Traditions and Nostalgia: Kate's Christmas
I was invited by a fellow blogger to take part in her Christmas Tag. It's something bloggers from all around the world take part in, so here is me sharing with you a little insight into our Christmas by answering some questions below. Here we go...
What is is your favourite Christmas Movie?
So many, as a young child it was always The Snowman. But I love Home Alone and Elf, and my sister recently introduced me to Miracle on 34th Street - what a lovely film that is, and I must confess to my eyes leaking a little bit when the deaf girl meets Santa.
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I'm sure we have at home but I don't have a specific year I can remember. One year we went skiing at Christmas though, there was a lot of snow that year (phew, as the skiing would have been pretty rubbish otherwise!) Every Christmas morning I cross my fingers and toes for snow, it never seems to come though, or only a light dusting.
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
It varies every year, but we usually alternate between either parental unit on Christmas Day and then the other one on Boxing Day and catch up with the rest of the family then too. In my childhood we spent a few Christmas holidays in Switzerland as we have family who live just outside of Geneva. However, the Christmas just before the boy was born we spent Christmas day with our dear friends Donna and Simon and had a Christmas Curry - it was brilliant. Last Christmas we were lucky enough to have both sets of our parents come out to Paris and stay with us and that was special too. This year however we are staying in Paris, just as a family of 4 for the first time. I know I will miss all the fun, noise and craziness of being with our families (the boy keeps asking when we are going to granny and grampas house which is a shame) but also I can't wait for some quality family time together.
What is your favourite Christmas song?
Without any hesitation, a song called, My Grown up Christmas List.
There are quite a few versions of it by different artists, but I'm going to share here with you the first one I heard, and the one that remains my favourite. Love all the harmonies towards the end and I just love singing along to it, even if every time I do I get a little bit choked up.
Ask my 2 year old though and he would undoubtedly say "Little Donkey" - truth be told i'm getting a bit bored of hearing this song over and over!
Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
No no no! I discovered this concept of a Christmas Eve box for the first time this year, but I'm not tempted. It's all about the big day itself in our house.
Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Yes I can, but only because we have a simply gorgeous t-shirt with them all on from Next that my friend Jessamy kindly handed down to me, thanks again Mrs x
Which holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?
We have had a lot of fun with Elf on the Shelf for the first time. Both children have pointed and shrieked with joy and fully embraced the magic of their Douglas and Bonnie elves. We didn't start it at the beginning of December though, thank goodness, because I would have definitely have run out of ideas! Here is some of the fun that we have had.
Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
(Both!) Our main tree is real. This year, for the first few days she was up she was a source of increased parental stress from my 2 and 1 year old. They could not leave the decorations alone and so they have slowly migrated higher and higher. I even tried marking out a toddler free zone with a ribbon as a deterrent, and I have a small fake one to distract them from my baubles....both strategies completely failed. However they have become less and less interested and only rearrange my decorations a couple of times a day now. Seasonal joy!!
What is is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?
There is nothing better than my mum's Christmas dinner, her roast potatoes are immense, and she always does about 5 puddings because we all ask for something different and she wants to do the traditional things too. Her real forte is cooking for a big group, one day I hope to be such a culinary goddess! Also, every year for as long as I can remember, my Nanny Pam has given me a box of After Eights chocolates, i'm not sure why and I never really eat them at any other time of year, but for me they are always my Christmas night chocolates in front of the fire...and yes I eat the whole box.
Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?
Before having children my answer would definitely have been receiving. But now, it's all about them really isn't it, and there's a palpable joy in our house at opening prezzies time from all their anticipation and excitement. Although, my toddlers definitely experience present fatigue when faced with so many generous gifts from us, family and friends - I think I'm going to spread them out a little this year, maybe over a few days. (Who am I kidding?! There is a real risk that I will get over excited too and all sensible good intentions fly up the chimney!)
What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?
I'm going to type this very quickly, because it was an extravagantly generous (Christmas & birthday) gift from my parents just before I turned 17: My first car (a red D reg Ford Fiesta, with a manual choke...how amazing it that!)
Where would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
Pre children, I would have said Bora-Bora (this really is in my dreams!). Now we have children, (but when they are a little bit older) we look forward to taking them to Lapland.
Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
I'm pretty poor at wrapping presents. But that said, I love it when I get a present that is beautifully wrapped. My sister in law Gill always goes the extra mile and it is lovely. There are literally bells on her gifts this year. I should try harder! Maybe next year.
Most memorable Christmas moment?
One year, when I was about 14 we went on a family holiday in Africa. We went on Safari and then spent a week on the beach - it remains to this day one of the most amazing holidays I have ever been fortunate to go on. So this isn't a moment, it's a whole Christmas that was very memorable.
What made you realise the truth about Santa?
I really truly don't know. I've just had a chat with my sister about this... neither of us can really think of a moment or particular Christmas, I guess the realisation must have just slowly crept up on us as we got older. I'm sure even after we realised we clung onto the fantasy for a couple more years anyway. I read an article doing the rounds on the internet a couple of weeks ago about the negative psychological effects of letting your children believe in a mythical figure and then revealing, or them realising, that they have been "lied to" for years...what a load of codswallop. I don't know a single person whose relationship with their parents has been affected by Father Christmas. What is a Christmas if not full of magic, indeed what is a childhood without imagination!?!
What makes the holidays special for you?
Family time. This year we get a whole week and 2 weekends together. So excited!
That's a wrap! ... well of this, I still have a few gifts to encase in festive paper (and one to assemble!)
...and I tag the following ladies to get all Christmassy and answer the same questions: