We asked Abby Clements, author of Meet Me Under The Mistletoe, to tell us what makes Christmas ‘Christmas’ for her:
Hello! It’s great to be here with you all on BestChickLit and I hope you’re enjoying the build up to Christmas so far as much as I am. Today I woke up to see a little flurry of snow – there’s nothing like those falling white flakes to make you feel all festive, is there?
As I write this, I’ve just finished decorating our flat – fairy lights, candles, tree, the works. My favourite part to prepare each year is a handmade advent calendar with wooden doors – I fill each day with a treat and a decoration for the tree. It’s a tradition my family had when we were young and it’s nice to be able to carry it on.
I love Christmas shopping – especially with a bag of hot chestnuts in hand – and find it’s most fun with friends, so you can stop for hot chocolate and gossip along the way. The day when Christmas really starts for me though, is when I go around to my mum’s house to make biscuits, which I’ll be doing next weekend. It’s an unhurried day of chat and baking, a few family friends and plenty of mulled wine.
About ten years ago, our family Christmases were fairly quiet, with just me, Mum and my brother and sister enjoying a lovely meal and some fizz, very civilised… Then everything changed – my two nieces and nephew were born and all our lives, and our Christmases, totally transformed! It was definitely for the better. Now the 25th is a pretty riotous occasion, with all
the grandparents and aunts there, wrapping paper flying here and there and lot of laughter. So I suppose while some traditions will always hold true, Christmas sometimes changes along the way too, in ways you can’t always predict. Nothing could beat watching the little ones hanging their stockings up on Christmas Eve and putting snacks out for Santa.
I am also a big fan of the post-lunch lull. That part of the day when everyone’s slumped on the sofa, too full (or full of wine) to move, but still merrily chatting or watching a film together. We normally talk about going for a healthy, reviving walk, but then end up with a glass of sherry doing a jigsaw instead! The meal, and all the organisation are out of the way, and there’s that easy companionship family brings. Lazy bliss.
This Christmas is going to be a special one, as after two and a half years together my boyfriend and I have just got engaged. He surprised me on a trip away to Italy last weekend and I was left a bit speechless! But I eventually remembered to say a big YES. We’re both really excited about everything ahead and it’ll be great to be able to celebrate with friends and family over the coming weeks.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas – I’d love to hear what makes it Christmassy for you!