FEELING FESTIVE IN 2020 DESPITE SUCH A DIFFICULT YEAR

I’m putting my Christmas Decorations up in November this year, sorry not sorry!!!!

Gosh what a year it’s been for everyone and, as we move into Autumn & a second wave is hitting us, we first moved into tougher restrictions & we are now National lockdown again.

Despite the trying times we find ourselves in I for one am determined to make Christmas as special as possible. We don’t yet know what the restrictions will be around Christmas but it’s not looking very promising sadly. We will, however all get through it & we’ll definitely come out of it stronger.

I adore everything about Christmas and even though my children are now teens I still love to make it as magical as possible for them and this year will be no different.

I want to put our decorations up towards the end of November this year & make the house as festive as possible.     

We always have a few DIY jobs we like to get done around the house before Christmas & this year we’re having a new floor put down in our living room so this will be done in early November. I then do a very deep clean amidst my weekly clean to make sure everything is spotless before the decorations go up.

I love to add a few new decorations to the house each year & a few new Christmas tree ornaments so I’m excited to go decoration shopping this week, fortunately the garden centres are still open.

Lighting is big thing for me as it sets the mood and ambience of the house. I also love outdoor lighting but only classy & tasteful lighting, nothing bawdy & gaudy!!!  

One of the things that makes me feel really festive is the smell of Christmas & I love buying new seasonal candles each year. I absolutely adore Neom & there is nothing better than their Christmas candles. I always treat myself to a few of them at the start of the season. Not cheap but so so worth it!!

Along with seasonal candles I love seasonal flowers & always love poinsettias in the house from December onwards. Another Autumn/Winter favourite of mine are Gladioli in all their wonderful colours.

At the end of October, I always bake our Christmas cake & then feed it with brandy weekly so by Christmas day it’s quite boozy!!!! The smell of the Christmas cake baking makes you feel Christmassy immediately.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are always almost as good as Christmas itself. I always have lots of lovely things planned & booked and, although this year will be different, I will still make it as festive and memorable for my family as possible.

Last year we had a fabulous day Ice skating in Manchester, along with a meal in one of Manchester’s fabulous restaurants. Sadly, the Christmas markets & ice rinks won’t be open this year, but I will book ice skating for the New Year instead.

Instead I’m going to plan lots of lovely home activities, games and quizzes, do lots of baking and cooking and get my family lots of festive treats to enjoy.

If restaurants are allowed to re-open in December, I’ve already booked one of our favourite local restaurants for Christmas Eve, Harveys in Huddersfield. Then I have everything crossed we can meet up with family for Christmas & Boxing Day.

The wonderful Christmas Institution, The Pantomimes have almost all been cancelled this year except a handful around the country. Luckily the fabulous Pantomime at The Bradford Alhambra is still going ahead this year so I’ve booked for us to go between Christmas & New Year.

On New Year’s Eve I’ve just booked the 4 of us in at The Ivy in Manchester as it will be a much quieter affair this year.

I’m also extremely excited for the 2nd January as we managed to get 6 tickets to go & see Les Misérables concert version with Alfie Boe, Michael Ball & Matt Lucas in London & I’ve booked us all a hotel for the night too. I’m praying it doesn’t get cancelled as it’s a Christmas surprise from Tony & I to the kids and my parents which we’ll all absolutely love.

Aside from booking lovely things to do I always love our Christmas traditions every year and my favourite is doing a Christmas Eve box for my kids and my 2 nephews. I fill them with treats plus a new pair of Pyjamas, a mug, hot chocolate, a Christmas tree decoration, their favourite sweets plus one small gift.  

We all love to dress up at Christmas & even if we have to stay at home this year we will still get fairly dressed up, albeit comfortably. I want this year to be just as much an occasion as it usually is, and I’ll probably make even more effort after such a tough year for everyone.

So, even with so many restrictions in place, many of which will still be there for Christmas, we can still make it as happy & memorable as possible and I’m still so excited for ‘The most wonderful time of the year!’

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