Christmas is really busy for me as we have three birthdays in December as well- one on boxing day! My favourite tradition is putting up the last of the decorations on my dad's birthday, which is on 20th December. We like to change the decorations up every year - we're all really crafty and we tend to make our own. This year, we're going for a silver and white origami theme, with wild mistletoe from the garden.
I love the build up to Christmas more than the day itself and my all time favourite tradition is decorating the Christmas tree. We always do this together with my children and pick an afternoon over a weekend, preferably a Sunday. We'll have a traditional Christmas movie on in the background and we open a tin of Celebrations or Roses and warm some mince pies. As well as the tree, we have a lovely fireplace and old rustic coffee table, which we always decorate with candles and other Christmas ornaments. This year I'm planning on foraging for lots of greenery and berries to weave amongst the scented candles. Whilst the deccies are going up, we'll have a roast in the oven, filling the house with its comforting and delicious smell, and we'll sit around our wooden dining table to eat once the tree is finished.
Hellen and Chris
Christmas is a time for us to switch off, recharge and enjoy time with family and friends. Our Christmas traditions are a mix of old and new, much like our reclaimed wood furniture. On Christmas Eve if we're in Norway (Hellen is Norwegian), we'll ski and have a special Nordic supper and open presents with family. If we're home in the UK, we still have a celebration on Christmas Eve, but we will open our presents on Christmas Day. A new tradition we enjoy is to walk along the seafront on Christmas Day morning with our dogs, Masey and Dave, together with whoever we have staying with us. We're so lucky to live near the sea and it's a lovely way to start the day. Once home, Hellen will beautifully decorate our reclaimed wood industrial dining table and we'll have a late and long lunch of traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings.
I'm super into Christmas. My golden rule is the decorations don't go up until December (even in lockdown!). Once December hits, there's a Christmas explosion in my home! As my partner is Norwegian we celebrate on both the 24th and 25th December, and last year we spent it in Norway, which was amazing. Sledging, cooking dough over an open fire and loads of wonderful food! Something my parents did and now we have started to do is have a real tree. There's something about the smell that just screams Christmas. A tradition I miss from when I was younger is table presents. My grandparents had a large reclaimed wood dining table and would put a homemade cardboard snowman on it which they hand filled with small presents, one for each person at the table.
When I was younger we lived in Germany - my favorite Christmas tradition was going to one of their world famous Christmas markets. We would get all wrapped up and go with some friends and spend a few hours walking around and taking in the atmosphere, sights, smells and sounds. After this outing we would go back with our friends and enjoy a Christmassy evening at their house - the highlight of this was the bottom shelf of the large sideboard they had in their living room - it was always brimming with traditional German treats - it was a bit like being able to choose anything you wanted from a sweet shop. To this day I still love all the German traditional Christmas treats that are now much more available