My December Traditions

There are some things I feel just have to be done during the run up to Christmas to get me into the holiday spirit. There are all the obvious things like decorating the house, mulling vats of wine, eating mountains of mince pies but I'd like to share some of my own personal traditions and things I am planning to do this month....

Shopping for Presents - Every year I say it would be nice to get all my shopping done before December even starts so I can enjoy the festive period without the hassle of traipsing around busy shops....I don't think this will EVER happen! I think this year I'm off to a good start (meaning I have bought at least 3 presents). I have set myself a personal challenge of buying as much as possible from independent shops and finding gifts which are made by local artists & crafters, so I am really going to enjoy wandering around all the wonderful markets and pop-up shops Bristol has to offer.

Music - Now don't get me wrong I'm all for the cheesy guilty pleasures but there is so much more to Christmas music for me than the rubbish they play on repeat in shopping malls. Unsurprisingly I'm a big fan of vintage singers Christmas albums; Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra (can't beat a bit of big band at Christmas!) If you have Spotify search for 'Vintage Christmas' there are some great playlists on there or better yet create your own. More recently there have been some great alternative Xmas albums  - Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler's 'This is Christmas', Aimme Mann's 'One More Drifter in the Snow' and 'A Very She & Him Christmas' by Zooey Deschanel's band She & Him have become firm festive favourites of mine.

A Very She & Him Christmas

Films - Speaking of everyone's favourite quirky girl Zooey, if you don't watch Elf at some point this month then your doing Christmas wrong! Other favourites of mine include Bad Santa, The Grinch,  also the Harry Potter films & books make me feel Christmassy, oh and I always end up watching Love Actually - like I said guilty pleasure are fine at Christmas. My hidden gem is Olive The Other Reindeer which is a great animation about a Jack Russell dog who thinks she should be a reindeer, it doesn't seem to be very well known but it is on TV each year so check it out. This year I'd really like to see some Xmas film that I've not watched before - I've never seen classics like 'White Christmas' and 'It's A Wonderful Life' and Arthur Christmas which was out a couple of years ago looked really good.

Olive the Other Reindeer 

Crafts - I always long for more time in December to do all the crafty things I'd like to. Whether it's making food goodies for hampers, sending handmade card or hanging handmade decorations, I really have to do something crafty at Christmas time to feel I'm worthy of being on the good list! This year I especially plan on making gifts tags for my presents and having a go at making a reef for our door. Food wise I want to make some scrummy caramalised nuts like the ones I love at the German markets. Also I keep seeing lovey recipes on blogs for homemade marshmallows but we see what time permits.

Do you have any of your own special traditions or are there any Christmas crafts your itching to try this year? I'd love to hear about your special plans for this month.

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