Christmas Eve Traditions and Plans

This is my last blog post before Christmas! The month has flown by and I feel like I haven’t stopped. I can’t wait for Christmas, but, just as much, I can’t wait for this weekend. I love Christmas Eve maybe even as much as I love Christmas. I love the excitement and anticipation, the gathering of family and the fact that everyone seems so, well, merry.

We might not get all of these things done on Christmas Eve, because we have a tendency to go with the flow, but here are a few things I hope to do this Sunday!

  1. Buffet

Growing up, we went to my nana’s for Christmas dinner, so on Christmas Eve my dad would put together a large party buffet. My cousins would come over and we would have ourselves a little Christmas Eve party. This year, the original plan was for my sister and her partner to come over, to all go and visit my nana together and then come back to my house for the party. Now, since we’re having Christmas dinner at my house this year, the plan seems to have changed to all going to my nana’s together and having the party there. I’m very excited because I know there are some fancy cheeses going, and I love a cheeseboard.

  1. Board games

We are definitely a board games family. We often play scrabble and trivial pursuit, and I know my sister has bought a few new board games for us to play. Growing up I loved playing board games (especially Cluedo, which was and is my favourite) and playing them with a big group is even better… so long as no one cheats. I’m looking forward to the excitement, the (happy) shouting and the healthy dose of competition.

  1. Films

I have put in my request already for the whole family to gather together to watch It’s A Wonderful Life. My sister wasn’t so keen on the idea, but I put my foot down (“I never get to choose the family activity!”). I’ve only actually ever seen it once but it’s such a beautiful story that really emphasises the massive importance of even the smallest lives. I’m absolutely desperate for us all to watch it while the fairy lights twinkle around us.

  1. New pyjamas

This is something that’s definitely going to happen, but I wanted to include it anyway because it’s one of my favourite Christmas Eve traditions. Taking a nice long bath and then putting on brand new, warm, snuggly Christmas pyjamas to wear until most probably early afternoon on Christmas day is one of my favourite traditions and something I know most of my friends partake in. I don’t actually know if this is a universal thing or not, so I would be interested to hear from the rest of you!

What are your favourite Christmas Eve traditions?

Until next time, happy holidays!

-K

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Birthday Un-Wrapped

This weekend was my 23rd birthday! It was a mostly uneventful birthday, but I still had a lovely time. I thought today I would just do a quick round-up of the gifts I received. I don’t have pictures of all of them and I’ve lost the daylight, so I’m going to be super lazy and just use the images I took for Instagram.

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The first gift I received was this Star Wars Crochet set from my sister and her partner. She gave it to me a couple of days before my birthday because I wasn’t going to see her and I’m so excited to learn to make everyone! I’ve already started practicing crocheting in rounds with some wool I already had, but the set comes with enough materials to make a Yoda and a Stormtrooper toy. I’m very excited to learn to make little friends.

My younger sister gave me this Batman Lego Set which I built today. It includes a tiny Batman, Joker, balloon escape kit (for Joker) and an overly complicated bomb. They were all really fun to build (although every piece of Batman was in a different bag so I had to open every single bag to build him, which is why I ended up building the whole set. She also gave me this beautiful copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s absolutely gorgeous and has gold-stained edges. I love fairy tales and I’m super excited to read it and have it on my bookshelf. I also got a bag of sweets from her. They’re swizzels, which are my favourite sweets, so I love that.

From my parents I got these adorable raccoon bag and purse set. I needed a bigger handbag because I’ve been using one of my sister’s  because the only handbag I own is tiny, and I love the matching purse. I immediately switched to them. They’re fuzzy and soft and I love them. My parents also got me a new parka coat because I’ve been borrowing my sister’s. I don’t have a photo of that, but it’s warm and I love it.

The stickers (Kirishima and Bakugo from My Hero Academia and Jason Todd from DC comics) are from my partner, as is my Superman necklace. She has a matching Bat symbol necklace. I’m going to wear this every day, and I love the stickers which will definitely be bluetacked up somewhere because I’m way too fickle to permanently decide where to stick them.

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The Kermit the Frog mug is from my partner’s mum, because I don’t have a mug in their house since my last one broke. I absolutely adore it and I can’t wait to have thousands of cups of tea with my BFF (best frog friend).

On top of all these wonderful gifts I also got some chocolates and such and some amazing birthday cards. I know some friends have gifts for me but haven’t had a chance to give them to me yet, so I’m really excited to see what they are!

But now I’m just really excited for Christmas so I can give all of these wonderful people wonderful gifts in return.

What’s your favourite birthday gift that you’ve ever received?

-K

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Enjoying The Cold

Cold weather isn’t great. I understand that for a lot of people it can be not only uncomfortable, but dangerous or harmful. However, I’m lucky enough to live in a house where I can stay warm, and although sometimes the temptation is to moan about how icy it is outside, I thought that today I would talk about three reasons to enjoy or make the most out of the cold, winter weather.

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  1. Winter fashion

I’m not fashionable. I wear the same standard outfit pretty much every single day (jeans, T-shirt and plaid shirt) and just rotate through a handful of each element. The biggest change for me in winter, fashion-wise, is the way I dress to go outside.

I love wearing my beanie, and over summer it was too warm. When the cold weather hit I put off wearing it for a while because I wasn’t sure if it still suited me, but as soon as I put it on I realised that I love being a beanie person. On top of that, I’ve started to wear my grey infinity scarf every single day, and I’ve been stealing my sister’s coats (to be fair, my warm duffel coat is currently covered in hair from my other sister’s malamute and I haven’t had a chance to get the clothes brush at it!) and I love how warm and wintery it feels. I wear my converse to the hospital in the mornings because they’re easy to change out of quickly, but any other time I go out I’ve been wearing a pair of heavy boots. Not the burgundy ones I wore so much last year, but a pair of black ones that I originally borrowed off my partner for a cosplay and liked so much I sort of stole… it’s fine, I’ve given her a bobble hat in return until she eventually takes them back!

Fashion is not my forte, but it’s nice to actually feel good in the way I look and apparently for me that means hiding in layers of winter warmth.

  1. Outside storage

I don’t know if this is weird, but we don’t have much space in our kitchen and we buy bottled water in bulk every so often, and because it’s so cold it means that we can leave the bottles in the space outside the kitchen and they stay cold. Considering how much extra food there is in the kitchen around Christmas, being able to save just a little bit of space makes all the difference! And it’s so much more refreshing to get a nice fresh bottle of cold water than keeping the crate in the house – especially considering we’re trying to keep our house nice and toasty for now!

  1. It’s pretty

I went out into my back garden the other morning because I was peering out and noticed that the frost had settled onto the few roses still clinging to life in our garden. I grabbed my camera, went out in my Kermit pyjamas and dressing gown and snapped a few pictures (see top of post for my favourite!). I’m by no means a good or even decent photographer, but it was too pretty to pass up. Now the frost and snow has passed and it’s rainy again and I’m so glad I took photos when I did.

It’s pretty, and I’m lucky enough that I get a chance to see the beauty in the cold, so I’m definitely going to make the most of it.

By no means an exhaustive list, those are some reasons I’m trying to stay happy in the frosty weather.  What parts of the wintry weather do you enjoy?

Until next time, stay cool.

-K

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A Christmas Outing

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Despite the fact that the snowfall seems to be almost constant in Liverpool, it has not stuck. Sure, patches of grass that don’t get much sunlight still have a spattering of frost, but mostly it’s just been wet and cold. I’m a little disappointed – especially considering the weather is still so bad anyway that I had to miss an appointment this morning. It might as well be snowy. But, nevertheless, I’m enjoying listening to Christmas music and watching it fall.

It’s pretty obvious by now that I love the Christmas season, but it’s not easy. Money is tight and everyone is busy all the time, so it’s hard to actually find the time to squeeze in festive fun. I did manage it this weekend, though. I bought myself a new Christmas jumper (it’s from asda and it has a bell on it) and on Saturday I popped down to Birmingham for the day to meet some friends before Christmas.

Birmingham has been hit badly by the snow, and as we were pulling into the station you could see it getting thicker. Luckily, the city centre itself was free from it and easy to manoeuvre around, and it wasn’t so bad as to affect our trains.

This is the second time that I’ve visited the German market in Birmingham at Christmas. It was far bigger than I remembered. I adore our Christmas markets in Liverpool, but it’s somewhat small. I didn’t know where to put my eyes in Birmingham. The stalls were overflowing with trinkets of metal and wood, candles and lamps, hats and scarves and gloves. The air was full of the smells of hot, delicious food. We treated ourselves to some pretzels (I had a cinnamon and sugar one myself) and wandered around a little in the day time, and then more so at night.

At night, all of the Christmas lights looked amazing. It was absolutely booming with people, but I didn’t mind the crowd so much. I was wrapped up warm and with friends and it was wonderfully festive.

I didn’t manage to take any photos because I wasn’t thinking about getting my phone out, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you the market looks beautiful at night.

I know this is a very short post, but I just wanted to take a moment for myself to remember a lovely day. It’s my birthday soon, and it was lovely to actually get to spend time with my friends around it.

Where is your favourite Christmas market? Have you bought anything from a Christmas market this season?

Until next time, happy holidays!

-K

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Christmas Films I Love

Seasons greetings!

It’s dark at 4pm, I’m living in my snood, hat and gloves and the heating bill is sky-rocketing. No number of blankets is too many, no amount of tea is too much and no mince pies is probably a crime. Winter is well and truly here.

Our house is full of fairy lights and tinsel and despite how small it is we somehow have managed to fit five (5) Christmas trees around (one in the living room, one in the porch, a small one in my bedroom and two in my sister’s room). Gifts are already wrapped and waiting and my quest to turn my home into a Christmas grotto is well underway. It is the holiday season, well and truly.

Despite the fact that I’ve yet to see what I believe is a proper Christmas classic on television yet (although Deck the Halls has been on several times), I do believe it is the perfect time to binge watch all of your favourite Christmas films. If you haven’t started yet, I’d suggest popping one on at the earliest opportunity, snuggling up with a blanket and a warm drink and letting yourself feel ferociously festive.

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The films I’m about to list, in no particular order, are not necessarily the best Christmas films, but they are films I enjoy watching at this time of the year. They’re not the best, they’re not the most underrated, and it’s definitely not all of the films I love. They’re just ones I enjoy, and wanted to show a little appreciation for.

  1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This stop-motion film is my go-to version of the classic reindeer tale. It’s weird, and a little bit creepy at times (my sister and I actually refer to it as “creepy Rudolph”), but I couldn’t imagine Christmas without it. Rudolph isn’t the only misfit you meet throughout this film and there’s a lot more adventuring than in the song we all know. Rudolph and his crew of misfits (that’s where they fit in) travel around the North Pole, venturing to The Island of Misfit Toys and even ending up in the cave of the fearsome Abominable Snow Monster.

At not even an hour long, it’s an easy film to squeeze in whenever you have the chance, and for me, it wouldn’t be Christmas for me without watching it.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

I know many people probably prefer the original 1947 version, and I enjoy that as well! But this is the version I always seem to end up watching. It’s heartbreaking at times, but it’s a wonderful story about belief. It doesn’t really matter if Kris Kringle is really Santa Claus, and it isn’t fully explained whether he is or isn’t, and that’s just how I like it.

  1. Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

This was the first Christmas film I watched this year. I also love the Jim Carrey film, which I owned on VHS, but I do love this cartoon version, too. It’s short but still enjoyable; it’s bright and entertaining and I can’t help but to sing along.

Also, on the topic of the Grinch: last week I was on the bus when I overheard a girl on the phone to her father saying she was compared to someone and trying to remember his name. “Who’s that man? No, you know, that man. That man that stole all the presents. The man—oh yeah! The Grinch!

Something about it just made me laugh and has kept me smiling whenever I recall it.

  1. Elf (2003)

I don’t believe I’ve met a single person who doesn’t love Elf. I definitely believe it is one of the absolute best modern Christmas films and has become a Christmas staple for myself and many of my friends. After all, we all have a little bit of Buddy in us, don’t we?

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

I mentioned in my last post that I love pretty much every retelling of A Christmas Carol. I’ve seen the films, I’ve seen it in the theatre, I… haven’t read the book yet but I’m changing that this year. However, considering my immense love for The Muppets, this is the version that’s making the list for this post.

I love listening to Gonzo retell this classic, I adore Rizzo’s endless questions as to how Gonzo knows what will happen. I love seeing Kermit as Bob Cratchit and I love Robin as Tiny Tim. I love the songs, I love Michael Caine as Scrooge, I love everything about it. It makes me cry, laugh and grin. I cannot believe I actually managed to see it in the cinema this year! It was wonderful, and it is wonderful, and I love it.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of my favourite Christmas films. There are dozens more, but these are just a handful that I wanted to mention today. Do you love or hate or not care for any of these? What are your favourites? What are your Christmas staples?

Until next time, stay merry!

-K

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Christmas Tag

After a busy weekend, I wasn’t sure what to write my blog post on for today. I’m heading out to the cinema to watch Muppets Christmas Carol in a couple of hours, and I haven’t had a chance to write anything before today (I know, I’m very poorly organised right now). However, I still wanted the first blog post of December to be a festive one. I searched around and found this Christmas Tag on Makeup Savvy, so I thought I’d kick off the festive blogging season with that! I’ll include the questions at the bottom in case anyone would like to join in.

THE CHRISTMAS TAG

  1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

This is a tough one, because there’s a handful. I love the 1964 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which I watch with my older sister annually (we’re actually going to watch it tomorrow). I love Miracle on 34th Street even though it makes me cry. I love several versions of A Christmas Carol. Since I’m going to see it tonight, and since the Muppets are so special to me, for now I’ll say Muppets Christmas Carol, but honestly there are so many good Christmas films that I really couldn’t narrow it down to just one.

  1. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas morning. We used to get up at 7am and all open them together. Now we’re all older, we tend to sleep in a little longer.

  1. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

No single memory jumps to mind. I love Christmas every single year. Every Christmas is my favourite.

  1. Favourite festive food?

Growing up I didn’t much care for mince pies, but in the last few years I’ve started to love them. They taste like Christmas.

  1. Favourite Christmas gift?

I don’t have one. If I had to choose, it would probably be the Red Hood figurine my partner gifted to me a couple of years ago. Jason Todd is one of my absolute favourite characters and he’s a beautiful figure.

  1. Favourite Christmas scent?

I like warm scents, so cinnamon scents are some of my favourites. I have a candle that smells like a snuggly sweater, too. I’m not sure what the specific scents are, but I love it and I’ve waited until winter to burn it.

  1. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

My family usually gets together for a buffet because we usually eat Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ house, but we won’t be doing that this year because my dad is cooking our Christmas dinner instead. I think the plan is just to all hang out and watch Christmas films together.

  1. What tops your tree?

Growing up it was an angel with red/bronze curly hair, but in recent years we’ve switched to a star. This year it’s a lovely silver one. I put it on top of the tree this year.

  1. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I always wanted a cat and I never got one. Also, a loft conversion so I could have my own bedroom.

  1. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

People are happy and kind to each other. Everyone is buying things but they’re all for other people. Everything sparkles and shines and people are, for the most part, more willing to open their hearts to others. I just think it’s nice. It’s my favourite time of year.

If you want to do this tag, I’ve included the questions below. Until next time, stay cool!

-K

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[COPY THE QUESTIONS]

  1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
  2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
  3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
  4. Favourite festive food?
  5. Favourite Christmas gift?
  6. Favourite Christmas scent?
  7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
    8. What tops your tree?
    9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
    10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?