Christmas is most people’s favourite time of year, and my family is no exception. My mom loves decorating the house and making sure it always looks the most festive it can, and my youngest sister is absolutely obsessed with everything Christmas related. For her Christmas fever starts in September!
I’ve no idea if this is a real Christmas Tag already; I thought it was a great idea so thought I’d do it anyway. Credit to whoever invented it, if it is a thing already!
If it isn’t and I’ve invented something from scratch; the rules are simple. You take the alphabet and associate each letter to an element of your Christmas, explaining why it is significant to you. The link can be as simple or as complex as you like! You then tag 5 bloggers to complete it themselves!
Without further ado, here are my favourite associations of the holiday season, and how me and mine have a proper Crimbo.
I love advent calendars! Even at the age of 30 I still have one, and make sure I get one for my Husband too as he never has them. Last year I made him an advent calendar treasure hunt, where he had to solve a riddle to get his gift of the day. This year I’ve got Owen his first one; a sugar-free one from Holland and Barrett that will be a great way to get him in the Christmas spirit.
Name me a better decoration! I love getting the luxury ones from my local Garden center, and I’ve already brought a few this year already to replace a couple that were broken last year. The January sales are always a must to stock up on the ones going half price. As I’m planning on having two trees this year (our new house has a living room and reception room) I need quite a few more decorations!
Christmas songs are the best! This year me and my sister are going to a carol service at my former (and her current) university and I cannot wait. I’ve wanted to go to one for years and finally get chance this year! I wrote a blog post about my favourite carols here – check it out!
Christmas dinner is the only time I truly enjoy a roast dinner, and my mom makes the very best roast dinner I’ve ever eaten (apart from my Nan’s).
I don’t do Elf on the Shelf yet, but I’m buying one this year to try with Owen and see if he likes it. I’ve been looking on Pinterest and Instagram for some funny ideas, so I think I’m prepared. I’ll probably enjoy it more that Owen will!
One of the things I used to like best when I lived at home was hanging my stocking up ready for Father Christmas. When my son was born I brought him a personalized stocking to match mine and my Husband’s, but as we never had a fireplace I used to hang them on the stairs. This year, our new house has a fire so I’m excited to decorate it and have it looking all festive. I’ve got a Pinterest board devoted to it!
For me Christmas is defined by the smell of ginger; Gingerbread lattes, build-your-own gingerbread house, gingerbread biscuits. I always try to make some form of ginger based cake or biscuit. This year I’m going to make gingerbread men for Owen to decorate, and a ginger cake.
The first thing I get when I go to a Christmas Market is either a Bailey’s hot chocolate, mulled wine or mulled cider. So festive and yummy! Me, my mom and sister always make mulled wine each year; there’s nothing better to drink when you’re snuggled up under a blanket with some Christmas treats.
I love the frosty weather, but not if I have to go out in it for too long! I especially love looking at the snow settling.
What makes me jolly is watching Christmas Films with Rob; each December we try and watch a couple of our favourite films over the weekends leading up to Christmas. We’re one of those couples whose conversations about films tends to be incredulity over the films we haven’t seen. There are a lot of films that Rob hasn’t seen so most of the time it tends to be me introducing him to my favourites, but we always snuggle up to watch them with some treats.
Me and Rob have started a tradition with taking Owen to see Santa; we go out for breakfast before the event, and then take Owen to see Santa. This year, we’re taking him and Emilia on the Santa Express; a steam engine ride where Santa comes to visit the children in the carriages. I did something similar when I was younger and loved it, so I hope Owen enjoys it as he loves trains. Last year he cried when he saw Santa, so hopefully we have more luck this year!
I love making sure that my tree has lots of lights on it; I always go for the warm white ones as they are more inviting. We tend to put them around the lower level of the house outside so it looks really festive.
To be honest, I could take them or leave them. I like a mince-pie now and then, but Rob absolutely loves them! We have this little joke each year where we sample different versions from different shops in order to find the best one. The funny thing is most of the time I could go without, but there’s something about a mince pie at Christmas that I enjoy. Especially when you warm them up and have them with cream.
The best thing about this season? The TV dramas that appear. Why is it that all year round TV is rubbish, but you get some cracking BBC dramas? Or the film premieres are the best?
Not just office parties, to be honest. I usually have my work party, meet up for a second work party with people I used to work with, and the annual girls Christmas party with some friends. Plenty of chat, laughter, drinks and dancing!
Growing up my mom would always buy me and my sisters new Christmas pyjamas, so I make sure Owen has some too. The Empire cinema was doing a Polar Express pyjama party and Afternoon Tea that I was trying to get him tickets for, but it was completely sold out. Instead, I’m going to do my own pyjama party and picnic, invite my mom and sister and we can watch the Polar Express together. And I’ll make sure we both have new pj’s too.
A family tradition on New Years. My sister always does a general knowledge quiz for us all to take part in, and we play board games all night with party snacks and drinks. Last year we spent the whole evening playing ‘The Game of Things’ – which was absolutely hilarious – but we also like to play Monopoly Deal, Pointless and Articulate, too. Also, never underestimate the power of a good card game; cheat, crazy eights, sevens, old maid… we know them all!
I know you don’t give to receive, but I think we’d all be lying if we said we don’t like receiving a present! Whilst anyone can put money in a card, I love the thought behind a gift – I love the surprise of getting a gift and looking at the care and thought that’s gone into it especially when it comes to my Husband. I always know he’s tried so hard to get something that he knows I’ll like and enjoy, so it becomes more special.
Have to say I’m always 50/50 when it comes to the white stuff; I love it when I’m wrapped up indoors and don’t have to go anywhere. It’s always so beautiful to watch it fall and settle on the ground, but I know if I have to venture out into it I hate it. I hate driving in it, I hate it when it goes all grey and slushy, and I especially hate it when it melts then freezes into ice!
I LOVE decorating the tree! I have a real obsession with making sure it looks completely perfect, and I have a certain set of rules when it comes to doing it. 1) Warm white lights are a must. 2) I like lots of lights on my tree. 3) NO TINSEL – HATE the stuff! 4) Fancy baubles near the front, everything else round the back. This year I’ve got both a living room and a reception room, so I’m making sure I have two trees – one for each room! I’ve got my tradition red, green and gold tree in my main living room, and the second tree in my bay window will be copper and blue.
Under the tree
As I’ve gotten older I’ve severely cut down on all gifts to family; I’m just buying little trinkets for people and focusing on children. This means I’m only having to buy for my children, my two nieces and a couple of friends little one. My reasoning behind this is they all have their own jobs and money, and can buy what they want without anything I could provide, and quite frankly I’m not wasting time buying something that they might not want or need. I’d rather spend my money on making sure my kids Christmas is as magical as possible.
Rob and I take Owen every year to see Santa, and it doesn’t always go down too well with him! Last year he got very shy and a little upset when he met the man in red, clung to my leg and wouldn’t go near him! This year, we’re taking him on the Severn Valley Railway with my parents and Grandad; we ride the Santa Express and have mulled wine and mince pies (the adults – not the children!) and then get to explore Santa’s grotto at the ‘North Pole’. I think Owen will love this as he really likes trains, and last year wanted the Polar Express on all the time, so this might appeal to him a little more.
I love hanging a festive wreath on every door of my house! Rob never see’s the point and says they get in the way, but I think they look so festive and add a little Christmas magic to every room without being too much or taking up too much space. On my front door I try to buy a real wreath from a Christmas Market Stall; this year me and Rob are going to watch A Christmas Carol at the RSC in Stratford when their annual Christmas Fayre is on, so I’m going to try to buy one from here.
The best part of any day! And I’m not talking about the Christmas Dinner (Although that is incomparable), I’m taking about my Mom’s Christmas Buffets. No-one does Christmas quite like my mom does; from the gifts to the presents, the table to the food, she is the undisputed Queen of Christmas. Her Christmas Buffets are mine and Rob’s favourite – they remain something we talk about all year round!
It’s a bit of a tradition with me and Rob that we do a spot of Christmas baking together; most years we make mince pies and a yule log. This year will be no different! We always say that we want to make a proper Christmas Cake, but we always leave it too late to steep the cake and fruit! Check out my recipe here!
Goes without saying that catching up on a bit of sleep over the festive period is a must!
Let me know in the comments what your Christmas associations are, and if you choose to complete this tag, don’t forget to leave your link in the comments for me to read!