Welcome to this week's #CityCountryLife- Christmas Traditions. #CityCountryLife is a series run by myself and my gorgeous friend Lizzie. Living in the heart of London, I write about life with kids in the capital city and Lizzie writes about all the wonderful things that country life has to offer.
For me Christmas has always been about spending time with my family, especially as we're scattered all over the world, so it is always a time for us to get together, even if it's just via Skype. Now I have children, it one of my favourite things about Christmas is starting new family traditions. Activities that we can do together each year in the run up to Christmas day.
With people starting to celebrate Christmas earlier and earlier each year, it's hard not to go overboard too soon. Mr Jones would buy a tree mid November if I let him but I like our decorations to stay up until the 6th January ( the 12th day of Christmas) so if we were to buy a tree to early it would just look awful by the end. Each year we buy our tree, on the first weekend of December, we always get a real tree, I love the smell and it makes the house feel extra christmassy.
Then we go to the Chelsea Gardener at Chelsea Farmers market to pick some decorations for the tree, They have a huge selection of the most beautiful decorations to choose from. When the children were tiny babies I went and chose them a decoration each and now that they are old enough, they choose their own. On each decoration I write their name and the year so that when they are older they will be able to look back at all the decorations that they have chosen over the years. This year E chose a ceramic angel and Rufio chose a little wooden soldier.
The sad thing is that this could be the last year that we'll be able to uphold this tradition. The entire farmers market along with many beautiful and historic buildings in the area, are threatened with closure because TFL is proposing to knock it all down in order to build a Crossrail Station! Locals who love Chelsea, myself included, feel very strongly that this isn't the right location and that a station so hopefully TFL and those who love Chelsea can come to some sort of compromise. It would be such a shame to destroy a vibrant and thriving community!
A new tradition that we started last year is Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum. The back drop is just spectacular and feels like something out of a movie, with the huge tree in the middle of the rink adorned with twinkling Swarovski crystal decorations. This year we went straight after E broke up from school with some of her new friends and their mamas and Rufio stayed at home with Grandma, at 2 I think that he's still a little bit small to give this a go but next year I think he should be fine. After skating, we took the kids for hot chocolate in the cafe overlooking the rink. By that time it was dark and little fairy lights strung from the trees lit up the ice and it was just magical!
What Christmas traditions do you have? We'd love share and link up if your blogs: