Tis the season to be jolly. I blooming love Christmas and there are some traditions which I desperately look forward to as soon as the festive season starts to appear. Its all about the memories for me, whether capturing them or actually being in the moment itself. And I for one find this time of year to be just wonderful, whats not to love about family time, movie afternoons, festive adventures and joy over the little traditions like decorating the trees together. And lets not forget the over indulgence.
Those of you that have followed my thoughts over here on this little blog or my Instagram for a little while will know that our little family are descendants of Father Christmas (well obviously that isn’t the case but you get the gist?) and so from December 1st we are what they call a little Christmas crazy – we all love it so, bursting with festive merriment and love for the days and weeks to come. The run up to the big day makes me smile so much and who doesn’t love a countdown to something so magical? I love making lists, all the planning and the excitement it brings.
Our celebrations start with a trip to our local Christmas tree farm to pick out and tag our pine needled friends and end with a festive feast around our dining table with Nanny, Grandad and Uncle Steven joining us for the two days. It is definitely a Hargreaves family affair and one I wouldn’t have any other way – despite the madness of going from three to six people overnight, there is just so much joy in the house and lots of kisses under the mistletoe. I just love what this time of year represents – a time to focus on the ones you love, have friends around us, a time for giving, a time for thinking of others – those who may not be as fortunate as you.
We have a few little traditions that we have stuck to over the years, I thought I would share them with you in a bid to spread some festive cheer. And of course there are some we haven’t followed, like the Book Advent which just wasn’t manageable for our little family or building our own gingerbread house – as much fun as it was George would get bored and it would pain me to see it go to waste. In all seriousness who wastes gingerbread?
Other than our trip to the tree farm, decorating our trees with festive music and mulled wine (Mr H’s favourite) and hanging our stockings (George’s favourite) the festive period begins when our Elf Buddy arrives on December 1st. A tradition we have followed for four Christmases now and one I look forward to as much as our six year old. Very quickly followed by our annual trip to see the big fella himself at Trentham Gardens. In years gone by we have been guilty of filling our family calendar with too many festive events, this year I think we have it just right, or maybe that’s because we’re heading to Disneyland Paris in less than two weeks, all of the eeks for that surprise.
The weekends in between are filled with festive trips like the Elf Adventure Challenge, lazy days at home watching Christmas movies and eating good food, writing out our Christmas cards, shopping for mistletoe and crackers, winter walks with our furry baby, emptying our advent calendars, planning Christmas lunch and all the trimmings together as well the desserts. Huge decisions to be made there. This year I am making a Nutella Christmas Tree for our gorgeous boy, and well maybe me too! It would be rude not to. Time spent together as a family, meeting up with friends and lets not forget enjoying an eggnog latte and a mince pie to round off an oh so cosy Sunday. The festive season becomes that little bit better when you are together don’t you think?
Which brings me nicely to Christmas Eve, a day for preparing food, making desserts, last minute calls to Nanny to pick up serviettes, roasting tins or last years favourite – a gravy boat. Always the way, no matter how prepared I am I always forget something. As lunchtimes arrives we head out for coffee and cake with friends before making our annual trip to the Pantomime, each year we take Nanny with us. We all wear our festive jumpers and laugh out loud for 3 hours. It is the best way to spend Christmas Eve for sure.
As Christmas Days go they have become one of my favourite days of the year, oh the excitement. It is my day to shine in the kitchen as Mr H is generally the cook you see, however once you have tasted my Turkey there really is no going back and in all honesty I think he enjoys the day off. My preparations start on Christmas Eve with the help of the ever so seductive Nigella Lawson and end on Boxing day after the last buffet before the family return to their homes. Right I had better get back to writing my ingredient lists for the Turkey brine, you can find it here if you fancy a snoop. Its sooo good.
Do you have any firm Christmas traditions in your family?