Sunday, 11 December 2016

My Christmas Traditions

Today is the 12th of December, which marks the half point between the start of December and Christmas Eve. It's exciting stuff and I'm hoping you festive bubbles are starting to boil away. 

This is my absolute favourite time of the year, for so many reasons. The food is yummy (and naughty), the music is merry, the shopping centres are tinsel-rific, the Christmas trees that light up all the houses at night time, but I think for me it's the little traditions we do every year, are what I look forward to most.

I thought today I would share a few of my favourite traditions to help inspire some of you to find your own and it also gives me another excuse to talk about Christmas!

Christmas Baking.
Who doesn't love walking into a house that smells like a delicious, spicy, buttery bakery?! No one! I just love baking delicious treats this time of the year, not for me (although I will eat them given the chance), but I love making them for friends and family. It's makes my heart all warm and buttery to see people enjoying the festive treats I have made them. Love is through the stomach, that's what I think anyway, so this always works as the perfect present. My absolute favourite things to make are:
  • The cookies - Gingerbread, shortbread and choc chip and m&m cookies! All delicious with egg nog at the end of the day! Here is a video I did last year of my shortbread recipe...
  • Mince pies - I usually make these bad boys to put with peoples Christmas presents. I'm not usually a fan of raisins in things, but I absolutely love these little rascals! Dang they are good!
  • Apple pie - An apple pie is always my contribution to Christmas day! And I make a real damn good one too! Its so spicy and appley and buttery... *drool*. It's good. I might post a recipe a little later on in December for you if you're keen?
  • Egg nog - Egg nog sounds like it should be disgusting, eggs mixed with lots of dairy products and sugar, but hot damn it's good. The store bought egg nog will do the trick, but nothing beats fresh egg nog. This is usually my treat for Christmas eve. Again if you are interested I can put my fav recipe on the blog for you!
Christmas Shopping:
You know the drill with Christmas shopping... late nights, lots and lots of people, pushing, shoving, trying to carry bags of presents and wrapping paper (which doesn't fit in any bag). It's hectic, but to be honest, I absolutely love the craziness of Christmas shopping. My husband and I have a tradition, which we have done literally since we have been together, which is battle the crowds at Chadstone Shopping centre (in Melbourne) during late night shopping. It is like a full on war zone and the parking situation is horrendous, but it gives me excited chills. Not sure if Paddy is as enthusiastic about it as me, but he does it and I love him for it. We always go late arvo so you can get a good-ish park, we have an early dinner and then we split up (one person has upstairs, the other downstairs and then we swap). Once we have done all our secret shopping, we do our other shopping we need to do together and then go and get a hot chocolate at the Lindt Cafe. It's so fun and because it's dark outside, all the twinkling lights around the centre look even more Christmasy. 

Christmas Movies:
Whats better than a good Christmas movie? Nothing. That's what! As soon as December 1st hits (ok November 23rd) I get all the Christmas DVDs out and every weekend I watch one (and force Paddy to watch too) and it makes me stupidly happy. My favourites are:
  • The Griswolds Christmas
  • The Santa Claus
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Muppets Christmas
  • Elf
  • Love Actually
  • The Polar Express
  • Home Alone 1&2

That narrows it down doesn't it? I try and save The Griswolds till Christmas Eve Eve (As Carols by Candlelight is on Christmas Eve). Fun Fact: We moved just before Christmas time last year and ALL my Christmas DVDs have disappeared. We know they are in the house but cannot find them. I plan on literally tearing my house apart this week. They will be found. 

A Christmas Tree ornament.
Ahhh the Christmas tree, the most Christmassy thing of them all! Nothing brings me more joy than when I get to put up the tree. One thing that I have been doing with my family (and now with Paddy and Poppy), is every year we get a new ornament each to decorate the house or tree. So that over the years the house is filled with memories of when we got each decoration and makes each on special and unique. This year we all got little houses that light up. We are hoping to eventually get a little village happening, which will be so cute. This year Paddy and I got a pretty house and Poppy got a little toy shop.

Christmas Music.
And finally, one of my most favourite traditions... Christmas music. There are many who don't enjoy a good Christmas carol, to them I say "it's once a year, get over it". From mid-November my spotify playlist is ready to go and my ears are ready to listen. I love Christmas carols running through my house or blasting in the car. They always get me in a good mood and I could easily listen to them over and over. Obviously Michael Buble takes the cake on the best album to listen to, but Spotify has so many to choose from. But also another favourite of mine is a website called "Elf Radio". It literally is a radio station dedicated to Christmas carols and so it's perfect for if you are working at a desk, you can have it on in the background and it's new songs, all day! 

They are just a few of my Christmas Traditions that I do every year! I would love to hear yours! Let me know over on Twitter or Instagram and we can compare Christmas Elf notes!!

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