This afternoon, I was slightly taken aback when a colleague wished someone a Happy Christmas. The days are passing quickly and even though I feel reasonably well organised (for once), I had a sudden realisation that Christmas is a little over two weeks away and there is still so much I keep meaning to do. I've been gradually working my way down my list and I've noticed that, although some of these activities are changeable each year, there are just some things I like to do the same every Christmas. We all do them, our own little traditions that make Christmas's special to us. It might be something that reminds us of our childhood, such as hanging a particular decoration that brings back special memories, how we like to countdown to the day itself, or even the special treats we bake to enjoy with family and friends.
This last week I've been to the florists for some eucalyptus. For many years now I've liked to display sprigs of eucalyptus somewhere in the house throughout December, usually across Lily's advent calendar. This year, because the florists were closed until the 2nd, I have placed some in a vase above the fireplace instead, and I might use some in my door wreath - something else I need to get on with this week.
Another little tradition of mine is buying clementines. Now, if I'm being completely honest, it is highly likely they won't all get eaten, but the sweet citrus scent of the ones that do will transport me right back to my childhood, eating them while sitting underneath the Christmas tree in the twinkly colourful glow of fairy lights. I remember gazing in wonderment at all the brightly coloured, old style baubles and quirky (often questionable) decorations hanging from the tree, and twisting strands of gold lametta around my fingers.
Home made apple sauce, Winter Spice Vodka, gingerbread, enjoying a glass of Baileys while decorating the tree. A tin of Roses or Quality Street? A tin of each? A trip to the nearest town to see the Christmas lights. Mince pies, winter walks, a new tree decoration. These are just some of the little things that make it feel like Christmas for me. Sometimes I add to the list. Last year we had the best time ice-skating. Sadly, that won't be happening this Christmas but we will be looking forward to enjoying it again next December.
Christmas is going to be very different for everyone this year but what I would love you to share, please, are your little traditions. What little things make Christmas for you?