things that make me smile – Christmas Edition

2022, christmas

Hello!

I haven’t done one of these for a while and things are a bit… bleak in my brain at the moment so I thought I’d write a list of all the things that have brought me joy in the Christmas season!

  1. Having squares of chocolate for breakfast and it being societally acceptable because it’s an advent calendar.
  2. Having my husband home from working on the World Cup in Qatar, especially when he surprised me by putting on his Christmas pyjamas that make him look extra adorable.
  3. Mince pies. I am restraining myself but I could eat a pack a day, I swear.
  4. Our new tree! We’ve always had fake trees in our families and whilst we had a lovely tree that was second hand from my mum, when my aunt told us about a 7ft6 tree in the sale for £30 at B&Q I was there – we now have a tree that is taller than my husband and it’s beautiful.
  5. I don’t like buying lots of new decorations every year because I feel it’s wasteful when there’s plenty of perfectly good decorations in our collection, however we went to a pub that had these tinsel dinosaurs and whilst I wanted to put one in my bag, my husband did the sensible thing and asked where they were from. The next day we went to the Range and now we have festive t-rex’s.
  6. Cosy nights in – I know a lot of people hate the dark nights, but I kind of love it? When you’re inside, the fairy lights are twinkling, you’re tucked up under a blanket with your favourite person watching something fun on TV? Absolute bliss. Controversial opinion – I love summer evenings with friends and BBQs but the 99% of summer that I’m not doing that, I hate that it’s still light when I go to bed. And the summer time clock change? Don’t get me started.
  7. Expanding on my previous point – fairy lights. I love fairy lights. In the last two houses we’ve moved in to, one of the first things I’ve done to decorate is put up fairy lights in a variety of rooms. I absolutely adore them and the dark evenings are the perfect time to maximise twinkly light time.
  8. Planning presents – don’t get me wrong, Christmas shopping can be stressful, but I love making lists and planning things so when everything comes together and you realise you’ve got everything you need? That is a level of satisfying that is unmatched – you don’t get that at any other time of year!
  9. Frosty mornings – granted, I would like these less if I still had a 7am commute to work, but waking up to crisp white outside my bedroom window and seeing the way it glitters in the sunlight? I love it. Predominantly from inside though.
  10. Knitwear. Scarves, jumpers, fluffy socks, fleece lined tights, layers on layers on layers. I love my winter wardrobe.
  11. New Christmas bedding! Again, I don’t buy new bedding every year because that would be so wasteful, but in the post-Christmas sales last year we bought adorable bedding with gingerbread shapes all over it and actually being able to use it this year has been so exciting!
  12. Planning my 2023 Goals – more New Year than Christmas but it’s one of my favourite parts of the season. I love goal setting and each year I get better at setting goals that are more attuned to my wants and actually achieving them! It’s been a hard lesson to learn to let go of some things (rather than make myself do it for the sake of ‘completing a goal’) but knowing what I don’t want to work on in various aspects of my life is as important as what I do want to work on.
  13. Christmas Specials on TV – although we won’t be getting a Doctor Who Christmas Special this year, I’ve already seen ads for Taskmaster and The Great British Bake-Off as well as the new Matilda movie coming to Netflix on Christmas Day! And Big Fat Quiz of the Year is always a staple in our house.
  14. Christmas music – the old classics; Step Into Christmas, Last Christmas, Stop The Cavalry, they’ll always be my favourites, but my husband and I have an ongoing festive playlist that includes surprisingly catchy songs such as You Make It Feel Like Christmas (Gwen Stefani), It’s Christmas Time (Macklemore), and A Very Spidey Christmas featuring Chris Pine as Spider-Man. Go listen, you will have no regrets.
  15. The Annual Trip To The Garden Centre – it’s not really Christmas if my mum and I don’t go to her local garden centre to look at all the Christmas stuff and I get to pick a decoration. Which leads to…
  16. My husband picking the most ridiculous new decoration every year. This year it was a crocodile fairy in some sort of glittery tutu and wings that look suspiciously like a Native American Indian Headdress. A couple of years ago it was a festive crab. They live on the back of the tree.
  17. Making paper chains – a simple but classic tradition in my house.
  18. Cooking! I know some people dread cooking the Christmas dinner, but this year will be our first year having people to us for Christmas and I’m excited for us all to be milling about in the kitchen and helping out and having lots of leftovers. PoppyCooks 12 Days of Christmas Potatoes series on tiktok has been very inspiring (and looks incredibly delicious).
  19. Reading festive books – I’ve got a couple of books that I’ve been saving for this time of year and I’m currently working my way through a Cluedo-esque Christmas murder mystery and it’s very intriguing. It’s called ‘The Christmas Murder Game’ by Alexandra Benedict.
  20. Seeing other people’s exciting Christmas activities on socials – my friend’s children meeting Santa? A trip to a local light show? A cute Christmas market in a town or city that’s nowhere near me? Yes. Please. I love Christmas and I love seeing other people having a lovely time!
  21. Hot chocolates. I don’t think I need to explain this.
  22. All the festive party food in the supermarkets – my husband and I have made it a tradition to have our Christmas Eve meal to be all the beige party food and it’s one I hope we continue for as long as possible. Gimme those potato skins.
  23. I don’t know why, but board games, card games and puzzles are so much more popular at Christmas and I know I’m so excited to spend some time off screen this year and really be in the moment with the people I’m spending Christmas day with – it’s going to be a small one this year so lots of food, lots of games and good company sounds perfect to me!
  24. Watching Arthur Christmas on Christmas Eve. An incredibly underrated Christmas film, in my opinion, and realistically the only one I will watch this year.
  25. My tinsel curtain! What started as a silly surprise for my mum when we lived with her after graduating has become something that I look forward to every year. Don’t ask me how much money I’ve spent on tinsel.

Even just writing this post has put me in the nicest mood! Sometimes forcing yourself to find positives can be a great way to prove to your brain that they are there, even when instinct tells you they’re not.

Hope you’re feeling festive and staying safe!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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