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Christmas traditions

Follow our tips to get into the Christmas spirit

If I have to be completely honest I cannot wait for this year to end… It sucked for so many reasons and it still does but I don’t want this to be stopping me from fully enjoy this merry time. I love Christmas and once more, I’ll make sure it will be a special time for our family.

I’m one of those people who usually starts organising Christmas very early and I love creating memories during the months leading up to Christmas.

So far this year,  I’ve felt a bit less into the festive spirit and a bit more like Scrooge… I have therefore compiled a list of activities/things that in the past helped all of us getting into the Christmas spirit and made us enjoy this fabulous time of the year.

  1. Listening to holiday tunes

We usually pick traditional songs like “White Christmas” or “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” but this year we discovered the Mr Tumbles’ Christmas party cd which was only released last week. The album contains 20 much loved classic Christmas songs with a Mr Tumble twist. The kids go crazy every time we put it on and they cannot stop jumping and dancing. Perfect for creating the Christmas mood 🙂

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2.  Starting an advent calendar

Some time ago my mum gave us a lovely wooden advent calendar which I fill every year with little treats for the children. For the past couple of years though,  I enjoyed making a very different advent calendar. Since I’ve discovered cake pops I’ve been kind of obsessed with them so I thought, why not making a cake pop to eat each day during the Christmas countdown?

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3. Infusing your house with a festive scent

I can’t get enough of smelling cinnamon and apple spices around the house. Every year around this time, I buy tonnes of smelly candles and spiced apple sprays.

cinnamon candle Every now and then during the day I spray the essence around the house and at night I light a scented candle and the gorgeous subtle smell of cinnamon fills the rooms with a warm inviting holiday scent… magic!

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Making festive cake pops

I’m just mentioning cake pops but any treats that can be Christmassy decorated and that you can make with your kids, it’s a good way to make you feel merry.

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5. Baking more Christmas treats 

The year I baked all these goodies was when my family came over from Italy and we celebrated Christmas all together.

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I loved preparing the dessert table, it just looked so pretty and the atmosphere was so Christmassy!

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6. Hanging lights around the house

I know it is too early for the tree but I think it is not a bad idea starting to hang some lights around the house. They make our home look so cosy and they do create a festive atmosphere.

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7. Watching Christmas movies

What’s Christmas without watching “The polar express” or “Home alone”?!? This year we have already watched them twice and last weekend we had Arthur Christmas on and Mickey’s once upon a Christmas. Next on the list is “A Christmas carol”!

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8. Preparing mulled wine

What is better than watching a great movie while sipping hot mulled wine? I think it is the perfect drink for those cold nights spent snuggled up on a sofa with a blanket. Plus simmering mulled wine makes the house smell amazing!

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9. Making a wreath with leaves

I found this easy wreath on Pinterest and I’m definitely going to give it a go! Every day on our way back from school we pick many fallen leaves so soon we’ll be ready to put them together and hang the natural wreath on our door.

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10. Wearing a Christmas jumper

Can you tell by the fuzz pills the that I’ve had this Rudolph Christmas jumper for a couple of years now? But I LUUVE it and every year I wear it because it puts me in a Festive mood

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11. Going ice skating

I’ve been telling my husband I’d like to go ice skating for years now and we have only been once! This year I’m keen to go and take the kids with me, I’m sure they will have a ball! Plus the whole Winter Wonderland in Edinburgh is such a magic place that you cannot miss.

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12. Attending holiday events happening in town

I literally just booked our tickets to go to the street of lights in Edinburgh! Gorgeous lights will lit up George Street in Edinburgh from the 20th of November until the 24th of December. There will be over 60,000 beautiful bulbs of light alongside synchronised music from local choirs and bands. I cannot wait!

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13. Reading Christmas books

We have plenty of books about Christmas but this particular one was given to Beatrice when she was only one year old and she still keeps it in her room. The kids have always been fascinated by the colourful pictures and the choice of sounds which are truly magical.  We have the sound of Santa walking in the snow, the clock ticking midnight, the swoosh of the magic sleight and a festive Christmas music. We love reading it all together!

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16. Exploring other Christmas holiday traditions

Since I can remember at home in Italy, we always had the “Santa Lucia” tradition. The night of the 13th of December we used to prepare our shoes in line because an old woman with a donkey was coming to fill the shoes/boots of the (good) kids with presents and sweeties. We had to prepare the bread and water for the donkey and a glass of milk for the old lady.  I started this tradition before having the kids and now experiencing it with the kids it is even more precious!

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Here we go, I think I have included everything that usually works for us.

And remember if you don’t put an effort in celebrating special occasions, then all days are the same and that’s kind of boring 😉

 

We are ready for Christmas!

I can honestly say this year I’m particularly emotional about Christmas. Both my children are now visibly excited about this magic time of the year and I’ve wanted to do my best to create the perfect Christmas atmosphere and enjoy every single moment all together.

In the last few weeks we talked about Nativity, sang Christmas songs, watched Christmast movies and obviously baked Christmassy cookies and treats for the whole family!

We started celebrating the countdown at the beginning of December when we made our Cake pop advent calendar.

Then we made a garland of little gingerbread Santas and some Christmassy cookies: a boot, a tree, an angel and a star and we put them in little boxes to give to our neighbours.

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We made Christmas cake pops!

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We made glittery candles to place on the top of the fire place and to decorate our Christmas golden table.

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we made salty dough to prepare some glittery gingerbread men

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The night of the 12th of December we prepared our shoes for “Santa Lucia”. In my family waiting for Santa Lucia and her donkey who arrive during the night while the children are asleep, has always been an exciting experience. When we were little my mum thought Christmas was too much about presents and very little about the real meaning , so she used to have Santa Lucia bringing us the presents instead of Santa.

We had to prepare our shoes in line and leave some water and bread for the donkey. The next morning the shoes overflew with sweets and presents and I can still remember the excitement in my dad’s voice ” E’ arrivata Santa Lucia, e’ arrivata Santa Lucia” (Santa Lucia has been here!) so we used to jump straight out of bed and go and check our shoes.

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Amazing memories which will be with me forever. And this is the reason why I was very keen to carry on this tradition. This year Bee and I carefully prepared the shoes, the bread and water for donkey and we wrote a letter asking Santa Lucia to make sure that donkey didn’t poo poo inside the house (Bee saw me cleaning the floor during the day so she was concerned lol!). It was really funny and spending time together preparing for her arrival was magic.

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Yesterday we made more gingerbread dough to make an Edible Nativitiy and more vanilla cookies to fill with jam.

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Then in the afternoon we baked 6 little baby panettoni and a big one to eat all together on Christmas eve.

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We covered some oreos cookies with white chocolate…

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And made more chocolate treats!

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Last week we have been watching Christmas movies like “Home Alone” and “The Polar express”, many nights we put our Christmas cd on and danced all together! We truly are into the Christmas spirit and we love it! Tonight we all will be wearing our new Christmas jumpers (I bought one for every single member of the family)  and will be singing Christmas songs and being silly! What a wonderful precious time!

Buon Natale everyone!