Monday, 17 December 2012

It's Christmas!

Last week I was tagged by the lovely Gemma of My Mills Baby to join in a little Christmas meme, and being a lover of all things mince pie and tinsel-esque, how could I resist?!

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

Everything!  By the beginning of November (preferably after Guy Fawkes), the notebooks are out and plans are being made - presents bought, presents to buy, cards to write, food to cook, food to buy, etc etc.  I LOVE it!!

A lot of people seem to go off Christmas once they hit young adulthood, but I never did, and have always had this kind of Dickensian dream of the perfect Christmas.  My family didn't always oblige by living up to expectations, but Steve has the same ideas as me on the 'perfect' Christmas, so we don't do too bad!

I like to get the vast bulk of shopping out of the way by late November, so I can then enjoy all the Christmas shopping atmosphere without actually having to be on a mission to buy very much.  Swanning about a christmas market with a steaming cup of mulled wine, or wandering aimlessly through frantically busy shops with a beatific smile on my face is far preferable to rugby tackling someone for the last must-have toy/gadget/scarf on the shelf!

So my favourite thing is probably the build-up, with all the Father Christmas spotting and visits, the shopping, the planning, getting and decorating the tree, and everything else.  Although the day itself (or two weeks in our house!) is pretty good too!

Snow for christmas would be fab!

What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?

Ha ha ha ha ha!  Sorry, let me pick myself up off the floor.  These days I'm lucky if I wash my face, let alone get any make-up on!!  If I do get the chance to dress up, then it's probably either brightish eyes with a little bit of glitter - not quite too old yet... or for a day out, fairly neutral brownish tones.  It's all a far cry from my days of being a product queen with boxes full of Chanel, Dior, Benefit, Mac etc etc.  Ah well...

This year's beauty
Real or Fake trees?

Definitely real, and the bigger the better!   When I was growing up we always had fake, and small, and I hated it!!  I don't care what anyone says, only real will do, and no artificial tree comes close.  All the rubbish fake fans spout about pine needles makes me wonder if these people actually own a Hoover...  Although I saw the perfect plastic tree for my mum the other day - a 3 foot high spring up one, which pops up from its box complete with lights and decorations!  That to her would be all we need!!

Giving or receiving presents?

Ooh, tricky!!  Got to admit I LOVE receiving presents.  My best haul was the first Christmas Steve and I were together when he went all out and bought everything I had ever mentioned, from any lovely shop I had ever been in, during the past 11 months!  It was AMAZING!!

But I do love choosing the perfect gift for other people too, and having children makes that even more amazing, as you can just picture their faces when they open the thing they've been eyeing up in shops for the past however long.  Lara this year has the doll's house she's been after, and mucch, much else, and I just knwo she's going to be giddy over it all.  I can't wait!

Although Steve's excitement will come a close second when he opens his parcels this year, I think!  So I guess I have to come down on the side of giving really, especially with a near one year old Sophia thrown into the mix!

Last year's tree and pressie pile at Attachment Towers!

Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

After lunch, although lunch isn't usually until at least 2pm, so evening really.  And one by one, with everyone watching each other open theirs, much more fun and exciting that way!  Everyone has stockings, and we open those in the morning, plus the girls have one big present from Father Christmas each to open.  That will be enough to keep them going for hours!

The last two years, Lara was still opening her presents on New Year's Eve, as she likes to open each one and examine it and play with it before moving on to the next.  Long may that continue, I can't bear that frenzy of ripping, everyone tearing into their parcels all at once, so horrid!

Here's Lara two years ago, opening her very first Christmas stocking (or Christmas shoe as she calls it!):

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

OK, there are certain films which have to be watched every year, without fail!

For wrapping it's Serendipity [DVD] - cutesy romcom schmaltz, but reminds me of being in New York for Christmas, and it's cute!; Bridget Jones's Diary [DVD] [2001] for the 'All By Myself' scene, and the snowy ending; and Little Women [DVD] [2000] again for the snow, the homeliness, and, oh my, Gabriel Byrne!

For being a kid, and curling up together on the sofa on a rainy afternoon, it's the later version of Miracle on 34th Street [DVD] [1994] because it's just so magical; the hilarious and all too true to parental life Jingle All the Way [DVD] [1996]; the very charming Arthur Christmas (DVD + UV Copy) [2011]; and finally, the ubiquitous Home Alone / Home Alone 2 - Lost In New York [1990] [DVD], just got to be both of them!

Finally, the serious stuff, and the schmaltz, includes the never-beaten Charles Dickens' Scrooge [DVD] [1951] uncoloured please TV execs!; the delightful Holiday Inn (Colourised and Black and White Versions) [DVD] which seems unaffected by its colourisation somehow, and is a must for White Christmas - can't beat a bit of Bing!; the lesser known Young At Heart [DVD] which always makes me cry; and speaking of crying, it has to be a session of It's a Wonderful life (Collector's Edition) [1946] [Import] - floods, every time!!

And to counteract all that sentiment and inject a bit of bloke into the proceedings, you can't beat Brucie in the original and the best Die Hard [DVD] [1989] - even Yuri enjoys that one!!

Of all those, and believe me, they are ALL compulsory viewing, my favourite is probably It's A Wonderful Life, because it is just so damn beautiful and life-affirming.  Love it!

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Being vegetarian, it is assumed that we want some fancy alternative to the feted bird, but actually I am more than happy with a good nut roast (Saint Nigel Slater did a corker on TV last week) and all the usual trimmings.  We don't often have a roast dinner even, so roast potatoes, roast parsnips, stuffing, gravy, bread sauce (got to be the packet stuff strangely!) plus a mountain of various veggies, roasted and steamed, is a real treat for us.  I even love Brussels sprouts!

But as much as I love all that, I think my favourite part is all the buffets and picky bits, the canapes, the cheese board, the pickles and chutneys, the whole 'little bit of all of it' philosophy!  Delicious, and somehow we always manage to live on all those scratch dinners well into January.

Lots of  cakes, desserts and fruit are good too of course, and my version of trifle, which Steve adores.  All in all a feast, in all senses of the word!

So that's my Christmas.  Feel free to join in, and let me know so I can have a nosy read!), but the two lovely bloggers I am officially tagging are two ladies I have yet to meet, but am delighted to already call friends:

Missing Sleep

Chez Maximka

Hope you'll feel inclined to join in ladies!


  1. Hi i'm a new follower
    Looking forward to reading more


  2. I think many of our traditions sound like yours, we share the stockings morning and family presents early evening thing. It's a great way to spin out the excitement of the day. I am with you on the whole build up thing, I just love to see the excitement of the children. I feel I may not persuade you of the merits of a dip in the sea too though!

  3. Thank you for the tag hunny, mine shall publish tomorrow :) x


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