The Christmas Tag (Finally)

TheChristmasTag

I’ve let my mountains of tags pile up in the last few months (yes, months), and for that I sincerely apologise. It’s not much, but may I offer you a sorry salad? I’ll try my best to get them done and dusted now that the holidays have begun!

I was tagged for The Christmas Tag by two people: Anna @ Just a Thought and Elly @ A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts. (A lot of thoughts happening there.) I thought that I’d better do it before Christmas came around,  so on we proceed with the festive spirit!

Anna’s Questions

What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I know it’s kind of bad, but I’ve always liked Nativity. If we’re thinking of something a little more traditional, then my family always has The Sound of Music rolling as everyone comes and goes on Christmas day.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning!

3. Do you have a favorite (favourite) Christmas memory?
When I was about five, I spent Christmas with my Australian relations. I remember getting a bottle of Coca-Cola in my stocking and turning up my nose at it: “But Mummy, I don’t like Coke! Why would Santa bring me this?”

4. Favorite festive food?
I ADORE Christmas pudding – you know, the one you set on fire and eat with brandy butter. I wish I could eat it all year round. I’m also prone to a nice bit of stuffing.

5. Favorite Christmas gift ?

I know this is kind of shallow, but probably that Pokémon Black DS game I got one year. I lay in my bed Christmas Eve planning out my whole journey and stuff; I was SO excited. I still haven’t finished the game, but I’m (in theory) just about to beat the Elite Four for the last time.

6. Favorite Christmas scent?

I’m not sure. The smell of cooking Christmas lunch? We have an ancient fake Christmas tree, so I’ve never really associated the smell of pine with Christmas.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

We put milk, a mince pie and carrots in front of the fireplace. I’m responsible for the glitter on the windowsills.

8. What tops your tree?

A star that isn’t meant to go on Christmas trees; it’s rather hard to keep it from falling off.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
I didn’t make a massive fuss of it, but I did have some extravagant presents on my list. Sometimes, it was another cat, and others it was magical powers from the fairies. (I want to be able to fly so bad.)

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Like Anna, I love being able to see my family. My mum’s one of seven, so it’s not often that the majority of my relatives are together. But I also love the feeling of being absolutely full in the evening, and I’m not oblivious to the Boxing Day sales, either.

Elly’s Questions

1. What do you want for Christmas?
Books, of course, and some earrings from this cute shop called Cakes With Faces. (Their designs are simply adorabubble.)

2. Do you look out the window on Christmas Eve and wonder if you can see Santa’s sleigh or a shooting star?
The sky is quite hard to see from my house, so no. I’ve always been the kind of person who needs their *coughs* beauty sleep!

3. What shape of chocolate did you get in your advent calendar today?
I have a Fairtrade Divine one, and all the shapes are hearts.

4. What did you put on your tree?

We’ve been known to put up Winnie the Pooh baubles, but this year we have an (in my opinion) rather tasteful and restrained silver and red colour scheme. (A colour scheme! *gasps*)

5. What is your favourite Christmas song?
We have a Pink Martini Christmas CD that gets played every year, and I do love Carol of the Bells/Schedryck, Schedryck on that. (I’ve had a full rendition of it in the original language by my Ukrainian friend.) . If we’re just talking about non-carol songs, though, then I’ll admit that I have a thing for All I Want For Christmas is You. It works excellently with All I Want For Christmas is…[insert unpublished book here] too.

I’m tagging The Writing Hufflepuff and YA Inspires. (You can just choose one set of questions, if you like.) Anyone reading this is also welcome to participate!

Merry Christmas!

I Am Back!

I’m back from holidays (that I did in fact fail to mention, sorry)!

I won’t write a massive long post right now, but what I will do is share some of the things I have been thinking about:

Firstly, that the UK is not particularly good in general at winter sports, but we are good at skeleton an d curling (those widely played sports).
Secondly, cats adore boxes.
Thirdly, Lauren Aquilina has her third EP out on March 10, which I am seriously excited about. I love her music, the look, the videos. Awesomeness. I’ve been teaching myself to play/sing some of her songs on the piano. Or at least the chords.

Go listen!

Apple xx

Breaking the Silence | Update

I hope you all had a merry Christmas!  I haven’t really had much time to post, although I have two in the making, which I hope to put up soon (with luck, later today). I figured that a bad, half-finished post was just as worse as  not posting it at all.

Yes. So, this post was basically to give you a heads-up that I have not disappeared off the face of the earth. I’ve only been caught up in the flow of relations that fill our house every December. And, in truth, I’ve been very excited by all the sales, presents, parties and so on.

I’ve missed blogging so much, and I’ll try and be more diligent in future! I hope you have a fantastic new year,

Apple xx

How to Survive the Season of Cards

Hello, there! This will be my last post for a couple of days since I’m away on an impromptu school trip until Sunday. Now, you probably know that I do tend to get stuck in the topic of beauty, so I’ll be doing a Christmas-related one today!

CARDS. An inescapable part of Christmas. Not as anticipated as much as presents, not hated as much as an overcooked brussels sprout. They’re just…well, there. Here is my guide to writing excellent ones with minimum effort, making them look pretty and, above all, how to survive the season of cards.

Step 1: Find the perfect cards.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It’s a bit hit and miss here. We often buy charity ones, but if those are unavailable for any reason, then I recommend you head to the nearest pound shop when you need large quantities. If not, head to a post office or stationary store for some slightly less tacky ones. Christmas markets are also great.

On designing your own: simple and/or stylized with some sort of quote (or non-quote) on the front. Go for bold colour. Cut the card into different shapes. Experiment.

Xmas card

Step 2: Write the perfect message.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Okay, so the majority of cards have a printed message in them. They key here is not to leave that do the talking, but, on the other hand, not to write an exact copy. That’s just boring. By now, you may well be thinking ‘There’s no way I’m spending 10 minutes on each of my 28 cards like this person will probably suggest.’ I assure you, 10 minutes is really too much if you’re giving a card to someone you’ve only had a handful of conversations with. Do a modern twist on the old fashioned ‘merry Christmas’. I usually write something along the lines of ‘have an awesomely awesome Christmas’. For closer friends and family, spend a bit more time to write a more personal message. One about their pet hate (or love) goes down well, if you’re stuck for ideas.

Step 3: Don’t go into overkill on the envelope.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Keep it nice and plain: neatly write the name, underline it freehand and be done with it.

Card envelope example

Step 4: Take action on your cards as soon as you receive them.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Put the envelope in recycling as soon as you get it, and place the card on the mantelpiece (or also put that in the recycling). Make sensible decisions over whether you really need to keep that piece of paper from the person-you-don’t-know-the-name-of who sits five spaces to your left. You’ll never look at it again.

Step 5: Do not go over the top: cards are just cards. Embrace the Christmas spirit.                                                                                                                                                             This one speaks for itself.