Almost Christmas

Okay, so in roughly a month, it will be actual Christmas Day and I cannot wait!

I've always been a big fan of Christmas. Every year, I'm amazed at how we can pack so much loveliness into one (relatively short) period of time. There's a real buzz in the atmosphere. There's an element of stress but it's all for a good reason, so we take it in our stride. There's planning and preparation (two of my favourite things). Family time, outings with your friends, endless fun and food (!!). All of a sudden, everywhere looks so much more beautiful.

I love strolling through Birmingham, where all the big trees are up and the lights line the streets. I love wandering around the shops, listening to Christmas songs. And I even like that little burst of heat that blows onto your face, when you walk into the department stores. Birmingham is also excellent because of the Frankfurt Christmas Market, or 'German Market'. I went along to it with the work peeps and ate far too much. It was marvellous. They do great crêpes - I like mine with cheese and ham. (It's nice. Honest). 

I go a little overboard (some would say) with my organising. But why deal with stress, when you can just make a spreadsheet? Common sense, people. You can thank me later. 

I come from a very big family. So my childhood memories of Christmas are bustling and busy. We used to gather at my Nanny and Grandad's for dinner. All of our gifts would be carted off up there. Or sometimes, I'd open them at home. I absolutely love my grandparents house - some of fondest memories are from there. 

As I've grown up, it's our house that has become the centre of the hustle and bustle. To me, that is perfect. People popping in to visit. Familiar from all over the country make the journey to stop by. We all stay up past our bedtimes because there's no work in the morning. It's fab. And when I have my own home, I can't wait to play Christmas hostess. But until then, I'm happy to just assist (thanks, mom and dad). 

I'm not an early riser on Christmas Day. It isn't because I'm not excited - I just wait until I'm woken up. No 5/6am business in our house. Thank goodness. But I'm still a big kid, when it comes to opening my gifts. The paper is strewn about the place. If there's a box, I am in it. I squeal and squawk with excitement at my gifts because I genuinely have the most thoughtful friends and family around. I tend to call/text loved ones to say 'thank you', as I'm going along, so that I don't forget anyone. 

My favourite things about Christmas Day are showing gratitude and knowing that I've blessed other people. I wish I was able to see everyone's faces, when they opened their gifts. It makes my heart so happy. One year, I sent a video of me opening a particular gift, to the friend who had bought it because they had to work on Christmas Day (sob). And it filled me with so much joy to show them I was thankful. It was an amazing present too. My very first vinyl record (cheers, my hotstepping buddy). 

Most importantly, Christmas is Jesus' birthday. And yes, the season is about family and friends and love but essentially, it's all about Him. His arrival is the whole reason we celebrate. So always remember to thank Him and try to share even a droplet of the unconditional love he poured into the world, throughout His time on earth. 

The reason Christmas is so busy on Planet Moo Mar is Champions Church - the place I call home. From the end of November onwards, it's all go go go, to make sure our community has never known a Christmas like it and I wouldn't change a thing. It's beautiful. Every second. This year sees our very Christmas shopping village. So this week, I'm looking forward to Christmas food, feeding reindeer, tractor rides, Santa's grotto, Christmas drinks, buying gifts (pay day, hurry up) and loads more fun. I've already been to the Christmas market in Birmingham but this is going to be wonderful. I cannot wait. 
That's not all. There will be ladies XS - where we just dress up, get gorgeous and celebrate being ladies. Any excuse to shake a leg. And our beautiful Christmas Eve service, with the choir. Think of traditional Christmas but throw a lot of the 21st century into it and you've got Christmas at Champions.
Ladies XS 2011
I even get a few days off work this year (more on that story in another post). Which is a nice relief, considering I was back on the 27th last year. I know that's pretty standard but up until last year, I was used to school/college/Uni holidays (read: lengthy). 
Church lit up all beautifully

Christmas really is the most stunning time of year. And I hate the cold, so all this excitement makes it bearable. I'd go as far as to say that this one is going to be the best yet. Bring on the magic. Can't wait to say 'ciao' on the 23rd December, get some gluhwein on the go and slip into my onesie. Love Actually, Home Alone 2 and Muppets Christmas Carol are always my films of choice. 

                                         What do you guys do for Christmas? 

Lots of love, 


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