ABCs of Winter

It’s that time of year again, when I get to go Christmas crazy! I just love Christmas and I’m always impatient for it to get here. We don’t have a tree up yet and I’m so eager for it to be in our sitting room already.

ABCs of Christmas
calendar races. Every year, Sam and I both get an advent calendar and each morning we “race” to see who gets the chocolate out first. We keep a tally on the fridge and whoever has had the most individual wins is the overall winner. I’ve been victorious the past two years, so I’m feeling pretty confident. 

Birthdays. Sam is a Christmas baby, so I feel double the pressure to make it a special day! 

Cooking Christmas dinner. Sam and I have promised to do the cooking this year at his dad’s house. We’ve been recipe planning and mulling over some meal ideas already. 

Decorating the house. I make a point to always wait at least until after Thanksgiving to decorate, but a seasonal candle or two may have snuck their way out a bit early… 

Elf and other great Christmas films. I dare you to watch Elf and not feel happier afterwards! 

Fireworks. We live in one of the most elevated parts of London so from a local park you can see the entire city of London fireworks display. Winning! Free and we don’t have to travel on the tube on NYE.

Gingerbread houses. I haven’t made one in years so I think it’s time to give it another go. 

Hot beverages and mulled everything! 

Iceskating. We’ve gone the past few years and I always feel equal parts joy and terror (because I am a rubbish skater and scared of falling). This year, I’d like to skate at the Tower of London rink, if possible. I’ve always gone to the South Kensington locations in the past. 

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle alll the wayyyyy. I start singing Christmas tunes in about September so they are finally seasonally appropriate. 

Krampus. Just kidding. I couldn’t think of a ‘K’ word. But has anyone else seen the trailer? It looks insane. I thought ‘Krampus’ was a joke at first…but then I realised that, nope, this movie is entirely serious. It looks dreadful. I’ll probably see it though, let’s be honest. 

Lights. The Christmas lights in our neighbourhood have gone up already and they are so beautiful that I wish they could be up all the time. 

Markets. Surely everyone loves a good Christmas market, right? 

Nights in. During the summer I live to be outside, but in the winter I love nothing more than to be wrapped up in duvets watching films. 

Open fires. I love nestling up close by an open fire in a family member’s home or in lovely pubs. 

Planning. In the midst of all the festive activities, it’s easy to forget that we have something pretty big coming up this summer. When Christmas is over, we’ll be around the 200 day countdown. 

Quiet mornings and country walks. I love being all bundled up with a warm beverage in hand enjoying the winter scenery. 

Ringing in the New Year with Sam in our traditional spot. 

Snow. Some snow would be much appreciated this year! When it first falls London looks so magical! (And then it quickly turns in to disgustingly dirty slush.) 

Traditions. There are few things I love more than having family traditions and joining in with those of others. I love that Sam and I have our own traditions now. (Like decorating our Christmas eggs.) 

Unwrapping gifts. As much as I love to receive gifts, I also love to watch loved ones unwrap the things I’ve picked out for them.

Visa, visa, visa. It’s time to reapply. I had a bad experience last time around getting my partner visa, so my heart is in my throat for its renewal. 

Winter Wonderland. I love going every year to the annual Hyde Park attraction. Yes it’s horrendously crowded but it still makes me feel Christmassy! 

Xylophone band practice for the annual Christmas concert. 

Yuletide cheer. Even in stony-faced London people seem happier around Christmastime. 

Zzzzz’s. Catching up on some sleep over the break. I plan on having a massive Boxing Day lie-in!

See my past ABCs of Winter from 2014 and 2013

What are you excited about this Christmas? 

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  • They are putting up an ice skating rink downtown and I am as well equal parts excited and terrified,I haven’t been ice skating in years!

    • I bet iceskating in Iceland is gorgeous! Is H really good at it? xx

      • I hope not ha, no I don’t think he has gone since he was a kid so we will probably both we slipping all over the place.

  • We only get one ice skating rink here in Cork, and it only comes out at Christmas (and by Christmas, we obviously mean November 1). I nearly died skating on it last year because there’s no zamboni and the ice is just wrecked with hundreds of Irish people who rarely skate – but I can’t wait to go back this year. And I’m so sorry about your visa, my fingers and toes are crossed. Positive thinking xx

    • Thanks Sarah! And also it seems crazy that there is no zamboni! Talk about a pitted ice death-trap! (Maybe a slight exaggeration?) xx

  • This made me feel so super festive! We put our tree up last night and now I just need to work on getting presents to sit under it 🙂 x
    Sophie Cliff

  • Great post! I just bought my Advent calendar yesterday! So excited to see what treat I’m getting tomorrow!:)

  • I love your ABCs! 😀 This one has made me feel all warm and Christmassy! Alice xx

  • oh I love your ABCs post – I might steal it this season 😉

  • The cramps movie looks TERRIFYING. Can’t handle scary movies anymore. Good luck with your visa stuff, have you had to take the life in the UK test yet?

    • No life in the UK yet. Now a days you have to apply for a partner visa twice before being eligible for ILR. :/ xx

  • Yay time for another ABC’s! Love all the festive fun you’ve mentioned – such a great time of year 🙂

  • I am impressed with the full alphabet – agree with pretty much all of them!

  • Right, so this advent calendar race. Can you stay up til midnight and eat your chocolate then? Or is that cheating? What if you get up at 3am to “pee” and just happen to open your chocolate? What are the rules? What are the parameters? Why does Sam suck so much at this? 😉

    Also, I’ve never heard of Krampus. Some Googling awaits.

    • Okay so this is how it works. No one is allowed to look at their advent calendar and/or study it to find where the chocolates are. And you have to do it at exactly the same time, so there’s no midnight chocolate advent snacks. I think Sam’s bad at it because his big ole fingers can’t get through the flaps as easily as mine can 😉 xx

  • Oh my lord, Krampus looks absolutely terrifying! I’m most looking forward to family at Christmas. It’s what it’s all about for me. This year will be the first year my brother isn’t coming home (he’s staying with his girlfriend) so that will take some getting used to!

  • Love it! Forgot about Gingerbread houses – sounds like fun!

  • Ahh I love this. So much to look forward to over the festive season 🙂

  • I love this A-Z of the festive season. Such a fun way to remember all your traditions! Makes me impatient to get a tree into our flat and start decorating! 🙂

  • Kelly Michelle

    Ahhh such a cute post Amanda! Your visa will be fine, I got mine last January and stressed for months about it. There’s a great book on amazon called Gingerbread Wonderland, it’s less than £3 and it has so many fancy gingerbread designs inside – I bought it so mum can make Lisa and I gingerbread houses!

    Merry Christmas


    • I’m going to go head off and get this steal of a book RIGHT now! Thanks for the suggestion! (And for your kind visa words, I feel sick to my stomach whenever I think about it.) xxx