It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....Trees are going up, Christmas lights are being turned on and towns are filled with people scuttling about trying to complete the mammoth task of gift shopping. Whether you've started preparing for the festive holiday or not, you have to agree that Christmas has now become impossible to avoid (even if it is just a bit of Mariah Carey playing when you walk into your supermarket). I personally love Christmas-time; it's certainly the happiest time of the year and I just adore all the novelty goods dotted around in homes and shops. To give us a kickstart in getting excited for the 25th December, I've compiled a short list of things I love about this time of the year.
I'm not fussed about receiving presents, but going Christmas shopping to find little gifts to put a smile on my friends' and family's faces makes me so excited for the big day. While you can obviously buy treats for your loved ones throughout the year, Christmas gives me the perfect excuse to splash out a little more and not feel guilty about getting myself into debt. There's something strangely therapeutic about wrapping up gifts too; folding the paper perfectly and decorating with a little bow satisfies my inner neat-freak! Please say I'm not the only one?!
Ah, it wouldn't be Christmas Day without a family member having a little but too much to drink and starting an argument. But seriously, brands bring out festive versions of their drinks and they always seem to be 100% better than the original. Whether it's a nice glass of Sherry, a bit of bubbly, or a sip of wine with your Christmas dinner, it's a nice time to relax with your favourite festive drink. I'm pretty sure people only ever drink Baileys at Christmas, so December is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a bottle.
Big, Cosy Jumpers
With December comes shorter days and colder temperatures. While I'm not a fan of it getting dark before 4pm (or my nose going bright red in the cold...hello Rudolph), I do love having the excuse to wrap up warm in oversized, cosy jumpers. There is honestly nothing better than lounging around your house, being all snug with a hot cup of tea when it's dark, miserable and freezing cold outside. I love this cashmere Gant jumper (extra fuzz and extra warmth), but you get bonus points if you have a Christmas jumper. Christmas is (unfortunately) the only time when it's acceptable to wear massive jumpers which light up and sing festive songs, so make the most of the novelty tat while you can!
Food...All Of The Food
How could I compile a list detailing the best things about Christmas and not give a special mention to the number one love in my life? Christmas has become all about food. From the 1st December, we start popping those little advent calendar chocolates, plumping us up for the big event on the 25th. From succulent turkeys, to pigs in blankets, and special mentions to trifles and post-dinner chocolates, Christmas has pretty much become about stuffing your face with as much food as you can. It is an eating marathon as much as it is a religious holiday (whether this is a good thing or not is a discussion for another day). I'm so looking forward to festive feast...it's by far the best meal of the year.
Hot Drinks and Cafe Specialities
As soon as the red Starbucks cups come out, you know it's Christmas. Not only is cold December the perfect time to warm up with a hot chocolate in the comfort of your own home (a splash of Baileys in mine, thanks), but cafes have long taken advantage of our passion for all things Santa. Spiced lattes are fantastically fashionable, while sweet lovers have the choice of white hot chocolate or a hint of orange in their favourite drink. The other day, I treated myself to a Praline Latte from Cafe Nero and I fell in love with Christmas all over again. There's just something about the festive twists on our favourite coffees that drives us Christmas-mad!
Being away in Brighton definitely comes with certain perks, but one of the downsides is I miss my family loads. Christmas is a time to bring the family together, have a catch-up, argue about this year's Eastenders festive plot-twist and just spend some quality time with each other. We don't get to see each other often, so I truly cherish the time I get to spend with them over the holidays- even if it's just a couple of days. All of the things listed above often get publicised so much more than the simple notion of spending time with the ones you love most, so it's important not to let your family get forgotten amongst the mountain of food and presents. Appreciate them, be grateful that you are all together, give thanks for every minute you spend together.
What are your favourite things about the run up to Christmas? Do you have any traditions you follow during the festive season?