What does Christmas mean to YOU?


Christmas is now just one week away, so to add a sparkly sprinkle of Christmas festivity to your moods, I have invited some of my lovely book blogging friends to tell you all about their personal Christmas meanings, traditions and thoughts on the wonderful day that is Christmas Day! There's a hint of everything in ; sadness, love, cheer, excitement, humour and remembrance. All the little things that come together and make Christmas a day to remember each year. So now I'll be handing it over to the fabulous ladies that have helped make this special post what it is. I really hope you enjoy reading all of their precious Christmas feelings and thoughts, and have yourselves a very, merry Christmas.


"Christmas usually begins in November for me. We have a recently established tradition, well we intend to make it a tradition, which involves me and my mum heading off to the Metrocentre in Newcastle to hammer our Christmas shopping, and get as much of it as possible. This year I got almost all of it done when we were there, so score for me. 

Then comes the wrapping and writing of cards. I like to be coordinated. I order my Christmas wrapping and have everyone's presents laid out so that I can wrap them all with ribbons and bows to match each other, I would even go as far as to say that it's a bit obsessive. 

I meet with my two best friends and we exchange gifts together, opening them before Christmas, naughty I know, but we are able to share in the Christmas spirit as we won't see each other on the day. 

The countdown to Christmas then begins and I usually like to take Christmas Eve off work so that I can help my mum with things like setting the table and making last minute adjustments/Christmas card drop offs. Christmas Eve night we all head down to our local church, watch the night service and welcome Christmas surrounded by family and friends in a friendly atmosphere and then head out into a usually chilly night and home to leave out a carrot and milk for Santa and Rudolph!

On Christmas Eve, I usually find it hard to sleep, even though I'm in my twenties. When we wake up, my sister and I head downstairs and wait outside the lounge door until my mum and dad are ready, armed with coffee and bin bags, only then can we enter to see if Santa has been. We exchange gifts and have a small glass of bucks fizz before getting ready, wrapped up and head to Church for the Christmas morning service where we meet friends we've known for years and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Carols are sung and the children in the congregation go up onto the stage to show a present that Santa delivered for them. 

After the service we head home for lunch. Last year we had Christmas dinner at my boyfriend's house. This year, lunch is at our house - not turkey though. Usually we have steak pie, then we watch a movie when we are so full of lunch, dessert and then cheese and biscuits and fall asleep in front of  it before going to my boyfriend's house to spend Christmas night. That is my usual Christmas. 

This year Christmas will be different. 

Last year my gran passed away. My papa joined us early on Christmas morning to open our Santa presents with us and then exchange gifts, he came with us to Church instead of meeting us there and then spent the whole day at our house. After we had dinner at my boyfriend's house we came back to my house and that's when the board games came out. My 90 year old papa wired in, hitting out with hilarious statements and generally just having a great time and enjoying Christmas night with my family round the kitchen table, fizzy wine, chocolate and board games in full swing. 

My papa passed away in June this year, so Christmas 2013 will be an entirely different affair. It will no doubt be sad, but we will be able to recall the memories of Christmases gone by, spent in the company of wonderful family and friends. That is what Christmas means to me. 

Erin xx"

@erinschoicee
erins-choice.blogspot.com

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"Here in Switzerland we celebrate Christmas a bit differently. Santa Claus visits families with children on the 6th of December. He brings some oranges, nuts etc. Then he tells the children what good things they have done in the past year. There is also Schmutzli (wearing all black), his spooky companion. Schmutzli has a skein for all the naughty children. 

We celebrate with our families on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, and the Christmas spirit or Christ child brings our presents. As a child I always had to hide in my room with my brother and grandparents, until the Christmas spirit had arrived with the presents. It's our family tradition to sing a lot at Christmas and we always eat Fondue Chinoise (meat fondue). On Christmas day we celebrate again, mostly with the other part of the family. 

What really gets me into the Festive mood is decorating the house and listening to Christmas songs. I always loved to help my mum putting up our silver stars and angels. We decorate in the colours white and silver. With the Christmas tree we wait until a few days before Christmas, at around December the 20th. It became a tradition that I go buy the Christmas tree with my dad (because he always chooses the wrong ones) and then my mum and I decorate it. 

I absolutely love listening to Christmas songs. That's when I really start to get in the Christmassy mood. I love singing and so I always sing along, which annoys my family sometimes, but I don't care. In the last few years I always had the possibility to take part in Christmas concerts and it was always such a great experience. Last year I was an angel. Unfortunately, this year I didn't have the time, so next year again. It was always really funny when we started rehearsing the songs in September. 

Another thing I really like to do, is baking Christmas cookies, especially with some of my closest friends around. It's so much fun and we always end up in a total mess. 

One last thing I can't without during Christmas is of course all the Christmas books I read, at the moment it's mostly chick-lit. I love diving into a book and forget everything around me. The Christmas spirit in the book transfers into me and I'm all festive. Reading is dreaming with open eyes, and that's also true for all the Christmas books. I can dream about Christmas with the books and I get into the joyful mood. 

Christmas really means a lot to me. I love spending time with my family and getting all dressed up and stuff. My little cousin is five years old now and it's always so cute to have her around in the house at Christmas time, in a cute little dress and surprising her. Since my grandma died it's kind of the only time we meet up as a whole family and my little cousin always makes me smile. Sadly they don't come around that often. 

When I wake up in the morning and then see all the lights, candles and decorations in silver and white I get a really warm feeling and just feel so at home and comfortable. It's nice to have these warm lights inside, when it's freezing cold outside, although I have to say I love Christmas in a Winter Wonderland full of snow. And we get that pretty often here in Switzerland. 

Merry Christmas to all of you and I wish you all a great festive time with moments of laughter, love, happiness and bliss."

@skydreamersimi
skysbookcorner.blogspot.ch

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"Christmas is such a magical holiday. I am a Christmas fanatic! I would have tinsel and garland all over my house if it were up to me! 

I love all the lights and decorations, I love the timeless music and, of course, the shopping! I adore watching the marathon Christmas movies (Home Alone is still one of my favourites). I get excited about all the egg nog and cider - but isn't a lot of this what everyone loves about Christmas? So let's get down on a personal level for a moment, here is a typical Christmas in the life of Stevie J: 

For me, it all starts the day after Thanksgiving (I live in the U.S, in case you weren't aware). To completely appreciate this you must first understand that my significant other is the definition of Scrooge. 

I am curled up on my leather couch flipping through the sale papers from department stores and Jay walks in. I glance up and soak in his gorgeous face. I just start to think how lucky I really am to have a man that looks likes like he walked off a magazine cover - and then he opens his mouth. 

"Oh yes! 'Tis the season to spend money on things no one really needs!"

He plops down on the couch next to me and pulls the sports section from the paper. "I mean it Stevie, this year we aren't buying anything for anyone besides the kids - and they each get three things. Baby Jesus only got three things you know!"

I stare at him and then glance back down to the paper in my hand. That comment just cost him an extra hundred bucks!

Fast forward to putting up the tree. 

"Jay. Babe? Do you want to help decorate the tree this year?"

Jay stops in the doorway and looks blankly at me. "No." He turns and walks back into the kitchen. 

Alright, so now let's go to a normal ride in the car. I turn on the station that plays nothing but Christmas music until the day after Christmas. I start loudly singing Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" and Jay cuts his eyes over me. 

He let's out a heavy sigh and faces back towards the road as he says, "Bah-humbug!" Yes, he actually says that, I told you - he's like Scrooge, except attractive and burly. 

Then comes Christmas morning. 

We wake up and trudge down the stairs to our living room. He pours us both cups of coffee, making sure to put mine in my penguin coffee mug, and then sits next to me on the couch. He turns on Christmas music and plugs in the tree. We hear the girls at the top of the stairs; they look so adorable in their Christmas pajamas. Jay reaches over and gives me a tender kiss on the cheek and says, "Merry Christmas babe." 

We watch the girl's tear through their presents and revel in their excitement. Jay has a perma-smile plastered on his face the entire time. He even starts to sing some of the Christmas carols that are playing on the radio. 

As I'm cleaning up the wrapping paper and getting ready for family to come over for dinner, he looks at me and asks, "So, how much did you spend?"

No matter how much of a Scrooge you are you can't help but love Christmas, even if it is only for a fleeting three hour span on Christmas morning. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Bah-humbug!" 

@StevieJCole
steviejcole.blogspot.com

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"When Rebecca invited me to take part in her Christmas blog posts, I was quite excited! I couldn't wait to see what I would be writing about, so when she asked me to tell her what Christmas meant to me, I was super excited. I love Christmas. It's my favourite holiday. It's the only holiday where you can dress your house up all pretty (except Halloween, but we don't really do Halloween in our house). As soon as December rolls around, it means we're on the countdown to Christmas. From opening my advent calendar (yes, I still have an advent calendar, even at 23) to wondering what presents I will buy, to decorating the tree, it means my favourite time of year has arrived. 

This year our tree went up the first week of December, we bought a new one because our old one was quite patchy, and had massive gaps. So a new one was the order of the day, and it is beautiful. We've put on three sets of lights, tons of baubles, some strings of beads, and a star on the top of course. I thought that was all we were doing this year, but when me and my sister went out Christmas shopping my dad took it one step further, putting lights up outside, lights around the fireplace, and loads of decorations and tinsel on the walls. It now looks 100 times more festive and I love it. It now feels Christmassy as can be and I love seeing the lights on - I'll have them on all day, every day, just to watch them twinkle. I also have my own little Christmas tree up in my room with lights on. Really, I just love the lights I think. 

I have to be super shallow and say my favourite thing about Christmas is the presents. I LOVE receiving new things! But, I also love buying presents for the family. I love wondering what to buy everyone and I had a blast buying presents for my kids cousins when I was in England in November. I love thinking of something to buy my parents and sister that they won't expect and will love so much more than the normal, boring stuff they always ask for. I love buying beautiful wrapping paper, and glittery, sparkly gift tags and I love wrapping my presents as much as I love opening them. I just love the whole gift giving/receiving bit of Christmas. 

Christmas also means a MEGA Christmas dinner. My mam makes a pretty awesome Sunday dinner, but the Christmas dinner eclipses that because you have turkey, bacon wrapped around little mini sausages. You have crackers and silly hats. You can eat your weight in food and it's OK because it's Christmas! It's the only time of year we all sit around the table and it is AMAZING. 

Christmas is just a time for family, for presents, for beautiful tree decorations, for wonderfully happy Christmas movies, for a mega good game of Monopoly. It's the only time of year where you're not really allowed to to argue because everybody should be happy, because it's Christmas for crying out loud. I adore Christmas. I will always love Christmas. It is my favourite holiday, and I just wish we could keep the tree up all year. The only thing that would make my Christmas more perfect, is if it snowed in Tenerife for once because it is super weird waking up on Christmas morning to boiling hot sun." 

@ChickLitReviews
chicklitreviewsandnews.com

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"Although I'm a huge Christmas addict when it comes to my festive reading, the more the merrier which is why I've set myself a Christmas reading challenge in December, the same cannot be said for the actual day itself. It hate it as far too many memories reminding me of what I no longer have. 

My mum was the glue that kept our family together and she was a huge Christmas addict but it's never been the same since she died almost 14 years ago. The first few years afterwards we all would still come together but over time as relationships change we've drifter apart so haven't spent a family Christmas together in quite some time. 

When we were younger it was a big deal putting up the tree and decorations but not as early as everyone seems to be doing it these days, mum was very traditional in that the tree came down on the 12th night but generally didn't get put up until the Sunday before Christmas after we'd come home from Church. Another tradition was going to midnight mass and then coming home and unwrapping a present, although as we got older it was going to the local pub after Church and meeting up with old friends who were all home for Christmas! 

Christmas morning there would always be carols playing with mum singing along from the kitchen as she was prepping the turkey and we always without fail had to watch the Queen's speech followed by playing board games. 

But the one thing that does still remain is the catching up with friends, we all lead such busy lives these days and most of them now have their own kids, and some even grandchildren, so it's nice to be able to catch up over a coffee to see what's going on since we last met up. 

So for me this Christmas I'll be raising a glass in memory of my mum." 

@ShazsBookBlog
shazsbookboudoir.blogspot.co.uk

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"Christmas is such a wonderful holiday. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. It's a time to meet all your relatives that you haven't seen for a while, to share laughs and stories that happened over the years. Christmas to me means something spending time with those you love and who love you, my family. It's not about presents as a lot of kids think. It's all about giving and receiving.

I enjoy the build up for Christmas! The decorations, the music, the movies, the shopping and just getting everything sorted. The only think I surely don't enjoy is wrapping the gifts. I'm not very talented at that. I'm always very happy when I shop for presents around Christmas time, shops offer wrapping for free!

Santa's got a long list of books I want to read. I hope I might get a few of them. 

The gift shopping can be quite exhausting. Running around the shops and looking for presents. I'm relieved when I've got everything I wanted. Despite of that I am just happy. Christmas also means to me I have a couple of days off of work and I can enjoy the time with my family. Christmas also brings up another emotion. Sadness. Why? It is my grannie's birthday on Christmas day. She left us a few years ago and she is very missed during our celebration."

@DWOE_REVIEWS
dreamingwithopeneyesreviews.blogspot.de

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"Christmas for me begins with putting up the decorations, which I have to admit is getting earlier and earlier, although I still have succumbed to putting them up before December! I love the tinsel and the lights and my favourite this year is my matching winter booties, mitten and bobble hat tree decorations - they are so cute!! 

Christmas for me is waking up to a cold, crisp morning, a stillness over the house as the family are fast asleep, then the slight shuffles as one by one we all start to rise and soon the house is full with the hustle and bustle as it comes alive infused with the excitement that awaits on Christmas day. It's about following the little traditions from when you were a child - putting milk and cookies out for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer (even though it is myself that puts them out and and takes them away again! Crazy?) It is about piling up your plate with all the yummy Christmas dinner even though you know you can't possibly eat that much, and then still wanting the cheese and crackers. 

Christmas used to be very different for me... I was born in South Africa, so grew up with Christmas falling in the middle of our Summer. This meant that Christmas day was spent outside splashing around in the swimming pool, followed by a large buffet style lunch consisting of cold meats, salads, chicken drumsticks etc. When I first moved to England I found it so strange that Christmas time was cold, and particularly the snow!! This was a whole new level of excitement for me as I had never seen snow before (I was 14 when I first saw snow!) After living in England, it then occurred to me that I had never questioned why even in South Africa we had Christmas cards with snowmen on, even though it was Summer for us - surely we should've had elves having a BBQ or Santa on a surfboard!?

When I was 15 my parents separated - generally I took the separation OK as I knew my parents were happier apart, but Christmas became a difficult time. I had always been used being a really big family affair, but after the separation it was just me, my mum and my brother. It just didn't seem to have the same atmosphere and excitement any more. But as the years went on the Christmas spirit found its way back again! As I got older I started to appreciate that Christmas didn't have to be only the one day of celebration, so splitting my time between families, although can be tricky, wasn't an issue. And for me it is more about families coming together over the Christmas period to relax and put their feet up and just remove ourselves from our normal chaotic lives. My family has grown since as my Dad remarried and my mum has a boyfriend, and the great thing is I get on really well with all of them. So for me now, Christmas is even bigger and better than before, as I have so many more special people in my life to share it with."

@jessbickerton_x
anovelthoughtwithjess.blogspot.co.uk

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"What Christmas means to me is spending time with my family especially now that I have a 3 1/2 year old nephew. I generally like Christmas, putting up the tree and decorations, but as I have got older feel it is more commercial and definitely more for children. 

I start to feel the Christmas spirit when I see the Coca Cola advert with the truck. I love all the Christmas songs, my favourite being Last Christmas. I really start to feel Christmas on the Friday before, in the town where I live it's named 'Mad Friday', this used to be because it was the day most places of work closed before Christmas, now I think it's just an excuse to go out for a Christmas meal with work colleagues and have a few drinks. 

The last few Christmases have been dominated by my nephew and opening his presents. I can't wait for this year as he understands more about Father Christmas, if you ask him if he's been good you always get a yes, even when he has just been naughty. I am looking forward to seeing his face on Christmas day. 

This year I'm not really feeling Christmas and I don't know if this is because I have recently met 'man of my dreams' or at least I hope he is, who will working away over Christmas. So my thoughts will be with him over Christmas and New Year. 

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

@Cometbabe
cometbabesbooks.blogspot.com

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"To me, Christmas means having my mum Cancer free for the first time in 9 months. I don't need any presents; that's the greatest gift of all."

@EmmaLouAuthor
emmalouauthor.wordpress.com

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"It was very interesting that Becca asked me to take part in this blog feature as I had a few days previously wrote one titled festive blues which is over at charlenejess.wordpress.com, so a big thank you for asking me. 

Christmas for me has varied over the years from my every changing situation in life. Last year I was at my sister's and her family as my children were at their father's. Had Xmas with in-laws or just me and the kids which is how it will be this year. I think where I didn't have them last year I'm more appreciative and enjoying the festive season more. The tree went up earlier and I'm looking forward to panto and Christmas baking, well will attempt! 

Christmas is about family which is something I've had to learn, doesn't matter if your family is small. It's also about eating and drinking. My son still believes in Santa so it makes it more magical. Christmas Eve the goodies will be left out for Santa and his reindeers. Then my kids will get up at the crack of dawn and be tired by lunch time. 

Despite it being a happy time it can make me emotional, I think you look back over the year and it can highlight certain things for people. For me, it's not having parents, I do notice it more at certain times of the year. However, I'm learning to focus on the positives and the fact that I have 2 beautiful children. So our Christmas is small and quiet but its our's and we will make our own routine and traditions, and enjoy eating too much, watching Christmas films and probably getting the cooking wrong!!

Merry Christmas xx"

@hellosweety26
charlenejess.wordpress.com

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"Christmas has to be my favourite time of year - combined with the fact my daughter's birthday is the 23rd, it's so exciting in our house. I don't really start to feel Christmassy until about this point (at least this year) but we have so many little traditions that build up until the big day. 

On the first of December, we get all the decorations down and put them up. On the second weekend, I sit down with my daughter and we write her letter to Santa - this year we her brother's too. This is the first year my daughter has really understood Christmas and it's amazing. Don't tell anyone, but I totally believe in Santa this year ;)

My favourite tradition is on Christmas Eve, and it's one I've carried on from when I was a child. Santa's elves drop off an early present which is always Christmas jammies, so we change into those - yes, the whole family! -then set out his sherry, mince pie, and carrots for the reindeer. And my absolute favourite thing of the night is going to bed and reading The Night Before Christmas. It's such a magical story, and I even read it to her when she was 1 day old and when we were still in the hospital. 

The excitement I have absolutely stems from having children - then going to my in laws and seeing the three kids there. Christmas is completely family orientated in my eyes and all about the kids. The roast dinner is all about me, from the turkey to the pigs in blankets, (to wine. Ahem.) and dessert. 

Okay, so I buy in dessert, but I do make my daughter's birthday cake which counts for something, right?!

I also have to admit I've lied a bit. My favourite part is actually the music. 
Because who doesn't love Last Christmas by WHAM!?"

@EmmaHartAuthor
emmahartbooks.com

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I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did. Such a fantastic mix of people's traditions, routines, Christmas wishes and festivity, with a special sprinkle of memories, sad times and remembrance. 

I would also like to say a special thank you to the ladies that took time out their day to write about their Christmases and chose to share them with me. 

Merry Christmas everyone! 
I hope you all have a magical time
Becca xx



















2 comments :

  1. Thank you so much! I enjoyed reading through all of the amazing Christmases from different people :) It was lovely! Thank you so much for taking part xxx

    ReplyDelete