Guys - Christmas officially starts today. That's it. It's my work's Christmas party, I finish for two whole weeks and I'm feeling very festive. My nails are glittery, the Christmas jumper is on and the festive season is well and truly in full swing.
For today and some days next week, I actually had different posts planned. I was going to round up some of the posts that you guys have loved on ABOH this year. But when it came to planning them, I wasn't feeling it.
I've been thinking about where I want to take this blog in the new year. One of my decisions has been to bring more of myself to this space. I used to love writing lifestyle and personal posts. Lately I feel like that's been missing. So I hope all of you will be happy about this new aspect of ABOH. I feel really good about it!
So because Christmas starts today, I wanted to put together a little mini festive series for you all about traditions. Starting with my traditions in the run up to Christmas.
#1 Nana's Birthday Party
Today is also my Nana's birthday! For as long as I can remember, every Saturday after her birthday we've always thrown a party for her. This year is no different and this always marks the start of Christmas for me.
We usually get together at my Auntie and Uncle's house just up the road for food, drinks, fun and laughter. It's always a really nice occasion, and perfect for getting all the family together to kick off the festive season.
This year, I've got her a voucher for her favourite clothing shop so I'm sure she'll love it. Now I just need to pick what to wear! The bonus is that my hairdresser is coming tomorrow morning so she can style my hair for me. That's one of the most important parts of an outfit!
Trimming up the House
I'm sure every single one of you reading this will agree - when you decorate the Christmas tree, you start feeling so festive. We put ours up and trimmed up the rest of the house last weekend. It was quite a big event for me this year, because this time next year, Tom and I could be in our own house for Christmas.
We picked a pretty tree from the garden centre and had our tea out. We've decorated it with multi-coloured lights and every year, we always buy a new ornament or two for it. The rest of the house looks amazing too. I got my DIY skills out this year and I'm so happy with what I did. On the curtain rail in the living room, the dining room and along the bannister up the stairs, I've hung baubles by string. They're all different sizes but have the same theme and they look so good. Not that I'm proud of myself or anything... ;)
This is actually only the second year where I've been able to go all out buying gifts for people, because it's the second Christmas I've had a job! I love buying gifts for people. But what I love even more is wrapping them. It's so good to see what you've bought your loved ones and picture their reaction.
This year, I've gone for simple, festive wrapping. Gifts have been wrapped in brown paper with patterned ribbons and a couple of other accessories. I'm really pleased with how they've turned out. Doing this makes me feel really festive - especially when you can start putting a few under the tree!
Picking up the Turkey
Oh yeah. The turkey. We usually order our turkey, some stuffing and pigs in blankets from M&S to pick up the day before Christmas Eve. This year, we'll be taking it away with us! I went to pick up the turkey the year before last and let me tell you - it's not that simple. You think you'd be able to walk right up to the counter and get it, wouldn't you? Not a chance.
No matter what time you go, the queue is easily out the door. I queued for about an hour last time. The good thing is that the staff keep coming round with treats to keep you going!
Doing the Big Shop
One of the last things we do before the big day gets here is the big food and drink shop. My mum and dad are pros at this. So here's what they do - they shop at Sainsburys, save up their nectar points all year and get the big shop with the nectar points.
How clever is that?!
I'm seriously jumping on that train when I'm the one hosting Christmas in a few years. We get so much. It's like your house is never as full of food as it is as Christmas, isn't it? There's chocolate, biscuits, wine (#allthewine), party food. We probably go for about two weeks just eating nibbles! Apart from Boxing Day when we either do something with the leftover turkey (like turkey risotto...nom) or, like we're doing this year - a huge tasty fry up.
And there you have it - my own traditions in the run up to Christmas!
Now it's your turn - what are your traditions in the days leading up to Christmas? Let me know in the comments!