Can you believe it's the 1st December tomorrow? I can already smell the mulled wine, the Christmassy candles, the fir and holly branches adorning the mantlepiece and the many Christmassy open fires burning now that it's turned all frosty.
It's feeling particularly festive in our house since our new kitchen project finished. Finally I have a whole ground floor to decorate. This time last year we were in a chaotic ol' mess so I've spent pretty much the whole of November dreaming up ways to decorate the new rooms, shelves, windowsills and doors.
But really for me and so many others, December is about a lot more than just the decorations.
It's a time when cheer is in the air...
When we have an excuse to gather...
A time when we even the smallest of traditions you become grateful for...
An annual photo by the tree, getting matching Christmas PJs with your sister, writing cards for your family overseas, having a Christmas reunion with old friends.
All traditions I love and look forward to every year.
I love that these plans (soon after becoming memories) all form thanks to Christmas.
And even though sometimes the years merge into one, and you can't quite remember which year it was the cat knocked the Christmas tree over – when December comes around it makes me really try, year on year, to plan some celebrations and make the most of the season that flies past us so quick.
Me and Neil have such lovely plans for during December....
This first weekend starts with getting our tree and decorating the house.
We always make it such a special occasion, putting Christmas music on, drinking mulled wine, decorating the tree and leaving the tree topper until the end! It's normally just the two of us and by the end of the eve we end up high on glitter, lights and mulled everything!
This weekend we'd like to stop in at the Ditchling Christmas Market if we can. It will be lovely to get some fresh air, Christmas cheer and probably pick up some last minute decorations (I still don't have a front door wreath so must get one!).
After this we've got 2 of our close friends coming to visit us for an evening in, roast dinner and more mulled wine (!) I'll be trying out my new Christmas tableware in preparation for hosting Christmas Day with all of my family this year. It'll be lovely to test it all out before the real thing as I'm still not sure the new tablecloth fits... we'll have to see, and at least I have time to find replacements if it doesn't.
Last weekend Neil and I spent some time together making a DIY advent calendar which instead of chocolate treats, has something we can do together to celebrate Christmas every day.
I'm so excited that tomorrow we will open the first door and I can't wait to share pics of it too. It's got experiential things on it as opposed to buying more 'stuff' for each other – like donating to a charity together, watching a christmas film, baking mince pies for the first time together and making up a Christmas cocktail! It's a bit too late now but I'll be sharing more about it on here in the next few days in case you'd like to make a '12 days of Christmas' version starting on the 12th.
I've never experienced a Christmas concert/theatre thing before so we decided to book tickets to see The Nutcracker Suite and The Snowman with a live orchestra this year, happening in the Brighton Dome on the 16th December. I think it will be so memorable! I'm so excited to be mesmerised by Christmas classics in a crowd.
We're also (well, I am!) tempted by The Snow Queen ballet between Christmas and New Year too depending on where we plan to be on New Year's Eve. I've never been to see a ballet before never mind an icy, Christmas one – it would be magical!
The 13th December marks our 3rd engagiversary too! Such happy memories. 3 years since we got engaged in the most Christmassy scene I've ever experienced in Bruges, Belgium - so no doubt we'll do a special dinner at home to celebrate that with each other.
Lots of Christmas gatherings on the horizon as well, including a huge reunion on the 23rd December with my old friends who I haven't seen since last year. My best friend will be coming home from Paris and I'm so looking forward to seeing her again. She's my actual soul-sister <3
I'm so thankful we have Christmas because without it, I don't know if any of these plans would ever happen.
Enjoy the season and thanks for reading!