Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Spirit (ho ho ho!)

I love love LOVE Christmas! I adore everything about it from the days spent shopping, to the endless wrapping, to the food to the busy days visiting family, to lazy days snuggled up at home all together to bundling up for a wintry walk! So can I possibly narrow it down to my 12 things that truly get me into the 'Christmas is coming' spirit?! Here's my attempt...

It all starts with the tree. The going out shopping for the tree. The very careful selecting of the tree. The struggling to get home of the tree. The gathering of ornaments for the tree. The finely tuned decorating of the tree. And finally the way that everything from this moment on centres around that beautiful Christmas tree...

The Shopping
There are plenty who would think this is one of the worst aspects of Christmas but for a self confessed shopaholic who has reigned it in since becoming a wife and mother *coughs* Christmas is a time again to embrace the right to shop! From the time the first Christmas catalogues appear in the shops I am browsing to try and find the perfect gifts. Of course I do a great deal of my shopping on line but I always make the effort to make at least one trip to the City Centre, and it has to be of an evening as the sun is going down and the Christmas lights are twinkling. The hustle and bustle add to the magic of it all for me, as do the armfuls of shopping bags and the Gingerbread latte reward at the end :)

The Wintry Walks
I love walks at any time of year but there is a lot to be said for getting all bundled up for a brisk walk out in the Winter Sunshine. As it pours through the mist I can't help but get to feeling Christmassy and I love witnessing everyone's decorations going up. I also look forward to post Christmas walks with my family accompanied by a new scooter or two!

The Wrapping
Yes sometimes it seems endless but I take my wrapping seriously. Every year I look forward to selecting the paper I will use, the theme that will run throughout and the finishing touches that will decorate each parcel. And wrapping doesn't have to be boring when accompanied by a glass of sherry and a Christmas movie! I must admit though that no matter how organised I think I have been I can always be found wrapping again late on Christmas Eve. I think that children everywhere probably mistake the sound of sticking tape for sleigh bells in their Christmas Eve slumber!

The Christmas Movies/Books
Few things are more heartwarming than a Christmas Movie and I love to watch as many as I can. I have watched Sleepless in Seattle more times than I can count this year (got to love Sky On Demand) and one of my most favourite Christmas movies is the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street. Of course bookworm that I am I also love a good Christmas book and combining my love for New York with my love for Christmas, Santa had a very special treat for me in my stocking this year...

The Santa Visit
This year was the first year we had taken both of out girls to see Santa and we decided to do it in true style with the extra special treat of a visit to Center Parcs very own Winter Wonderland! It truly was a magical and unforgettable experience for us all. There is so much to say it is deserving of a blog post of it's own but this is just a tiny taster...

Christmas Eve
Without a doubt the very best bit of Christmas for me, and I think it always has been. I have always loved the magical anticipation of Christmas Eve and now that I have children of my own I think that getting to be Santa is one of the greatest privileges of parenting.

The Food
I love food full stop but Christmas food is extra special because it is endless!!! The amazing Christmas roast my dad makes, the Boxing Day buffet, the late night cheese feasts, the boxes and BOXES of chocolates. Yes Christmas food, you win :)

The Drink
Where there is food there is drink and Christmas wins at that too. Got to love starting the day with bucks fizz. A glass of sherry before lunch. Extra special Christmas Fizz with dinner. A baileys with dessert. A snowball with the Christmas movie. I'm not an alcoholic I promise :0

The Family
Christmas can be a busy time for us with so much family to see but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love seeing family we don't get to see often enough and I love seeing how our girls bring joy to them all, especially at this special time of year.

The Lazy Days
That said come the 27th I am more than ready to sink down on our own sofa in my (brand spanking new Christmas) pjs and watch chaos reign as our girls try to play with every single new toy they've received. Whilst drinking baileys, eating chocolates and watching a Christmas Movie of course :)

The Children
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without children and ours make every step of it extra special for us and everyone else they meet. More than ever at this time of year I am so thankful for my beautiful family. Their joy and excitement is infectious and I hope that I can keep the Christmas magic alive for them for as long as possible...


This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest as we have never visited and would love to see how it compares. I agree with all of Nick's tips and my own choices very much reflect this but  on this occasion, as we have been fortunate enough to witness them ourselves this year, I'll go for tip 5:

 "5. Our fantastic fireworks – there will be 52 fireworks displays at Center Parcs during Winter Wonderland, with 1,000 fireworks used in each. Wander down to the shore of the lake, where you’ll have the perfect view of our spectacular display."

If we were chosen as Center Parcs family bloggers this year then our year really would go out with a bang!

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