Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Feeling Festive! | The Christmas Tag

 I've seen heaps of Christmas themed tag posts floating around but thought I'd create my own so that I can ask all the questions I'd like to answer! Control freak, moi?! 

I start to feel Christmassy when...

The mince pies come out! My mum is a mince pie fan and from the start of December onwards it's mince pies and tea on tap. I'm not a massive fan but I always seem to find myself eating them anyway, in the name of tradition! I also begin to feel super Christmassy when December 1st rolls around and I pop Mariah Carey's Christmas album on, and when I open the first door on my advent calendar. I've gone for a Marks & Spencer chocolate nativity calendar this year, although I'm so jealous of the Benefit beauty calendar Megan is unveiling day by day over on her blog Little Miss Average. Take a look at the treats she's received so far!

I start my Christmas shopping...

When I was younger I used to get all of my shopping done in early November, but apparently the older I get the poorer I get (isn't that the way!) so now it's more often mid December. I'm quite organised and love making lists so I usually know what I'm looking for in advance and budget accordingly once I've scraped the pennies together. This year I'm hoping to find smaller, more meaningful gifts what with most of our money going towards the wedding at the moment. It might be a Christmas on a budget but I think smaller, personal gifts can have a lovely impact.

Our Christmas tree goes up...

We usually buy our Christmas tree from the local garden centre in the second week of December and then it inevitably stands naked or a few days because none of us are particularly keen Christmas tree dressers! My mum eventually drapes the lights on and then I help add various baubles we've collected over the years. I always make sure my special pink and gold bauble takes prime position! I love it when the tree is finished as it makes the living room seem so cosy and wintry. The colour scheme tends to lean towards reds, greens and gold for a classic Christmas look. As you can probably tell by now, I do like upholding traditions!

My favourite Christmas song...

It has to be Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You, I can't imagine ever getting bored of it! It's the ultimate Christmas song to sing along to, it's romantic and it's so sweet. I have both her Christmas albums and as soon as December hits they're on repeat right through to Christmas day, along with anything by Michael Buble, obviously. 

My favourite Christmas film...

Oh man, I LOVE Christmas films. Elf, Little Women (it has a Christmas scene!), Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Love Actually, The Santa Clause, Fred Claus, The Grinch, and every Disney film ever made just because they feel so cosy and comfortable and Christmassy. I have a soft spot for Home Alone, which I watch every year, and every Christmas I watch the original Footloose because you can't go wrong with a classic musical! I love watching old favourites like Grease and Dirty Dancing too, even thought they're not *technically* Christmas films... Basically Christmas time is a time to indulge in any and all movie favourites!

My favourite Christmas read...

A few years ago my mum bought me a beautiful hard back edition of A Christmas Carol and I re-read it every year during December. I always find myself returning to Little Women as well, which I received as a Christmas present when I was younger. It's such a comforting read and always has me in tears at the end, in a good way! I used to idolise Jo March (I kind of still do) and wanted to be a writer like her, although I still can't forgive her for rejecting Laurie...

Pre- Christmas traditions include...

Last year I celebrated Yule on December 20th, the winter solstice, and it was such a nice occasion that I'm going to do it again this year. Yule celebrates the triumph of the Oak King over the Holly King and the promise of brighter days and shorter nights to come. I took part in a guided meditation and it was extremely peaceful and comforting; I set about planting 'seeds' for the future in writing out my intentions and hopes, and celebrated by decorating my room with gold candles, berries and mistletoe from outside, and by burning frankincense. I also bought a chocolate yule log for the family to share which was yummy! It's nice to take a moment to slow down during the pre-Christmas rush and Yule is all about slowing down and being at peace.

On Christmas Eve I...

Chris's family have a big Italian Christmas dinner on Christmas eve and exchange presents at midnight, which I joined in with for the first time last year. It was so much fun! I loved having a big meal on Christmas Eve because it made Christmas last longer and it means you get to stuff your face with even more amazing Christmas food. Mmm. Plus it means more time with family, coming together to share a meal and hang out, which is always lovely. 

This year Chris and I will do the same and head on over to his in the evening with presents in tow. At around eight or nine we'll sit down to a delicious dinner (Chris's mum is an amazing cook!) of roast beef with all the traditional Christmas trimmings! Chris's mum stocks the cupboards with lots of Christmas snacks so I'll no doubt end up stuffing my face all evening ;) 

Last year I exchanged presents with Chris's family at midnight, which was awesome, but I couldn't bring myself to open everything as I'm so used to waiting until Christmas morning! Once the meal has been eaten and presents opened, we'll hang out for a while chit chatting and watching TV before making our way to bed in the early hours. 

On Christmas day I...

Christmas day is the main event at my house, so in the morning Chris and I will be waking early at his and heading to mass where my mum will join us before coming back to mine afterwards. I've always gone to church on Christmas morning (sometimes on Christmas Eve instead) and it's such an ingrained tradition that I don't think I could ever not go. I really like the community feel of it and the excitement in the air. The 8am start is a little difficult (!) but it means I'm up early. I don't want to waste a second of my Christmas day! 

Once at mine we'll gather around the tree with my mum and older brother and exchange presents. While I'll no doubt have torn through mine in about twenty seconds my mum always takes what feels like hours to open hers, which always drives me a little bit nuts! I still have a stocking because I absolutely refuse to give that tradition up; it's the best part of Christmas morning! My mum used to hang my stocking on the end of my bed when I was little and I'd have to force myself to stay in bed and not open it at some point during the night. So tempting! We usually fill each other's stockings with little bits and bobs like chocolate coins, a Chocolate Orange, toiletries and other small gifts. Last year I made sure Chris had a stocking too, and tradition dictates that stockings are to be opened before any under-the-tree presents.

Once the presents have all been opened it's breakfast time. Every year since my brother and I were little my mum has bought one of those cereal selection packs, so I always end up munching my way through a few packets of Coco Pops with a cup of tea. Sometimes we'll have Bucks Fizz and croissants, although I'm a stickler for tradition so I'm hard pressed to give up the cereal! After breakfast I have my 'Christmas bath', which involves using a selection of the toiletries I've received as presents (hint hint!) and then I put on my pre-selected Christmas outfit! 

Sometimes we have neighbours over for Christmas drinks at midday, and I always see Alice to exchange gifts. My mum is in charge of cooking the turkey and we eat at around 3pm. Roast turkey with all the trimmings, it can't be anything else! I particularly love sausages wrapped with bacon, and I'm obsessed with roast potatoes cooked in goose fat.. So crispy! I'm in charge of the 'pickle bar' which usually opens in the evenings when we have smoked salmon, crackers, various cheeses and pickles for dinner. Mmm. After lunch we laze around watching TV, napping, playing with presents, eating our way through chocolate selection boxes and generally taking it easy. Perfect!

Writing this post has made me feel thoroughly festive (and also quite hungry. Bring on the Christmas treats!) I'd love to hear how others celebrate Christmas, so do feel free to have a go at the tag!

Baci e abbracci, 
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  1. Love this tag. I usually buy the Christmas tree during the second week of December as well and I can watch The Grinch over and over again. Xo, Elba

    1. Ooh yes I love The Grinch! Can't wait to put the Christmas tree up, always makes Christmas seem right around the corner!xx


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