Post sponsored by Marks & Spencer
Spending it well…
This year marks the first Christmas for Joe and I in our first home together. I remember viewing the house way back in April, and one of the first thoughts that went around my head was; ‘I can already imagine what our tree will look like in here!’
Call me keen (or perhaps I’ve been graced with a festive sixth sense)- but ever since moving in I’ve been excited about starting new traditions and celebrating my favourite time of year in our special place. Having been together for over eight years and spent as many Christmases together- it’s nothing new opening our gifts together or writing heartfelt cards, but this year we’ve made a more conscious effort to start some new traditions, and make things extra special.
So, in collaboration with Marks & Spencer, and to celebrate the final few days in the lead up I thought I’d share a few of the ways, and things, we’ve been doing to get in the spirit- and how we’ll be spending Christmas Eve- in case you’re in need of a little injection yourself…
A day in the city…
Last year, Joe and I accidentally had one of the loveliest spontaneous London days, which is undoubtedly something I’m excited for this year too. Having initially planned a seaside trip, we ended up spending the day mooching alone Marylebone High Street, getting lost in Daunt Books and winding up in Selfridges for some last minute gift shopping. Looking back it couldn’t have felt more Christmassy, and although it was totally unplanned made for the best day. This year, despite being away for a while, I’ve vowed to try and pack the last couple of days before Christmas with some of my favourite things- including seeing The Nutcracker (a tradition I adopted from the lovely Briony) and decoration shopping for our tree (even if it’s just the one or two)!
For some more ideas, here are a few of my other favourite city pastimes in December:
– Ice skating at Somerset House or The Natural History museum at twilight.
– Shopping around Seven Dials and ending up at Covent Garden’s Apple Market (or Petersham Nurseries shop for a mince pie).
– Scouring the Christmas shops at Liberty and Selfridges and for once, not getting cross at all the excited bustling shoppers on Oxford Street.
– Picking up jams and biscuits in Fortnum’s and walking along Piccadilly past the beautiful arcades and up to Old Bond Street to admire the beautiful shop fronts.
– Heading to Leadenhall Market for an after work drink from the overspilling pubs and pizza at their Pizza Express.
But- saying that, I really don’t think there’s a single pocket of London that isn’t beautiful this time of year- and also love Portobello Road, Columbia Road (during the festive lead up- there’s carolling too) – I mean come on, even St Pancras station is bloody lovely too.
Cosying at home…
I’m not sure a frantic supermarket online shop should ever intentionally become anyone’s habit, but sitting at home and getting festive errands ticked off has some kind of strange (slightly stress reliving) magic about it. This year I picked up some extra festive jim jams in M&S (who doesn’t love a pair from here?) and can’t wait to sit in the living room, light up some candles and start wrapping the ever growing pile of presents. On Christmas Eve we always tend to eat delicious Italian food, so crusty pizza, pasta and breads are always the perfect snacks too. Turkey? What turkey? I also love pulling out any films I haven’t yet watched that year- so Elf will definitely be on this years list!
I’ve never been very good at winding down at the end of the year, but this year I’m properly taking some time off. There’s a reason why it’s so easy to burn out towards the end of December, and this year I’m really trying to put myself first. It’s so easy to see other people carrying on head first with work, and I’m set on not letting the comparison bug take over and make me flick my laptop on. Not even just for me, but for everyone. Without sounding daft, I want to be fully ~present~ with the quality time I spend with my loved ones, and really make the most of all being together- and remember the world won’t stop if I switch off for a week or two- plus, I’m in a job that really fortunately allows me to do so, which is pretty damn lucky. Sometimes doing this even amps up the inspiration and get go for the New Year- which can only ever be a good thing too, right?
Finally, one of the last things I’m really looking forward to in our new home is that we’re holding a party! Sticking to my tradition of never going out on New Years Eve, this year we’re having a handful of our favourite people over for dancing, drinks and lots of mini foods and I’m pretty excited indeed. Although I always get nervous before hosting anything (‘WILL ANYONE EVEN COME?!’) I’m looking forward to donning the sequins and seeing in 2018 to a soundtrack of Wham! and, ahem, Little Mix…
What do you do to get in the Christmas spirit? Do you have any traditions you pull out every Christmas Eve? I’d love to know- and also stay tuned for a couple more festive posts before the big day this week too!