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1.12.16

An Ideal Christmas with Ideal World



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An Ideal Christmas, what is that? Christmas is messy and chaotic and it's a constant battle to steer yourself away from the commercial aspects towards something more... real. Traditions help. They ground us, they provide a solid foundation for seeing beyond all of the shiny stuff to what it's really about. Here are some of my traditions in association with Ideal World who have everything you need to create a Christmas rich in tradition and sentimentality. From gifts to wrapping paper to cookery books - they even have the tree covered

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1. We traditionally wait until the 1st of December to put our Christmas decorations up. This year they went up on November 27th because toddlers don't understand traditions, they do however understand how delicious Lindt chocolate bear tree decorations are

2. Each year we take it in turns to make each other an advent calendar. Some days have little joke toys in or a bar of chocolate, some days have tickets to the theatre, a new watch, a bottle of champagne to share out between us that evening. I'm not ashamed to say that I adore this tradition, it's romantic and thoughtful and I hope we always love and care about each other enough to do it

3. We go to "Christmas Breakfast" at my aunt and uncles house on Dartmoor. It's usually at lunchtime but we all still refer to it as "Christmas Breakfast" because I think it used to be a morning thing before my cousins and I all discovered alcohol and nightclubs. Now we all have kids and there is zero chance of gathering us in one place before 2pm. My aunt and uncle live in the middle of the nowehere in a cabin only accessible by 4x4 vehicles so we take it in turns being taxied through the woods and across on to the moors balancing plates of wonky homemade Vol au Vents on our laps. It's cute and I'll be sad when we don't do that any more

4. Dan and I create an idealised vision in our head about how cute it would be to go to a Christmas market. We go to one and instantly regret our decision when we can't find parking and spend the first 20 minutes getting stabbed with umbrellas in the drizzle. Obviously we forgot to bring our own umbrellas. We stand in a doorway sharing a hog roast roll and bitch about how commercial everything is. Then we spend £50 on some twigs someone has crafted into a wreath and congratulate ourselves on a job well done

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5. We attend a party. My dad brings his homemade spicy pickled onions. They are disgusting but I love them. I usually eat half the jar and can't talk to anyone for the rest of the evening because my breath is so bad, except my dad who eats the other half of the jar. It's like a weird self-imposed segregation because we aren't "people" people

6. We go for a festive walk and take photographs of each other playing in the leaves. Afterwards, to warm up, my brother and I drink mug after mug of "Christmas coffee,' which is basically just coffee but with Baileys instead of milk, until we both get migraines

7. My mum tells the story about a cat that we used to own that ate a string of tinsel and spent the festive period with said tinsel trailing out of its bum. We were apparently advised to let it "work it's own way out" by a vet but our neighbours thought we had poked it up there for decoration.  Even though none of us can remember this cat or this event she insists on telling this story every year and I still have a strong aversion to tinsel as a result

8. We spend at least one Sunday afternoon playing board games en-mass. Last year I rather naively chose the game "cards against humanity" before quickly deciding that I never want to hear my father-in-law say the word "cum" ever ever again as long as I lived, so help me god. This year I'll make more responsible board game choices

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9. We go to the Christdingle service at our church. My gran would always take us as children but now we take her. We usually have to explain to her what is happening and where we are. We help her to her feet to sing the hymns and she points to one of the small children exclaiming that my brother is getting big. My twenty-one year old brother holds her hand and catches my eye with a sad smile. Every year this tradition hurts because I'm scared it'll be the last time

10. After church go to "The Local." It's a terrible run-down "one man and his dog" type pub, where everyone wears wellies or high-vis or a festive combination of wellies and high-vis. I get stared at for wearing neither. I usually get called a stuck-up bitch because I write a blog or because I'm wearing something tailored but I'm also usually in high enough spirits to find that endearing. We play seven of the twelve songs on the jukebox on repeat until I've drunk enough to argue back at last orders and then we all walk the cold mile home, singing christmas songs and sharing cheap bar snacks

11. When we wake up, my sister and I carefully arrange our christmas presents into size order, this is the order we will open them in. Yes, it's weird and slightly OCD but we've done it since we can remember and that is our system so stop judging us

12. Mum, Dad and my sister cook Christmas dinner as a team. My sister is a classically trained chef and my parents are just really great cooks so they're happy to act as sous chefs for her. The rest of us are idiots. We just try to stay out of the way, sidling in from time to time to stuff the odd pig-in-a-blanket into our mouths to "check for poison." The dinner is always ridiculously professional and one of the reasons why we always have christmas at home, because no restaurant, regardless of michelin stars has ever beaten my dads roast potatoes

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A big thank you to Ideal World for sponsoring this post and providing me with everything my family needs to keep our traditions alive

What are your Christmas traditions? 


This post is a sponsored post in collaboration with Ideal World and contains gifted items. Please refer to my Disclaimer for further details.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely adore this post Milly. Every. Single. Point. BRAVO x

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