If you know me then you will know I am Christmas mad. I've decided to do a new series whereby I interview other bloggers about Christmas.
First up is my lovely friend Cathryn from Cardiff Mummy Says who is a parenting and lifestyle blogger from Cardiff.
1 1) Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
Yes, lots. When you ask people what they remember about Christmas as a child, for most people it isn’t usually the presents, it’s the things they used to do and how it made them feel. We both really want that for our children, to create those magical memories.
My husband and I have each brought some of our own family traditions and we have created some together for our family. We do a lot of the usual ones – writing letters to Father Christmas; leaving a mince pie, a drink and a carrot out for Santa and his reindeers; leaving out stockings; reindeer dust etc. When I was little, me and my brothers always used to do a little Christmas show for our parents. I told my children this, and it has become one of our traditions too. The angel on the top of our Christmas tree every year is one my husband and I bought together, when we first moved in together. We always take a photo of it being put onto the tree, usually my husband lifting one of the children up to do it. We also always make a Christmas cake together as a family, read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, visit Winter Wonderland here in Cardiff in the run up to Cardiff, go for a nighttime drive to see all the lights on people’s houses – there are some amazingly decorated houses here in Cardiff, we watch out for Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve (the International Space Station)… so many traditions actually!
2) What’s your ultimate Christmas movie?
I absolutely love Christmas films and we have regular family Christmas film nights in the run up to Christmas. My favourites include Elf, The Snowman, Miracle on 34th Street, and, not for the kids, It’s A Wonderful Life. They all make me cry in their own way!
3 3) What 3 songs would be top of your festive playlist?
Ooh, only three? This is hard! So many Christmas songs I love!
Fairytale of New York by the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacCall and then I love all the old classics, such as Bing Crosby singing It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and White Christmas; and I love the carol O! Come All Ye Faithful. We always used to sing that in our school carol service and I used to love doing the soprano harmonies in the last verse.
Plus the whole Michael Buble Christmas album. We have that on in the car constantly from mid-November! It wouldn’t be Christmas without it now.
4) Are you an online shopper or do you go to the actual stores?
A bit of both. I tend to buy toys I know they definitely want, books, CDs etc online. I do a lot of it in advance, as December is a crazy birthday season for me as well as Christmas so I need to be organised, but I love actually going shopping during the festive season, soaking up all the atmosphere.
Do you make shopping lists or buy things when you see something nice?
Again, a bit of both. I think until you go shopping, you don’t know what’s out there and I often see things I would have had no idea exist if I hadn’t seen them.
6 5) Do you send Christmas cards?
Yes! I love Christmas cards. It’s so lovely to receive actual post that isn’t bills or junk mail. I know it is completely cheesy but we take a photo of all our children dressed in Christmas fancy dress (Santa, elves, reindeer etc) and that picture goes on the front of our cards. We’ve done it every year and my kids absolutely love it!
7 6) Do you have an elf on the shelf? What do you do with it?
Yes, we have three – one for each child – and this will be our fourth year of doing it. We have cuddly toy elves, rather than the official one, and they stay with us to learn all about Christmas, rather than to report back to Santa. Our elves are playful rather than naughty, so every morning they are in a different scenario, maybe stuck inside a box of cereal, or wrapped up in loo roll like an Egyptian mummy etc.
8 7) Do you have chocolate advent calendars or something else?
My children each have a wooden advent calendar, and I absolutely adore them! I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate advent calendars to be honest! One year, they had beads to make a Christmas necklace with, another year they had a few Lego bricks every day to build something. It’s nice for them to have something to keep at the end of it.
9 8) Do you do a Christmas Eve box? If so what’s in it?
My children get a box on 1st December, rather than Christmas Eve, so they have all month to enjoy it. The elves arrive on 1st December and hey bring a box of goodies. The box, which is just a cardboard box wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper, contains Christmas pyjamas (so they have all month to wear them!), a Christmas DVD, a Christmas book, a Christmas jumper, and a new Christmas decoration to go on the tree. I hope when they each leave home I can give them all their special decorations to put on their own tree.
1 9) Do you make any gifts?
Not really, I wish I could be that creative!
10) Do you do any Christmas crafts?
Yes! I love doing all of that and we always make something. One year my daughter made festive snowmen for everyone in the family, out of card and cotton wool. I think she must have made about 25 in total – at her instigation. We made one and she just wanted to keep on going! We still have our snowman family and bring them out every year. Usually though, it’s something like footprint reindeers or decorating a bauble.
1 11) If you could only eat 3 things from your Christmas dinner, what would they be?
Roast potatoes, red cabbage and my mushroom wellington I make every year (I’m vegetarian).
1 12) What’s your favourite festive tipple?
A Baileys on ice, always on Christmas Eve.
1 14) Where are you spending Christmas this year?
Christmas Day will be in our house, with my parents. Last year we hosted 15 – all of my husband’s family, including six children aged six and under, so this year will be a lot calmer! Boxing Day will be at my husband’s brother’s house with all of their family.
1 15) If you could go to any Christmas market in the world where would you go?
It’s never really been on my radar of something to do, if I’m honest. However, some of my girlfriends have just been talking about going to Munich next year for a Christmas market, so perhaps it might be that! I think I’d rather go to Disneyland Paris in the run up to Christmas
You can follow Cathryn on her social media channels here: