I simply cannot believe how fast December has gone.
I say it most months, but woah now(!) December has got to be the fastest month of my life ever! Is anyone else thinking the same!?
My favourite, most festive, happy and beautiful month of the year is almost over and the most special day of the year is practically with us.
I completely adore the build up to Christmas. Theres something so magical about the whole count-down to the big day, the excitement, the butterflies in the pits of our stomach and the sheer love we have for everyone who has made the past year so special.
I completely adore gift giving and cannot wait to see the faces of my loved ones when they unwrap my carefully selected presents on the 25th. And whilst I'm excited to do just that, I can't help but feel complete sadness that by this time next week, it will all be over and we'll be gearing up for yet another new year. Sorry to bring a downer to this festive post so early on but I just adore this time of year so freaking much that it pains me to think it's almost over and done with.
But anyway, Debbie Downer aside, I thought today I'd talk about the beautiful thing of festive traditions. We all have them, the weird and the wonderful and all a little different from the last, but I think there's something SO gorgeous about each and every person or family having a Christmas tradition or traditions that they partake in every year.
And whilst it really fills me with sheer joy, warmth and happiness that a proportion of the world will be sitting down on the 25th and digging into a hearty, home cooked dinner, opening presents and being with one another, each enjoying the same tradition no matter where we are in the world, I also adore the fact that we each have our own traditions, quirks and "things" that only us as a family "get"
So with that, I thought I would share some of our families traditions; they're not particularly ground breaking, hilarious or odd, but they're ours and thats what makes them oh so beautiful.
For as long as I can remember myself, sister, mum and dad have always spent Christmas Eve together. It's varied in some way, as we used to go out for dinner, we've had our gorgeous nanna join us and this year we will have our puppies Peter and Nancy, however the tradition is, is that we are all together; Thats the point, togetherness.
In recent years we've got together at our family home in Manchester, lit the candles, got the Christmas music going, the fairy lights twinkling and popped a bottle (or two) of bubbles and enjoyed a buffet of party food with a cheese board and a heck load of Quality Streets before heading to the living room to watch a film ready for an early night as we anticipate the following day.
That is exactly why Christmas eve is my favourite of all days throughout the year, it's simple, filled with love and excitement.
Even when we FINALLY gave up putting out a mince pie for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph (admittedly at 18, I just loved the joy it brought both myself and mum to pretend we still believed) Faye and I still love to hang our stockings on the mantelpiece; the same stockings we've had since we were babies, and we still love to sing "BAAAABY" at the top of our voices when Mariah sings it too, a tradition that began when I was in nappies and that was my favourite song... Cute!
And whilst George and I have recently bought our own place, and whilst we'd love to spend the whole of Christmas together, my Christmas eve tradition with my family isn't something I'm ready to give up yet, for a while or maybe even ever. We'll be reunited on Christmas day though, as we're hosting both of our families and 5 dogs at our place for Christmas dinner so please, wish us luck!
Since we were small, dad has ALWAYS woken us up, around 6am shouting "Has he been!? Has he been!?" it's one of the many things I love so much about my old man, how he gets SO into Christmas even now we're adults ourselves. Thats a tradition, similarly to being with them on Christmas Eve, that I don't want to ever go without. There's something about getting up super early on the 25th, opening presents with a cup of coffee and surrounded by my family, that truly makes me happy; Giving us that little bit longer of it just being the 4 of us before the rest of the family arrive.
Last year, we didn't make it quite so early, 8am instead, dad wasn't a happy camper, so I think this year I'd like to do 6am again, for him!
Christmas morning always makes me smile as once again, for as long as I can remember Faye, my mum, dad and I have ALWAYS sat in the same place whilst opening our presents. Faye takes the chair by the window, mum the sofa by the door and me and dad on the sofa on the back wall. It's making me chuckle now just thinking about it as those seats aren't our favourite places to sit any other time of year, just on Christmas day, traditions ey?
That being said, mum threw a spanner in the works when she decorated the living room last year and got rid of the 2 seater sofa and the chair, instead opting for a new 3 seater and a love seat instead. However, that didn't deter us, Faye simply now sit's on the floor by the window, mum and dad on the 3 seater by the door and me on the love seat on the back wall.
Even whilst my family will be heading back to my house around midday on Christmas Day to create our new traditions with The Craigs, my nanna, auntie, uncle and cousin will still be popping round, as they do every year for sausage sandwiches, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and yet more Quality Street. Bucks Fizz will be flowing and we'll have another round of present swapping. Seeing these four on Christmas morning has long been a tradition, even when they're not staying with us for dinner, it's just a thing we do and I'm SO chuffed that this won't be changing any time soon.
Christmas mornings are for my mums family and Christmas evenings have been for my poppa's side. Most years we head to my aunties house for an evening of games, cocktails and the whole, mad and huge Ellaby clan! I've had some of the most hilarious Christmas' ever at my aunties with this loony side of the family and I'm pretty gutted that this won't be happening again this year... Until Boxing Day that is!
So there are some of our very beautiful Christmas traditions, there are a heck load more, but I honestly think I'll be here all day long.
I truly hope you enjoyed this post and that it makes you think about what makes your Christmas' so special. I'd really love to hear about some of your festive traditions so please do leave them in the comments, traditions like this really do make me smile, whether they're based around family, friends, pets, places or otherwise, lets share and share alike to spread that Christmas joy.
I know that many of us, including myself, are missing love ones at this time of year so I'm sending the biggest of cuddles to you all!
I hope you enjoy this look too, it's TOTALLY something I'd wear on Christmas day and beyond, in my opinion it's the perfect house party get up for this time of year. Featuring a Self Portrait Exclusive for Net-A-Porter lace top in the most stunning black and navy colour combination which I feel is totally set off by the light reflecting crushed velvet, wide leg trousers by Staud. Throw in some bling and a contrasting pair of platforms and you're Christmas day ready, especially when you ditch the platforms for a pair of slippers 😉
Merry Christmas and Lots of Love