“Something Wonderful is About to Happen” – Win £100 with Virgin Experience Days

We’ve unashamedly got the Christmas feeling around here. Virgin Experience Days has asked me a few questions about what makes the lead up to the big day exciting in our home, so that’s probably got me feeling even more festive.

When does Christmas start?

I think Christmas officially starts for me in November. That’s when I start itching to listen to parang (Christmas folk music from Trinidad and Tobago) because it would already be on the radio by then at home. We’ve been listening to parang since Bonfire Night and the kids have fully embraced it, the older one asking to put on the “Spanish Christmas music” and the younger launching straight into her classic crazy dance as soon as it’s on.

At the same time I feel strange about seeing people’s trees up already (and I have!) but who am I to judge?

Other markers that Christmas is starting include soaking the fruits for our black cake in rum (check) and making Christmas cards and decorations (taking advantage of Talitha having chicken pox by starting on these today).

I’ll have to make pastelles (cornmeal pies) soon to really get into the season, though Laurence proved last year that he makes them as well as or maybe even better than I do, so maybe I’ll relegate that task this year.

Iced Trinidad Black Christmas Cake

What are your family’s Christmas traditions?

Year by year, we’re starting to build some Christmas traditions. Advent, which I didn’t really grow up with but have come to love, has become a big deal around here. We get our tree on December 1st, a real marker that the season has begun.

I want to start a new tradition of all of us camping out under the tree that night but we’ll see how that works out!

I’ve also started putting together little bags of activities for the girls for each day of Advent to go with some numbered pegs my mother-in-law gave me.

Two years ago we started the tradition of new pyjamas on Christmas Eve. We just might have to keep that one going this year.

What is the best present you’ve been given or have given to someone else?
Our first married Christmas, Laurence made a poster putting together lots of tiny photos from our wedding and honeymoon, including little phrases that had come up in that time. It’s framed and hangs in our dining room. Every day I see it and feel grateful for this life we’ve started together. It only cost time and printing on his part but I don’t think he could have given me a better present that year.

It’s harder for me to think of what the best present I’ve given is. I think I’ll go for a little baby doll we got Talitha the year she was two. She’d kept insisting that Ophelia was going to be called “Sally” so I figured we’d give her a baby doll who could be called Sally instead. That little doll was breastfed, carried in slings, pushed around in pushchairs, fed at the table, sung lullabies to and taken to bed most nights. Sally is still much treasured, beloved by both girls. In fact, I’m getting Ophelia another doll in the same range this year so they’ll hopefully stop fighting over Sally!

tesco-christmas-toddler-5b

What is your earliest Christmas memory?
Actually, one of my earliest Christmas memories is a baby doll my parents gave me one Christmas. Well, the card was signed Santa and Mrs Claus but I literally can’t remember a time I genuinely believed there was a Santa so I think my parents probably never encouraged it much. He was called Mr Bello and I loved that he was anatomically correct! I can still vividly remember how he smelled and dressing him at my paternal grandparents’ house. My mother had taken us to a toy store a bit before Christmas and saw me admiring him so I was absolutely delighted to unwrap him on Christmas morning.

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

That’s a bit of tricky one because watching Love Actually has become required viewing every year but, actually, I get really nostalgic for Miracle of 34th Street (the one with Richard Attenborough) so I reckon that’s got to be the one. Talitha’s favourite so far is Mickey Mouse’s Once Upon a Christmas but I’d love to show them all the stop motion movies I grew up with like Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer. Answering this makes me want to watch something Christmassy tonight!

Tell me what your favourite Christmas movie is and enter the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win a £100 voucher to spend on a weekend break with Virgin Experience Days.

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18 Comments

  1. November 16, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    My favourite Christmas film has to be Miracle on 34th Street (Richard Attenborough version) as well. We’ve already watched it twice so far this year. Definitely starting to get into the spirit here.
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  2. Ashleigh Allan
    November 16, 2015 / 5:16 pm

    So hard to pick – probably the snowman with home alone coming a very close second!

  3. Katie Kingsbury
    November 16, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    I have a few but the one I always really enjoy watching is Gremlins – and it’s *definitely* a Christmas film because it happens at Christmas, even if it is full of horrible little monsters!

  4. Tika
    November 16, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    I can’t remember watching a specific ‘Christmas movie’ as a family event as a child, though Home Alone appeared in there somewhere and I had the Snowman on VHS and must have worn the tape out. As an adult I like The Holiday as it isn’t overly Christmas cheer, and Bridget Jones is always a good laugh, though the Snowman and Snowdog caught my heart two Christmases ago! So much choice!

  5. Diana Cotter
    November 17, 2015 / 11:15 am

    The Snowman

  6. November 17, 2015 / 11:26 am

    OOh there are so many christmas that i love and I often get excited at getting them all out at christmas but I think my favouite two are home alone and planes, train and automobiles. Yep they’re cheesy and old skool but I love the message of everyone coming together for the spirit of christmas x
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  7. November 17, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    my favourite Christmas movie is always going to be Elf! I LOVE LOVE Christmas, I start to feel Christmassy around November but I’m very strict on not putting up our tree until Dec for sure x
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  8. November 17, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    My favourite ever is ELF!!! We watch it a zillion times every year- and always on the 1st Dec… I can’t wait!

  9. Clare Duiker
    November 19, 2015 / 11:02 pm

    My favourite Christmas movie is Its A Wonderful Life x

  10. Sandra Omara
    November 21, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    My favourite is The Snowman!

  11. Lynsey Buchanan
    November 21, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    Elf makes me laugh till my sides hurt

  12. November 25, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Ohh Christmas. I love it 😀 and I can’t wait.

    My favourite Christmas movie has got to be When Harry met Sally.. I just adore it. From the wonderful Soundtrack to the cast to the beautiful filming. Ah yes 😀

    Close second is one of those cheesy Channel 5 Christmas films, where the family is stranded at the airport due to a snowstorm, and they run into the Ex husband and guess what, at the end of the movie, everyone’s happily ever after 😀 😉

    Nev

  13. Ellie
    November 30, 2015 / 6:49 am

    Edward Scissorhands – It’s not all snow-filled and Christmassy all the way through but the scenes that really stick in my mind, are pure Christmas. I love this movie!

  14. December 6, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    It’s a wonderful life – absolute favourite 🙂

    Will go check out now what parang sounds like 🙂

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