I know I have said it before and I will almost certainly say it again before the weekend rolls around, Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. I love the festive spirit in the run up to Christmas, the choosing of the tree, the decorating, the gift selection for loved ones and of course the excuse to indulge in a treat or two!
But the thing which I love the most is that we get 2 weeks together as a family. That is no work, no distractions...just good, quality family time. This year has felt a bit all over the place if I'm honest. With the October half term being so late (and actually being the November half term!) and Christmas being on a weekend...the kids seem to be finishing quite close to Christmas and James won't finish at work until Friday and then Christmas will be HERE.
When Slater & Gordon (http://www.slatergordon.co.uk/family-and-personal-matters/) invited me to share what makes family time so precious for me, I knew this was the perfect time of year to think about how we've spent time together as a family in 2016 and what I love about spending time together over Christmas.
It is so important to make time for family, especially at this time of year. I think maybe I have overstretched a little as well, committing to Vlogmas, the Kindness Elves, a Carol Concert, a VIP evening for the homeless in Southport and just about everything else you can imagine which might be taking place in December so I am more than ready for this break to finally roll around.
We tend to spend Christmas Day as just the four of us, enjoying things at our own pace but we always plan time to see extended family over the 2 weeks that the kids are off school and James isn't at work as well. It's something about this year which just really puts me in mind of families (whether blended, non-biological or otherwise...) and the sense of togetherness which is so important.
I've loved seeing all the posts on social media just recently for restaurants, coffee shops, churches and even people's homes which are being opened on Christmas Day for those who are on their own. I think it is a wonderful thing to do around this time of year as I imagine it can also be an incredibly lonely time for some people as well.
Our Christmas Day is a pretty chilled out affair, with the main focus being on just relaxing as a foursome. We take things very much at our own pace which we wouldn't be able to do if we were rushing out for Christmas dinner. We start with stockings in our PJ's, followed by a cooked breakfast. We take a quick break to get washed and dressed and then it's into the lounge for under the tree presents. We have found this works to stop the kids from getting overwhelmed and turning into little terrors who just rip presents open left right and centre (one year I think Meg accidentally opened the majority of mine!). Then we pop a Christmas movie in and snuggle up whilst James heads into the kitchen to make the dinner...oh I'm feeling it already!
We might go out for a walk if we need some fresh air later and to let the dog run off her energy, I think last year we went down to the beach and then it's home for some warming hot chocolate and a chance to play with any new toys Santa might have brought for us.
Total simplicity and yet the best kind of family time in my opinion. I can't wait!
How do you spend time with family over Christmas?
*This is a collaborative post*