And the winner of our Christmas stocking challenge is…

The Christmas countdown has begun. It’s time to get those special gifts and stocking fillers for the people you love. But did you know that the average spend on a Christmas stocking is now a staggering £70? 

We ran a Christmas stocking challenge, inviting eight of our favourite bloggers to spend just half that amount. And you can see their Christmassy creations here.

The winner of our competition - with a retro-inspired stocking that blew us away - is… Cassie from My Thrifty Life. It’s hard to beat a stocking that features a catapult, kazoo and a wind-up T Rex kit! Here’s Cassie telling us all about her Christmas traditions and the things that make her feel truly festive this time of year:


Cassie’s Christmas

Cassiefairy from My Thrifty Life
Congratulations to Cassie of My Thrifty Life
Image: My Thrifty Life

Hi Cassie. Congratulations on winning the Rex London Christmas stocking challenge! We’d love to find out what inspires you this time of year. Tell us - what’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

Having time off! It’s always a big rush to get everything done before Christmas so I really enjoy taking a few days off before the big day to enjoy the run-up. It helps me feel prepared and ready to relax over the holidays.

And what’s your favourite Christmas memory?

Where I grew up, Santa visits all the children in the village on his sleigh early on Christmas Eve to deliver a present. Looking out for the sleigh – and hearing it before seeing it – is one of my favourite Christmas memories. The sleigh still goes around the village so, if I visit my mum on Christmas Eve, I still get to see Santa pass by and it’s just as exciting!

What’s the best Christmas present you received as a child?

I got a huge, pink My Little Pony castle one Christmas and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I unwrapped it. That gift started a lifelong love of animals and I still have ‘a few’ of those vintage My Little Ponies packed away in the attic.

If money was no object, what would your ideal Christmas party involve? 

It would be just like Nigella’s Christmas! But it would be in Lapland - with fairy lights everywhere you look. All my friends and their families would be there, and we’d tuck into a giant Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Perhaps we could stretch to a visit from the real Santa too?

And if you could get rid of one Christmas tradition for good, what would it be? 

Sprouts! You can dress them up any way you like, with bacon or honey glaze or almonds and apricots, but they’re still sprouts, and I’d rather they weren’t on my plate!

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Thrifty, happy, nerdy.

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I started blogging for the Students’ Union when I took on the Fairtrade Challenge in 2006, living on solely Fairtrade food for a fortnight. In those days there wasn’t as much choice as there is today, so we enjoyed a lot of chocolate, bananas and wine! That blog challenge got me hooked on writing, so I started my own thrifty lifestyle blog. 

And where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I love reading interiors magazines, design blogs and browsing Pinterest. Even heading to the shops or days out to period homes provides inspiration. If I see a décor style or piece of furniture that I like, I try to recreate it on a budget and love to share the results of my projects on the blog. 

What’s on your to-do list for 2019?

My home is a real fixer-upper so there are still a lot of rooms to decorate. The hallway has been on the list for a while; I’ve got a kitchen worktop, sink and tiles to install; and my home office needs more storage. Of course, I’ll be DIY-ing it all on a budget, so I’ll be sure to share plenty of photos of my upcycles and room transformations on the blog in 2019.

And finally, for anyone who wants craft inspiration, can you choose one of your favourite blog posts to get them started?

I’ve shared a round-up of some of my favourite festive craft projects here. Enjoy!


Stocking inspiration for those you love

christmas stockings hanging by fireplace
Read on for Christmas stocking inspiration
Image: Rawpixel.com

We’d like to say a big thank you to Cassie and all our other stocking-challenge bloggers for putting together their inspirational Christmas stockings! If you’re stuck for ideas, we’d really recommend you visit their wonderful blogs.

Thanks to:
Lauretta of Home and Horizon for her stocking fit for a tween. 
Fionnuala of Three Sons Later for her husband’s stocking ideas. 
Helen from Treasure Every Moment for her stocking for a three-year-old girl. 
Jenny from The Gingerbread House, who created a stocking for the hard-to-buy-for man in your life.
Lauren from Little Lauren’s Blog, who created a stocking for her mum and sisters to share. 
Mike of The Crafty Gent, whose stocking is the perfect starter kit for crafters.
Katie of Beyond Tired, with a stocking to delight any ‘threenage’ girl.

Inspired by any of these stocking fillers? Then share your favourites with us! Tag your photos with @RexLondonUK on Instagram or use the hashtag #RexLondon.