Now That's What I Call Christmas! 19 things that make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year
The big day is almost upon us and in the spirit of sharing and generosity, I had this overwhelming urge to share with you what makes Christmas the most wonderful time of the year for me.
So step inside my Christmas state of mind...
1) Christmas brunches/lunches/dinners - You have to arrange to see everyone in your contacts book for a pre-Christmas catch-up. And there’s always one who LOVES Christmas and turns up in a Christmas jumper, carrying her Christmas tree bag and a festive red lip. I have this friend and I love her for it.
2) Your wardrobe is taken over by sequins, feathers and fringing. You’ve spent an obscene amount of money on clothes with said qualities in the run-up to Christmas because all the shops make you feel like you're not really doing it properly unless you're dressed like Shirley Bassey at all times. Fast forward to January 2nd you've got nothing to wear and you've got chafing under your arms from that sequin vest you wore on Christmas Day.
3) Excessive consumption of ALL the alcohol for the three weeks leading up to the big day…because it’s Christmas and we’re British and that's what we do.
4) More specifically, Mulled Wine, morning, noon and night. The first cup is delicious, then by the time you get to the second cup it's starting to taste a bit sickly, but you have another glass anyway, and then another, because....see above.
5) Excessive consumption of frozen food. It’s the battle of the beige, pastry based miniatures and everyone gets very excited if they find one that actual tastes of something other than cheese, bacon, salmon or sausage.
6) Cheeeeeeeese. We’re in charge of the cheese every year (I insist) and every year we underestimate exactly how much Compton Bassett Stilton my dad can polish off over the course of four days. Answer…it’s a lot. So this year we have gone big. I avoid cheese for the other 361 days of the year because it gives me spots, which will emerge just in time for New Year's Eve, but when it tastes this good…fuck it, pass the biscuits!
7) Constantly replenished bowls of Twiglets/nuts/pretzels/chip sticks/Cheeselets. Salty and savoury and just YASSSS!
8) Opening up the jar of home-made paprika biscuits my mum and dad's elderly next-door neighbour gives us every year and polishing them off with a glass of bubbles before 10am. I don't even know if I really like them but I do it for nostalgic purposes anyway.
9) Roses/ Miniature Heroes/ Celebrations/ Quality Street...in order of importance. My Great-Auntie buys us a box of each every year and I can confirm the boxes are definitely getting less generous. *That's the last of the food-related points...there’s a reason those sequins are chafing.
10) Fairy lights everywhere. Not a fireplace, staircase, window frame or sideboard escapes the twinkle. Ride that Kira Kira wave.
11) Watching the kids throwing themselves headlong into the magic of Christmas. And that rubbing off on even the grumpiest of grandads'. It's infectious. I know it's cheesy, but Christmas really is all about family.
12) Going for long walks in an attempt to work off the 56 Quality Streets/vol au vents you’ve consumed in the last 24 hours.
13) New undies. Hopefully ones with a bit of stretch in given all of the above.
14) Christmas games. Quizzes hastily printed off the computer if you’re my family, or carefully compiled by your quizmaster Uncle Bob if you’re lucky enough to have one of those. Also Who Am I? is a failsafe classic. In our house my Nana is always Mother Theresa...and it always takes her forever to guess it.
15) Any babies up to 12 months old are automatically dreessed up in elf, reindeer or mini Santa costumes. I know it's not their choice but they are SO cute. They can thank us later.
16) Christmas films – Elf, Santa Claus The Movie, Frozen, my new fave Arthur Christmas and Love Actually, the bit where Emma Thompson opens the CD gets me EVERY time.
*Also this isn’t such a thing anymore because we don’t really buy DVD’s but one of my strongest Christmas memories is my dad insisting on putting on his new Billy Connelly Live stand-up DVD while my Nana was still awake. Cue a very awkward, but nevertheless hilarious, 30 minutes before it all became a bit unbearable and mum suggested we watch something else.
17) Also Christmas TV. Stick Christmas in the title and it’s automatically more appealing. "Ooh Border Security: Australia's Front Line AT CHRISTMAS, I'll have some of that." Am I the only person whose dad is obsessed with this and Traffic Cops?
18) Christmas music. Mikey Bubbles, Wham, Mariah…I draw the line at Slade tbh but I'll take one for the team and to see the pure joy on the kids faces as they dance around like maniacs to Noddy Holder's not so dulcet tones.
19) There’s a pile of Christmas cards still sat there on the side on Dec 26th that you didn’t get round to posting. They'll sit there for another two weeks making you feel guilty but eventually you'll face the fact the moment has been lost and shove them in the recycling bin.
So that's my Christmas hitlist. Sound familiar? Feel free to share what makes Christmas for you in the comments below. All that's left from me is to wish you a very Merry Christmas from the Gold is a Neutral house.