What does Christmas mean to you? Edna Ferber, a late 19th century author, said ‘Christmas is not a season. It’s a feeling.’ I share this sentiment and have come up with a checklist of 5 ways to help you make the most of your Christmas feelings and memories this year.
1 – Christmas Cake
Not everyone makes their own Christmas cake these days, but if you want to give it a go, now’s the time to start – baking guru Mary Berry recommends making hers 3 weeks before Christmas, which by my reckoning gives you until 4th December. For her recipe click here.
And of course, this is a great way to start laying down the Christmas memories and getting in the festive mood by involving your children in the weighing, measuring, and stirring (using the biggest wooden spoon in your house!)
2 – Decorations
One of my lasting childhood memories is making decorations for the Christmas tree using milk bottle tops (do you remember the silver tops? Thread them on a cotton for a retro 70s decoration!), shapes covered in silver foil, and of course lots of glitter. These days you can buy kits, or look up ideas on the internet – one of our favourites last year was 3D snowflakes – so simple but effective. Or take a look at my blog from last year for more ideas. Click here.
Of if you don’t fancy making your own, take a look at my Christmas page for vintage-inspired and Nordic stocking decorations.
3 – Christmas Tree
Many people put up their tree on 1st December and that’s when Christmas really starts to get going for them. This year we’re trying a Pick-Your-Own Christmas tree, so last weekend we headed off to a sunny field in Cheshire to tag our tree. I’m thinking this is a Christmas memory that my son will remember for years to come…
Now all we have to do is go back for it in a couple of weeks to chop it down and bring it home! If you fancy doing this then google ‘pick your own Christmas tree’ in your local area and go along and bag a tree – it’s great fun.
4 – Music
Invest in some Christmas music to put on whilst you put up your tree and decorations, and to open your presents to on Christmas Day. Then every time you and your children hear that tune the happy memories will come flooding back.
5 – Christmas Eve Magic
Christmas Eve – traditionally a time for midnight mass, but if you’re not particularly religious, or your children are too young, you might want to consider a new tradition of a Christmas Eve Bag. At a time when the excitement can be difficult to contain you can produce a Patch Christmas Eve Bag, filled with items to keep their minds off the presents under the tree and help them calm down for bed. A gorgeous handmade bag filled with an activity book; soft grip pencil; sparkling Reindeer food and a sachet of hot chocolate to help them relax before bed – everything you need for calm and creativity on Christmas Eve, and a wonderful new family tradition. Click here for more information.
I hope this checklist has given you some ideas for this Christmas. Keep this list handy as you go through December and you’ll be well on your way to making some fabulous Christmas memories that will last for years to come. Enjoy!
And if you try out any of my ideas, please let me know, I’d love to know how you get on.