WHAT I LOVE DOING AROUND CHRISTMAS TIME

Oh Christmas! What's not to love about Christmas?! It really is the most wonderful time of the year. All the sparkly decorations, the lights, the food, the winter break...I can go on and on. It's the season that gets me to be the most active, inspired and motivated. My birthday is also very close to Christmas (December 14th, yeah I am 24 now), so that's a plus. I composed this small list (in what world Mary?) of things I enjoy doing around Christmas time just for you.

First things first. Nothing gets you more into the holiday mood than watching Christmas films. My personal favorites are 'Home Alone', 'Love Actually' & 'Harry Potter'. I cannot remember a year that I didn't watch all of the above, it's just not Christmas without them.

I always spend the holidays with my family and it is something that only recently I have come to appreciate. Since everyone is living in a different city (my brother's living in another country) we only get to meet on Christmas, Easter and on the summer during the family vacation. As a family we are very close and we miss each other terribly. So whenever I have a chance, I return home to get some proper pamper from mom.

A very old tradition in my family is decorating for Christmas and then sit around the tree and have pizza. In fact my mother gave birth to me the same day she was decorating the Christmas tree. My mom has been collecting Christmas ornaments since 1994 and each ornament is unique and has sentimental value. That's something that I'd like to have someday.

Something that relaxes me is sitting by the fire, staring at the tree and drinking coffee, a hot hazelnut flavored filtered coffee. Of course mom and nana will join me and we'll be chatting for hours, it's a staple.

I am an amateur baker, I do it as a hobby, you might have read a blog post of mine where I talk about this. I am not that much into sweets, so when I bake I do it to please my friends and my family. Around this time I get so inspired (instagram also helps by providing the ideas) and I put all my energy to baking. I bake cookies and pastry and chocolates and anything anyone might ask. It brings me so much joy to make someone happy by making them something tasty. It's a great gift. Bake some cookies, add some festive sprinkles, put them in a plastic bag with a red bow and give them out. I also like to bake gingerbread houses and then build and decorate them, and I definitely like to improvise each year.

During Christmas time, and winter in general, I enjoy going out more, going for a walk and watching Christmas lights. I also like to steal my boyfriend's dog -such a sassy dog- and take it out with me. I absolutely love the cold weather, which allows me to wear heavy clothes, warm jumpers, coats, boots and gloves. Something about it, it feels cozy, and makes me want to spend more time outside. I can never walk alone without music, so I put on my earpods and I listen to some iconic Mariah Carrey, cause let's face it, 'All I want for Christmas' will be a must until the universe explodes. I recommend the Spotify playlist 'Christmas pop', it has all the good ones.

Have you ever heard of a real Greek Christmas dinner? Eating all day, eating until your pants can't take it no more, and then eat some more because you didn't taste yiayia's kourampiedes (sort of a shortbread cookie with a ton of icing sugar on top). Food overload. And then you stay put at the table until you are physically able to walk again. And you know, when grandma's in the house she practically lives inside the kitchen. She is cooking and cooking, I don't know where this energy comes from, or how the fridge is able to handle all this amount of food. The rest of the day is you walking around the house and grabbing a bite of something. Also, day drinking is mama approved.

Last but not least, each year I make my new year's resolutions and reflect on the year past. Embrace anything bad or good that happened, go through photos, write down thoughts and dreams. Christmas to me is a magical time.

I hope I got you into the Christmas spirit as well. So eat a lot, love a lot and sleep a lot! Happy holidays, merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

See you soon,

MK