We are all beautifully different but chaotically the same. We all have very different Christmases, however, they all have the same poignant sentiment. Christmas means spending time with our loved ones, the ones we treasure the most.
It is also one of the most chaotic times of the year. Research from Aldi (YouGov study 2018) shows that nearly 50% of shoppers class themselves as ‘planners’ – just like our family. These shoppers budget and plan what they’re going to buy from gifts, food & drink and even Christmas decorations. Whilst 20% of shoppers class themselves as ‘panickers’ who leave their shopping until the very last minute. They don’t budget, nor do they know what they’re buying ahead of shopping.
A large open fire licking vivaciously as smoke funnels up like a steam train and out of the chimney stack into the crisp night sky. A small dog is nestled in front of the warm fire, as he lets out a contented breath. The coloured lights of the 8ft Christmas tree adorned in tinsel and baubles, twinkle and flicker. Laughter echoes around the room as family members competitively play board games. Christmas drinks are poured into festive tumblers and glasses, they’re sipped from and refilled on a continuum.
Tiny white snowflakes begin to descend from the sky, tumbling and gliding from the still air. Silently falling to the ground. The covering underfoot begins to thicken. Passersby stop. They look through the tall iron gate that recesses in the even taller privet hedge and down the long path. Looking longingly at the perfectly lit house on the hill. They smile a warm smile and carry on their Christmas Eve voyage with magic in their hearts, as the white lights enchantedly dance from the little Summerhouse. Along the flower bed and up, across and around the perfectly lit fir tree.
Inside the house on the hill the family head to the bottom of the stairs. Led by the youngest of the three generations. He carries a sleigh bell. Some in tune, (most out of tune) they all sing-a-long to the classic Jingle Bells. Reaching the top of the stairs they dash and prance to the window. Looking out over rolling hills. They all excitedly are on watch to see if they can catch a glimpse of Santa and his sleigh in the now, white night sky. Tail lights flicker in the distant hills and the smallest of them all shouts. ’SEE HIM, I SEE HIM’ and with that, he runs and jumps into bed. Closing his eyes, waiting for the magic of Christmas morning to begin.
You could be absolutely anywhere in the world, or any scene from a movie or a book but you’ve just experienced a traditional Christmas Eve in the Lake District with my family. For us, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. Preparations begin weeks, even months before. With our traditions remaining virtually unchanged from almost 30 years, we’ve got our version of Christmas down to a tee.
How prepared are you?
My grandparents spend weeks putting up the Christmas decorations, leaving no room of their home untouched. All the plain toilet roll disappears and is replaced by rolls that depict snowmen. Cute snowmen. My Grandma absolutely loves an adorable snowman. The kitchenware is replaced. Gone are the plates we use the remaining 11 months of the year, instead Rudolph dances across the top of your dinner plate.
Grandma orders the turkey in from the Bird’s, ironically the best poultry in Penrith. She has lists for her lists of what she needs to go and purchase. She creates them weeks in advance. We’re the most Christmassed family I know. All of us are organised way in advance. From present buying in America on Black Friday to the traditional cinema trip on Christmas Eve at the 2 screen Alhambra cinema. It has the same feel and charm of sitting in somebody’s front room.
Being prepared takes a whole lot of time, we usually have already stocked up on the Christmas essentials such as salted nuts and mince pies (for Santa). There’s a new jar of cranberry sauce for the dinner table which only ever has one teaspoon taken from it. Then there’s the pretzel and fish selection. Old school classics that truly add to Christmas.
Grandma and Granda also have a fridge freezer in the garage as well as in the house so that, you guessed it. They can stock up for Christmas. You’ve got to be quick because when they’ve finished preparing, usually the first week of December then they relax until Christmas begins. So when the Aldi Christmas Food & Drink brochure landed at the beginning of November I was quick to send my Grandma a text.
“Can I put in a Christmas request?” I asked. Moments later…
“Yes sweetheart, what is it?” she replied.
“I’ve just seen the Aldi Christmas brochure and can we have vol-au-vents and a few other bits for Boxing Day?”
“Granda can’t remember the last time he had a vol-au-vent he says. Send me a list” was her response.
Shopping list ready
I could go one better, and so can Aldi. Talk about being prepared. In the back of their Christmas food and drink brochure, they have a tick box shopping list. Think of it like that brochure from a well-known retailer that kids get and circle what they want from Santa, but this is for adults. Magical.
I ticked all of the items I had requested and as if Aldi and my Grandma were in cahoots with Santa, I checked it twice and sent it off to her.
From the Mushroom Arancini (£2.99)
and Sharing Bread with Camembert (£3.99)
to the Sausage Roll Garland (£4.49) and Pork Belly Bites (£2.99). I even requested the 6l of prosecco too (£79.99)! The list was full of Christmas Specialbuy Items (available from 12th December) that I thought the whole family would like for our Boxing Day Buffet and as sides to our traditional Christmas dinner.
Prepared or panicked?
My super organised family is all ready for Christmas, is yours? I’d love to know if you’re a planner or a panicker below and what you do and where you spend Christmas below.
If you’re looking for some of Aldi’s Specialbuy items which are in store December you can check out the brochure online here. I’ve already ordered this pet sweater for the Zig, as of course, he joins in all of the festivities.
Another great idea this year is to gift a Christmas hamper. Often I find hampers are overpriced with very little in them, however, this festive period Aldi have packed a punch with their selection of bursting hampers at great prices. The exquisite hamper priced at £99.99 is an 11 piece hamper packed with all your Christmas needs from panettone to a Christmas cake, three bottles of wine and a bottle of champagne. Packaged in department store teal this wicker hamper is also stunning.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a luxury gift without breaking the bank Aldi’s Hurricane Candle, priced at £19.99 is one of my top suggestions. A steal really when compared to the brand name it’s duped from which is £300! This magnificent candle will take pride of place in any room, available in Pomegranate or Lime, Basil & Mandarin. Designed to fill a home with an aroma to last all Christmas long, with 200 hours of burning time.
Why not save yourself any hassle and stress and put in your Christmas order now at Aldi.
Collaborative Post. Read more about disclosure here.