ABC’s of the Holiday Season and Winter

Towards the beginning of Fall I wrote my ABC’s of Autumn list. But now that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, it was time for me to start thinking ahead to the rest of the Holiday period and the winter. Plus I love saying “Winter is coming” in order to make Game of Thrones references in everyday life as frequently as possible.

And no matter how much I hate the cold and the dark, England does look magical around the holidays.

ABCs of Winter


Central London last December.

Advent calendars. I LOVE them. Sam told me a story of how his dad would write them riddles every day in the calendar and they’d have to solve the riddle to find their chocolate/candy which pretty much makes him win at advent calendars.
Bunting. It sounds tacky, but Sam knows how much I like bunting so he said that we’d make some bunting together for the new place.
Christmas (could this be anything else for me?!) As of right now, Sam and I don’t have plans for Christmas which means it might be the first time we’ve spent the holiday together without his family.
Decorations. I love decorating for the holidays. Sam had never heard of popcorn chains before, he thought I was making it up, so we will definitely make one this year!

our first christmas tree
Decorating our tree last Christmas.

Early snowy mornings when you are the first one out and about. I’m naive enough to still find it magical to be the first one to make tracks on the snowy ground.
Fairy lights become more socially acceptable. If I had my way, I’d have fairy lights up all year long. But I don’t want to totally girlify our flat so for Sam’s sake fairy lights are kept relegated to Christmas.
Gingerbread House. Last year Sam and I made HIDEOUS  gingerbread men. This year I’d really like to make a gingerbread house.
Hot Chocolate. My inner 5 year old still loves no hot drink better than a delicious, rich, creamy mug of hot chocolate.
Iceskating. For the past 3 winters Sam and I have kept telling each other that we will take the other iceskating. Maybe this is lucky winter #4 and it will happen!
Jingle Bells and other Christmas music which I unabashedly love.
Kissing by fires, under mistletoe, on Christmas morning, on New Year’s Eve. The list goes on. Actually, I’ve never kissed anyone under mistletoe. Shocked?
Love Actually. Aka the best Christmas movie ever. Although I do also love “A Year Without Santa” just because of the snow and heat misers.
Mulled ciders and wines. Especially homemade simmering away on the stovetop smelling delicious and about to taste even better in my tum.
New Year’s Eve fireworks. I love ringing in the New Year watching the fireworks with a glass of bubbly. It’s a lot of fun and not overwhelming like being at a huge party or club for NYE.

london in the winter
Snowy Crystal Palace, January 2013

Open fires. I love bonfires and fireplaces. Curling up next to a fire with a good book is one of life’s luxuries.
Paper hats and other things from crackers. It’s probably because Christmas crackers aren’t a typically “done” thing in America that I enjoy them. (To be honest, until I came to England I kind of thought they were something that only existed in Harry Potter…*that’s embarrassing* But I also thought “sellotape” was magical HP tape.) Now a small child and I get equal amounts of enjoyment out of them.
Quilts and wrapping up warm and watching Christmas movies and romantic comedies.
Rediscovering all my winter clothing. It’s been in storage since we moved to Stratford, and when we came back to London it was too hard to get it out (it was at the back of the unit) so all my jumpers and thick scarves have to wait to move into our new flat before being worn. (Needless so say, I’ve been a bit chilly lately.)
Sam’s birthday is also Christmas. It puts double the pressure on everyone to make it spectacular! Happy birthday to Sam and Jesus.
Traditions. I think that’s one of the amazing things about the holidays. Celebrating your family’s traditions, learning about others and creating new ones!
Unwrapping presents. Presents galore! I’m not going to pretend to be totally selfless and say I don’t like receiving presents (because I do) but I also love giving them. I love the whole process: brainstorming the prefect gift, then the shopping lastly the wrapping. Not even the crowds on Oxford Street can really get me down. I just like being surrounded by decorations and people finding things for their loved ones. And I love watching people open gifts.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. I hate January, it’s my least favourite month and the only thing that you have you look forward to is Valentine’s Day and the fact that February will be short.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is one of my favourite Christmasy activities in London. Cheesy but I love it. Last year riding the Ferris Wheel over frosty London at night was somewhat magical.
Xylophone Christmas concert for the xylophone band that I started on my fall list.
Yuletide cheer. I love when everyone seems a bit more joyful despite the dark afternoons and cold weather.
Zzzzzzzzz…..the winter is the best time for taking cozy naps. Not that I ever need a justification for naps…

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