I’m Dreaming Of A…: My Perfect Christmas

I’m Dreaming Of A…: My Perfect Christmas

My perfect Christmas is something I’ve given A LOT of thought to. Between images, films and books, I’ve build up a picture of what it would look like.

Well, actually, I have two.

Version one

The first is more realistic for the near future. It involves all of my current family getting together in a cabin. It would have to be quite a large one to accommodate all of us, but let’s not get caught up in the details.

I wake up before everyone else. I lie there for a while, revelling in the fact everyone I hold dear is under the same roof. Though miles normally stretch between us, we are all together for the best day of them all. Christmas Day.

I descend downstairs, leaving Neal to catch a bit more sleep before the day begins. I find my mum busying herself in the kitchen. We hug each other tight, and I pour us both a hot drink. Christmas is, and always has been, our time.

My dad walks in, dressed smartly. There is an air of contentment around him, clearly taking pride in the fact we are all here together. It’s what he’s wanted for a long time.

It’s not long before the rest of the family stirs, appearing in the living room, one by one. Eventually, we are all there. All ready and waiting to see what waits for us beneath the tree.

Outside is white. Completely covered in snow. There is a log fire, crackling in the background, and the gentle glow of Christmas lights illuminating the room.

A turkey is cooking in the oven; its familiar smell circulating the cabin. We are eager to tuck in, but there is a short while to wait.

In the meantime, we exchange gifts. We chuckle at the joke presents, and give thanks for the thoughtful ones. A blanket of gratitude falls over us. We know we will remember this day for the rest of our lives.

Towards late afternoon, we dive into a feast. The turkey is delicious. We pull crackers. We read out their cheesy jokes. Some are cringeworthy and others are actually funny. My nieces giggle at the sight of grown ups in party hats.

Chatter fills the air. It not only feels like Christmas. It feels like home.

Version two

The second version involves me, Neal and our potential future family. This is the one I dream about the most, and something I’m truly excited to have one day.

We live in a cute house, with a large bay window and a Christmas tree to fill it. Every room in the house is decorated for Christmas. Much like it is in our flat, but on a bigger scale.

I sneak out of bed to put all of the lights on. The children are 2 and 3. This is the first Christmas they have shown signs of understanding what’s happening. I long for it to be magical for them, in every way possible.

Again, outside, there is a thick layer of snow, with more drifting down. I take a moment to watch from inside. Neal appears behind me, and wraps his arms around me.

We cuddle up on the sofa. Neal is sipping coffee, while I’m cradling a cup of tea. Juno is curled up on my knee, and our dog rests at our feet. Everything is peaceful, and calm.

But not for long.

We are brimming with excitement, because we’ve gone out of our way to get the little ones what they wanted. Their faces will light up, as they tear off the wrapping paper.

They bounce down the stairs and see that Santa has been. They are giddy, restless and enthusiastic.

We put some Christmas music on, and begin unwrapping our gifts. Despite her age, Juno plays amongst the wrapping paper. The dog tries to smuggle a treat from the hands of the children.

Disbelief splashes across their small, innocent faces. Santa did a good job.

Tomorrow, we will drive out for more fun with the family. Right now, however, it’s just us. We put A Muppets Christmas Carol on, attempt to sing along and nibble on chocolate coins.

The day is full of smiles, laughter and love. There is a glow around my heart as I watch my dreams play out in front of my eyes.

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Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Christmas Traditions From Around The World

There are lots of interesting Christmas traditions from around the world. Let’s explore together!

Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas Dinner – Japan

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In recent years, the Japanese started a tradition of tucking into a KFC on Christmas Day. There’s a specific menu available, and orders can be placed in advance. It’s thought that this began following a KFC campaign called “Kentucky for Christmas.”

Given that Christmas isn’t held in such high regard as it is here, a fast food dinner doesn’t seem all that unusual.

As a kid, I was a very fussy eater, and my usual Christmas dinner was cheese sandwiches. So, I can’t say I’m completely against this idea. I’ve come to love the traditional turkey and all that goes with it, but I think it would be fun to do this one year!

Donating A Christmas Tree – Norway

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Each year, Norway gives a large Christmas tree to the UK. This is as a symbol of gratitude for the help they were given during World War II. It takes pride of place in London’s Trafalgar Square, and thousands of people flood to see the lights come on.

Though this is perhaps a more well known tradition than others, it’s a charming gesture.

Celebrating Christmas In January – Egypt

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In Egypt, Christmas doesn’t fall on December 25th as we know it to. Instead, their festivities take place on the 7th of January. This is because many Christians in Egypt belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Starting on 25th November, some people partake in “The Holy Nativity Fast.” This is essentially a vegan diet. They avoid anything which comes from animals, such as beef and eggs. This lasts 43 days and ends on the 6th of January.

The Grand Market – Jamaica

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This is another name for Christmas Eve in Jamaica. Throughout the day, Jamaicans shop for things like food, toys and clothes. Then, at around 6pm, things shift into more of a festival atmosphere. Celebrations take place throughout the night, with many places decorated with Christmas lights. Usually, there are street vendors selling jerk chicken and sweets.

Depending on their preference, some may choose to attend a midnight service. Others opt to party right through the night.

Unusual Nativity Scenes – Mexico

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Nativity scenes are a popular tradition in Mexico. In some cases, the figures are life size, and a whole room can be dedicated to the scene!

However, they don’t start and end with the traditional figures. Mexicans put their own twist on it by bringing in things like women making tortillas, and exotic animals like flamingos. These are available at markets all across the country.

13th Salary – Brazil

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It’s not unusual for the inhabitants of Brazil to receive double pay in the month of December. The thinking behind it is that it will boost the economy during the festive period. It began decades ago, and has been an ongoing tradition since.

Who else likes the sound of this one?

Christmas Traditions From Around The World

class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-2851″ src=”https://www.ruthinrevolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/KFC-For-Christmas-Dinner.png” alt=”KFC For Christmas Dinner And Other Unique Traditions From Around The World” />
Do You Have Any Unusual Christmas Traditions?

Do you know any Christmas traditions from around the world? Share them in the comments!

5 Charming Christmas Poems

5 Charming Christmas Poems

Since I was young, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for poetry. I decided Blogmas was a good excuse to have a nosy around the internet for some Christmas poems to share.

I wanted to stick with shorter ones, otherwise ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore by would have been in here. That’s my favourite!

Christmas – M. E. Miro

Source: www.christmas.365greetings.com

Christmas is more than a day in December,
It’s all of those things that we love to remember.
Its carolers singing familiar refrains,
Bright colored stockings and shiny toy trains,
Streamers of tinsel and glass satin balls,
Laughter that rings through the house and its halls.
Christmas is more than a day in December,
Its the magic and the love
That we’ll always remember.

The Joy of Giving – John Greenleaf Whittier

Source: www.sayingimages.com

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you;
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing
Returns to make you glad.

What Do We Love About Christmas? – Joanna Fuchs

Source: www.poemsource.com

What do we love about Christmas;
Does our delight reside in things?
Or are the feelings in our hearts
The real gift Christmas brings.

It’s seeing those we love,
And sending Christmas cards, too,
Appreciating people who bring us joy
Special people just like you.

Let Everyday Be Christmas – Norman W. Brooks

Source: www.worldofchristmas.net

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
For loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away,
Like bells and lights and tinsel,
In some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others
Is good you do yourself.

Gifts At Christmas – Vivian Gouled

Source: www.christmas.fundootimes.com

There are gifts to buy,
And gifts to make,
But there are other gifts
Worth while
Being helpful,
Being kind,
And ready with a smile,
Being friendly,
Doing things to please –
I’ve made up my mind
At Christmas time
I’m giving some of these!

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8 Wonderful Quotes To Sum Up The Spirit Of Christmas

8 Wonderful Quotes To Sum Up The Spirit Of Christmas

1. “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

For me, there is an undeniable charm around Christmas. Everything feels more magical. Between fairy lights and cosy nights, there’s a certain feeling which makes everything seem wonderful.

2. “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” – Andy Rooney

Wrapping paper scattered everywhere, sweet wrappers, cardboard boxes. On any other day of the year, it would just be a mess. On Christmas Day, however, it’s a sign of a good time.

Those amongst us (myself included) who prefer things on the tidy side may be quick to clean it up and restore order. But we shouldn’t probably learn to enjoy the chaos and what it represents.

3. “Love the giver more than the gift.” – Brigham Young

This is what we should always remember. No matter how incredible the gift is, it’s the person behind it we need to appreciate. Be sure to take the opportunity to thank them.

4. “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” – Peg Bracken

What makes Christmas such a special time of year is the way everyone comes together. There are so many opportunities to spend time together. Putting up the decorations. Going Christmas shopping. Seeing the city lights get switched on. Cuddling under blankets and watching festive films. Wrapping presents. Lots of little chances to make memories.

Not only that, but people go out of their way to be home for Christmas – even if they can’t make it back at any other point in the year. Those are things money can’t buy, and the foundation of Christmas.

5. “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” – Edna Ferber

I imagine most, if not all, of us have said “it feels like Christmas!” Perhaps as the days get colder, or when we’re really excited about something. There’s no other word to describe it. There’s just a certain feeling inside of us that we associate with December 25th.

6. “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” – Bob Hope

You may look back at previous Christmases, and recall with fondness an item you received. If you look a little closer, though, it’s probably more so the fact someone put the effort into getting you something you REALLY wanted. Whether your parents scrimped and scraped to get you a bike, or your friends all joined forces to get you something special, that’s where the magic lies.

7. “I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another.” – Carrie Fisher

As much as I enjoy receiving presents, the absolute best part of Christmas for me is getting presents for other people. I love it when I find something I’m sure they’ll love. I love watching the smile spread across their face as they peel back the wrapping paper. The thing itself doesn’t matter as such, but being able to share a little happiness with my favourite people is delightful. That’s the spirit of Christmas.

8. “At Christmas, play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.” – Thomas Tusser

We may find ourselves wishing Christmas was an all year round event, or that we got another go in June. Yet, it probably wouldn’t be half as special if that were the case. We get one Christmas every year, to switch off from everything else going on in our lives, to let our hair down and to just have fun. Make the most of every second.

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Cheesy Christmas Classics To Play On Repeat

Cheesy Christmas Classics To Play On Repeat

One of the best things about Christmas is the music, and I won’t be told any different. Not even all my days in retail were enough to put me off. Here are 15 cheesy Christmas classics to put you in the mood for December 25th!

1. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

2. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

3. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

This one is my favourite!

4. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

5. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

6. Step Into Christmas – Elton John

7. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

8. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness

Referring to this as a classic might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s pretty strong in the cheesy department.

9. Last Christmas – Wham!

10. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – The Jackson 5

11. My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

12. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea 

13. What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder

14. Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes

If I listen to this song once, it’s in my head for weeks!

15. Do They Know It’s Christmas? (1984) – Band Aid

To feel extra Christmassy, here are some fun activities you can do while listening to these cheesy Christmas classics:

  • Put up Christmas decorations.
  • Wrap Christmas presents.
  • Clean (it’s fun to me…)
  • Stick on a Christmas playlist, go for a walk and admire the Christmas lights.
  • Make Christmas cards, or write the ones you’ve bought.
  • Go Christmas shopping (most stores will be playing them, anyway!)
  • If you don’t fancy facing the shops, play them while you browse online in the comfort of your own home.
  • Bake cookies or cupcakes.
  • Wear your Christmas jumper and sing along.
  • Make a hot chocolate, put your feet up, and simply relax!

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Make sure you leave a comment and tell me: what’s your favourite Christmas song? 

A Heartfelt Letter To Santa Claus

A Heartfelt Letter To Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I hear you’re kind of a magical dude. I don’t know how far your talents stretch, but I figure if you can make reindeers fly, you can pretty much do anything.

I’ve been trying to think of what I’d like for Christmas this year, but I haven’t got very far. When I’m not drowning in self pity, I can see how lucky I am. There’s not much I want, or need. If you fancy arranging a lottery win, I’d be happy to accept, but that’s pushing my luck.

I think I’ve been good this year. Most of the time, I’ve been too sad or anxious to get into much trouble. I’ve worked hard. I’ve helped others. As far as behaviour goes, I can’t think of any reason why I’d be undeserving of your assistance.

So, I want to ask for four favours, if you wouldn’t mind putting your magic to use. Failing that, I’m assuming you and the other magical powers that be hang out in the same places, so maybe you could put in a good word for me?

Firstly, I’d like to request an amazing 2019 – not only for myself, but everyone I know. 2018 seemed to give us all a pretty rough time. I’d like next year to be the one where we all rise from the ashes. Nothing would make me happier than to see all these hurting people soar, with their pain only serving to drive them further forward, rather than holding them back.

Now, I know that will be a bit tricky to wrap up and leave under the tree, so don’t stress yourself out about that. Maybe just leave a little magic in the homes you visit. That may be enough.

Secondly, there was somebody really special who came into my life this year: my counsellor. She certainly dragged me out of a hole. I’m not sure if she realises the positive impact she has on the lives she touches. If you could make sure her wishes come true this Christmas, that would be wonderful. You know, just as proof that the good we do in this world comes back around to us in some way.

Next, I’d like to ask for a little more strength. For the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve been standing on the edge of a breakthrough. There are things I want to do, but I keep getting in my own way. I’m scared – of being rejected, of failing, of all sorts of things. If you’d be so kind as to give me an extra little nudge, it would be much appreciated.

Finally, please be extra good to the little people in my life. My nieces and my nephew. They bring so much joy into my heart. Over the past 12 months, they have been my rays of sunshine. Even on the days when I lost all sense of self, or found myself lacking purpose, they’ve given me a reason to work harder. Without ever even trying, they’ve helped to fix some broken parts of me. They deserve everything on their wish list, and more.

What do you reckon?

It may very well be the case that you’re restricted to making toys and whizzing around the world in one evening, but I thought I had as good a chance asking you as anyone else.

Should all of this be beyond your capabilities, I’d really like a dog.

Thanks,

Ruth.

A Heartfelt Letter To Santa Claus

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My No-Expenses-Spared Christmas Wishlist

My No-Expenses-Spared Christmas Wishlist

In reality, there’s not a lot on my Christmas wishlist. Neal spoils me rotten all year round so it leaves me a little stumped at this time of year. The only thing I asked for was a cleaning gadget. If that doesn’t say I’ve slipped into adulthood, I don’t know what does.

So, I decided to have a little fun and go extreme. This is if money were no object, and I could have anything I wanted. Before anyone gets on their high horse, yes, it’s indulgent and over the top, but I know Christmas isn’t about these sorts of things!

1. A dachshund.

I know – a dog is for life, not just for Christmas, but this isn’t new just for the season. It’s been a growing obsession since earlier in the year. If you’ve been paying attention on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed.

As happy as I am with Juno, I would love a dachshund to add into the mix. Juno actually grew up with a dog, as well as other cats, and I do wonder if she misses that sometimes. In any case, there are several dachshund owners who live on my street and my feeling intensifies every time I pass them.

We live in a flat, so a dachshund is the most appropriate dog for us anyway, but hours of aww-ing at them online has solidified my choice.

2. An iPad.

The Apple fangirl in me wants to complete the collection. I also like the idea of having something between my phone and my laptop to do blogging activities, such as editing photos.

Despite the fact I now have a slightly bigger screen, courtesy of the iPhone XR, an iPad would be a great tool for the days when I don’t fancy sitting in front of my laptop screen.

3. A trip to Greece.

There are other places on my list to see, but Greece is top of the list right now. Then again, I’m not going to turn down a holiday anywhere.

I’d just love for Neal and I to get away for a week, with some sunshine and gorgeous views! We’ve had one holiday to Chicago so far. Amazing as it was, it was busy because we naturally wanted to make the most of our time there. A relaxing holiday, lazing on a beach somewhere sounds delightful.

4. A house.

This is a Miracle on 34th Street kind of wish, but remember: we’re talking limitless possibilities.

I currently do all of my blogging in the living room, at my desk by the window. It’s more than enough, but I can’t help dreaming of my own office. A bigger bathroom and kitchen would be a treat, too! The only other thing I’d add would be a living room with a bay window for my Christmas tree.

In fairness, I actually love our little flat. It’s in a great location, it’s our first place together and it’s a good size for the two of us. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the day we upgrade to our forever home.

Plus, the way Neal buys new bits of tech, we’re going to run out of space before long!

5. Ed Sheeran/Michael Bublé/any other favourite tickets.

I was supposed to see Ed Sheeran earlier this year, but had to sell my tickets for various reasons. I was so disappointed!

Then I missed the sale for Michael Bublé’s tickets. Given the fact he’s retiring, it would be wonderful to see him before he does.

There are plenty of other people I’d love to see live, but I don’t think they are touring, or have intentions to. But, I do have tickets for Westlife in June, so there is that to look forward to!

My No-Expenses-Spared Christmas Wishlist

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What Would Be On Your No-Expenses-Spared Christmas Wishlist?

What would be on your no-expenses-spared Christmas wishlist?