Wednesday 11 December 2013

My Christmas Spirit - Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge

When I hear Wizard's 'I wish it could be Christmas every day', I can really empathise with the sentiment of the song as there's nothing like the warmth and merriment that the season of good cheer has to offer.

The latest Center Parcs blogger challenge is to write about the 12 things that most get you in the Christmas spirit so here's my list:

1. The tree
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how I love you so! The centrepiece of our lounge, when the tree goes up, you know that Christmas is coming. I love the idea of bringing the outdoors in and really like the rustic look, so berries, pine cones, dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks are all key decorations on our tree. The gentle glow of the fairy lights, the special new decorations each year... What's not to love?

2. The songs
I don't think there's a Christmas song I don't like and there are so many which have a special memory attached. 'Stop The Cavalry' reminds me of my mum dancing up and down the lounge, swishing table napkins in both hands having enjoyed a tipple whilst making Christmas lunch. 'So This is Christmas' by John Lennon was always the first song I heard on Christmas morning, playing on my parents record player, and hubs carries on this tradition for me. And who doesn't love a bit of Shakin' Stevens at this time of year?

They just don't make them like they used to - although I love the new Leona Lewis song - but that's ok, because the old ones ARE the best!

3. The Christmas light switch on
The anticipation of Christmas is amazing and for me, it all starts when the lights go up in town and some celebrity or another, or just St Nick himself, does the honours and turns them on. It transforms drab high streets and never fails to make me smile.

4. The food and drink
There's no point in trying to be good in December, not when there's so much to enjoy, from Snowballs to mince pies, mulled wine to nibbles all evening long. A bit of Christmas spirit(s) should be enjoyed and a cheeky tipple of port when opening presents on Christmas morning is a tradition I intend on keeping. That and Bucks Fizz with breakfast! Of course, there's the big lunch to look forward to, and this year I'll be cooking it for the three of us, as well as hosting Christmas cocktails and canap├ęs on Christmas Eve for our family. It really is a time to indulge and enjoy whatever you like so bring on the buffet I say!

5. The charitable feeling
Christmas brings out the best in people and I felt truly in the spirit of the season when I got involved with Project Shoebox as well as #xmasjumperday. Just doing a little can make a big difference and it really sums up the feeling of the season for me.

6. The clothes
Tacky, cheesy knitted jumpers at the ready! Tis the season of retro taste, where the polyester pullover rules. Oh, and jumping into your PJ's as soon as you get home and snuggling up on the sofa is a must, even if it's only 4pm. What? It's Christmas!

7. The films
Just like seasonal songs, festive films are the perfect way to get into the spirit of Christmas. My particular favourites are The Muppet Christmas Carol (our Christmas Eve tradition), Miracle On 34th Street, Home Alone, Elf, The Santa Clause, The Holiday and Four Christmasses. Pop one of these on and you'll be full of cheer in next to no time.

8. The gifts
It is better to give than to receive (although having a pile of presents to open is wonderful) and I love planning what to buy my nearest and dearest. This year, I started earlier than ever and had everything bought by the end of October and I am so excited to share them with everyone, along with some homemade treats too.

9. The activities
From opening your advent calendar each day to going to festive fairs, meeting Father Christmas and enjoying outdoor events and markets, Christmas is all about getting out and about and there's always so much to do.

10. Friends
Every year, we get together with our closest friends and have 'Mock Christmas'. This year it's being hosted in Durham and it'll be Ethan's first. We spend the day in our festive PJ's, cook Christmas lunch together and enjoy a walk outside before an evening of games and merriment. Why have one Christmas when you can have two?

11. Family 
My mum and dad live in Hampshire so we always plan a trip either before or after Christmas to see them and it's going to be even more special now they have Ethan to spoil. Christmas is about being together and hubs, Ethan and I will be enjoying Christmas Day at home together, with family visiting on Christmas Eve. Perfect. 

12. The magic
As I've said before, Christmas is a time of wonder and having a baby is a great time to start enjoying the magic all over again. It can be as simple as leaving a mince pie out for Santa, but making things magical for your children is about bringing the spirit of Christmas alive.

My favourite tip from Nick at Center Parcs was to get out and about, as to truly get into the Christmas spirit, you need to enjoy the great outdoors and visit loved ones.

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 December challenge. If I'm chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest as I've hard such great things about it.

Fingers crossed!



  1. Totally agree with all of it! :) Good luck!

    Kerry @ Lived With Love | Parenting & Lifestyle blog

  2. I think I would love to spend Xmas in your house. I LOVE pretty much every Xmas song but my husband gets all bah-humbug about them :(. I also love putting up the tree but my as my son was born mid december I now have to wait until later in the month before we put it up so his birthday is not overshadowed. Am putting it up tomorrow and cannot wait! I hope you have a wonderful Xmas this year and best of luck with your entry!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment :) I do go a bit OTT at this time of year but feel it's only fitting! I hope your tree looks amazing, you deserve it! X


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