Friday Five: The Christmas Edition

It’s back – the Friday Five –five things that have taken my fancy or piqued my interest over the week. It was replaced by That’s A Wrap, but I missed the five. It has a ring to it that the wrap doesn’t. So I’m bringing back the five – at least until I get bored again. What better way to start than with a Christmas edition?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Actually, it’s beginning to sound and feel like it too. Although the store decorations start to go up in November – after Melbourne Cup Day is perfectly acceptable – December 1 is the reminder that Christmas really is just around the corner.

This year will be weird for us. It’s our first Christmas in Queensland and our first in our new home. It will also be the first Christmas in the whole of our together lives – this will be our 28th Christmas together – where we’re having the whole shebang at our house. We’ll be away from family back in Sydney, but have friends coming over from New Zealand to share it with us and I can’t wait.

Despite the change of environment, house and pretty much everything else, for our little family, these five things mean Christmas to us:

The Tree

Our tree usually goes up on the first Sunday in December. We have champagne and nibbly things, pop on the carols and generally make a big thing of it. This year as Miss 19 will be in Sydney this weekend, the tree went up early. And yes, there are presents under it. I’ve finished my present shopping and it’s all wrapped – well, everything that can be wrapped, that is.

Why am I so organised? It’s partly because my work schedule is all over the place so I wanted Sarah to take the family pressies back with her, and partly because I loathe shopping centres and wanted to ensure that I wasn’t forced into Sunshine Plaza after December 1.

Nothing on our tree matches. It contains ornaments that have been collected over the years. Some years there’ll be one new one, some years two. This year the ornaments reflect both our sea-change and the Kiwi element to our Christmas – a bauble with a pohutukawa on it.

The carols

Okay, I’m pretty fussy about my carols. I also have (according to my daughter) an embarrassing habit of doing a little booby shimmy at the beginning of the Mariah version of “All I Want For Christmas.” Naturally I tone that down if I’m in public. #havesomestandards

Anyways, we have a playlist and it’s turned on for the tree ceremony, the wrapping ceremony, the baking ceremony and the big day itself.

The tatty scones

My hubby was born in Scotland and his Scottish heritage comes through in our Christmas morning breakfast – potato scones with smoked salmon and crème fraiche. Yum. If you’re interested, the recipe is here.

Christmas Lifestyle Specials

Ok, it’s mostly the cooking shows I’m interested in, but I’ve even been known to watch things like Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas (hosted by Kirstie Allsop from Location Location Location).

Christmas isn’t Christmas without TV specials by Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. I devour the shows and then fantasise about Christmas in London, shopping for produce in Borough market, and preparing sparkling drinks parties for my oh so fashionable friends wearing daggy Christmas jumpers, and feasts for my family and friends.

Christmas movies

Flying from London to Phuket in December 2015, Sarah and I were thrilled beyond words to see all three of our favourite seasonal movies on the Etihad movie list.

We coordinated our viewing and watched them in order – Elf and Polar Express in the London to Abu Dhabi leg, and our absolute favourite, Love Actually, between Abu Dhabi and Phuket.

Each year all three get pulled out and watched progressively in the days leading up to Christmas, with Love Actually being left for Christmas Eve.

What about you? Do you have any traditions around the lead-up to the big day?