christmas feeling hit me on Saturday.
Our son has had his eye on this adorable little tin of gingerbread men the past two weeks, so this Saturday I allowed him to pick one of the light-up tins for his own Christmas display.
Marks and Spencer invited me to pick out my top choices from the new Christmas and party range, to share with you, my readers, what I think it worth stocking up on for celebrating with this December.
You won't be short in supply of sweet treats to pick from. Reindeer twigs (Matchmakers) and smaller lunch time chocolate novelties can be found near the till. The coconut covered mini Yeti are a sweet idea, and if you ever want a cookie that tastes EXACTLY OF CHRISTMAS then you'll adore the Christmas Pudding Cookies.
Then there's the return of the chocolate sprouts. These look so realistic in their needed bags and cost only £2.00
There are also chocolate Santas.
I couldn't do a Christmas food round up without including mince pies. I only started eating & enjoying mince pies about two years ago. Before I thought they tasted disgusting. Maybe my palette is changing as I age, but I still play it safe by making sure the mince pies I do eat around Christmas time are from M&S, where the quality will be superb.
Heres a cool little idea, a Night In Christmas Treats Box for family movie night, or indeed nibbling through on a Saturday night, cheering on your favourite in Xfactor. Makes a nice alternative to the yearly getting smaller box of Roses chocolates.
I also treated myself to this gift box of very special handcrafted chocolates. The Chocolatier's box is something special. The colours make them look like jewels rather than exquisite desserts. Hands off, this is mummy's box of chocolates.
With all the sweet treats, I didn't have much budget left over for savoury, but as ever M&S is streets ahead with the quality & inventiveness of their party food. Remember to call in soon as items are on 3 for the price of 2. Freeze them until party season & have saved some money.
Pizza fashioned into Christmas tree shapes are ideal if you've kids coming round to visit.
I've often wished you could concentrate the taste of Christmas into one thing, and M&S have only gone and done it. Dare you try the 'Christmas Soup'? Tell me what you make of it on Twitter (@rudedoodle).
Finally, a quick peek at some other items in store which I didn't try out, but which look splendid all the same.
M&S helps homeless charity Shelter every year with proceeds coming from sales of their Christmas takeaway lunch selection. The packaging is almost too cute to throw away.
And there's a whole red labelled section of the store for those basic Christmas ingredients you might forget otherwise. PLUS they are on 3 for 2 right now.