There has officially been snow in the UK and I have made a Christmas pudding so now I can officially say 'Christmas' without being shot.
It's such an emotive time of the year for so many of us, we all have festive memories, be they happy, poignant, funny or sad. I've always reveled in playing Shakin' Stevens 'Merry Christmas Everyone' and had the lump in the throat moment when the piano solo start to 'The Snowman' begins. But I didn't really make festive childhood associations until I had children myself.
There's something comforting about looking back and carrying on family Christmas rituals or traditions and introducing some of the things your own parents did at Christmas time with your own family. Little touches that not only make Christmas lovely for your family but give you the warm nostalgic fuzzies.
And so when I was told that Littlewoods would like to know about the little things that #MakeTheirChristmas I knew exactly what I wanted to share. And if like me you still have lots of Christmas shopping to do you might like to check out their Christmas range here, there's 20% off all toys (excluding LEGO lines) at the moment. Don't say I never give you anything...
So, what are the small things that make the difference for me? Well, I've two small things, memory wise, that are always with me every Christmas.
A proper non- chocolate filled Advent Calendar
I know, I know, I am the Grinch. Choccy filled calendars are, in my experience, incredibly bland affairs once you are over the initial joy of chocolate. When I was little I remember a Father Christmas shaped calendar with a string that you pulled to make his legs kick up, I loved that one so much. I swear my mum folded back down the doors and brought it back out for at least two Christmas's (Mother are you reading this? Did you?!) And so now each year I hunt for an old-ckool advent calendar, something with glitter on and doors that hold the promise of tiny beautiful images behind them (and no foil wrapper to peel back!) Compromises have been made along the way and a jar of boiled sweets sit on the mantle place for a sweet-each-day after opening the doors.
When I was very little my mum took four baubles, plain but perfect and wrote our names on them with glue and then dipped them in glitter. I can close my eyes and picture my bauble hanging on the tree, amongst the Cinderella carriage style Christmas tree lights. Ir all felt so magical - and that's something to remind ourselves now we are adults. To think back and remember how amazing seeing the Christmas decoration on a tree was, way back before Christmas 'went large' and massively commercial (and whole house exteriors festooned in garish lighting). It became a family tradition each year to decorate the tree together and each find our own trusty old bauble and hang it on the tree, making a wish as we did so. This was back in the days when people bought quality goods and kept them for years and years, not pandering to the latest tree decorating trends. My mum still has my bauble 30- something years on! We'll be making our own with glue and glitter this year - I think I might be more excited than the kids! And I guess we should make some cookies to fuel our creativity (any excuse!)
And if that hasn't made you feel suitably excited for Christmas, take a look at the Littlewoods Christmas video, loving the music on it btw (it's been my humming tune allllll weekend...
Ho ho ho! So, do you have any Christmas rituals or traditions that make Christmas special for you?