This is the last Festive Friday post for 2012! I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown and I have enjoyed this weekly slot SO much. Thank you to all of you who have joined in and contributed your posts to the linky, I know lots of people have enjoyed our shared ideas and I have certainly enjoyed working my way through them!

Today, as Christmas races towards me, I want to share my list of  ‘Seven Essentials for a Happy Heart’, some of these things cost nothing but they make Christmas for me and mine.

  • Oranges: The smell of citrus wafting through the house is hard to beat. We made pomanders last week and today I am drying orange slices in a low oven. I’ve sprinkled them with a little cinnamon and, when they are done, we will string them onto florist’s wire along with cinnamon sticks and star anise before hanging them near the fire.

making pomanders

  • Gingerbread: Another scent I can’t do without; this year we are making gingerbread lanterns rather than a whole house. Four pieces of gingerbread with star and holly shapes stamped out glued together with icing to form an open topped box with a tea light inside –  lovely.
  • Father Christmas Bread: Every Christmas Eve I make bread dough, the children shape a piece each into a Santa shape, he’s baked and then we eat him with soup in front of the fire.
  • The Snuggle Sack: I write about this every year and readers are always very taken with the idea. I have a large Christmas sack which I fill with Christmas Eve goodness. It contains something cosy to wear (slippers, new pyjamas or a fleece blanket – there will be NO onesies), a DVD, a couple of books, wine for the grown ups, snacks and nibbles. It’s very simple but it is one of our very favourite bits of Christmas.
  • The Christmas Eve Show: We are not religious so we don’t venture out to a Christmas Eve service but we do hold our own show. Each member of the family performs a turn, there is a programme, I compere and it gets sillier and sillier every year!
  • Happy Day: We play ‘Oh Happy Day’ sung by Jack Jones every year to welcome Mr TS back home when he finally finishes work for Christmas. This year he is finishing on the same day as the rest of us which is a first so it will be played VERY loudly and there will be much dancing (from some of us – mainly me DG and BB!)
  • Family: Cuddles, giggles, chats, belly laughs, time together. Nothing beats it.

This is my view as I sit on the floor in front of my fire writing.

All that’s left for me to do is to wish you a Very Happy Christmas!

So, tell me, what is the one thing you absolutely MUST do to get you in the Christmas spirit?

If you have a festive blog post to share please pop it on the linky below. The Link is open until Christmas Day so you can add to it anytime. Any posts on a Christmas theme are very welcome, any which are inappropriate will be removed by my wrapping paper tube light sabre.

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