December seems to have contained so much already – it’s hard to believe the holidays haven’t already happened! The past few weeks have contained so many parties, shows, and events it just seems to have been non-stop.
Today also marks the end of the #xmashashtagchallenge that I’ve been co-hosting with Cathryn from Little Paper Swan. It’s been so much fun to see everyone’s interpretations of the prompts – even if I’ve found it hard to keep up myself! I’m so grateful that so many people have taken part and have really engaged in our little Instagram community!
I was recently tagged by the beautiful Nadia to answer some questions about the holidays. You can read Nadia’s answers over at her blog Scandi Mummy. But I thought I’d take the chance to share my photos from the challenge and of course, share my answers below:
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
Without a doubt ‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol’ – I think I could probably recite the entire thing. Or at least large parts of it. That said, I’m also a big fan of ‘Love Actually’ as although there are some sad bits to it, I can’t watch without laughing either.
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I have but not since I was two – so I can’t really remember one! We visited our family in Colorado that Christmas and they’ve pretty much always go snow at Christmas. I’d love to visit one Christmas with my kids so they could experience the snow but it’s so pretty in the summer, I’m not sure it would really be the best time to visit in times of true enjoyment!
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
We either stay in Edinburgh or travel to my Mum’s house in Sussex. This year we’re celebrating the arrival of a new nephew so have travelled to be closer to them!
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Pretty much anything that’s featured in a Christmas episode of ‘The West Wing’ – so I’m a bit fan of Little Drummer boy or Oh Holy Night. But to actually sing, I love ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ but only if there’s someone who can do the soprano line. My voice is pretty deep so I often can sing the tenor line so don’t have a hope in reaching the soprano part!
Do you open any presents on Christmas eve?
No. As children we were only allowed to open one before church in the morning (aside from our stockings!). The presents don’t appear under the tree until the kids have gone to bed now so they don’t open any until Christmas Day itself.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Possibly – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen? Then there’s Rudolf and that awful joke involving Olive. A love of Moore’s ‘A Night Before Christmas’ helps with this one!
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?
Going to the crib service at church with the kids and just a day with the family.
Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
We’ve got both this year! In fact, we have a tasteful white twig that everyone denounced (even though it’s laden with gin baubles!), a real tree decorated by the kids, and then a fake one that I got to decorate myself!
What’s your favourite holiday food/treat/sweet?
We’ve never had turkey at Christmas as my Dad didn’t like white meat. Having subsequently tried it as an adult – I can’t really understand the appeal either! We have a prime rib of beef that’s marinaded in sage and orange. It’s lovely hot but AMAZING as a cold cut – that’s definitely something I’m looking forward to.
Be honest. Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts?
Both actually. I really like giving people surprises and seeing their reaction. I feel like I’ve bought some good gifts this year and am looking forward to giving them!
What’s the best Christmas present you ever received?
Oooh tough. I’ve had some nice gifts over the years but I’m not sure any one item really sticks out. My Kindle continues to be something I use regularly. I still remember my Thomas the Tank Engine lamp my Dad bought me one year. But I’ve really received lots of nice things!
What’s your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
As I mentioned before – I really would like to go back to Denver in Colorado to visit my family there.
Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
I like it but am very mindful of wasting paper. This year I’ve bought some amazing sheets from wrag wrap and have tried to reuse bags too.
What’s your most memorable Christmas memory?
Probably being incredibly naughty. One Christmas, I came downstairs very early and opened my stocking before anyone else was awake. I then thought I’d take a look in my brother’s one as well. I decided I preferred the look of his ‘Smart Alec’s Joke Book’ as the cover was yellow. Mine was blue and although ‘Knock Knock’ jokes were more my bag, my love for the colour yellow was unending. My Mum later asked if I switched them and I flat out lied. I have lots of other memories of Christmas but that’s a specific thing that sticks for some reason!!
What made you realise the truth about Christmas?
I don’t ever remember having a revelation about Father Christmas. For my family, it was always about going to church and celebrating the arrival of the baby Jesus. It was always a jubilant time that involved so many friends and family members. The ‘truth’ of Christmas has never really changed for me.
What makes the holidays special for you?
Definitely spending time with my family. I really miss having loads of people there for Christmas Day but that’s obviously been replaced with the excitement of the kids!
Thanks again to Nadia for tagging me. What are your favourite traiditons? What do you love most about this time of year?