Hello December…

Oh I do love the festive season! Not so much the shopping and the frantic lead up to the school holidays, but more so the tradition, the planning and the gradual gathering of all that is Christmas to us - these are the things that, as the boys get older, mean more and more to me each year.

I think there comes a time in every family’s life when the festive customs you grew up with and held dear as a child are ready to be passed on - with a twist - to your own children and added to with a carefully curated set of new traditions that they will hopefully hold dear and one day pass on to their children.

So this year we’ll be having friends to stay in the weekends leading up to Christmas and taking them ice-skating in a beautiful hilltop location, we’ll make gingerbread decorations and a gingerbread house or two, we’ll paint our own set of Father Christmas Russian dolls, go to the panto and invite our neighbours and friends to join us for cocktails, mince pies and churros dipped in thick chocolate sauce on Christmas Eve.

And then the traditions from my childhood will take over - the carols from Kings, the Christmas Eve treasure hunt that my Mum and Dad used to do for us every year (the last clue was always taped to the underside of the toilet), the smoked salmon and scrambled egg Christmas morning breakfast and the family to lunch on Boxing Day.

Yes, there will be the usual fraught food shopping, the last-minute present wrapping and the inevitable meltdowns along the way, but I for one, can’t wait…

The above shots show how we’ve welcomed December and the start of Advent so far:

∆ Bottle brush trees - oh how I love these, they’re just waiting for a reindeer or two now

∆ I spent a happy evening last night making these whilst watching The Killing (not easy to keep up with the subtitles whilst concentrating on stamping but hey ho…)

∆ Our much-loved Advent house

∆ A special sign for Father Christmas pinned onto the fireplace this year

∆ Ikea advent candles

∆ Another new bauble (I know, I just can’t help myself…)