Boswells Blog

3rd December 2014

Oxford Christmas Activities

Oxford Christmas Activities

Every year Oxford plays host to a huge range of Christmas activities so this year we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites. If you think we’ve missed something that should be here, let us know!

Winter Light at the Oxford Botanic Gardens

4th – 6th December 5pm

Oxford Botanic Gardens

The Oxford Botanic Garden is always a beautiful place to wander around, but this Christmas there is the opportunity to see it in a completely different light- literally. Follow candlelit paths around the gardens and see features lit by spotlights before heading to the naturally decorated Christmas tree, where you can make your own decorations to hang up there or to take home.

Carols at Oxford Castle

6th December 6:30pm
Oxford Castle Quarter

Get in the Christmas spirit by joining BMH productions, their choir and their band in singing Christmas carols new and old at the Oxford Castle Quarter. As well as the carols there will be poetry and stories to keep you entertained and hot drinks to keep you warm.

Cogges Winter Fayre & Market

7th December 10:30am

Farther Christmas will be heading to the traditional winter fayre at Cogges Farm on Sunday. For the adults they’ll have homemade food and more than 30 stalls from local business selling crafts, handmade goods and locally produced food and drink. For the kids there will be decoration making and storytelling, as well of course as the chance to meet Santa. Adding to the festive spirit there will be performances from the Voicebox Choir and The Sniggering Foxes.

Cowley Festival of Christmas trees

7th – 9th December
St James Church

Have you ever seen 30 decorated Christmas trees in one place? If not then head to St James Church, Cowley on the 7th of December where more than 30 Cowley businesses and community groups will be showing off their trees. While you’re wandering around the trees you can also enjoy bell ringing, carols and refreshments.

Oxford Christmas MarketOxford Christmas Market

11th-21st December
Broad Street

This is one of the biggest events in the Oxford Christmas calendar and definitely one of our favorites. From the 11th of December more than 40 Christmas cabins will be selling everything from chocolate to candles, and alpaca rugs to vegetarian hot dogs. And while your shopping there will be music to put you into the Christmas spirit including performances from the Oxford City Singers and the Oxford Community Choir. A perfect chance to do some Christmas gift shopping, or even to pick up a tasty treat for yourself.

(Image courtesy of Oxford Christmas Market)

Oxford Ice Rink Show

13th & 14th December 3pm & 6pm
Oxpens Road

Oxford’s ice rink has been here for 30 years, this year’s celebratory show is sure to be spectacular. They’ve got stars from ITV’s Dancing on ice performing as wells as national and international skating professionals and over 100 local skaters. Its sure to be an amazing night, and your chance to get up close to the people we all watch and want to skate like (we struggle to stand on ice, let alone do flips and tricks!)

The City of Oxford Choir

Saturday 13th December 7:30pm
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford

Nothing sounds more like Christmas than carols filling the air. This year join one of Oxford oldest Oxford's leading chamber choirs to celebrate the festive season. The City of Oxford Choir will be holding their Joy to the World concert in the beautiful The University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Along with the beautiful sounds of the choir there will be mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy.

City of Oxford Silver Band

Sunday 14th December

There are loads of performances from bands all around the county in the run up to Christmas, but these chaps are one of our favourites. The City of Oxford Silver Band have a packed calendar throughout December with performances all over the county. Their biggest event will be held at their band hall on Sunday 14th December and it will be a chance to hear their Sliver Band, Training Band and beginners’ band.

Helen and Douglas House Santas on the Run

Sunday 14th December 9am
Oxford City Center

This year’s Santas on the Run has sold out, but it’s always amusing to see 1,700 bearded Santas running though Oxford so make sure you head down to cheer on the runners - and of course support a great Oxford charity.

Santa’s Grotto Millets Farm

15th November – 24th December
Millets Farm

Be transported to the North Pole and take a journey through Santa’s grotto, past the elf’s working hard to get the presents sorted and into the Big Mans office where he will reading stories and listening to Children, learning what they want for Christmas. And if the adults are on the nice list, there will be a mince pie for them to!

26th November 2014

Crafty Christmas with Boswells

Crafty Christmas with Boswells

‘Tis the season for… being creative!
 Here at Boswells, we have collected six great craft ideas to get you started – and we’ve got just the craft items you need. Do you want to make your own personal Advent calendar? What about your own Christmas cards?
Follow these fun craft ideas for all the family, and bring some cheer to winter afternoons.
What you will need:

  • Plain, or coloured thin card
  • Felt-tip pens
  • Pencil
  • Craft scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Christmas Tree DecorationExtra items detailed in each craft idea 

Origami Christmas Tree Decoration

  • For this project (and the origami Christmas calendar) you can use our set of multi-coloured origami paper
  • Taking a sheet of green origami paper, follow these step-by-step simple instructions on
  • Draw Christmas decorations on your origami tree with your felt-tip pens, or use some glitter-glue or sequins – be creative!
  • Finally, use a little craft glue to stick a loop of ribbon to the back of your design 

Origami Christmas Calendar

  • For inspiration on this project, take a look at these instructions for an origami calendar 
  • Use origami paper or wrapping paper for a festive feel 
  • Once you have your origami envelopes, fill with treats and seal the envelope with fun stickers
  • Then cut four lengths of ribbon, attach to the wall with pins, and clip your origami envelopes on with mini craft pegs to complete your calendar

Festive Hama Bead Decorations

  • First time of using Hama Beads? Have a look at this handy Hama Bead how-to guide 
  • If you already know how to use Hama Beads, then see our exciting Hama Bead range and pick some Christmas colours
  • Have a look at some example patterns of Christmas Hama Bead designs, or make up your own. Remember the grey dots on the provided templates are where you put no Hama Beads at all
  • Thread a ribbon loop through one of the gaps in your design and it’s ready for the Christmas tree

Hama Bead Decorations

Sparkling Christmas Cards

  • With glitter chenilles (you may know them as craft pipe cleaners) you can make a card that will shine
  • Use these Christmas chenille card designs for inspiration
  • Stick your pipe cleaners onto your card with a few dabs of glue and add decoration, with felt-tip pens or glitter glue, to finish your card

Felt Nativity Finger Puppets

For a fun way to teach children the Nativity story, take a look at this felt finger puppet Nativity design and use the templates provided for inspiration

  • Take a look at our colourful range of felt material
  • Draw the design templates on to your felt with pencil
  • Draw the main body template twice for the front and back of each finger puppet
  • Leave an extra ½ centimeter round the main body template for gluing 
  • Carefully cut out your design templates from the felt with scissors
  • Glue down your template details, such as the faces and hair etc, to the front half of your main body template. Allow to dry and then glue the two halves of your main body template together down the edges
  • Add optional eyes and smiles with felt-tip pens and you have finished!

Nativity Puppets

Christmas Loom Band DecorationsLoom Christmas Trees

Loom bands are all the rage at the moment. Need to find out what they are? Have a look at the official Cra-z-loom video demonstration

Don’t forget to take a photo of your crafty projects and tweet them to us or post them on the Boswell’s Facebook page – we’d love to see the whole family getting creative! If you teach, why not show us a photo of the creativity in class? If you have more great ideas for Christmas craft projects, let us know!