It’s so close now you can almost smell it; The turkey cooking. The Baileys on ice. The roaring fire.
I’m feeling SO excited to have two (or should that be four?) ridiculously hyper people in the house on Christmas morning this year. As a massive overgrown kid myself when it comes to all things festive, I just know it’s going to be AMAZING!
Now, the magic of Christmas doesn’t come without a major amount of work for us Mums. But by the big day itself, it’s time to forget the credit card bill, enjoy the fruit of your MANY hours of Christmas shopping labour, watch the presents you tirelessly wrap be unwrapped in a fraction of the time, and sit back, and store up those memories which you worked so hard to create.
Now, as a newish Blogger, I of course, needed to write the all important ‘Christmas traditions I love etc etc post’. So here it is, Mum Muddling Through Christmas…an A to Z of what makes this time of year so wonderful for me & mine…
A is for Advent calendars. Or specifically, forgetting to buy them EVERY YEAR. But, every cloud has a silver lining…
B is for Baileys On Ice. For breakfast. Whilst opening presents on Christmas morning and for sharing with every house visitor. My Mums family are Irish so it’s as traditional to me as the Turkey dinner. Booze at 6.30 am? It’s Christmas! Why not?!
B is also for Brie…and cranberry…which has been my staple lunch diet since 01 December…which you will already know if you follow my Instagram feed…
C is for clementines. Not my usual fruit of choice, but at Christmas they just taste so GOOD don’t they? I didn’t think there was such a thing as seasonal fruit any more, but this festive fruity favourite just isn’t the same at any other time of year.
D is for decorations. As an old romantic who loves a walk down memory lane, I’m not sure there is anything more Christmassey than unpacking each decoration from its (original) wrapping, remembering where it came from and what we were doing at that time in our life. Some are tributes to special people, some are mementos from trips away, and some are just plain sparkly and gorgeous. Adding a couple of new ones each year, now most commonly involving paint, fingerprints and scribbles, it just gets more nostalgic each time. My mother in law also started buying us a Swarovski crystal one each year which I just love, so we have an amazing collection of twinkly bits.
E is for early mornings. Even before we had kids that don’t believe in laying in, both myself, and my hubby were pretty notorious amongst our families for being the ones up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. A match made in heaven…Even after I moved out of home, I’d still be up dressed, and tapping on my Mums bedroom door before seven a.m. I even gave up going out on Christmas Eve long before kids and the rest of my carefree pals, so I didn’t ruin Christmas day 🙂
F is for Fake tree. Or real tree. The argument of the decade between Mr G and I. I won last year (Real, obv) but we broke not one but two hoovers trying to clear up pine needles, so I’m accepting a gracious defeat this year…
G is for Grotto. I’m as good at remembering to book this as I am buying advent calendars. Always managed to find a cheeky late space, and garden centre grottos seem to be the location of choice these days (it was always a department store when I was little?). Real reindeers are a bonus. Expect to pay a small fortune then feel obliged to buy the £10 photo too. If there isn’t a picture, did it actually happen? N.B. after booking your appointment with the big fella, you will probably see him (or his stunt doubles) at every shopping centre, at Nursery, at the panto, at the childrens centre, at every christmas party…so don’t expect the reaction you are hoping for from the kids!
H is for hangovers. Once upon a time December was one long party (hangover?). Each festive knees up blending into the next. These days we are a bit more selective in what we say yes to, and some of the nights out have metamorphisised into family friendly festive affairs. But, it wouldn’t be December without at least one shocker of a hangover. Normally after the work do (not this year for me!) or the girls get together…this year I have a feeling I know exactly which day I’ll be dragging myself through to bedtime.
H is also for Home. For me, the house I grew up in…my Mums. It’s a big victorian town house with loads of period features, real fires, high ceilings, an unbelievable enormous real Christmas tree, and a dog asleep in front of the fire. Christmas dinner starts anytime from about 2 and goes on until around 6. Mums house feels a bit Christmassey all year round, and it’s never more warm, inviting and filled with love than at Christmas.
I is for Indoor Fireworks. A favourite of my Mums, a throwback from her childhood. They aren’t banned in entirety YET but several of the ‘old favourites’ have been shelfed, probably due to the toxicity of the green fumes. She prides herself in finding some online every year, much to my horror, as I open every window and get the kids to lay on the floor to breathe clean air. The banter on the subject is as predictable as the chance of a white christmas…
J is for Christmas jumpers. This one came out of nowhere didn’t it? 5 years ago no one would be seen dead in a ridiculous Christmas Jumper. Nowadays, they’re as commonplace as Christmas trees and mince pies. Some gorgeous ones out there, but Primarni offer a budget friendly selection which get my vote every time.
K is for K’s Christmas Dinner. A great friend of mine hosted a girls festive lunch before Christmas for ten consecutive years. Sadly, it seems this is one tradition that may be resting in peace, as each of us have growing families, different lives, it’s getting harder and harder to catch up throught the year at all, let alone at Christmas. But, I’ll always treasure the fun times we had on one of my favourite christmas annual events. The empties were something to behold the morning after, as were the headaches. Never say never, maybe this little tradition is on a break, and will reappear later on, in a different form, i.e. in a gastropub.
L is for lights. We finally remembered to buy some new ultra modern LED ones this year…after failing miserably to pick them up in the sales again last year. The house doesn’t (yet) have the outdoor ones, but the indoor selection are enough to be seen from outer space. Just remember to plan to leave the house 5 minutes earlier than normal…to turn them all off. I’m never quite sure on if they can be left on while you’re out? But, a burnt down house the week before Christmas probably isn’t worth finding out for.
M is for Muppets Christmas Carol. Possibly my favourite Christmas movie….Christmas Eve wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without snuggling up in front of the Telly with this magical film. The songs are so lovely, I’ll be singing them all Christmas! And of course, opening the front door to everybody saying ‘Come in, and know me better man! (Did I already say that?…)’
N is for Nativity. A special first for us this year, as Tigs has an, ahem, starring role; as a sheep. The songs have already had me blubbing over my cornflakes when she bursts into impromptu song. Personal favourite, the one ‘about our friend Gav’…..‘and all of us Gather round to feel the love in here tonight…‘
O is for online shopping. My saviour for presents and groceries alike at this time of year. I have already booked my delivery slots for 21 and 24 December. Thank you Tesco. Yes, you will rinse me in a way I have become adverse to, but even I cannot face Aldi and it’s bargain shopper queues, or any other queues in fact, in the days immediately before Christmas.
P is for pickles. You already know I am a lover of anything doused in vinegar…so Christmas dinner is in our household somewhat of a shrine to the vinegary veg as much as it is to the Turkey and trimmings. Pass the silverskins…pass the big boy onions, pass the beetroot…pass the walnuts…you get the idea.
Q is for Quality Street. Or celebrations. Or miniature heroes. The only time of year it’s acceptable to binge eat on a plastic container packed with chocolate in front of the TV.
R is for Raffle Tickets. Introduced to me by my fabulous mother in law, a lesson that not new christmas traditions are around every corner. The idea is, each child / family has a colour, and a basket of tickets. Instead of tearing through every present, you pick your colour ticket and find the corresponding gift with that number on. It’s had alot of groans and moans over the years…until the day she said she’d stop doing it. And then, there couldn’t have been a more heartfelt backlash. So, now, we all look forward to passing the basket around and stretching out the unwrapping throughout the afternoon, with a few festive drinkies on the go.
S is for the Snowman, and his recent wonderful addition of the Snowdog. A timeless memory of my childhood christmases, and my favourite ‘comforter’; A snowman hotwater bottle cover… 34 years old and still going strong that lovely little fella. He’s a bit tatty (well loved) and is a testament of my love of the film, and that beautiful smile of the big snowy friend. I couldn’t have been more excited about the release of the sequel all those years later, and was not dissapointed. Tigs loved it, and we will always remember with a smile what was a very sad Christmas, when we hear the soundtrack song from the flight scene.
T is for Turkey dripping on toast. The BEST thing about boxing day! Don’t think about the calories, or what you’re eating…just enjoy its meaty
U is for under the tree. I’m a massive kid and I have to admit, I do get a little bit excited about presents! Giving, receiving, wrapping, shopping. I don’t know if there is any better feeling than knowing you’re giving someone something they are going to a) LOVE b) be so surprised about c)not want the gift receipt for. I have a few up my sleeve this year…say no more 😉
V is for Vodka and Russian. I’m not a vodka drinker. And I have never seen ‘Russian’ (a pink fizzy mixer) anywhere other than at Mums on Christmas day. But, her Mum drunk it as a festive tipple, and me and Mum often share a cheeky V&R as a pre-dinner tipple on Christmas day.
W is for white christmas. The weather, not the film. I am married to a weather fanatic who spends as much time on weather forums as I do in #mblogs. Apparently, the weather gurus are all in deep depression at the confirmed lack of snow this Christmas. The hubby will be watching the weather radars all winter for the stuff. It would be so lovely to have a white Christmas once in our lifetime, wouldn’t it?
X is for Xmas pud. Love it or hate it, you need to have one to set fire to after dinner. Ideally with Brandy but whatever high alcohol content spirit you have will do. This is a tradition normally reserved for Grandads, and maybe one day when we actually host Christmas, Dad. The kids love it, I love it. Does anyone love the actual pudding?…Not so sure…
Y is for You time. When you have an enormous family like us, it can feel like you need to have a few extra days, or clone yourself so you can fit it all in. I have always loved loved loved spending Christmas with all our parents (three sets)…but even we have to admit the logisitics are getting trickier. Each year we desperately try to be fair, and split ourselves three ways. Which also works for us because we have three amazing days with the family we love. So, amongst trying to do whats best for everyone else, we have had to say a few no’s and work out whats best for us and ours too. And, have already put it out there that next year, we will be spending Christmas day at home, and I’ll be cooking my first ever real proper Christmas dinner.
Z is for Zzzzzzz What you’ll feel like doing after the feast….and for a month when it’s all over…
Eat, drink and be Merry…HAPPY CHRISTMAS!