The Christmas Tag

Hello everyone!

I really wanted to add a festive twist to blogging this month and while I was originally going to do Tom Fletcher’s 15 Festive Favourites (which he did on his Youtube channel) I found this one on Lulu’s blog (here), and I thought it was better suited to text! Without further ado, here is my Christmas Tag

One

What is your favourite Christmas film?

“A Muppet’s Christmas Carol” is hands-down my favourite and a must watch with the family every year, so that is definitely top of the list. Another film that I watch around this time of year is “The Holiday”. It’s Christmasssy and cheesy; what more could you want?!

Two

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

There’s a tradition in my house where we’re all allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. Everything else must wait until Christmas morning.

Three

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

When my Grandad was still alive, we used to go to my Aunt’s house Christmas evening. Every year Grandad (after maybe a couple of drinks 😉 ) would sing Céad Míle Fáilte (a traditional Irish song). This isn’t really specific to one year but I love that memory nonetheless.

Four

What is your favourite Christmas food?

I have to say my favourites aren’t particularly festive- it’s just the time of year we are guaranteed to have them in our house! Yorkshire puddings and trifle are my favourites, but not together (obviously). Every Christmas Eve., I’m given the task of making the trifle and I have to say, it’s pretty damn good.

Five

What is your favourite Christmas gift?

I have gotten some fab presents over the years, but I don’t think I can pick a standalone favourite of all time. I do however love receiving books for Christmas, especially is someone has put some serious thought into getting one that they think I will like, and not just one off Tesco’s bestsellers selection.

Six

 What is your favourite Christmas scent?

Yankee Candle are absolutely killing it will the great range of Christmas scents they have. I do love Candy Cane Lane at the moment but my favourite Christmassy scent can be found all through my house starting with the kitchen. This is due to Dad baking his locally famous Christmas cakes (he even made one for Munster and Ireland rugby player Paul O’Connell- Shameless namedrop!) The smell is a mix of fruit and spices and general yumminess. These cakes are only for Christmas but are in popular demand all year round.

Seven

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Christmas last year was a bit different due to my sister spending her Christmas Eve in Ennis and I fell asleep on the couch because I had been working late the night before, but hopefully we will get back on track this year. All the years  before that my sister, my mam and I go to mass in the evening while my dad and my brother are left to hold down the fort (after I have made the trifle during the afternoon) and we get to open one present that evening and we also get lovely new cosy pajamas every year.

Eight

What tops your tree?

For years we had this angel which had a creepiness to it not unlike that of porcelain dolls, but in the past few years we’ve started using this really glittery star that is probably borderline tacky but it is the bee’s knees.

Nine

Asa kid, what was the one gift you asked for but never received?

I genuinely can’t think of anything serious so if this had been the case the thing I was looking for obviously wasn’t life-changing. I think the worst it got was not specifying what colour Nintendo DS Lite I wanted and ended up with a pink one- shocking! I didn’t burst into flames or anything when I picked it up though so it obviously wasn’t that bad. Still have that a good 8 years and it’s working perfectly.

Ten

What is your favourite Christmas song?

My favourite Christmas song (as opposed to carol) is “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde’s voice is magical. This of course is fllowed by the well-loved “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues and Kristy MacColl. My favourite Christmas carol would have to be either “Carol of the Bells” or “The Huron Carol”. The latter is really beautiful if you can find a good version of it but most of the ones I’ve found have a quicker time signature than the 3/4 time which I personally think suits it best. The closest thing to a “good” version of it is by The Five Fifths on Youtube.

Eleven

What’s the best part of Christmas for you?

Generally, I prefer the build-up to Christmas more than the actual day, but this year I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my sister and I’m also looking forward to Ryan coming down from Belfast on Christmas day to see me (yes he is a sweetheart). Hopefully the first of many. 🙂

So, that’s my Christmas Tag! Feel free to answer the questions yourself in the comments, or if you’ve done the Christmas Tag yourself, leave me a link and I’ll be sure to check it out!

Until next time,

Laura

20 Before 20: Revisited

Hello everyone!

With about 3 weeks left until my 20th birthday, I decided to revise my 20 Before 20 list; some things I have surpassed the target I set, some will be by no means completed, while others have simply become irrelevant. Those which I have achieved will be crossed out, those which are still relevant will stay and by removing those which cannot be achieved I will hopefully increase my chances with the rest. So, here is my revised list.

1. Pass my driving theory test: I have not even booked this and have barely had a chance to study, so while I hope to begin studying before my 20th birthday, this will definitely not be achieved.

2. Finish my Project 365: Done! It’s a weird feeling you get when you finish a photography project- a kind of emptiness sprinkled with the relief of not having to try find an interesting photo opportunity every day, which was especially difficult on lazy or sick days!

3. Become Fit: This 100% did not happen and trying to fool myself into thinking that the 3 weeks coming up to Christmas are when it’s going to happen is ridiculous! I’ll keep up what I’m doing so far, but I’ll give it my all from January on!

4. Visit a European city, or choose which city to visit: This is a tricky one for me to answer as I’ve had a couple of conversations with Ryan about this and while we haven’t chosen a place together I think that he has pretty much decided and that’s gonna be part of my Christmas present. While I’m kinda excited to find out, I’m simultaneously dreading it- I hate surprises so this is torture!!

5. Watch a new film fortnightly: I’ve watched way more films than I expected to so I’ve completed this goal ahead of time. The goal was to watch 10 films that I’d never seen before and I’ve watched 16 so far- there might even be more to come!

6. Make more time for old friends: While this has been difficult at times due to conflicting schedules and the like I think that I have given this a good go. I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with my old friends and I’m hoping this will form a good habit for the future. I don’t want to cross this one out as finished as it wasn’t really a case of being a one-off thing as the rest more or less are. This one is continual and so it stays!

7. Read at least 3 new books: Accomplished. Currently reading my 5th new book.

8. Create something I’m really proud of: This came in the form of the secret Santa present I made this year. Obviously I cannot divulge the information about it as I’m not sure if the person I got reads this blog but I’m going to do a D.I.Y tutorial on it either closer to or after Christmas. I’m really happy with it and I’m excited to see their reaction.

9. Put more effort into blogging: College took a serious chunk out of my blogging time but I’m back on the bandwagon now and I’ve got some posts in the pipeline for the coming month so hopefully I’ll be more active here 🙂

10. Watch the sunrise: It is kind of pathetic that I still haven’t seen the sunrise. I’m gonna try make this happen, though I think it might be too late in the year.

11. Complete the mini marathon: I was working again this year so I have 100% failed this one as well!

12. Start driving lessons: In Ireland you can’t start driving lessons without your theory test done so until I get that sorted this is a no go for me.

13. Declutter my room: I’ve started this long process this week so it will be done before Christmas. There’s a great feeling about getting rid of stuff you don’t need; like a weight off your chest and the good feeling of donating whatever is still good to a charity shop so that’s helping other people too.

14. Get a new piercing: When I was in Belfast in August, I got my tragus pierced so this one is done and dusted. I have however taken out my cartilage piercing as it was getting really red and sore despite being fine for months. I might get it again a little further down my ear as since the first was done with a gun it kinda blew my cartilage a little bit!

15. Give up fizzy drinks: I was off fizzy drinks for about 2 months and while I still drink them now and again, I don’t drink them half as much as I used to and I’m hoping to cut them out for a substantial period of time in the new year.

16. Become more decisive: There have been some recent decisions I’ve had to make that were quite a big deal- one of which was deciding to drop out of college, so if that doesn’t count as me being more decisive than when I started this, I don’t know what will!! (I should have a whole post about this closer to or after Christmas, there’s a few people who I still haven’t told that I really should tell first!)

17. Become more patient: Like with #6, I have made good progress in this area but it is a continuing process. One of the books I’m currently reading (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ) has some tips on becoming more patient and I’m trying my best to soak them up like a sponge 🙂

18. Make more of an effort with my college work: As mentioned briefly in #16, this is no longer relevant.

19. Become more adventurous with the foods I eat: Since writing my 20 Before 20 in July, I have tried things that i never thought I would, including duck and squid! This has definitely made me more open to trying new things for sure.

20. Get a list published on Listverse: I’ve had no joy with this so far as I haven’t really had time to find a topic interesting enough and then the time to write the list with the minimum amount of words. Hopefully I’ll find something in the new year that I can write about.

So, after revisiting my 20 Before 20, I have completed 8/20, 6/20 are now irrelevant or have been abandoned (for now) and the other six are either ongoing or hopefully going to be completed within the next 3 weeks. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Laura