Christmas Spirit

‘Tis the season to be jolly and all that, so I thought a festive blog was in order. I know it’s a cliche, but as with so many cliches, it has reason to be so: Christmas is my favourite time of year. And no, I’m not just saying that.

Christmas is the reason December only seems half as dull as it would do, the very holiday responsible for the warm feeling that grows as the big day approaches, bringing whole families together, regardless of tiffs or bickering. I have a confession though…I prefer Christmas Eve.

Naturally, we have our own traditions; carved out of the ones our parents grew up with – a perfect symphony of two families. It just so happens that ours revolve around December 24th. I come from a big Italian family on my mother’s side, which means that food plays a somewhat heavy role in the celebrations. So, whilst the men pay a visit to the pub, the women stay home at my Grandma’s, cooking and playing with the children, and that’s where the magic happens. From Zippoli to Baccala, traditional family recipes passed down through generations appear on the table, right before the pasta (as a starter in true Neopolitan style) and the variety of fishy offerings. Other than the evident lack of meat, it’s not a very religious affair. The meal that follows is enjoyed by the whole family, sat around the table together pulling crackers and reading the bad jokes.

Baccala-fritto zeppole_di_natale_5

photos property of Google Images

A more recent addition is the “Christmas Eve surprise” left by Santa (in this case, lovingly supplied by my Nonna), a little gift of pyjamas to sleep in that night (or, wriggle restlessly in, waiting for the big man in the red suit to drop down the chimney). The past few years have seen riddles sent my text (although pulling this off seamlessly is something we’ve yet to perfect.

I won’t list all of our traditions, but suffice to say there are many, and it is these things, not the gifts, that make Christmas special.

Cheesiness over, I promise. I thought I’d add it a little selection of the gifts I received this year – as an inspiration point if your gifts to others didn’t go down as well as you’d hoped; or just a guide to the sales.

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Clockwise from top left: Marc Jacobs Macbook case, Laura Mercier primer, Pass The Pigs, Zara embroidered clutch bag, 1984 by George Orwell, It by Alexa Chung, Green & Black’s Butterscotch Chocolate, Zara coat, Topshop holographic clutch, Topshop nightshirt, crop top with frill, Laura Mercier face powder, camoflage concealer duo.

Speaking of sales and traditions, a new one for me was a visit to the Trafford Centre at 8am this morning. What ensued was queueing (Selfridges, I’m talking about you), handing over the bulk of my Christmas money (thank you, Zara) and fighting a fellow shopper for the last size (Topshop, you’ll be glad to hear  won)! Whether it was worth it or not is debatable. I got to actually leave the house on Boxing Day and picked up a few bargains along the way, but it got me thinking: why do we feel the need to rush to the shops at the first chance we get, despite having just received so much? Perhaps its our intrinsic instinct to find a bargain, or maybe we’re just greedy. Heck, it might even be a mixture of the two…

Whatever you did this Christmas, whatever your traditions or views on Boxing Day sales, I hope it was a merry day!

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