It’s that time of year again for Christmas festivities. A time for cheesy office parties, stuffing ourselves full of decadent food and spending quality time with family and friends closest to us.

From my perspective, there’s a no season better – this time of year is what life is all about. As you can imagine, I sit firmly in the ‘love’ Christmas camp and there are a number of reasons why I love the festive season (and no, it’s not just the continuous Christmas hits everywhere you go).

So, to get in the festive spirit, here’s my top 5 favourite things about Christmas:

Family

This one feels kind of obvious but Christmas is the one time of year when the whole family are together. During the rest of the year, it’s often hard to stay in touch – life gets in the way these days. I know, excuses, excuses… but it goes both ways. My parents are just as busy as me these days!

Christmas serves as the perfect time to come back together as a family unit and appreciate one another, as we should. The best thing is, it doesn’t matter if my family have been warring, or just had a bit of a rough year in general, we always celebrate Christmas together – it unites us. It’s a bit like a rallying call to arms.

Joe and I celebrating the festive period at the Christmas markets in Birmingham.

And friends!

The same can be said for friendships. I try and make sure that I see all of my nearest and dearest just before the festive season truly kicks off. To swap presents, celebrate another year of companionship and generally, have a few cheeky drinks – whether that’s mulled wine or a little number from the Costa Christmas drinks menu. Any excuse, eh?

Speckles (my cat) getting involved in the tinsel decorating!

Travel

Christmas is often a great time to travel – in fact, this year is the first that Joe and I haven’t travelled to distant shores in search of a festive experience. Our usual haunts are the German Christmas markets. One – because the atmosphere at each one is amazing and two – my family live in Germany, so it’s a great chance to catch up with them.

If you haven’t been then you absolutely should – even if it’s for the traditional fairy-lit houses and spicy Gluhwein alone. Travelling is a great way of getting into the festive spirit, doing a little present shopping and seeing how another culture celebrates, just before settling down to your own version of festivities. I can definitely recommend Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Iceland for a little pre-Christmas getaway.

If you’re thinking of travelling in the UK, Emma has just created a list of festive things to do in Bristol.

Festive fun in Germany, drinking mulled wine with my family.

Traditions

One of my favourite aspects of the Christmas period is watching traditions play out. In my family, there are many; gathering around a local person’s huge fir tree to sing carols, going for a posh Chinese on Christmas Eve, playing board games and my brother getting bored halfway through Monopoly, opening presents pre-dinner in a circle whilst Top of the Pops is on and the evening call from family in Australia or Germany – and these are just a few! It’s these traditions that really made the day itself special, they’re little events that still warm the heart to this day. Whilst so much changes on a year-to-year basis, it’s always good to know that some things stay the same. A little like having a comfort blanket.

Local Christmas tree, perfect for carol singing.

Christmas songs

Now, who doesn’t love a good festive tune?! My favourite, without a doubt, is Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ – it immediately reminds me what’s coming in the next month and all of the fun to look forward to. This special set of songs get me really excited about my Dad dancing to them first thing on Christmas day, parties and school discos with friends that lasted into the night and present shopping trips with friends. They’re the perfect background to a weekend spent putting the tree up, wrapping presents, chowing down on mince pies and sipping a glass of warm mulled wine.

Do you love or hate Christmas festivities? Are you a traditionalist or do you like to try something a little more unusual? Let us know in the comments below.

Why I love christmas festivities | Ladies What Travel

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