What I love about Christmas...

This time of year is a great time to get to know people, it's a chance to sit and chat with your family and friends and find out what they love about Christmas. In the blogging community there's an easy way for us to get the same kind of get-to-know-you traditions but in written form - cue The Christmas  Tag. A few days ago my blogging buddy Lou over at With Love from Lou tagged me and after reading through the questions I decided to give it a go. So without further ado here's who I love about Christmas...

Favourite Christmas movie?

Love Actually. It has been my favourite for a few years now and every time I think of the festive season a scene from Love Actually comes to mind. The characters are brilliant, the different stories that seem to come together are great, and there's a wonderful feel-good ending. Perfect Christmas movie. 

Of course that's not forgetting about the other amazing Christmas movies like It's a Wonderful Life and Home Alone.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

I can't remember doing. I have a few memories of snow but I think the majority of those were around Christmas and not on Christmas Day. I don't actually remember it snowing on Christmas Day, ever, which is kind of weird huh?

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home. I wake early on Christmas Day, the boys get out of bed and we open a few presents. Then I take a little break to get the turkey into the oven as quickly as possible so I can get back to present opening. Once the presents are open and the turkey is cooking we chill out as a family putting batteries into toys, playing new games, and enjoying our gifts. 

Around lunch time I am back in the kitchen to get lunch ready while the boys play games or use their new toys. We usually sit down to eat lunch at around 2pm and within about 20 minutes it's all been eaten and we get back to enjoying our gifts. This is my time to chill out properly. 

The last two years I've had family over for Christmas lunch which meant I was catering for 20 people. While it was quite stressful it was lovely having everyone here and the afternoon was that much more special because I got to spend it with (some of) the people I love.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

The first one that comes to mind is Last Christmas, mainly because I remember it from my childhood. Next in line is Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas because it's awesome. 

Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?

No! I have no idea where that came from but doesn't it completely undermine the whole Santa thing? If Santa doesn't come until Christmas Eve how are there presents to be opened!? 

So no, we don't - and have never - opened presents on Christmas Eve. While I think it's okay to do so if you choose I do think it's kind of cheating.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Dancer, Prancer, Donner, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Vixen, and Rudolph. I nearly forgot about Cupid.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Every year since 2003 the Hubby and I spend Christmas Eve getting our lounge ready for the boys. Santa does something different with the presents every year and we spend time making sure it is all ready for him. It's so much fun! Once Santa has visited and it's time for the Hubby and I to chill out we sit in our movie room and watch Love Actually on a big screen. When I am sitting down watching Hugh Grant dance across the screen I really feel like it's Christmas, it doesn't feel real until that point.

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas. 

Dale Evans

Is your Christmas Tree real or fake?

Fake. I've had the same tree since moving into our house just before BP was born, so 13 years! It has fir cones and red berries and is so "me" that I can't bear to part with it. To be honest the idea of having a real tree and having bits of tree drop onto the carpet makes me shudder. No, fake all the way here.

What is your favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

Oh gosh there's just so many! I'm not sure I want to choose between food and sweets. The food has got to be Christmas Lunch with all the trimmings, the turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, vegetables, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire Puddings, and of course gravy and cranberry sauce. But then there's dessert and sweets - goodness. Mince pies get it for me every time, they just scream Christmas and add brandy cream and they're to die for!

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?

I think that really depends on the gift doesn't it? Receiving a gift that takes your breath away is amazing and knowing that someone has thought about you while buying that gift makes it special. I have received gifts that have taken my breath away - one year the Hubby bought me a diamond eternity ring that was presented in a black velvet box. It was an amazing gift and whenever I look at it now I remember that day. I have also received amazing gifts from my boys that have brought tears to my eyes - like the Hulk Tsum Tsum they got me last year because You won't like me when I'm angry! Seeing the look on someone's face as they open up the gift you bought for them, watching as they realise just how wonderful the gift is, nothing can top the pleasure you get from making someone that happy. 

What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?

Oh boy, how on earth do you choose just one? After 36 years of receiving gifts I'm not sure I can pick just one - a few memorable ones that come to mind are...

The dolls head that I got when I was about 6 years old. It was one of those hairdressing things where you get to play with the doll's hair? I adored it and I still remember it today.

The gold diamond eternity ring the Hubby bought me - that one took my breath away.

All my desk buddies - Mickey and Minnie and my Tsum Tsum that the boys bought for me last year. They know me so well, even the Hulk made me smile!

What is your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Oh this one is easy - Walt Disney World. We have been to Disney World lots of times during the summer and spring but never for Christmas. We were once there late October and got to see them preparing for Halloween and Christmas and it made me realise how amazing it would be to spend Christmas there. Of course I would totally miss the turkey Christmas Lunch and opening presents but the magic of Walt Disney World would make up for that I have no doubt.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I'm somewhere in the middle. The Hubby is a pro, he folds the paper so neatly and has to have everything square - he hates anything that isn't in a box! For me I do my best but it never quite goes as well as the Hubby's wrapping, but it's not terrible either so I'll settle for that.

Most memorable Christmas memory?

It's not very long ago, just last year, but it is very special. Last Christmas we had all the family over for Christmas Day because my father-in-law had lung cancer. We thought it might be his last Christmas and so I decided to have everyone over so we could all be together and make some wonderful memories that included him. My father-in-law died in May and so I am so glad we were able to make last Christmas so special. 

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. 

Charles M. Schulz

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

To be honest I can't remember, I have spent my entire adulthood keeping him alive for the boys so to me he is real, albeit in spirit. The magic of Christmas is all about Santa and the fact that he visits, and even when my boys don't believe any longer I will make them pretend because I love it so much!

What makes the holidays special for you?

Family. I was recently asked if I was mad having everyone over for Christmas Lunch (17 people this year) for the third time in a row but despite it being stressful and a hectic morning I love it. I love the fact that the boys get to see their Nanny, I love that they get to spend time with their cousins and see their aunts and uncles. For me Christmas is about family, whether that's our little family of just us four or the extended family too. 

There is no other feeling like sitting down at a dining table decorated with Christmassy adornments, looking around and seeing people you love sitting there with you. Chatting as you enjoy a mighty festive meal and slumping on a sofa afterwards - it's all a part of Christmas don't you think?

And that's it folks! I loved this tag because it gave me a chance to share a little bit more about me and my Christmas traditions. I'm not going to tag anyone but if you'd like to take part I'd love to read your answers so do let me know about your post in the comments!