Christmas tree

The Christmas Tag

pastel_de_nata76 Blog, Family, Life, Portuguese 4 Comments

I’m a self confessed scrooge. I resent the absurd amounts of money spent over Christmas, the extra kilos gained, the waste created and the multiple lies I feel obliged to tell my children. But you know what, I’m trying. Now that I have children I have to get on it. Our family just do it our own way – the way that feels natural to us. We try to incorporate old traditions and create our own so that our children don’t feel like complete hermits. When Stephanie at Renovation Bay-Bee invited other bloggers to answer a few Christmassy questions I couldn’t resist.

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Gremlins – does that count?

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Yes, courtesy of London.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

It’s been a mix over the years. Until I got married and had children, I used to go back to Portugal where I’m from. Now we tend to spend it mostly in the UK, either at my sister in law’s home, or ours. We inclined to spend it more at our place so we can start our very own small family traditions.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

I like Santa Claus Is Coming To Town because it’s quite mellow and relaxing.

Do you open any presents on Christmas eve?

I’m Portuguese and that is a very common thing to do in the continent. My British husband thinks it’s a sacrilege to do so and made promise I would never do that while we’re in the UK. It’s so hard for me! I grew up opening presents on Christmas Eve and I can barely wait to have people open my presents as well. I get so excited, I can barely sleep!

This year we’re spending Christmas in Portugal, at my sister’s house, so I can go crazy, open my presents and get my presents open on the 24th.

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Err… I didn’t realise there were that many.  I only know Rudolph. I need to read up on my Reindeeraphy (if that even exists)

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Having all the Portuguese traditional food I’ve not had in about 5 years and play with my girls and their new toys.

When we’re in England we leave a plate out with a mince pie and glass of port for Father Christmas, a carrot for the reindeer, and hang out the Christmas stockings.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Real, I love the smell of it

What’s your favourite holiday food/treat/sweet?

Everything! I’m greedy like that. I do love mince pies in England and Sonhos (a traditional Portuguese Christmas fried dough) in Portugal.

Be honest. Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts?

Seriously, I stopped caring about gifts for myself a long time ago. I like to get thoughtful gifts for other people, and look forward to seeing them open it, and hopefully loving it! I do feel frustrated and slightly embarrassed if can’t get people something special just for them them, but sometimes, a number of factors mean it’s just not possible.

I love seeing children open their presents. Not too keen when they get hysterical and scream high pitched demands for more presents when they’ve just opened one and have barely looked at it properly (is that too scroogy?)

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

A really expensive toning body oil and face serum from my mum. When they were born, my children became my priority and I guess I stopped looking after myself. That gift reminded me that I need to look after myself as well.

What’s your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

A snowy but cosy Nordic country. Or anywhere in Portugal ????

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I try to do nice wrapping. My last minute efforts often mean it’s a rushed job and far from perfect. I’m definitely not a pro, but not a total fail either.

What’s your most memorable Christmas memory?

When I was little I had a large family and we used to spend Christmas at my grandparents. They had a  big house in a village that could accommodate all of us. It was great fun. They had a big fireplace, my Grandma used to cook wonderful traditional sweets from scratch and I even remember a drunken Turkey running around the garden. I won’t say what happened next to spare the more sensitive souls.

Thanks for reminding me of this memory. I’ve been so busy with life I kind of forgotten it. It’s now very vivid and I’m starting to feel slightly Christmassy!

What made you realise the truth about Christmas?

I truly can’t remember but it must have been traumatising given my attitude to it now *speed dials therapist*

What makes the holidays special for you?

Definitely time together as a family. Preferably chilled and no stress. That’s what it means to me. People are the most important thing about it, I rather not worry about the frills too much.


So, tell me in the comments… How much of a scrooge am I? Is there hope for me?


Comments 4

  1. Andrea there is definitely hope for you! I hate the commercialism and struggle with missing people I love at Christmas. So maybe a bit of a Scrooge too! Hate the pressure of having to have the perfect decorations and dinner BUT then I remember that the heart of Christmas is about love coming into the world and that puts it all in perspective!

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  2. I don’t think you sound like a Scrooge at all. It’s the tender and fun moments with the family that count most and it sounds like you have it sussed. But I think your hubby needs to relax a bit, though! C’mon, just one little present on the 24th? He married a European after all. 😉
    p.s. I love the Portuguese Christmas cake that is topped with candied fruit.

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      Thanks for the support Valja! Christmas rituals are more important to hubby than me so I let him have it 😉

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