I love this time of year and preparing for Christmas. I used to work with children (a long time ago) and this time of year was always so exciting. Yes, I was that playworker who got the kids all excited and then handed them over to their parents (sorry about that). Back then the whole of December was spent doing Christmas crafts and talking about what Santa was going to bring. December meant coming home covered in glitter every night and I loved it. I no longer work with children but my love for this time of year hasn’t changed.
I like organising and planning so it’s no surprise that I enjoy preparing for Christmas as much as the day itself. There are little rituals I go through every year which fuels my excitement for the season. From planning what to buy everyone to decorating the house to wrapping gifts it all adds to my excitement. What can I say this girl loves Christmas!
As I mentioned in Monday’s post a big part of getting into the festive spirit involves the annual trip to the Christmas markets. I’m so lucky to live near Edinburgh as this city really knows how to do Christmas. From the hygge Christmas market to the fairground rides to the street of light the city is magical this time of year. If you are ever thinking about a city break in December I can’t recommend Edinburgh enough (and that’s not just because I’m from here). I always feel festive after a trip into the markets, and a mulled wine. This year we also went along to the Christmas Foodies Festival which was full of festive foodie treats.
If a trip to the Christmas markets doesn’t make you feel festive, seeing the Christmas adverts start to appear will. Most of the year I pretty much ignore TV adverts. In fact, I watch most of my TV through Netflix or On Demand so don’t see many ads at all. But Christmas ads are another story. There’s the excitement of waiting for the infamous John Lewis advert and it just isn’t Christmas until you see the Coca Cola Advert (or the Iron Bru advert if you’re Scottish). It’s the only time of year I would ever look up an advert on YouTube (normally after seeing people talk about it on Twitter).
If Christmas markets and adverts don’t get you into the festive spirit then Christmas films are sure too. Most evenings in December you’ll find me on the sofa in my PJs with a hot chocolate watching a Christmas film. I get through everything from Elf to It’s A Wonderful Life. Even the obscure ones you find on the Christmas channel or Netflix are so cheesy they’re good.
This really annoys some people but I love it when Christmas catalogues start coming through the door. I love nothing more than sitting down with a cup of tea and flicking through a gift guide. Getting ideas on what to buy my family and friends and maybe a few treats for myself. This is when I start looking out for bloggers gift guides as they often find some of the best gifts (have you read my ethical gift guide yet).
Once I’m feeling inspired it’s time to shop. Most of the year I’m an online shopper preferring the ease of having everything delivered to my door. However, at Christmas time I love a trip to the shops. They are all so festive this time of year, especially department stores with their huge trees and Christmas departments. This year I managed to blitz all my Christmas shopping in one morning, which I’m oddly proud of.
Once the Christmas shopping is done it’s time to start wrapping everything. I like to get this done early. Mostly because they look good under the tree and also it’s one less thing to stress about closer to the day. My dining room table gets turned into a mini Santa’s workshop and the wrapping begins. I wrap a couple a night over a few evenings as I find doing it all at once too much and takes away the enjoyment. I keep my wrapping simple with brown paper and string. So much cheaper than buying special wrapping paper and looks just as good. I make sure all my supplies are on the table ready to use.
This is the step I love the most. I’ve always enjoyed decorating the house for Christmas. My parents used to make a big deal out of it and all four of us (me, my sister, mum & dad) were involved in the process. The whole day was an experience from watching my dad get the decorations down from the attic to opening the box and picking out our favourite baubles to of course decorating the tree itself. We have a family tradition of buying a new decoration every year and now my parent’s tree is covered in memories. Each bauble has a story attached to it which is what I want mine to be like as well.
At first out tree had all matching decorations and was very chic. Nowadays, however, it is looking more and more like my parents. We’ve started picking up new decorations each year and it no longer matches. Last year I was able to put a tree up in the dining room which satisfies my need for a colour coded tree. The tree in the living room, however, is a collection of every kind of decoration. Bringing the box out reminds me of when I used to decorate the house with my family, it’s definitely my favourite part of preparing for Christmas. Last year I shared how I decorated my home for Christmas if you want to see more.
It’s not Christmas without filling the house with the scent of cinnamon, clove and orange. Every year I pick up a new scented candle for the festive season. This year I’ve gone with the Winter candle from The White Company which I’m in love with. Even my husband commented on the smell. If candles aren’t your thing try some potpourri or a scent diffuser. Once your home is smelling Christmasy you need some Christmas music too. In my opinion when it comes to Christmas music the cheesier the better. It’s not really Christmas until you hear The Pogues, Wham and Wizzard.
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