As Christmas Day is fast approaching, I thought of getting things into a more festive mood and for that reason I have with me today Augusta Blythe, author of Winterborne and recently released Ravenstoke, book 2 in her Universe Unbound series.
Christmas, is one of my favorite holidays of the year. For anyone who knows me a bit, it's quite obvious that I'm not really fond of holidays, but Christmas always held a special spot in my heart. What with all the decorations and the general spirit of the particular holiday, Christmas is the one holiday I always look forward to!
So, along with Augusta, we thought of preparing a very special and very Christmasy post!
Have you ever thought what is that makes you feel that Christmas time is on its way? Is there anything particular that if missing, it simply wouldn't feel like Christmas? For us, there certainly are! Cause simply, it wouldn't be Christmas without some very simple things!
Lights and music set the Christmas mood for me. Our dining room has glass walls on three sides as well as the vaulted ceiling so I put white lights on the tree in there and a simple strand of white lights across the top of the glass panes. The lights reflect in the glass and the effect is amazing. The high street and market square have lovely lights as well. Not too overdone, just enough to put you in a cheerful state of mind.
In England, people don't decorate the exterior of their houses like they do in America and I really miss that. I can vividly remember sitting in the back of the car as a child while we drove around at night, just to see the most beautifully (or hideously) decorated homes. I don't know if people do that as much in such depressing economic times; I'm sure it's expensive.
In later years, as a teen I got my Glee on and travelled around to malls with a small group of chorus members to sing Christmas carols. I also organized caroling through familiar neighborhoods in the hopes of getting invited in somewhere for hot chocolate. My kids sing Christmas songs now too and last year I was still singing my daughter to sleep with Rudolph and Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney in March! She refused to let go of the Christmas spirit. I'm hoping she's more reasonable this year.
Today I made chocolate chip cookies while traditional Christmas music played in the background. In addition to choir carols, I love Nat King Cole and Barbara Streisand's Christmas albums. I still enjoy the Ally McBeal Christmas CD even though the TV show ended ages ago. Robert Downey Jr. (that's Iron Man to you youngsters) does a terrific cover of Joni Mitchell's River. If you haven't heard it, it's on YouTube (and you're welcome).
Aside from lights and music, I always find time to watch Jimmy Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life. It's not Christmas for me without that film. All you need to say to me is "Zuzu's petals" and I get a lump in my throat. "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down." Ah, don't get me started. If it's one of those films you haven't managed to see, please do. It's wonderfully old-fashioned with an inspiring message and, for me, that pretty much sums up Christmas.
While for me:
I feel that Christmas is on its way as soon as every time I step outside my doorstep I smell the fireplaces' smoke. With the climatic changes, winter time comes a bit later here in Greece the last several years, so the smell of the fireplaces sometime in mid-November is a sign for me that Christmas time is approaching!
Here in Greece, another sign that Christmas time is here is when the sweetshops are starting selling some special Christams desserts. Two of our traditional are kourampiedes and melomakarona. Melomakarona are bassicaly some kind of cookies but with lots of honey-made syrup and kourampiedes are again something like cookies but with sugar on top of them! They are really delicious both of them and when home made, they are the perfect kind of gift you can give to your closest ones.
But along with all those, Christmas simply wouldn't be without being with my closest people, and shopping for presents with my friends and wrapping all those presents to put them under the tree even if we know fully well what the presents are! Yeah I know we are silly and childish that way, but I just love it! As I love to get even something small for pretty much everyone I know. It's something I do since I was a kid, when I used to save money months before Christmas just to be able to get a little something for everyone and put it outside their doorstep on New Years Day (cause that's when we exchange gifts here and not on Boxing Day, that we don't celebrate unfortunatelly).
So, what brings you on the Christmas Mood? What is that should it miss, it simply wouldn't be Christmas for you? I'm eager to hear in your comments!
And just a little something to get you in the mood, tommorow, along with Augusta we have planned a special giveaway for all of you! So, don't forget to visit again tommorow!