It’s finally here! It’s December and we can start properly counting down to Christmas! It’s the time when we can put Christmas tunes on and dance around, drink sparkly things and of course have the odd mince pie or two….oh yes and that Elf makes an appearance for 24 days (more on that later).

It’s hard to say what is my favourite thing about this time of year, but still at the age of 38, I get that butterfly in the tummy excited feeling that I did when I was a little girl.

It comes from seeing Christmas lights twinkling, the anticipation of family and friend get togethers, and of course allowing ourselves some down time.

Here are some of our Hoogaly Christmas traditions:

Movie Night

We pick a Christmas film, put out a blanket, cook pizzas for a carpet picnic and sit together and feel all fuzzy and festive.

Christmas Tree Day

We like a real tree. Yes the needles are a pain in the bottom (literally!), but you can’t beat the smell of a real pine tree. We pick a day, put on welly bobs and wrap up warm(last year it was snowing) and go and choose our tree from the local forest. This is a festive treat in itself, but add elves who help carry the tree and Christmas music, we’re totally in the festive zone. When we get home, the decorations are brought out of the loft and we spend time making our tree look beautiful. Top this off with festive lights in the window, a mince pie and a glass of something sparkly and we have the perfect festive day.

Elf on the Shelf

We don’t know why we ever started this tradition in our house, and it is annoying when you climb in to bed and realise that your Elf hasn’t positioned himself correctly for the following morning. However, having the Elf come to stay for advent does add to the excitement and ultimately, the smiles on a little person’s face are totally worth it….I’m plotting using him to help with chores this year!

Day out with my Dad

Every Christmas, my Dad and I have a day out. We take in the Christmas markets and go for a special meal. I can’t remember when this tradition started, but I can’t imagine a Christmas without it now. Yes I’m a total Daddy’s girl, but these days are rare and it’s important that we have this day together, just once a year.

A walk on the Beach

I know it’s cold, but during the Christmas break, we try to have a day at the beach. As long as it’s a dry day (it’s no fun in the rain!), we take flasks of tea and hot chocolate, wrap up in gloves, hats and wellybobs and go for a stroll along the beach. Getting fresh air and running around even just for half an hour feels amazing. And later when we get home and all warm in front of the fire, our cheeks have a lovely rosy glow.