Christmas is in 17 days. SEVENTEEN DAYS. Where did this year go?! The season is upon us once more and it's time to whip out the Christmas candle (this year's choice of candle is Yankee Candle 'Christmas Eve'), fight through the crowds at your local shopping
Christmas never used to be a big thing for me, really. My parents are from Hong Kong and never really celebrated Christmas until they had come over here to the UK in their late teens. Whilst I was growing up, Christmas was a holiday of course, but we never celebrated it in the traditional way.
Our version of Christmas dinner goes something like this: Turkey - replaced with steamed lobster. Sprouts - replaced with fragrant chinese mushrooms. Oh, just in case that wasn't making you salivate, we also had 2 or 3 Chinese roast ducks on the go (we had an industrial sized oven...), followed by the smoothest soya bean pudding (that sounds awfully healthy and bland, but we sweeten our 豆腐花 'dow fu fa' pudding by adding some syrup - delish!)
Mental note. Call mum and dad to make requests.
Don't get me wrong, as my siblings and I have grown up in the UK, of course we have added in some traditional bits like, pigs in blankets, gravy and some roasted parsnips for good measure.
But I always used to feel like our Christmas wasn't really 'Christmas', compared to everyone elses.
As I've grown older, and moved to London, I kinda fell out of touch with the idea of Christmas and never put much emphasis on it. What I mean is, I wouldn't get excited about getting a tree and putting up the decorations and especially wasn't keen on going shopping for the gifts... (I still can't set foot on Oxford Street.)
Although, this year is different? Maybe it's because C and I have our place, maybe it's because I heard Sam Smith's rendition of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' on Spotify on a random playlist and that's what set me off, but this year, I have fully embraced the festive season.
So if it hasn't got to you yet, here are a few things to get you in the festive mood.
- Treat yourself to one beautiful stand out decoration. Like this one, from John Lewis. Or you can do a eBay job and get a personalised wooden one (see in my pic, I got one done for me and C and one for Monty).
- Go to a Christmas market. I went to Birmingham to see my cousins last weekend and we had the best time. We hit the market hard - crepes, meter long bratwursts and fries and roasted nuts were consumed. The best. The only thing I didn't seem to have was a hot choc. Sad face. :(
- Head to a Paul's, and get yourself a large hot choc. I tried twice over the weekend. 'Sorry we ran out' was the response, both times. Double sad face :( :(
- If that fails, get yourself a mulled wine.
- ...or a mulled cider.
- Send a Christmas card to someone you care about. I know people don't really seem to care about cards anymore, but it truly is a joy when you receive a hand written card in the post. Make someone smile today.
- Give generously. Even if it's just clearing out your wardrobe or food cupboard and giving it to your local charity. Give generously because, well, we need to keep the good karma going. We have a Crisis branch down the road from us and I already have a bag full of jumpers and clothes ready to donate. Which reminds me, I also have some unwanted bedding and pillows that I need to find a home for.
- Wrap presents. Honestly, that sounds sad right? I LOVE wrapping presents and figuring out different combinations of paper/ribbon/bow/label and working out which ones look good together. The satisfaction you get when you make the perfect bow? YESSSSSSS. Tip: Double sided tape is your friend.
- Blast out some Crimbo tunes. Here's a few to start you off. The Sam Smith tune I mentioned is a banger, also Chris Rea - 'Driving Home for Christmas', Andy Williams - 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year'. Now crank it up whilst wrapping those pressies.
- Watch Home Alone. Then Home Alone 2. (Defo not 3 though. Nope nope).
So errrrrr, the tree may have been put up a few days before December started (I'm a keen bean!) and I've done all my shopping already (thank you Black Friday!) and everything is all wrapped under the tree. I have already had my first mulled wine of the season (I've had red and rose) and mulled cider (utter favourite).
Christmas to me is all about surrounding yourself with the people you love. Last year you may have seen my previous posts I spent it with C's family down under. This year, it will be a much cooler and less humid Christmas as C is coming with me to Bristol to spend it with my family. Roll on the mince pies, lobster and Babycham.
Roll on the 25th...
What do you guys have planned this Christmas?