Favourite things #4: The Christmas Edition

christmas-card-2999091_1280.pngChristmas is my favourite time of year (even after realising this week I had forgotten to write my Christmas cards!).  I love everything about it – bar the shopping – and always have.  There is something about it that takes me back to being a kid and, as the big day approaches, my excitement builds and I start counting sleeps (not very mature, I know, but who cares right?).

When I was little, lets be honest, the presents were a big draw.  Now, though, that is actually one of the least important things.  We don’t go over the top with presents in our house – my husband and I tend to wait to buy things for each other that we might otherwise have bought during the second half of the year (“it’ll be Christmas soon, you can wait” becomes my favourite phrase as soon as summer is over).

Presents now are more about seeing how excited my daughter gets when she sees the gifts under the tree and what Santa has brought her.  And then there’s family.  I love spending time with them anyway but, on Christmas Day, it always seems that little bit more special – something I think became more important when I was living abroad and only made it home once a year (which was Christmas).

Recently, I was reading a thread on Facebook where people were talking all about how Christmas was ruined for them because it was all about stuff.  This made me sad.  I tried to argue that this wasn’t true but I don’t think I made much of an impact.  And it all started with someone commenting on how they didn’t want to buy their children chocolate advent calendars.  So, to prove that Christmas isn’t all about stuff, I thought I would share my favourite things about this time of year…

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights

Maybe it’s just where we live but nearly every other house in our neighbourhood has Christmas lights.  Some of tasteful, some are over the top.  All of them are brilliant blasts of light on dark nights and cheer me up no end.  At least once or twice a week, we head out looking for the best houses, with my daughter’s nose pressed to the car window.  You can’t ask for anything better than her shouts of “look at that one!” on repeat for an hour.

Christmas Music

I’ve already shared through my Music for Mondays posts how much I love Christmas music.  It’s pretty much on repeat in our house from the 1st through Boxing Day, where it then gets put away for another year.  The cheesier the better as far as I’m concerned.  My favourites are from my childhood and teenage years but as long as I can sing and dance along, I don’t mind the era.

My Christmas Tree

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So I guess this could technically fall into the “stuff” category as we have bought the tree and some of the ornaments but, for me, it’s so much more than a tree – it’s a whole bunch of memories.  Every bauble has a history and reminds me of something.  I still use decorations from my childhood and others have been added to the collection since.  This one was a gift from a good friend over ten years ago and, every time I put it on the tree, I think of her and the fun we’ve had.  Then there’s the decorating the tree, which is a family affair and includes Santa hats and egg nog.

Nativity – the movies

So there is a chance that unless you live in the UK and have children under 10 you may never have heard of the Nativity movies.  Unfortunately, or fortunately – it’s hard to say sometimes – both apply to me and these three films are some of my daughter’s favourites.  They are terribly cheesy but when you’re a kid, that’s not a bad thing.  When you’re an adult, you just have to let go and enjoy them for what they are – which is what we do.  At least once a week in December, we sit down to watch one of the Nativity films.  This weekend, we had a movie marathon and watched all three..thank god for popcorn!

Saying “Merry Christmas”

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I’ve worked in retail.  This time of year can be hard.  People being nice to me and saying “Merry Christmas” always made me feel better. I’d say it back and smile – and I’m a big fan of smiling at people.  I say Merry Christmas whenever I can to whoever I can.  It makes me happy, it helps break the ice, and it might just make someone’s day.

I could go on, but I have waffled enough I think.  So I’ll end by saying “Merry Christmas” and asking you to share with me your favourite things about Christmas.

Emma x

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24 thoughts on “Favourite things #4: The Christmas Edition

  1. My favorite childhood memories were the wonderful things my mother would bake, from cookies and pies to fudge candy.

    In the years when my children were young, I enjoyed decorating the house and watching how excited the kids were about what might be under the tree. We often went elsewhere for the actual day (grandparents), so there was still more anticipation about what we would discover there. And yes, it’s the
    STUFF, but also the people who make or buy something the children will enjoy.

    Now I give gift cards to my grandchildren (their requests!), so there is no fun in watching them, but since most of them are adults now, I like imagining or hearing about what they buy.

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    • Gift cards are nowhere near as much fun I agree. I think childhood memories are the best. My husband has all his grandmothers Christmas cookie recipes but I never make them quite right.

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  2. I’ve never heard of nativity movies, but you’re right, when you think of the best things about Christmas, you rarely hear shopping or stuff make the list. Wishing you & yours all the joy of the season.

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  3. Thank you for a positive post about Christmas – my favourite time of year. This week I wrote about my childhood memories of Christmas and it was so lovely just remembering what it was like growing up. To me it is all about family and just enjoying our life. I also like to help those less fortunate and had a great time helping at my MILs aged care home’s Christmas party last week. What a hoot those oldies are! Merry Christmas and enjoy!
    Sue
    https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au

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    • You are welcome. And thank you for reminding me that we need to think about others less fortunate. My niece this year, who is 16 has actually asked all her Christmas present money be donated to a local charity and I think that is wonderful. Not sure my daughter’s there yet but it would be good if she could be so generous when she’s older. I always think the older generations know how to party heartier than we do!

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  4. It’s all about the baking, preparation, Christmas parties, Christmas drinks, family time and friend time. It’s the best time of the year when we can relax and all our troubles are nowhere to be seen. Wishing you a Merry Christmas xx

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  5. I just read another post by someone (from last year) and they talked about how Christmas reminded them of their childhood Christmases and even though I’m very ‘meh’ about Christmas just reading their post made me think of the Christmases I spent with grandparents when I was young.

    I think they’re special when there are kids around and their excitement is contagious. This year it’s just my mum and I so it will be very low key and I’m looking forward to that.

    Also, I LOVE the look of your tree. (And having decorations that have some sentimental meaning is lovely!) #teamlovinlife

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    • Low key sounds good – although we have family over I would still say it classes as that in that we don’t go over the top with presents but with my daughter there is lots of noise so maybe now? I love my decorations – though we probably need two trees we have so many x

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  6. Hi Emma, this is my first visit to your blog. It is lovely! I have had many wonderful Christmases of my own as a kid, then as a parent and as a grandparent. We are now a couple of retirees living away from our families who have changed and grown so we still have a small tree, we do not exchange gift, but we have lights outside and a wreath on the door because Christmas, for us, is about the community. Many good wishes sent your way. I am blogging next Monday about how Christmas has changed for us! Denyse x

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    • I think having people you care about around at Christmas – whether family or the community – is important. Though I know others would rather go away and forget the whole thing! Will look out for your post. And thank you for visiting and the lovely comments.

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  7. Hi Emma, what a lovely warm fuzzy post 🙂 This is my first visit to your blog, thank you for visiting mine earlier today too 🙂 I miss Christmas in England, but have so many lovely memories of cold Christmas’s and family get-togethers which I do re-live when we put on our own cheesey Christmas songs in WA! Looks as if you’re making your own Christmas special this year – Go You! Enjoy xx

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    • Thank you. I do feel winter should be cold but then looking at the frost this morning I’m not so sure. Cheesy Christmas music makes my day every day at the moment 😜

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  8. What a beautiful post, Emma. Like you, I love Christmas and it means more to me now that I’m a mum. For me, Christmas has so much special meaning in terms of love, the religious aspect, friendliness and charity that all the materialism in the world still can’t outweigh the positives.

    SSG xxx

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    • Thank you. I think being a parent does change things and I love the joy it brings. There is something that makes people love each other a bit more. I hate the cynicism 😔

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  9. Pingback: December in a sentence a day | Every New Me

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