What is Christmas if not a time for embracing tradition? My Christmases have been littered with traditions for as long as I can remember. Opening our stockings on my parent's bed as early as we could get away with. A post present opening joint to the pub for a drink with my Grandad. Christmas Eve shopping for last minute gifts with my dad. Watching Love Actually with a big mug of hot chocolate + my sister.
This year, things are a little different. For starters, come 3pm on Christmas day Connor and I will be hopping in the car to head to the airport, effectively cutting our Christmas day in half. It'll be a year getting used to how the holiday season goes without my Grandad, and Con's dad. It's our first festive period in our new home, and Christmas day at my parents' house where there are no ceilings at present, well that will certainly be weird.
But that's the great thing about traditions, there's always room for new ones, and if you skip a year, they'll still be waiting for you the next. So, here are some Christmas traditions I'll be embracing this year, that you should too!
Have a mini friends Christmas. On Sunday Connor and I will be headed to West Sussex for a mini Christmas with Lauren and her lovely mum. We've got big plans for Christmas movies, a roaring fire, board games, garlic bread and gift exchanges, and I can't blooming wait. We can get caught up in devoting all free holiday time to family, it's easy to forget that friends are just as important!
Donate to a local shelter. It's a habit to get into all year but at Christmas time it's especially important to remember the spirit of giving back. Whether it's picking up a few extra tins of food or tubes of toothpaste during your food shop, or it's taking old coats to your local homeless shelter, think about how you can give back in your community this year. My mum and I recently had a big sort out of old clothes at home and put together a bag to take to the shelter, and it was so gratefully received.
New Christmas Eve PJs. This is something we used to do when we were kids and I want to bring it back this year! Each year we were allowed to open one present under the tree before bed on Christmas Eve, and it would always be something cosy - usually pyjamas but sometimes slippers or a new dressing gown. It was such a lovely tradition so I want to bring it back this year!
Baking with the young'uns. This year I'm going to round up Connor's little sister for some Christmassy baking. I always have the best intentions of baking festive treats but more often than not I lack the time or the motivation to actually do it. So this year I've made a date with Con's sister and we're going to bake festive cupcakes!
A Christmas Eve Drive. Con and I quite often spend the evening of Christmas Eve apart, he has a friend he always gets together to wrap gifts with and I head to my parent's to help prep Christmas dinner (and usually end up wrapping gifts for my dad). He'll pick me up at the end of the night and we'll head home, but this year I want to take the long route home, spotting all the Christmas lights!
A girl's night in. Hot chocolates piled high with whipped cream, Christmas movies, twinkly Christmas tree lights and a pile of chocolate, what could be better?
Make boozy hot cider. This has almost become a winter Friday night tradition for Con and I right now! There's nothing quite like a good mulled cider and we've got it down to an art now! Two cans of cider, gently warmed with the juice and zest of half an orange, cinnamon sticks, star anise, a wedge of both apple and orange, and a slug of Jack Daniel's Honey. Serve steaming hot in your favourite Christmas mug!
Are you starting any new Christmas traditions this year?