All the Christmas traditions we've made up
One of the best things about being a grown-up is that you get to enjoy Christmas your way. You get to make up all your own Christmas traditions, however daft they seem to anyone else. Here are ours!
My favourite Christmas movie
I'd love to be able to give you the genesis of where this little tradition came from but having wracked my tiny brains, erm, nope, I've got nothing for you! The movie that represents Christmas for me is Spirited Away. I'm not sure why, but every Christmas, I have to dig it out and watch it one more time. I think I put it on in the background one Christmas when I was wrapping presents, and I've had to do it every holidays since. It's just a thoroughly absorbing story: a young girl and her parents stop at an abandoned theme park. An ill-judged snack later, and her parents have been turned into pigs. The girl has to fight to win them back, befriending dragons and demons and winning over witches. It's ceaselessly creative and I can watch it any number of times without getting bored of it. It's not a film about Christmas, but it's a Christmas movie for me, and I love it.
I love making stuff. I love making stuff with my friends. I love making Christmas stuff with my friends. You can see where this is going. I never have enough time to get crafty, but at Christmas I go and visit a friend a couple of hours away, and we spend the day making Christmas things. We've made Christmas decorations that I've had for years and make me smile every year I get them out, we made our own homemade wreath with greenery from her garden, and we had a particularly happy-making year experimenting with our own homemade flavoured gin....
Going to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Another tradition who's origins I can't remember, every Christmas me and Mr Flicking the Vs go to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. I reckon we must have been going for over 10 years, and it's never disappointed. You can lose yourself for hours in the stunning shots of animals, plants, landscapes, and the stories they all tell. The building itself is a beautiful piece of architecture too, and every Christmas there's an ice rink outside, which is perfect for romantic winter vibes.
Going to the pub on Christmas Day
We tend to spend the time before and after Christmas packing in as many visits to see friends and family as we can, but Christmas Day tends to be me and Mr Flickingthevs together, just us. We have a lie in, a lazy breakfast, and in the time before Christmas dinner proper, we head to a nearby pub for a quick drink. It's a pub we go to regularly, but there's something properly festive about having a gin and tonic on the big day. If you're lucky, you can pull up a seat next to the log fire, and if not, you can just enjoy the warmth from all the other cheery folk who've headed to the pub on the pretext of taking the do for a walk. There's a lot of bored dogs in the pub on Christmas Day! There's also a lot of families with kids, couples, friends and relatives catching up. There's such a lovely feel to the pub on Christmas Day that's just impossible to find on any other day of the year.
'Shall we not buy presents this year?'
I seem to say this to someone every year! I've managed to persuade a few of my grown up friends that spending time together, rather than a physical present, is the perfect Christmas gift. After stressing myself out trying to buy perfect pressies for people who have everything they ever want or need, and if they didn't, would just go out and buy it, I started asking people if they really wanted to swap presents. Most adults are relieved when you ask them, and are only too glad to give it a miss. Instead of buying some present they don't want that'll only end up in landfill after hammering your credit card bill, now me and my friends and relatives just find a way of spending more time together at Christmas. If there's a better Christmas present out there, I've yet to find it!