Usually I’m a right old grump about seeing Christmas trees in November, but this year, I am so, so ready for it. It’s been one of those years, hasn’t it? I think we all need a bit of cheer. That super crazy time where everyone is busy and even biting cold wind and rain add to the cosy atmosphere. This year I am taking part in my second December Daily, a project led by Ali Edwards that documents December. I loved doing this last year and it’s so nice to look back on what we got up to, the big things as well as the little. It’s a wonderful project, and although I’m using a folder with pocket pages and a kit, you could make it much simpler. You could write in a diary or a notebook, blog everyday, or even just post a photo on Instagram once a day, what’s important is that you get your stories out there. Come and join me!
I’m going to do my usual seasonal list at the beginning of January, but for now, here’s a lit of things to do this December as something to help give me (and you! But mostly me) a few prompts of things to record for my DD journal.
Picture by Annie Spratt via Unsplash
Put the tree up – Going to get the tree and putting it up is the thing that Betsy is most looking forward to.
Get baking – I have been making the simple Christmas biscuits from Luisa Weiss’ most excellent Classic German Baking. Dead quick to bake, perfect with a cup of coffee.
Have a film night. Arthur Christmas and Die Hard for us.
Go for a walk around your local neighbourhood and look at the decorations.
Put together a gingerbread house (I cheat and use the kit from Ikea)
Go into town, check out the lights, and let Arthur choose a decoration for the tree from Liberty (I did this with Boo last year and it was lovely, sadly with school happening, I don’t think she can come this year)
Visit a Christmas market. My folks are heading up into town one evening and we’re going to the winter market along the South Bank after I finish work so we can eat street food and drink beer. I’m so excited!
Bundle up, pack some flasks of hot chocolate and walk in some woods.
Celebrate. Not just Christmas and NYE, but the solstice too as the days slowly start getting longer. Hooray! AND not forgetting it’s my nephew’s first birthday in December too.
Get the Christmas books out. SO many books! They’re all in the loft at the moment, but I can’t wait to read The Jolly Postman’s Christmas to the kiddos again, it’s wonderful and even better reading is JRR Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas, which is a book that will be read year after year.
See the school play. Betsy isn’t doing a nativity this year, but her class are singing some carols to parents. I am possibly more excited about this than Christmas itself.
Party. Dave and I have our first ever evening out since before Arthur was born (so two and a half years ago) when we go to his work’s Christmas do. I can’t wait, I may embarrass Dave a bit by drinking a little too much of their cocktails (sorrynotsorry). I’ll also have a little party at home for the kiddos – serve party food for dinner, only have the Christmas lights on, turn the xmas tunes up and dance away and possibly freak the cat out. Plus I have drinks planned with Enfield friends and hopefully there will be a couple of work drinks too.
Donate. Sort out some old toys and books no longer needed and give to charity and send some food over to the local food bank.
Get crafting. Lots of little crafts for the kiddos to do, plus some salt dough decorations for Betsy’s teachers’ presents. I think we will make our own wrapping paper by potato printing on a big roll of brown paper too.
Go ice skating. Betsy is desperate to try this, and there are a million (not quite a million) places to do this in London, so why not? One question; can I use one of those penguins to help with my stability?
Explore. Last December I took the kids down to Kings Cross where we walked for miles, looked at Christmas trees and generally had a great time. It would be lovely to do again, a new tradition maybe?
Travel. We’re off down south for Boxing day and hopefully there’s a weekend in Wales coming up too.
Think about next year’s One Little Word. COURAGE served me well this year and I’m excited to choose another word, and it lasted so much longer than any new years resolution I have ever made. I think I know what the word is, but you’ll have to wait until January to find it out.
DON’T PANIC. Yes, there are a million things to do before the big day, and there’s a ton of presents to buy and make and lots and lots of food to prepare, but all that matters at this time of year is that you’re with friends and family. Enjoy their company. Breathe and relax, create a little hygge.
As for my December Daily project, I’m going to try and document most days. I have a gorgeous new printer from Epson that sits right next to me so I have no excuse not to print photos (which is usually a big stumbling block in getting these projects finished). Foundation pages for my album are done but are much looser and easier to change around if I need to. Here’s a few of pages below:
Last year I have a few transparencies in my album and they were a great way to add something a little different and a bit more interest. I didn’t get any this year, so I created these pages with festive animals and snowflakes and printed on acetate (alas, I wish I could say I drew them, but I just bought the elements from Creative Market). I really like how they look, although the only way you could really see the images on the page was to print in very dark colours which isn’t ideal, but I think they turned out okay. If you like the look of the owl, click on the image below for a PDF version. Merry (almost) Christmas!