Sunday 1 December 2013

The Hello Ella Christmas Tag

A few weeks ago Ella from over at Hello Ella created her very own Christmas Tag and she tagged everyone reading to do it (plus said to share it around so feel free to nab the idea and do it yourself if you want).

Hello Ella Christmas Tag
Source: Hello Ella

The Questions:
What time of the year do you start your Christmas shopping?
Well I'm one those annoying people who shop all year round; I have a box in my bedroom which is filled with presents throughout the year for both birthdays and Christmas. I also have a spreadsheet detailing what I've already bought and a notebook with every present I've got different people each year since 1995 (and I am aware of how sad I sound...)
Do you have any festive recipes for food or drink you limit solely to the Christmas season to share?
Like everyone, we've got several recipes we only seem to cook over the festive season. I love making Mary Berry's Christmas Chutney (recipe here) which tastes just like tomato ketchup and any recipe of chopped fried spouts, bacon and onion is delicious. Plus the obligatory Christmas cake - the recipe I use comes from Sheherazade Goldsmith's The Christmas Book.
Christmas Cake

Tell me how Christmas goes down in your home?
Me and Andrew and my sister-in-law take it in turns each year - one year we'll host Christmas for both families at our house and the other year we'll head down to my sister-in-law's house for Christmas with her and Andrew's family.
If we're at home then it's up about 9am, start getting dinner ready whilst opening our stockings (yep, me and Andrew still do a stocking for each other - I'm 30 and he's 35...) with Christmas music on the CD player. Both sets of parents would arrive about 12.30pm with dinner being served about 1.30pm; by 3-4pm we'll be opening Christmas presents with the jukebox on in the background and then play some board games or do a quiz or two in the early evening. At about 9pm we'll all sit down for a buffet supper of ham, potato salad, crisps, coleslaw and the like and then about midnight everyone will start to drift home!
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
As I mentioned above, me and Andrew still give each other a Christmas stocking; all because when me and Andrew bought our first house, he commented 'oh, I won't get a stocking any more' (his mum still did him a stocking - he was 27) so I decided to do one for him. I pointed out to him though, if he was getting one, then I wanted one as well!
I also grew up always going to church on Christmas Day; even though I'm not really religious nowdays, if we're spending Christmas away from home I always pop to church in the morning - I like the happy community you always get in town Christmas Day!
Do you have a favourite festive coffee?
No, because I don't drink coffee. My poison of choice is Hot Chocolate, every time.
What's your favourite Christmas song?
I can't choose just one! There's too many favourites, but the tunes on our CD player usually are: The Muppet Christmas Carol soundtrack, The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift For You album and new for this year - Ed's Easy Diner Christmas Jukebox album.
What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Last minute wrapping, last minute cooking, listen to some Christmas music and usually have a buffet supper about 9pm.
What's your Christmas wrapping strategy? Do you have a strategy?
No strategy, unless you count keeping the husband away from the paper and sellotape!
What's your dream gift this year?
Probably a digital camcorder or tickets for a swim at Clifton Lido in Bristol.
Describe your Christmas tree. How tall? Real or artificial? How is it decorated?
Our Christmas tree is artificial and was bought back in 2002 in April for £2.50 from Woolworths!
It's (I think) 4ft tall, standard green colour and usually gets decorated each year with a different colour theme - last year was purple and gold.
Christmas Tree

Do you decorate just the tree or other areas of your house, e.g. windows, bannisters?
The rest of our house gets decorated with all sorts of decorations, tinsel, banners, cards and toys. Even the front of the house gets done with a old oil storm lantern we light each night in the run up to Christmas.
Christmas Decorations in Kitchen
What do you wear to Christmas parties and what do you wear on Christmas Day?
Most of the parties I go to are during work time so I tend to be wearing my work clothes, which is usually a dress. Christmas day will be another dress, usually a bit sparklier with festive rudolph slippers!
Let me know if you do Hello Ella's Christmas Tag and I'll pop over and be nosy! :-)


  1. I'm loving the peek at your kitchen - somewhat jealous when I compare it to mine! And my, what a steal with the Christmas tree, makes me miss Woolies for all the bargains they use to have!

    1. Woolies was fab wasn't it, such a shame you can't just pop in any more for a 99p CD single, some pic and mix and a tin of paint (they certainly sold an eclectic mix!) :-) x

  2. Oh love that you guys do stockings (so do we!) and I'm insanely jealous of your organisational prowess...I try. Really I do.
    I did this tag too just yesterday if you fancy a nose
    M x Life Outside London

    1. I think some people would also call my 'organisation prowess' OCD instead! But thank you anyway :-) x
      That's great that you do stockings as well - makes us seem not so sad and childish! :-) x

  3. I'm in awe of your present-buying skills! I haven't bought a thing--luckily Dave and I are doing Amazon vouchers for each other this year, but I have no idea what to get everyone else! Your kitchen is lush--love the bunting, too.

    I joined in here:

    1. Aww thanks Angela - the kitchen was a bit of a mess when I took the pic last year (what you can't quite see is the end of it is covered with all sorts of food, tins and packets) but I still like the picture - glad everyone else does too! :-) x


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