1. Presents – I’m a big planner so I start Christmas shopping quite early. Although, to be correct, I start looking and getting ideas early but don’t necessarily start buying. I love checking out all the options and hunting down the right present for someone. I get a buzz when I know I’ve nailed it and they’re really happy with the gift.
2. The elves – When my daughter was little we introduced the elves. It’s the same concept as The Elf on the Shelf but these are really cute and not nearly as creepy looking. The idea is that the elves have been sent by Father Christmas to check how good the child is and each night in December the elves do something naughty. My creative brain loved this! We had them having marshmallow fights with her toys, sleepovers in socks, racing around the house in the Sylvanian Families car, rude words on the Scrabble board – all sorts! But a few years ago she stopped believing and the elves got shelved. However, I missed them, so I brought them out of retirement and although my daughter rolls her eyes at me I know she secretly loves to see what they’ve been up to.
3. Christmas pudding – There is something very special about a homemade Christmas pudding. I have tried the shop bought ones that claim to be luxury and extra special but they aren’t a patch on the ones my mum makes. Although, oddly, I wouldn’t consider eating it at any other time of year.
4. Leftovers – This has to be a Christmas highlight for me. We always cook too much food but that means leftovers and at Christmas those are extra special. Pigs in blankets dipped in homemade cranberry sauce – perfection! And who doesn’t like bubble and squeak with cold turkey and pickle?
5. Christmas Eve Eve – Before the madness of Christmas kicks in we always meet up with friends on 23rd Dec (Christmas Eve Eve) for a meal out. It’s so nice to have someone else cook when you know you’re going to be up to your ears in Brussel sprouts for the next few days.
6. Christmas Day walk – I usually have to drag my family out for a walk after Christmas lunch but surely that’s what traditions are all about? After eating your own weight in turkey it’s good to get some fresh air and walk off a few calories. Christmas in the UK is usually chilly and crisp and it’s nice to get outside. And, of course, you have the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a mince pie when you get back!
7. The weather – I like the weather at Christmas in the UK. It’s cold enough that you need to wrap up warm with layers and hats and scarves but despite what all the Christmas cards would have you believe we don’t often get snow for Christmas. That usually arrives in February if at all.
8. Fairy lights – I blooming love fairy lights! I don’t know what it is but just the sight of them twinkling makes me smile. I cover our tree in them and anything else that stands still long enough.
9. A Christmas book – It’s lovely to curl up at Christmas and read a story set around the festive season. It seems to shine a light on your own festivities. I think they make great presents and I love to unwrap one on Christmas morning.
10. Family – Family is really what Christmas is all about. We tend to see ours on the run up to Christmas as they don’t live nearby which means we get to enjoy Christmas on repeat! But each of those celebrations is an opportunity to reconnect and catch up and something about it being Christmas always makes it extra special.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!