I particularly love the final display of fireworks on Bonfire night, because as that last glittery ember fades, it's officially Christmas in my books.
I won't hear of this 'Christmas only being 12 days' nonsense. As far as I am concerned, festivities can start early November - it coincides with all the Christmas adverts on the telly anyway.
Better still, I married a man who could be mistaken for Buddy the Elf. My husband is so Christmassy he would start celebrating in September given the chance. My husband is always the one who is tagged in those Christmas memes such as 'tag someone who just can't wait for Santa'.
A few years ago, he was actually PAID to be Santa...
... at the local soft play - he had lots of fun recognising parents who didn't recognise him. "Now Charlie, I know you have been a good little boy helping your Daddy when he broke his leg this year ...". He started to wonder how many parents were questioning if Santa really did know who was naughty and nice!
Deck the halls
My decorations go up by the end of November and I get severe tree envy if anyone puts their tree up before me. We visit Christmas markets, watch Elf at least twice, and drinks lots of mulled cider. I have even found an exclusive Christmas music channel on the TV - it is now the official soundtrack to my housework.
As if that wasn't festive enough, we go away to Center Parcs each year for a few days during the Christmas period. They really go to town and decorate the villages and we love taking walks, swimming in the dark, and lighting the open fire in the villas.
And, we MUST listen to Dominic the Donkey on the way there. It is officially the best Christmas song ever, yet not many people have heard of it! One year, when we were there for the week of Christmas, we caught 'Santa' tiptoeing around the opposite villa late on Christmas Eve - we pointed him out to our sons and told them they better get to sleep quickly! That magical glimpse gave us a few more years of Christmas belief.
Hohoho or Nonono
The past few years have taken the shine off our Christmas magic - our sons no longer believe in Santa! And as stroppy teens, they are not as hohoho as their parents. They still enjoy the Center Parcs bit, but we no longer put out the mince pie and carrot on Christmas Eve. Poor Rudolph.
This year we are going to my mum and dads for Christmas, and my brother and his young family are coming too. My nieces are 2 and 4 years old and they are so excited for Christmas - there is the threat of getting up at 6am on Christmas morning for 2 excited girls to open their presents. My Husband and I can't wait! Now here's to convincing the teens to play along!
Becky, Embarrassing Mum of two teens