Today I thought I'd share some festive memories of Christmas past.
I've been inspired in part by an extremely thoughtful present from my friend in London who sent me the book 'No One Cares What You Had for Lunch - 100 Ideas for Your Blog' for my birthday.
In the book Margaret Mason, the author, encourages you to get nostalgic and mine your history for things to blog about. So as it's the holiday season and I've always been a keen archivist when it comes to cataloguing my life, be it in a diary or through photographs, here are a few memories of Christmas past.
They all take place in Chiswick, in our West London flat (which we do miss terribly) and B.C. (Before Cooper), when we were able to arrange things on the floor and have a real Christmas tree.
I seem to be missing digital copies of Christmas 2006 and only have the hard copy photos in an album, but here are a selection of holiday images from way back in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Before Cooper we could put presents on the floor and in preparation for being puppy parents we had stuffed toy dogs, like Spike here to keep us company.
The opening of presents was always a big part of our morning on the 25th December.
We make sure to treat each other to a nice selection of goodies every year and the challenge was always to make sure we didn't buy the same wrapping paper.
After we'd bought our new tree decorations for our first Christmas together, it's been a bit of a tradition to add new ornaments each year to keep it fresh and looking pretty.
We loved buying decorations from UK stores Paperchase, Heal's, The Chelsea Gardener and John Lewis.
If you can believe it, alcohol also played a big part in our festive celebrations!
Purple, silver, white and crystal was our main festive tree decorating scheme and we added to it each season.
There's nothing quite like a nice pile of presents to get excited about on Christmas morning.
Saying that though, I think I look forward to Christmas dinner just as much, as we don't tend to cook a big roast dinner very often and unlike here in America where there is Thanksgiving and then Christmas lunch, we tend to do the big celebration once a year in Britain.
There's nothing like stuffing yourself silly with turkey, roast potatoes and my personal favourite, roast parsnips - yum!
All washed down with a robust glass of red wine or a bit of bubbles, or even both.
A little something to help put a sparkle into Christmas dinner preparations in the kitchen in the morning.
Oops, another bottle - can you sense a common theme here?
This colour changing hanging dog decoration was a great gift in a festive hamper, from my best friend in the UK, filled with chocolates and all kinds of yummy goodies one year.
Maybe you can guess who got a new digital camera for Christmas this year?
Funnily enough it wasn't me, but I have made use of it since living here in L.A.
I may not have received a camera in 2007, but as you can see I didn't go without. We tend to take it in turns to open presents one at a time, whilst sipping champagne and me popping to and fro the kitchen to check on dinner's progress.
As you can see, the bubbles don't last long with us. But it's Christmas, so it's always nice to enjoy a bit of festive cheer.
It's not a huge turkey, but it's only for two of us and seems to last for days.
And voila, dinner is served. Time to relax and dig in for a Merry Christmas.
I'm sure this year our Christmas celebrations will be very different in sunny L.A. We've just been out to buy our organic turkey from Wholefoods (or 'whole-pay packet' as it's often called), plus found most of our essential dinner ingredients, so we're all raring to go.
Roll on Thursday...
p.s. If you need some blogging inspiration buy the book by Margaret Mason: No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog