This week the theme for the Listography hosted by Kate Takes 5 is the top 5 things that make Christmas Christmas. Here's what makes it Christmas for me:
1 - Opening a big box of chocolates
Boxes of chocolates are usually the first sign of Christmas in the supermarkets. Not branded with anything Christmassy, and not even displayed in a special Christmas section, but everyone knows that their appearance means it's time to start thinking about Christmas. It was always a special moment when I was little and the tin of Roses was opened on Christmas Eve. It's not quite the same these days now that I can just go and buy a box of chocolates whenever I want, but it wouldn't be Christmas without a big tin of chocolates somewhere in the room.
2 - Stockpiling (and eating!) yummy food and drink
We are having a tiny family Christmas this year, no entertaining and no guests. We are also moving house just after Christmas so we are trying to keep purchases to a minimum. Yet we still have a massive pile of chocolates, biscuits, crisps, wine, beer, mince pies, sweets, chocolate bars, crackers...with more party food still to be purchased! It will all get eaten though!
3 - Listening to Christmas songs
We have a collection of Christmas music in various places - the car, the computer, to play through the television, through the iPod dock. Not to mention on the television, radio and in shops. I love listening to Christmas songs, and because you only listen to them at this time of year and not through the rest of the year, they really do evoke Christmas.
4 - Watching television
I remember the excitement surrounding the Christmas Radio Times, and checking to see which new films would be shown and which classics would be repeated. Along with the cold weather and shorter days, Christmas is about sitting in front of the television, watching Christmas specials of your favourite shows, re-watching the classics over again, and sharing them with the next generation.
5 - Dressing up
Dressing a bit more smartly and maybe even putting on some make-up for the work Christmas do, dressing the babies and children in silly outfits and Santa hats, wearing Christmas tree earrings and musical ties, and spending Christmas Day itself wearing a poorly fitting hat from a cracker. And lots of sparkles!