I love Christmas. Ok, so it’s not as exciting as it was as a child, but there’s still plenty to look forward to through the holiday season. All ending up with a relatively family day for us compared with the rest of the year. Yes the OH does take some time off work for Christmas day, although the feeding still has to be done morning and afternoon.
Here’s my A to Z of Christmas.
It’s my take on Christmas and how it goes.
Advent – arguably the best bit of Christma because it’s all about the run up. The anticipation of what’s to come. Christmassy trips out to see seasonal displays (although this year we’ve got post Christmas light trails booked – hopefully they’ll be quieter)
Brandy butter – the OH insists on digging out the old bottle of brandy from the drinks cabinet that only gets used at Christmas. To make brandy butter that only he eats. It’s essential to go with Christmas pudding (although N prefers cream or custard)
Carols – one of the best things about Christmas, and certainly for me, the main reason to be in church at some point over the Christmas period. I love singing Christmas carols. Everyone’s so happy singing the old favourites. It reminds me of being in church, and me singing the descant parts to put my mum off singing the normal bits.
Decorations – we don’t go over the top but I love our new 7ft Christmas tree, and you can’t beat lots of warm white lights.
Eating – so much of our Christmas is focused around eating. Whether it’s chocolate coins and a satsuma in a stocking, full on traditional turkey roast, or evening leftovers in a roll. There’s so much delicious food.
Family – Covid meant it was just us last year, and this year is likely to only be my brother coming. Usually we’d be with all the family, at least for late afternoon and tea.
Grotto – Visiting Father Christmas hasn’t been a big thing for us. N’s met him a few time – on a railway (very authentic), Hatton farm park, at Millets Farm (probably the best experience). The best/worst was a school/nursery fundraiser when N was nearly 3, and he cried and wouldn’t stop. Mortifying when Father Christmas was a friend of ours.
Holidays – in previous jobs I’ve always worked up to Christmas, and sometimes inbetween (pre child). But this job closes down for the week inbetween, and now with school terms, I try and take off the full 2 weeks. It’s lovely to have a good spread of time off.
Ice – it’s not often we have snow or ice at Christmas here, but ice skating is something I need to start making a tradition with N. He’s not been since he was about 4, and refused to get up on the skates. He’d quite like to try it nowadays.
Joy – because however you do Christmas, it should be full of joy, laughs and fun.
Kings – N’s nativity at nursery school had him as one of the 3 kings. It was very sweet, and he managed to stand and walk where he was meant to. Always good at instructions and doing what he’s told (by others!).
Lights – the more the better I say. This year I’ve gone for 1 set of 750 lights on the tree, and they’re looking great. I’d love to put lights outside, but noone will see them as we’re back from the road behind a huge hedge. Plus I’m not sure I’d ever get the OH to agree.
Midnight Mass – I do miss going to Midnight Mass. I was telling N about going when we were in our teens, getting the chance to catch up with all the village friends who only went to church at Christmas, and seeing in Christmas day singing carols.
Nuts – I couldn’t believe that N hadn’t experienced using a nutcracker. We always used to have nuts as children, so this year I’ve bought some nuts in shells, and have a nutcracker on order. Hopefully he’ll like eating them as well as getting the nuts from their shells.
Outdoors – I’m sure we’ll be spending a bit of time out walking the dogs over this Christmas. I usually avoid a Christmas day walk, but as I’m always on my steps mission now, I’m sure I’ll be heading out with them this time.
Presents – I love buying presents, and really thinking about what people would like. Not everyone does put in the effort. We don’t go mad with lots of gifts, usually just one large and maybe a book or item of clothing. Sometimes it ends up being a joint birthday and Christmas present because I wouldn’t spend a huge amount for only the one. N just knows that for his birthday he’ll just have a small gift if he’s had a larger one for Christmas.
Queen’s speech – it’s never been a thing in my family, or the OH’s, probably because we’re usually still clearing up from lunch. Or now, 2.30-3 ish is when the dogs get taken out. I don’t recall being at anyone’s house for Christmas and having it turned on, even at my Nan’s. It makes me wonder who does actually watch it.
Reindeer – we’ve met reindeer before at various Christmas events over the years. It’s always quite exciting to see them. We’ve even made reindeer food at a Santa’s grotto experience as well, although never put it outside on Christmas eve. It’s just that little bit of special – and N loved the talking reindeer in the film Christmas Chronicles.
Stockings – for one, stockings are one of the best bits about Christmas. It’s the surprise, and the thought that goes into the little gifts, even the traditional year after year standards. And it’s a great tradition in building the magical side to Christmas.
Turkeys – we always have turkey for Christmas lunch. As children we didn’t – it was either beef or chicken. But you can’t beat turkey with all the accompaniments. Plus of course leftovers afterwards. We used to have turkeys on the farm to sell, but the last couple of years we’ve stopped.
Unwrap – the anticipation of presents, hiding them under paper makes them so much more exciting. I’m still working through my stack of Christmas paper. I think next year I might have to use it up in decorations so I can make alternative gift bags or use brown paper.
Voices singing – I love a bit of carol singing. As children, one year we decided we’d do carol singing for charity. My best friend, her brother and my brother. I was playing the recorder too, while they sang. I feel for any of the people on our estate who stood and listened at their front door while we sang. I think we raised the grand total of about £21 for charity and got a nice letter back thanking us.
Wreath – we’ve only had a wreath one year. And that was because a colleague did a wreath making evening for some of the girls at work, with dinner first. She talked us through making a wreath, and it was great fun. The birds ate all the dried oranges I’d made. I still have the moss base wreath to reuse but have never made another one. Maybe next year!
Xmas crackers – ok so they’re not sustainable with all the glitter and disposable nature, but they are fun. N likes trying to get the OH to put on a too small paper hat, the jokes are always terrible. We do tend to get crackers with decent gifts in, although I think this year’s were bought in the sale last year and make up a game or something.
Yule log – I’m not a christmas pudding or Christmas cake fan, so I usually make a cheesecake or alternative for those like me. I do love a yule log although I’ve never made one, or had one for Christmas. Seems a bit pointless if the OH and N are all about the Christmas pudding and if I’m the only one eating it.
Zzzz – the sleep needed after all the celebrations. Thankfully I do get time off over Christmas to recover from all the prep, and try and get a bit of a lie in on occasion.
What would be in your Christmas A to Z?