This idea came to me a couple of days ago, and little and insignificant as it is, I've decided to roll with it. As you may have guessed by now, I love Christmas, I love everything about it. I really believe that it can be a magical time of year for any age (I'm 25, and I was still skipping around at work today to carols).
I also love all the interaction that happens here in the blogging world, its such a great community. I've already enjoyed Micaelas ornament exchange immensely, and loved all your efforts at spreading Christmas joy so, I thought I'd start a little 'tag' of my own - for whoever wants to join in, in the spirit of Christmas, about Christmas. I'm going to write about my favourite memories, feelings and traditions to do with Christmas, and then pass it on to all of you, my little band of readers, friends. Whoever wants to write their own thoughts out, go for it, just comment back here to this post so others can read yours too. What do you think? Anyway, if nothing else, you get a bit of an insight into my weird and wonderful Christmas traditions...
Christmas for me, is the ultimate sensory experience. There are so many colours and decorations to see, food, wine, pine trees to taste or smell, crackling warm fires, carols and music to listen to, and presents to rattle and unwrap. My mum makes Christmas pudding to my great Granny's recipe, and its absolutely beautiful. Every year Dad and I force mum into making far too many puddings and mince pies, we're only a small family, but somehow we eat them all! (my dad and I have BIG bellies.)My parents and I would decorate the tree together listening and singing to carols, hanging glass icicles alongside felt Santa's and trees I made as a child.
When I was little, my grandpa would always come for Christmas. on Christmas day, I would sit in the middle of the room and hand out presents to all three of them, and get one for myself. We'd open them together and then start again. My dad keeps a clipboard by him even now, on which he makes a list of who-got-what-from-who, so that we don't forget who to write thank you notes to. He also insists on a box put in the middle of the floor, for us all to throw our wrapping paper into, and then he misses every time.
This year, my parents have moved up north, which means that they now live much closer to me. It also means that they live closer to my great aunt, who is going to come to my parents for Christmas. My aunt has now all but lost her sight, but when she could see, she was a wonderful embroiderer. She not only made me my advent calendar, but also the stocking my mum still fills for me every year. This year, in a nice role reversal, I am making my aunt a stocking, along with new ones for my parents (because the old ones were too small to fit anything in!)
Also due to my parents move, this is the first year since I was born that I won't sing any carols in my village church where i grew up, and my Dad ran the village choir. This is the one thing I am really missing this year. I adore singing, even though I'm not amazingly good, there's nothing like the feeling I got of singing with the group of people who have known me all my life, and sadly I'll probably never have that again, although I would like to join another choir one day. This was a massive part of Christmas for me, walking to church with mum over frosty crunchy grass, singing our hearts out to candlelight, wishing my oldest friend a happy Christmas as the clock struck midnight during the midnight mass, and mince pies after before bed.
The other tradition I'm missing is wrapping day. That same friend and I would save our presents until we had bought them all, then get together, shut my parents out of the living room and wrap all our presents on the floor together, watching the sound of music, and singing along to every word. We now live too far apart to make this in any way practical so I think this year, I need a different friend, an different film , and the start of a new tradition for Christmas!
I also love buying presents. I've nothing against handmade presents, in fact I'm all for them, and as you may know, I'm doing a few myself, but I also love choosing that perfect gift for someone. This year, I've bought a copy of a book about one of my parents favourite wildlife artists who also knew my Grandpa well, and I wrote to him and asked if he would sign it for my parents. He was absolutely charming about the idea, calling me literally as soon as my letter hit his doormat, and now I can't wait to give the book to my parents. We've had an old map of the lakes framed for James dad, who is awful to buy for. Not only does he literally want for nothing, he almost pushes things away again! I've still got some presents to make, I want to make my aunt some padded coathangers if i can, perhaps with a scented heart to hang with them, and I've yet to finish the cupcake pincushion for the SIL's sewing kit!
Do you have any thoughts on Christmas that you'd like to share? so many of you are far better writers than me, I'd love to hear your traditions and memories. just write your own post, about whatever you like, and then either email me or comment on this post so we can all read about your Christmas too.
(eeep I'm a little bit nervous, please be nice!)