December 2019 – Parcel Contents

Hello lovelies! I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

We’re now right in the middle of that strange little area between Christmas and New Year, where we have absolutely no idea what day it is, or where we should be!!

We kept the contents reveal this month, until a bit later, as we know lots of our customers choose to save opening these for Christmas, or give as gifts – which we love!

Our parcel theme for December was, of course, “Christmas” and they were bursting with festive treats and decorations.

December Contents:

Shortbread Mix & Christmas Cutter –

Happy Christmas! I know for some of you, today will be Christmas day, as we know lots of you choose to save opening your December parcel until 25th December, and others like to have an early treat. Whichever you’ve chosen, we like to include something you can “do” in this parcel, so this month, we’ve opted for baking, and have collaborated with “Katie Bakes” to include her lovely shortbread mix. You’ll find a Christmas cookie cutter in your parcel too – just to add that festive touch to your bakes!

Starry Night Hanging Decoration –

In our opinion, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little shimmer, sparkle…and of course, glitter! These pretty hanging star decorations fitted that brief perfectly, and are sure to add a little extra sparkle to your décor!

Adult Reward Stickers –

If you received our Christmas parcel last year, you may remember that we included some similar reward stickers for December 2018. At The Smile Parcel, we firmly believe that, regardless of age, we all deserve a little reward for our achievements, however big or small those achievements may be. So, as you battle through the chaos and festivities, and tick those items off your to-do list, we hope you wear your stickers with pride!

Metal Daisy Heart –

We didn’t want everything in your parcel this month to be Christmas related, and these daisy hearts, although they won’t look out of place for Christmas, they can be left hanging all year. We loved the intricate detail of the daisy design, and we think they look particular lovely when simply hung from a door handle, or even on curtain tie-backs!

 Christmas Card –

We wanted to pop a thank you Christmas card inside your parcel for supporting us and purchasing from us this year. Without you we wouldn’t have the pleasure of packing these parcels, and we have big plans to increase our ready-to-go gift range in 2020, so do follow us on Facebook for updates. Card from mental health charity MIND.

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant

Your *Parcel Assistant this month is Clive…or how he prefers to be known, Christmas Clive!!

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

It’s Just One Day…

At this time of year, we’re surrounded by festive cheer, laughter and talk of spending time with friends and family, but sadly, that’s just not the case for everyone.

For lots of reasons, Christmas can be a difficult time for lots of people, so it’s important to be kind to yourself over the Christmas period.

The prospect of attending gatherings or parties can be daunting, and even the fact that our usual daily routine is disturbed at this time of year, can cause additional anxiety.

Try not to put pressure on yourself to please everyone else – remember it’s your holiday time too…don’t spend it feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

If you’re feeling anxious and need to step away for a moment, do it, find a quiet area, simply breathing in and exhaling, slowly and deeply, can help your body settle down to a more natural, resting state, and ease feelings of anxiety.

If you can, keep doing the activities or hobbies that you enjoy during the rest of the year, so you don’t notice the change of daily routine too much, and remember, it is just one day…

 

Karen x

Christmas Is Open!

Wow, the time has arrived when we can officially talk about…Christmas!

The website opened for our December Christmas themed (of course!) parcels on 1st November, so you can now grab the one-off version, or sign up for a 3 or 6 month subscription, with the first parcel being our Christmas parcel – (subscriptions make great gifts!)

Ordering for these will close on 30th November, so we can get them all wrapped and packed, ready for posting during the first week of December, hopefully beating the posting rush!

As always, our Christmas parcels will be super festive, but will still contain our usual mix of inspirational gifts, decorations, handmade items, and maybe, treats to eat!

We know lots of these will be bought and given as gifts, so we won’t spoil the surprise and will save the contents reveal until after Christmas. As with all our parcels, we can also add a personal note inside from you too, if you wish, and we can post to any address within the UK, so we can send them to you, or directly to the recipient.

Subscriptions can be paid for in a one-off lump-sum payment, rather than by monthly instalments, as we know when buying as gifts, some of you like to have the option to pay all at once and then not have to think about it again, just let us know what you’d like to do.

And remember there’s no limit to how many one-off parcels you can order, so if you’re looking for surprise gifts for friends and family, we’ve got you covered!

We also have something brand new this year…a Christmas Eve Box! These are available now, to order directly through our Facebook page, and currently over in our Etsy shop. These are ready-to-post, so there’s no posting times or waiting for these, along with our other ready-to-go range.

We wanted to create a Christmas Eve Box for adults, who after working hard all year, deserve to take a break, put their feet up, and have some me-time, even if it’s only for a few moments, before the bustling festivities of Christmas Day begin.

Remember, if you have any questions or queries about any of our parcels, feel free to pop me an email, or a Facebook message, I’d love to hear from you!

Karen x

 

Mindfulness & Christmas Cards!

It’s time to give another big shout out to two lovely crafters who have contributed their fabulous products to our parcels!

We are lucky to work with amazingly talented crafters and handmade businesses, so today, I’m going to showcase a couple more of them – this time it’s the turn of “Claire Craft at Little Gestures” and “Kirsty’s Kreative Krafts”.

We asked the business owners to write a short description telling us a little about why they started their small business, and what it means to them.

Claire Holstead from “Claire Craft at Little Gestures” –

“Claire Craft at Little Gestures is absolutely delighted that the wonderful Smile Parcel have used my cards with one of my poems.

I have been creating little items with poems for several years now. The very first item I sold, was on eBay, and was a Rolo in a box, with a little poem.

I had to leave a full-time job after having a breakdown, and then after my husband had some cardiac issues, I decided to try and create a Facebook page to bring in a little extra cash.

I love trying to come up with unique items that can’t be bought from the High Street. Whatever time of the day (or night), an idea comes to me, it HAS to be tried there and then!

Fortunately, I have a very patient husband who is happy enough to take over the housework, while I sit ‘playing’ with my craft bits!”

You can find Claire’s products here: https://www.facebook.com/Littlegestures/

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Kirsty Trathen from “Kirsty’s Kreative Krafts” –

“Hi everyone, I’m Kirsty from Kirsty’s Kreative Krafts, I’m 21 and I live in Cornwall.

I have been crafting for 5 to 6 years and I first found my passion for papercrafts, when I did Fundraising for my school, and it all blossomed from there.

A few years later, I was diagnosed with Autism, and I also have dyslexia and learning difficulties, which means I can never have a full-time job. Crafting is my creative outlet and what makes me happy, and puts a smile on my face every day.

I love to be able to create and set myself new challenges to broaden my horizon.

Flower pencils are my most popular item I have sold, I make a variety of items from cards, sticky tape floral shoes, gift bags and many other things. I’m now experimenting with vinyl, which is very exciting for me.

I would like to build my business up, this is happening slowly thanks to the people supporting me and sharing my page on social media.”

You can find Kirsty’s products here: https://www.facebook.com/kirstyskreativekrafts/

Karen x

December 2018 – Parcel Contents

Good Evening!

I hope you’ve had a lovely relaxing Christmas…and a discussed in my last post, didn’t take on too much over the festive season, and looked after yourself too!

Our December parcels were, of course, Christmas themed, and as we knew lots of you had either purchased them to give as gifts, or were saving them to open on Christmas Day, we didn’t want to spoil the surprise, and so kept the contents secret until after the big day.

Hopefully, we can now safely show you, so carry on reading to find out everything you need to know…

December Contents:

Grey Stocking –

If you haven’t already guessed it – this is your Christmas parcel! You may already have your decorations up, or if you have saved this parcel to open on Christmas day (which I know lots of you do), this stocking may be a little late for Santa’s visit, but keep hold of it…hopefully he’ll be back next year!!

‘Let It Snow’ Bauble –

We included a bauble in last year’s Christmas parcel, and we loved doing them, so chose a snowy design for this time. Perfect for that one little empty space on the tree, but these also look lovely hanging on a door handle, or as part of a bauble table centrepiece!

Slate Star & Adult Reward Stickers –

This slate star was a must-have for this parcel, as soon as we spotted it! So, usually we would be saying to ‘be nice, always’, but in this case, surely a little naughty is Okay?! Now, did I hear anyone say that reward stickers were just for children – I don’t think so…So, here are some just for you, Christmas can be hard work, there’s so much to do and organise – I reckon if anyone deserves reward stickers, it’s you!

Colouring Sheet & Chocolate Coins –

We like to include something that you ‘can do’ on Christmas day, for that lull after dinner, when you’re just too full to move, so that’s why we’ve included a sheet to colour, with a super festive design – take a moment to relax with a bit of therapeutic colouring. When you can face a chocolate treat, we’ve included a few coins which you should find sprinkled around your parcel – please note the ingredients and allergens list we’ve included too.

 Christmas Card –

This cute snowman Christmas card has been made by ‘Kirsty’s Kreative Kraft’s’. Kirsty creates lots of lovely card designs, and also makes beautiful pencil flowers from paper and card – you can find Kirsty’s page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kirstyskreativekrafts/

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to.

Parcel Assistant

Your Christmas *Parcel Assistant is…Jeremy. Now, Jeremy told me he’s only working as an assistant for The Smile Parcel while he’s waiting for his application to work as Santa’s assistant – one day Jeremy!!

 

Karen x

*Parcel Assistants are cheeky little pompom chaps who help (or hinder!) us with packing your monthly parcels!

Your Questions Answered!

Hello!

You may have noticed that we have now officially opened on the website for our Christmas parcels – ordering opened on 1st November, and will close on 30th November, or earlier if we sell out!

We’ve received lots of questions and messages regarding these parcels, so I wanted to put together a post of 14 frequently asked questions, so the answers are all in one place. Most of these answers apply to all our parcels, so aren’t only relevant to Christmas.

If I have missed anything out, or you have any other questions, I’d love to hear from you, simply click on the ‘Contact Us’ page on this website, or pop me an email at: karen@thesmileparcel.co.uk

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Can I Order A One-Off Parcel?
Yes! All our parcels are available to order as one-off’s.

What Will Be Inside Christmas Parcels?
As always with our monthly parcels, exact contents are kept a secret until they are received, but what I can tell you about our Christmas parcels is that they will be super festive, but will still contain our usual inspirational gifts, decorations, handmade items, and maybe something to eat too!

Can I Add A Personal Note Inside?
Yes, we can add a note inside any of our parcels.

Can I Have A Parcel Delivered Directly To The Recipient?
Yes, we can post parcels to any residential address within the UK, and some business addresses too, providing there is someone available to sign for them. Sadly, this does mean that we can’t post to PO Box addresses for this reason.

Can I Have A Parcel Posted Outside Of The UK?
No, currently we only post parcels to addresses within the UK.

Can I Order A Christmas Parcel…That Isn’t Christmas Themed?
Yes of course, we also put together one-off gift parcels which we can send at any time during the year or month, these are made up from products we already have in stock, remaining from previous months. We do have limited stock, so let us know if you’re interested in anything from previous parcels.

Is There A Limit To How Many One-Off Parcels I Can Purchase?
No, you can order as many one-off parcels as you wish.

When Is The Last Date I Can Order A Parcel For Christmas Delivery?
We will be taking orders for December Christmas parcels up until 30th November – unless we sell out earlier!

Can I Choose The Contents Of The Parcel?
When purchasing our monthly parcels, the contents are kept as a surprise, however, if you’d like to choose some of the contents, we can show you what we currently have in stock remaining from previous months, and put some of these together, to create a parcel just for you!

Can I Purchase A Subscription As A Gift?
Yes, we love sending subscription parcels as gifts, as it feels like an extra surprise for the recipient when they receive their first parcel. Subscriptions are available for 3, or 6 months, and do not automatically renew, so will end after your chosen subscription length, unless you choose to resubscribe of course!

Can I Pay For A Subscription As A Lump-Sum Payment, Rather Than By Monthly Instalments?
Yes, we recently added this as an option as we often received requests to pay all in one go. Paying as a lump-sum allows you to pay just one payment for all the parcels in your chosen subscription, and not have to think about the payments coming out of your account each month. Lump-sum payments are accepted as an option for all personal subscriptions, as well as gifts.

When Will Christmas Parcels Be Posted?
All Christmas parcels will be posted during the first week of December, hopefully beating the posting rush!

How Much Are They And Do I Have To Pay Postage On Top?
One-off parcels are £19, or you can save a few pennies each month with a subscription. A 3-month subscription is £17.50 a month, or a 6-month subscription is £16 a month. All parcels are free UK delivery, so no postage cost is added.

How Can I Pay?
One-off parcels can be paid using PayPal or a debit or credit card. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can click on the ‘do not have a PayPal account’ option when purchasing through the website, and it will bypass PayPal to take your card details as usual. If you are purchasing a subscription, you can pay in the same way when paying as a lump-sum payment, and we will send you an invoice for the full amount. A PayPal account is required when paying via monthly instalments for a subscription, as PayPal is our chosen secure recurring payment method.

Karen x

Pre-Order Christmas Parcels – Open!

It’s that time of the year again…we need to talk Christmas!

Last year, we completely sold out of Christmas parcels and closed early, and unfortunately some of our lovely customers missed out, so this time, we’re doing it a little bit different!

As you know, we usually take orders for the following month, so we will officially open on 1st November for the December Christmas parcels on the website, but, this year we are also taking pre-orders, from now – this way, those of you who are super organised, can get your orders placed now, and your parcels will be reserved.

Our Christmas parcels will be super festive, but will still contain our usual inspirational gifts, decorations, handmade items, and maybe, treats to eat!

We can post parcels, for free, to any address within the UK, and as we know lots of these will be given as gifts, we won’t spoil the surprise and won’t show off the contents until after Christmas.

As with all our parcels, we can also add a personal note inside from you too, if you wish.

The website will be taking orders for October and November parcels first, so to reserve your Christmas parcels, pop us an email, or contact us using one of the options listed on our ‘Contact Us’ page, and we will send you a PayPal invoice.

Three- & six-month subscriptions were popular as gifts last year, so you can pay for these as a one-off lump-sum payment if you wish, so they are paid for, in full, rather than via monthly instalments.

All Christmas parcels, as always, will be posted during the first week of December.

There’s no limit to how many one-off parcels you can order.

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to pop us an email, we’d love to hear from you x

Last Blog Post Of 2017!

Okay, I have an apology… shockingly my last blog post was on 16th November! I’m not sure how that happened, other than, like everyone else, the lead up to Christmas and getting everything done in time has taken over, and so the blog has taken the hit!

I want to say a huge thank you to every single one of you who has supported us this year, and purchased our parcels. The Smile Parcel began, as a bit of a day dream, less than a year ago, and the response from you has been amazing, so we’re hoping to grow & grow next year, and send out many more Smile Parcels to anyone who could do with receiving a ‘pick-me-up’ and a smile, in the post.

I’m looking forward to gathering further ideas for posts to add on here to, that may help you through tough times, even if just a little, with tips, mindfulness exercises, and techniques that help me through too.

I haven’t decided yet whether to update the blog monthly or fortnightly next year, so I’ll wait and see how it goes. If you have any ideas that you’d like discussed than please do let me know.

Finally, I wish you a very merry and happy Christmas, and if it is a difficult time of year for you, remember it is just a day-and a bit, and 2018 will be a brand-new beginning, a new start, with everything else left behind – if 2017 hasn’t worked out to be the best for you, it’s time to turn the page, and start writing from a fresh.

Karen x