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21 December 2018 6 comments


The run up to Christmas is my favourite part of the whole festive affair.

When it turns December 1st and all the storefronts get out their best Christmas decorations to impress this year, the air fills with merry, Christmas tunes and supermarket shelves start filling with festive fare, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

We've a few Christmas traditions here at Casa BTB that we like to indulge in and enjoy each Christmas that I'd love to share with you today. I hope you enjoy!


one. // Making extravagant hot chocolates and gluweins.

F is a big gluwein lover. Red wine is his favourite tipple throughout the year as it is, but the warming spices and fruity notes of a good mulled wine, to him, seems irresistible! We put in (too much) cinnamon, cloves, clementines, cranberries, and a few other bits and pieces (this isn't a bad recipe) and let them steep for a good half an hour or so. For me, I'm a bit of a hot chocolate fiend. Ideally I'd like it as the French have it, dark, thick and syrupy, but I like to experiment with spices and extravagant toppings around Christmas - Gingerbread Hot Chocolate will always be a favourite!


two. // Buying a new set of cosy pyjamas.

Granted as I do this every year, it means my collection grows pretty quickly.. but pjs are a weakness of mine! And a lovely way to treat yourself every year I think. I picked up this tartan pair this year which are so very snuggly.


three. // Getting down to some holiday baking!

I *love* having an excuse to bake all of my favourite naughty treats, and what better a time than Christmas? F appreciates being the guinea pig too ;) Gingerbread snowflake biscuits, Christmassy baked apples or salted dark chocolate tart with clementine syrup are my go-to favourites for the festive season. These little kits from BakedIn, that guide you through each step, are such a sweet idea for the novice baker or if you like to think of yourself as a little more 'advanced' like myself (I jest ;) then maybe a jewel-toned cherry pavlova or my favourite castella cake.


four. // Booking a getaway!

We've sort of gotten into a bit of a habit of looking into where to go next around late December - I think the extra excitement of booking somewhere for the year ahead chimes in with the rest of the Christmas cheer perfectly! And a great time to nab yourselves some low-cost flights too (Jet2 have some pretty good offers for city breaks, which F and I love to go on). F's thinking Barcelona or Edinburgh next, whilst I'm thinking Verona or Florence for a city break - or Polignano a mare or Ostuni which have both been on my list for a little while!


five. // Trying a new chocolate flavour combination.

A slightly off-piste Christmas tradition, but as chocolate lovers, my father has always instilled the tradition of trying new chocolates at Christmas time. He worked abroad a lot in my childhood and would come home for Christmas with weird and wonderful chocolate products from around the world to try. This year, F and I picked up some new flavours during an outing to Winchester Christmas Market for Christmas day - we've already had a sneaky taste of an arbequina and sea salt, and gingerbread caramel (one quite savoury and dark and the other deliciously spiced and not sickly) and we can confirm, it's two thumbs up ;)



six. // Christmas stationery and wrapping presents.

I love Christmas stationery. It's a weakness.. Especially when Rifle Paper co tempt me with their adorable cards etc (I get mine here). And of course getting all the wrapping paper and ribbons out to ceremoniously wrap all the presents. I always deck out the 'wrapping room' (the lounge) with as many fairy lights and candles as possible, set some snacks and treats down by my side on the floor and spread out the wrapping arsenal like splaying a deck of cards. Sparkle, sprigs, ribbons, jute - it's all fair game! Does anyone else have a wrapping ritual? Hands up!

seven. // Christmas markets (and freshly fried sweet treats).

We always go to at least one Christmas market each year. I know that the ones on the continent are far larger affairs but I think I love Bath the most - other than it being another excuse to visit maybe my favourite place in the UK ;) There's something about the wooden huts, the lights, the music, the Christmas cheer, and I love to support the local producers and craftspeople too. And there always seem to be fresh donuts, churros or something sweet and deep-fried to savour - dusted with plenty of sugar and Christmassy cinnamon, my favourite! F and I picked up some lovely, locally produced jams (apricot and verjus) and raw honey, as well as some decorations for the tree in Winchester this year.

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?


Some of the items in this post were kindly provided by Jet2, but the post is not sponsored and as per, all thoughts remain my own. Thank you.