Celebrating the festive season.


Christmas as we know it, if you celebrate it, can be a tricky time. As a small income family, I know how difficult it can feel, particularly when surrounded by some of the images portrayed through social media. Last year I panic-bought an almost four month old more toys on December 22nd, because when I wrapped them it didn’t look like enough. Ask me now what I got her, and I mostly can’t remember. Suffice to say she slept through about 85% of the gift-opening affair.

So much of my focus has shifted since having Eilish. I think its always been there, but this year, the desire to live far more intentionally has really made itself known. With the 1st of December approaching, its been interesting to note that my attention and excitement is centred around the advent period, the festive season, rather than the big day itself. I’m looking forward this year to creating a cosy lead up to Christmas, lit with the glow of candles and lots of conscious, quiet celebrating. Creating traditions that we can continue and adapt as Eilish grows.


I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’m planning on us doing this festive season.

  • Lots of cosying up with all the books. I’ve curated the smallest pile of wintry and festive books for us to read together, and I’ll be getting them out come December 1st. Lots that we can enjoy now, and a couple that Eilish will have to grow into a little but hopefully we can still explore. Our collection contains; Winter Story from the Brambly Hedge collection, Robin’s Winter Song, Grandpa Christmas, The Story of the Snow Children, Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas, Winter, The Storm Whale in Winter, Little Christmas Tree and The Snowy Day.

  • Shopping small. We are so very blessed in our little town to have a few gorgeous shops in which you can get almost anything. While we don’t have a huge amount of people to shop for this year thankfully, I’ve made a resolution to shop local and small wherever possible. I’m incredibly proud that we can skip up the road and buy a book from a shop run by the person who owns and curates it.

  • Gift giving. We have broken tradition with family this year, and, as we are so big and still growing, we have decided that instead of buying all the children presents, and have planned a day out. It takes a big load off my mind, and means we all get to spend a gorgeous day out together. That’s what I call a win, win. And with Eilish we have given ourselves a very strict budget, and spending not a penny more. It means that instead of just adding to the list when we find something we want to give her, we then have to make room by taking things away. It’s made me think so much more about what Eilish needs, rather than things I want for her.

  • Advent. With Eilish so small still, we’ve made a little advent spiral rather than going for anything too complex or involved. We made it using salt dough and for every day of advent that passes we plan to place another marble along it, until the 24th when we will light our candle in the middle. So simple and easy. Here is the salt dough recipe we used, and the post we took inspiration from via Pinterest.

  • Baking. We have fallen out of the routine of baking of late with things being so busy, but I’m taking the opportunity of a slowing December to get back into the habit. I’ve already stocked up on the mincemeat and cheat’s pastry for mince pies, but also looking forward to trying our hand at sugar biscuits, gingerbread, cheese scones...

  • Decorating. We are going for a smaller tree this year (small, curious hands and Christmas baubles aren’t the best mix), but I’m also excited to pull out the new celebration ring decorations and forage the woods for some loveliness to decorate the house with.

  • Getting out. The time around Christmas can feel a bit slovenly, so I’m looking forward to making trips to our local woods, farm and Ickworth. I’m particularly hoping to weave this in time between Christmas and New Year, when after all the roast dinners, mulled wine and mince pies everything becomes a bit sluggish.

  • Crafts. We are going to be making some little cards to send out to family, and might even give ornament making a go. You could also make or print your own wrapping paper, the perfect extra touch for those special gifts for grandparents.

  • Christmas Eve. I’m working in the evening so will be sadly missing putting Eilish to bed, but I love making Christmas Eve as special as Christmas Day itself. We’ll be carrying on what we started last year, of gifting a special book to read in the morning and a special pair of pyjamas to wear to bed, and going for a wintry walk around our local park and town, soaking up the atmosphere.

What are your plans for the festive season? Are there any traditions you hold dearly in your family? I’d love to hear!

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Abi SmissenComment