Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Christmas Eve traditions


Well, it's here. Another year has gone by in the blink of an eye and now it's just one more sleep until the big fat man with the long white beard slides down your chimney. I can't say it feels remotely Christmassy, as I've been so busy this week I haven't had the chance to flick the switch that allows me to unwind into the 'not to alarm you but it's Christmas tomorrow' mode but however I feel and whatever age I may be, Christmas Eve is always a special, joyful time in my household.

When I was a child I'd be preparing for Santa's arrival; drawing him a picture, fixating my letter with the tray of cookies, milk and carrots, and more than likely crafting or baking some goodies with my traditional parents' values whilst they explained the magic key theory over and over again. It was a magical time, especially once I'd been urged to go to bed. I'd always listen extra carefully to see if I could hear the jingling bells, and I'd peek out of the window determined I caught a glimpse of the flying reindeers. Christmas is undoubtedly more precious as a kid but there's nothing better than reminiscing on those nostalgic times with your feet up on the 24th. Christmas Eve may even beat Christmas itself to the contender for my favourite day. It's the build up to it that makes it all exciting, the satisfaction of seeing the presents under the tree and the stockings hung up. It's a shame it's all over in one day as there's so much graft and thoughtful preparation and presentation that goes into it. Anyhow, moving on from my obvious babbling, here's the six things I seem to repeat every year once daylight has broken and the countdown is on!

Watch TV all day | the only occasion where I'm willing to stay in and sit and watch the British channels from morning to night is in the festive season. You don't even have to own a bunch of movies or start up Netflix because they're all displayed one after another. I love the Christmas classics like The Grinch, Santa Claus, Home Alone and Elf, along with the Christmas specials of the TV programmes I love and the dramatic storylines in the soaps, but the rom-coms I could quote word for word are my personal favourites. Is there a limit amount of times you can watch Love Actually and The Holiday? I think not.

New pyjamas | Christmas Eve pretty much screams out 'be a lazy mare, sit back, relax and soak up the happy atmosphere' and this isn't complete without a fresh pair of pyjamas especially bought for the night before Christmas. Waking up on Christmas morning in ordinary pyjamas just isn't negotiable. To tell you the truth I'll probably go all out in head to toe costume, Santa hat and penguin socks and all.

Present gathering | I don't know whether I do this for my own benefit, to release the stress and worry of potentially forgetting a family member or because I get a kick out of a gigantic pile of presents crowding the living room, despite stating we won't go over the top with the spending. It certainly seems that way when we lay them out one by one and it builds by about 100. It's then followed up by a generic photo of the lot uploaded to social media before they're ripped open the next day. There's also usually some last minute wrapping occurring with overplayed Christmas music keeping me sane (or not so sane).

Too much food and drink | filling our stomachs to the point of explode doesn't just happen on Christmas Day, there's plenty of pre-over eating in our house. The nuts are placed on the coffee table in the Santa shaped tray, Mum brings a gazillion boxes of chocolates home from work (doctors' receptionist perks) and I'm constantly varying between the Celebrations, Heroes and assorted biscuits. Come teatime we're having a traditional meal and we even treat ourselves to eating in the living room opposed to the table. I know a lot of people prefer to head out for a Christmas Eve drink in the pub but the three of us usually just enjoy a glass of wine or a hot drink whilst we continue our TV and film watching.

A pampering bath | before the hectic festivities kick start, I will always have my pre-Christmas bath the night before. It gives me a chance to do all my shaving so I'm super smooth (to then be covered up, girl logic) and I'll pair the chore of shaving with a Christmas themed Lush bath bomb and candles, lots and lots of candles in a dimmed room where I can relax for hours and come out looking like a wrinkled old prune. Bliss at its best.

Track Father Christmas | I don't care what anybody says, tracking Santa's whereabouts and his journey around the world via NORAD is very fulfilling. It's a way of injecting some childhood back into what can be a dull adult life, and once he reaches your area, the roof is raised!

It isn't anything crazy and I'm sure there's Christmas worshipers out there who go all extravagant and celebrate it in style, but it's totally me and it really gets me into the merry mood. This will be my last post now until probably a few days after Christmas (if there's one thing I do make the most of, it's to forget all sense of real life during the Christmas period). I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful day packed with quality family fun, plenty of laughs, love and food because after all, it's not just about the gifts exchanged; and THANK YOU, thank you for your continued support of my blog from last Christmas up until now. There's been amazing process and I'm able to enjoy a short break knowing I can return with pleased thoughts about the direction it's going in.

Lots and lots of soppy love, Bridie x
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