A while back I stumbled across Ella's absolutely lovely blog (if you don't go and read it right now, it'll make all the Christmas elves sad), and whilst nosying through her posts I found her Christmas tag. I don't really do tag posts that often, but I just couldn't resist this one as Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, I just turn into a total kid about it!
What time of the year do you start your Christmas shopping?
Despite being able to spend hours wandering round the shops and looking at all the Christmas things for weeks in December, when it comes to actually BUYING presents, I'm completely useless. I've been known to do ALL my shopping on Christmas Eve before, as well as going on well-meaning present shopping trips where I've come back with two party dresses and a Lush Snow Fairy for me and nothing I intended to get. Although, I don't actually usually buy for many people - my family is pretty small and I usually participate in doing something social with friends in place of presents.
Do you have any festive recipes for food or drink you limit solely to the Christmas season to share?
Last year I made some cute little parcel cakes on Christmas Eve which I actually saved pictures from to do a blog post this year - but since the death of my former laptop, it looks unlikely now! Perhaps I can use it as an excuse to take on some new Christmas baking endeavours though?
Tell me how Christmas goes down in your home
I have quite a small family, so Christmas Day is just me, my parents and brother - we've had grandparents over in previous years but this one will just be the four of us. Back in the day, we used to leap out of bed at the crack of dawn, but now as we're both in our twenties, it's a lot more chilled out. We'll usually get up around 8 or 9, have some breakfast, then open presents. The rest of the day is basically Christmas telly, my mum's awesome roast and a few drinks - followed by my Dad falling asleep on the sofa! I quite like that it's such a laidback day, I know some people find seeing everyone they have to see at Christmas quite stressful, so it's nice just to be able to curl up in a onesie and watch someone's new DVD.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
There aren't too many major ones - I love the run up to Christmas though, and always try to do as many Christmassy things as possible. I do however have a Christmas Eve tradition with friends, which I'll be talking about in a minute.
Do you have a favourite festive coffee?
I don't actually like coffee really! My hot drink of choice at any time of the year - but especially when I'm all snuggly on a December evening - would be a big hot chocolate, with whipped cream and marshmallows on the top!
What's your favourite Christmas song?
Probably a predictable one, but it has to be The Pogues - Fairytale of New York. I saw them at Christmastime a few years back, and it's the one song I always have to listen to (and sing along drunkenly to) on Christmas Eve. I also have a silly soft spot for All I Want For Christmas Is You - and My Chemical Romance's version of it!
What do you do on Christmas Eve?
As I've grown up and a lot of my friendship group from back home (including myself) have moved away from Norfolk, we traditionally all meet up on Christmas Eve for drinks, a good catch up and usually some home-made baked goods. It's actually one of my favourite times of the holiday season, as for some of us, it'll be one of only a couple of times a year we actually get to see each other.
What's your Christmas wrapping strategy? Do you have a strategy?
I love wrapping presents! I wouldn't say I have a strategy, and it's normally being done after aforementioned rushed shopping trip - but I always have to pop on a Christmassy film, possibly Home Alone or the old cartoons, usually Father Christmas and The Snowman (fun fact: I make the programme for the stage show of it, as it's put on at my work!)
What's your dream gift this year?
I've been wanting a tablet for ages, so I'm crossing my fingers I've done enough to be on Santa's nice list or at least my mum's...) this year!
Describe your Christmas tree. How tall? Real or artificial? How is it decorated?
In my flat in London, there isn't actually a living room, so there's no tree here - although I'm tempted to go and buy one to have in my room as there's definitely space. At home, we have an artificial one. We've had real ones in the past but the pine needles get everywhere, and I still think you get a perfectly Christmassy feel from artificial ones. Hooevering constantly isn't very Christmassy anyhow, right? Decoration is the usual, lights, baubles...and a fairy on top!
Do you decorate just the tree or other areas of your house e.g. windows, bannisters?
In my flat now, I'm planning on putting up some tinsel around my room. At home, my parents decorate the whole house pretty much, and usually put some lights in the garden and on the front of the house. Now me and my brother are 'grown up' (ha), the decorations tend to be much more subtle and tasteful - I remember making all sorts of horrific things back when I was at school and forcing my parents to put them up every single year!
What do you wear to Christmas parties and what do you wear on Christmas day?
Well, for my work Christmas party, we have a theme - last year it was fairytales, so I went as Snow White. When it comes to general Christmas nights out, I usually go for normal going out clothes really - but I'll get a bit of tinsel and pop it on my head like a little halo to festive it up a bit! On Christmas Day, I don't go anywhere, so it's usually PJs or my onesie!
I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit about my Christmas, if you've done this tag or a similar one as well, do share in the comments! Or just tell me about some of your favourite Christmassy things! :)