Festive Fun!

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Today I am gonna do something a little bit fun! I’m sure that many of you will have heard of the brilliantly talented Tom Fletcher of McFly/McBusted? If you have, you may also know that he, his sister and his wife all make YouTube videos and have started a Dear Tom/Dear Gi/Dear Carrie series – inspired by the VlogBrothers! Last week, Tom started a Christmas tag…and that is exactly what I am going to take part in! Whoopee – another Christmas post! Enjoy!

♥Fifteen Festive Favourite Questions♥

1. Favourite Festive food
There is so much food at Christmas! The festive food I love the most however, is probably sprouts. Unusual choice, I know – but Christmas is literally the only time of the year that we have them! Not a great aftermath, unfortunately…both of my parents like to be rather free when it comes to flatulence..!

2. Favourite Reindeer
Surprisingly, I haven’t seen anyone answer this question with Rudolph yet! Poor Rudy… For me, Cupid is my favourite – the reasons might be obvious…he is clearly the reindeer of love!

3. Favourite day from 12 days of christmas song
I can never remember the days. For some reason I like the tenth day – “Ten Lords a Leaping”. It sticks with me. I couldn’t tell you why…perhaps it could be to do with the fact that it sounds a little bit like “Time Lords are leaping”…that just leaves me with the image of David Tennant prancing around the TARDIS!

4. Favourite Christmas Song
My favourite ever Christmas song is actually “O Holy Night”. It’s probably something to do with singing solos from it at school each year! It’s so pretty. (Although “Baby It’s Cold Outside” comes in at a close second…)

5. Favourite Christmas Present
This is a hard one. Over the years I’ve had some really amazing presents. Books, CDs, films, art supplies – a macbook! (Although I did pay for half of that…) I don’t think I can choose just one! …buy if you’re gonna make me, I’ll go for my vast collection of books, which is probably made up mainly from Christmas gifts!

6. Favourite Christmas Film
My favourite Christmas film probably isn’t even considered a real Christmas film, but the one that we all used to watch when we were younger at my Grandparents house is E.T.! We used to watch it every Christmas, and for some reason Christmas doesn’t feel quite right without it!

7. Favourite Cracker Toy
The best cracker toys I’ve encountered were the musical whistles! My Gran had, for some reason, been saving this particular packet of crackers for years! We never opened them or anything…and then, I think it was last year, they were finally put out on the table. They come with sheet music and everything! You can play little tunes (and with a family as big as mine, you can actually make up the whole octave!)

8. Favourite Cracker Joke
I don’t know whether this one actually came from a cracker, but I’ll just assume it did!

Q: How do you catch a squirrel?

A: Pretend to be a nut!

I was a…sensitive child. Whenever I told this joke, people of course laughed at it – probably out of kindness more than anything. And then I would cry. I thought that they were laughing at me!

9. Favourite Christmas Decoration
I love tinsel. Silver tinsel to be precise! I don’t care what my mother says (she refuses to let us have it on the tree – thinks it’s tacky!) – it’s so pretty and sparkly and shiny! We don’t have it as much any more, but mum used to wind it up the bannister and hide Christmas lights in it, and it was just so pretty in the dark! I’m considering buying the Christmas tinsel wool to knit her a scarf with…I don’t think she’d appreciate it!

10 .Favourite Candle Scent
I love a bit of a Yankee Candle! I think my favourite one is probably the Winter Wonderland scent…the Mulled Wine one isn’t bad either.

11. Favourite Christmas TV Advert
This is probably a really random choice, but my favourite advert is the Boots 2014 advert. The John Lewis advert was adorable and lived up to expectations, and Tom Odell did a wonderful job with the music, but the Boots advert was really touching. It reminded me of how hard my own mother works (she is also a nurse) and it has kind of encouraged me to really try hard to thank her this year, for everything she’s done. Who knows how many more Christmases I’ll have at home, you know, before I move out and make a home of my own…gotta make the most of it!

12. Favourite Christmas Tradition
My favourite Christmas tradition is the Chocolate Oranges! I love ‘em! Every year, me and my siblings get a Terry’s chocolate orange in the bottom of our stockings. I usually manage to devour the majority of mine before I even get downstairs. The best part is the “core” of the orange, and if I’m not careful mum or dad will come along and scoff it!

13. Favourite Place to Spend Christmas
I’ve only spent Christmas away from home once or twice…One time in Barbados and the other, Scotland I think. But home is where the Christmas cheer is for me!

14. Favourite Christmas Fact
My favourite Christmas fact is that, on Christmas Eve French children put their shoes in front of the fireplace in the hopes that Father Christmas would fill them with presents. He apparently has a partner called ‘Le Pere Fouettard’ or Father Spanker! He would “reward” bad children with a spanking! How creepy!

15. Favourite Snowman Accessory
I love a carrot for a nose! He needs to be able to smell, right?

I hope you all enjoyed the questions – and more importantly, the answers! Should you feel the desire, I think that you should all go and answer them too! Spread the Christmas Cheer!

Christmas #2

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Christmas #2

The other day, I posted a blog discussing why some people dislike the run up to Christmas…Grinch! I think I made it pretty clear that that wasn’t me! Today I am going to tell you all about why I love Christmas and everything about it!

The music. The music is wonderful! Somehow, it manages to lift my soul, hearing sleighbells, strings, choirs – the beautiful descants! Christmas songs are so uplifting, euphoric. I won’t lie, if you were a fly on the wall, you would hear Chrismas music being played all year round in my house! I love the idea of Carol Singers, although I’ve never been able to go around myself…

The decorations. I live in quite a small village, and at one end, there are two houses that face one another. Each Christmas, they seem to partake in an unspoken contest. Their houses are light up with every light and decoration imaginable! The trees in the gardens are adorned with lanterns and baubles, the chimneys host giant santas, and one of them even puts up inflatable Simpson characters! Last week, I was travelling home from work, and several houses had Christmas lights up already. Now that the nights are drawing in so early, it’s magical to see bursts of colour lighting up the streets.

Giving and receiving. Last Christmas, I had a student loan. I also had a job and lived in the Universities cheapest accomodation, and so I was able to spend more than I’ve ever spent before on gifts. People talk about the ‘gift of giving’, and I do believe that being able to present someone with a gift that I have personally picked out for them, and then seeing the happiness on their face is a really wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s also pretty nice being given presents too!

Family. As I think I mentioned in my previous Christmas post, at Christmas my parents host a party for all of my cousins, aunties and uncles to attend! I rarely get to see my relatives during the rest of the year. There are so many of them, and none of them live particularly close by. They’re busy with their lives, have jobs, are off at University. All of that is forgotten for a day when they visit. It’s lovely, although it’s probably a little stressful for my mother!

The food. With Christmas comes parties, and with parties, comes food! At Christmas, we eat foods that we don’t eat at any other point in the year! Mince pies, turkey, sprouts, mulled wine, Christmas cake…the list is never ending! Christmas is the only day of the year that it’s remotely acceptable to eat a full English, several chocolate oranges and then a massive Christmas dinner at the end of the day! I like to think that Christmas Day is also a calorie-less day too!

Midnight Mass. Christmas is the one time of year that a lot of people who don’t usually go, go to church. I love the service that the church next door puts on, and me and my dad usually get involved in leading the music side of things. This year, I have been asked to sing a solo as my contribution to the service, which is very exciting! The church itself is always decked out nicely, with candles and tinsel and holly, along with a full nativity scene at the back of the room. Despite the cold winds outside, and the lack of heating inside the villagers all turn up wrapped in scarves, hats and gloves. The community really comes together!

And of course there was a guy that a lot of people like who was born on that day – the baby Jesus!

Christmas #1

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Is it socially acceptable, for me to get excited yet? I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been looking forward to Christmas since probably the end of August..? I heard my first Christmas radio advert at the beginning September and Radio 1 (which is on all day at work) have been playing the occasional festive tune. Now that Halloween and bonfire night have both passed, I feel that it is acceptable for me to publicly announce my Christmas excitement!

However, as I sadly discovered, my excitement is not shared. *Sad face*. A couple of weeks ago, I was sat in the office on my lunch break and the radio presenter started to talk about Christmas shopping.

“Turn it off!” someone screeches from the other side of the room. “I will not listen to people talking about Christmas so soon! Any earlier than the middle of December is unacceptable!”

I just do not understand people’s aversion to the festive season. So what is it that causes people to hate the run up to Christmas? Lots of things, apparently.

Money. Lets not kid ourselves; Christmas is expensive. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds are spent on presents, decorations, food…and just for a one day event. (All the more reason to make it a multi-month-long event, eh?) Christmas has been so commercialised and focusses so much on the materialistic side of things. People start to forget about what Christmas is really about. (You know, baby Jesus…)

Enforced family gatherings. Christmas is the time of year when you are forced to see every single family member, from your Gran, to your second uncle-in-law three times removed – and your might not even get on with one another! For me, it isn’t a problem. The whole family really gets on well, and due to the extortionate amount of cousins, you can hide in the crowd – but for many families, having everyone under the same roof can be a bit of a nightmare..!

Congestion. The traffic is a nightmare; road accidents seem so much more frequent, probably because of my ice on the roads and the darker evenings, journeys home from work and school are often doubled, sometimes even tripled and the number of delivery lorries on the roads seem to increase tenfold!

The stress of shopping. Like the roads, the shops are crammed with hundreds of people who have all decided to do their last minute shopping at the exact same time. It really is a nightmare! Last year my mother took me, my sister and her friend to London to see David Tennant perform in Richard II, and we stupidly decided to stop off at Harrods. Worst mistake of the year. It was 10th December and Harrods was packed! (For some reason, they were also blaring weird dub-step music through the speakers which drove me mental!) I ended up standing out on the street talking on the phone with David! It isn’t even just the fact that the shops are busy either – people don’t seem to understand that standing like they’re a carefully arranged game of checkers, does not help the human flow. You can be walking along, and the person a couple of feet ahead of you will just stop. You bump into them with a crash and end up being the one who apologises profusely, as if you were the one who had caused human dominoes to occur!

Wishing the year away. Some people seem to think that by looking forwards to Christmas too early on is the same as wishing your year away. By anticipating Christmas from an early point, you’re not really living in the moment. You’re allowing the final couple of months to pass by without your notice. As if life isn’t already short enough!

The Religious side. Christmas is the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the years, it has distorted to something altogether different. It’s turned into more of a cultural holiday for non-Christians, and is really geared more towards the non-Christians (in my opinion). For some people, the small amount of religious tradition that Christmas has managed to cling onto is considered too religious, and for others, Christmas just isn’t religious enough!

Its ‘fashionable’. Everyone knows that one person who thinks that being a bit of a Scrooge is cool. They go around, posting on Facebook and Twitter, huffing and puffing about Christmas, about how people are too happy, the streets are to bright with lights, the decorations are too tacky. Why kill the joy?

Christmas is supposed to be a celebration (whether you’re religious or not). A time to spend time with family, to give and receive gifts, to show one another love and care! I’m sure that within a few days, I will have posted another blog similar to this, explaining why I personally love Christmas so much. Do you love or hate the run up? If you hate it, are there any reasons that I haven’t mentioned yet?

Look out for my upcoming blog on why I love Christmas so much!