Following on from yesterday’s post, today I’m excited to be sharing my first ‘What Christmas means to me’ chat – with Katie from BeNourishd. Katie shares her thoughts on going for a walk on Christmas day, an unusual favourite festive film choice and how she’ll be waiting for a very special arrival…
Thank you so much Katie – it’s great to hear your stories!
What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?
My favourite tradition as a child was definitely opening stocking presents on my parents’ or grandmother’s bed (depending on where we were). I used to absolutely love waking up at the crack of dawn to run into their room with my stocking and their stockings if they had done one. I had a stocking until I was well into my mid twenties and it was still probably my favourite tradition then! I have to say, though, that as I got older, I became a lot more conscious of the ‘stuff’ that I got in the stockings.
My parents are brilliant gift buyers, so the things inside the stocking were always lovely, but by the very nature of stockings, they weren’t necessarily things I needed, and I just hated having so much stuff. I also moved house a lot in my twenties, so packing and unpacking all the little bits got too much, and we stopped the stocking tradition. Now that we’re about to have a small one, I can see this starting up again quite soon, though!
My favourite Christmas tradition now is a fairly new one. My husband and I try to do something active on Christmas morning – between the big breakfast and the big lunch, it’s nice to get outside and get some fresh air. One year we hired Boris bikes and cycled up to St Paul’s, one year we were in Florence, so we went for a long walk for most of the day around the city, and last year we were in Cornwall, so went for a walk along the sea. This year, I’ll be 39 weeks pregnant, so we might not be quite so active, but I’m still hoping to get to the local park for a short walk.
Me and my Dad on my first Christmas
Do you have any special memories of Christmas as a child that have stayed with you into adulthood?
Ha, my favourite memory of Christmas as a child is when I was sleeping in my cousin’s room at my aunt’s house one year, and woke up in the night to find my aunt, wearing a Santa hat and with a fake beard around her neck, putting our stockings out! I had kind of suspected for a little while that Santa wasn’t real (my experiences of Santa in Trinidad weren’t quite the same as I’d seen on TV…), but that sealed the deal. I remember pretending to still be asleep, because I knew somehow that it was quite important that she and my parents still thought I believed in Santa!
Me and a very sweaty Santa!
Do you plan to make gifts for loved ones at Christmas? Or, how do you go about buying gifts?
Yes. I’m hoping to make some edible gifts for my family this year. A few years ago I made a delicious caramel sauce, but this year I think I’ll be going a bit simpler and making some peanut butter and oatmeal cookies.
I always want to buy all of my presents online, but I never quite manage to do so. I tend to get presents for Peter and my parents online, as I usually know exactly what I want to get them, and then go into town to browse for presents for the rest of my family. Sometimes you don’t know what to get someone until you see it, but I do try my hardest to get things that people will actually use regularly, wear or eat, so that it isn’t just something quirky that they smile at when they open and then never look at again! Back to my problem with ‘stuff’!
What is Christmas 2014 looking like for you? Any exciting plans?
I have absolutely no idea what it’s going to be like. We did have big plans to host a huge family Christmas at ours, but being due the week after Christmas kind of kiboshed that idea! If I’m not in labour, I’ll be at my parents’ house enjoying a delicious Christmas meal. If I am in labour I’ll either be at home (although I’m still hoping for a turkey delivery from my dad) or I might be in hospital having a baby! It’s quite weird not to be able to know what we’re doing. The same goes for New Year and my birthday, which is in early January. I’m a massive planner, so not being able to plan anything is quite a strange feeling…
What’s a typical Christmas dinner setting like for you? Do you go all out traditional with turkey and Christmas pud, or add in your own family favourites?
Yes – very traditional. Turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, bread sauce, sausages wrapped in bacon, maybe a bit of ham. For dessert there’s Christmas pudding and mince pies and brandy butter. I try not to have too many Christmas meals when out with friends and colleagues in the weeks running up to the big day so that it doesn’t all feel overdone by the time Christmas actually rolls around!
And finally, what’s your all-time favourite Christmas movie?
This is a bit of an odd pick, but Jason and the Argonauts… It isn’t Christmassy at all, but every time I was in London for Christmas as a child it was on TV around Christmas, so it’s got strong associations for me…
If you’d like a more traditionally Christmassy pick, I think it’s probably the Nightmare before Christmas or Elf. Love those films!
Join me this time next week as I share with you some more blogger Christmas stories. Don’t forget to share your memories below – we’d love to see them!