On the first day of Christmas....I love looking out for Christmas lights, small or big I love how everything lights up at Christmas time. Christmas trees sparkling in windows, huge light displays along shopping precincts. I don't do it myself but I love seeing houses that have gone over the top with lights everywhere. In my own home I am a little more conservative but I love having a twinkly tree. I adore fairy lights and have them all year around in the bedrooms, but Christmas lights are the best and a sure way of getting me in the mood for Christmas.
On the Second day of Christmas....we have the Christmas Markets. I live in a big city and each year there is a big market from Frankfurt, Germany. Adorable wooden huts adorn the city centre streets and the German visitors sell their wares. We also have an adjoining craft fair of wonderful hand made items. Best of all is the lovely food available, I cannot resist a Bratwurst sausage and a cup of Gluwhien but my all time favourite is the gorgeous Schokukuss, chocolate kisses.
On the third day of Christmas.....it's time for Christmas shopping. Now, I admit it's no fun with kids in tow, a ton of things to buy and crowds of people trying to do the same. However, give me an afternoon on my own, a small list of special people to buy for and plenty of money and I'll happily join the crowds and queues. There is nothing that makes you feel in the Christmas spirit than arriving home after a busy shop laden with presents.
On the fourth day of Christmas.... let's put up the Christmas tree. I always put mine up the first week in December. It's my birthday the last week in November so it just doesn't feel right putting it up before, but really I can't wait. I love bringing out the tree (not real for me, too much mess and the cats would destroy it) and getting the kids to help decorate it. We always put some Christmas music on in the background to get us in the mood. I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to the tree, we fill it with all sorts, home made decorations, glittery baubles of different colours, and special ornaments we have collected over the years, including some lovely white snowmen my mum bought me just before she passed away. On top we always have a golden fairy.
On the fifth day of Christmas....I will write my Christmas cards. This usually consists of a couple of hours helping the littlies to write cards to their school friends, and ten minutes of writing my own. It makes you think of all the people you rarely see and wonder if they will turn up this year. Christmas is a time of thinking of other's and this is what you do when you write them a card.
On the Sixth day of Christmas... The Christmas cake will be decorated. Now, I love my traditional Christmas cake and it will be baked sometime in November. Each week I'll bring it out of its air tight tin and greasproof paper wrapping and 'feed' it a tablespoon of brandy. This is definitely not a cake for the littlies. I love decorating cakes and long to decorate my Christmas cake traditionally with royal icing and little plastic figures, just like my mum used to make. However, I don't really like royal icing, I much prefer fondant icing, but I do still use marzipan. You really feel like Christmas is on the way when the cake is finally decorated.
On the Seventh day of Christmas.... the Christmas spirit arrives by my nose. The smell of mince pies baking, or sherry trifle. Oranges and cloves as we get ready for Kristingle. Apple, cinnamon, gingerbread and peppermint candy canes. Not forgetting the smell of pine trees. Very soon it will be time for the smell of roast turkey and Christmas pudding.....mmmmmmmm
On the eight day of Christmas..... We attend the School Nativity. There is nothing that says Christmas more than watching your children and all their school friends re-enact the Christmas story. These days a lot of schools veer away from the nativity and have other musical shows instead, but for me, Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus and I'm quite happy for my children to share the wonderful story of his birth.
On the ninth day of Christmas....we watch Christmas movies. There is nothing like cuddling up on the settee on a cold winters day with the Christmas tree lights twinkling and watching a good Christmas movie. There are so many to choose from, The Polar Express, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged everyone has a favourite.
On the tenth day of Christmas....Oh no it isn't, oh yes it is, it's time for a pantomine. Such a wonderful, fun Christmas tradition watching a familiar story brought to life on the stage with larger than life character and heaps of laughs. It really is time for Christmas when the pantomines arrive.
On the eleventh day of Christmas... we visit Father Christmas, ok the littlies know he's not the real Santa, just one of his helpers. How lovely to see their little faces light up as they meet the special man and tell him what they want him to bring them for Christmas, while I have my fingers tightly crossed that they say something that I've already bought for them.
On the Twelfth day of Christmas...we follow Norad Tracks Santa and wait for the big man to arrive. There is nothing more exciting on Christmas Eve than seeing where Santa has been already and watching him travel all over the world. Then it's time for bed as we anxiously await his arrival to our house with all our lovely gifts. Merry Christmas!
This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I'm chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest.
The tip that inspired me the most was :
4. Meeting the man himself – what better way for you to get in the Christmas mood than by visiting Santa and his little helpers in Santa’s Woodland Workshop?