30 Day Writing & Image Challenge, Expat Life, Food & Drink, Parenting & Motherhood

Day 7: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

The pine candle is lit; the fairy lights are sparkling; the snow globe is snowing; It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! After feeling the Thanksgiving cheer of delicious food, Santa themed films and being curled up in our cosy home while temperatures plummeted, we decided it was the perfect time to dust off the Christmas box and get festive!

As prep for our decorating session, we went to our local English store for some Christmas goodies. Penny Ha’Penny is one of my Wilton haunts and it’s where I get all of my favourite culinary fixes from home. They sell everything from Liquorice Allsorts to Yorkshire Tea, Milk Tray to Bisto. There are some things you just can’t give up.

We picked up our consignment of mince pies ($14 for a box of six – that’s about 11 quid a box… obscene prices under normal circumstances, but on this occasion, worth every single cent) and came home to get out the tinsel, pop the champagne and begin the build up!


We don’t get a real tree because we head back to England to spend Christmas with our family so it seems wasteful, but we always light a candle to bring the smell of pine trees to our living room. Plus, we now have a little person crawling the floors and I don’t think he’d appreciate pine needles in his knees!

Our tree is decorated with non coordinated baubles that we’ve bought or been given over the last ten years and every year I feel nostalgic at the memories each of them hold.

Christmas Memories

When I was younger I’d spend hours wrapping gifts, picking the perfect paper and finding matching ribbons. I’d curl the ends with scissors to make them twirl like spindles and stack them at odd angles under the tree to look of piles of gifts thrown there by Santa. Anything I wrap now gets squashed in the suitcase and comes out looking like the dog ate it!

Then there’s the time spent eating boxes of Quality Street and watching It’s a Wonderful Life, The Queen’s Speech and Coronation Street (because there’s always a cliffhanger on Christmas Day) while sipping Bailey’s and falling asleep in front of the fire. Everyone has different memories of time spent with the people love and each of them is special because it’s theirs.

The Real Meaning of Christmas

The tree and decorations, food and TV are definitely big parts of Christmas for me, but I think the thing I love most is the spirit. Being together, forgetting your troubles, toasting a glass and looking out for one another. The real joy at Christmas is making others smile, whether it’s with gifts for the kids or spending time with the people you love. My family isn’t religious, but I don’t think that matters.

Now, with my son in tow, the next few Christmases will be about bringing the joy I had as a child to him in every way that I can.




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