Okay, so I know that it’s technically Autumn. But the minute the weather turns and I begin to sense that initial tease of chill in the air I begin a ritual of odd behaviour which is reserved only for what I consider ‘The Christmas Months’ – They usually begin (for me) in October, because what’s the fun of containing Festive feelings into just December? As much as I adore tanned legs in frayed hot pants and ice creams on the beach I just thrive on the cosy, intimate atmosphere that the colder weather invites us to huddle up in.
1. The minute the nights feel cold enough I whip out all manner of festive pajamas. Red fleecy pajama bottoms with snowflakes printed on, snuggly white ones emblazoned with miniature robins…And don’t be fooled by the word ‘pajamas.’ I do not consider them to be worn just as nightwear; I will happily parade around in them all day if I’m not leaving the house. I usually end up slightly overheated due to an overestimation of my need for insulation, but I just love the thick and comforting fabric reminding me that from this day forward I will not need to concern myself with fake tanning my legs (for a couple of months anyway.)
2. I will quite happily pay an extra £2 for a small piece of chocolate if it is shaped as a reindeer. Or an adorable little penguin wrapped in shiny silver foil. Or what is meant to resemble a Santa but looks more like a messily molded oblong figure once the printed wrapping is torn off. The minute the Christmas chocolate aisle appears in the supermarkets (it has appeared already, I have checked multiple times) I will run up and down it in absolute awe of the new selection of treats which will surely taste so much having been adorned with red ribbons and festive patterns and fancy packaging. I could easily pick up a plain bar of chocolate for half the price, but Christmas chocolate seems so much more appealing. It almost panics me as I pace up and down the aisles trying to decide what to buy, mainly because I worry that I won’t get the chance to sample one of everything before they disappear at the end of January and I am left with only mundane Dairy Milks and plain Galaxy bars. Which admittedly do taste exactly the same as their Christmas-themed counterparts, but that’s not the point.
3. I wholeheartedly embrace the moment that the shops introduce their holiday playlists. Dull shopping trips can be spiced up when accompanied with backing track of ‘Baby it’s cold outside,’ encouraging you to rush immediately to the winter clothing section in desperation to adorn yourself with layers before stepping outside again. There is a huge difference between shopping throughout the year and Winter shopping. All the cute gift sets take pride of place in displays and the excitement of choosing something perfect for a loved one replaces the desire to spend on yourself.
4. I become obsessed with all manner of lighting. While out walking the dog or driving I will scour every house I pass like a hawk looking for signs of festive fairy lights. I will physically stop outside houses which are decorated particularly well just to examine the array of colored, twinkly lights on show. Christmas trees in windows are an extra bonus. I have been known to go out on specific ‘light hunting’ drives around the wealthier neighborhoods which always seem to be in ferocious competition with each other on who can fit the most decorations onto their sprawling lawns and hang the most lights from the high eaves of their mansions.
5. Salad no longer exists. Winter is a time for comfort food, the consequences of which can be hidden comfortably beneath thick baggy jumpers. Not only the above mentioned chocolate, but steaming pastas and lasagnas because they warm you up and cheese and biscuits because…Well, just because cheese and biscuits really.