Updated: Jul 19, 2020
It seems other-worldly now that just over 4 months ago I was celebrating Christmas and New Year surrounded by my loved ones, hugging and kissing them, going out for meals and catch up drinks, and performing in front of 500 students in our Christmas show!
Easter was of course celebrated a bit differently this year but we'd usually have some sort of get together buffet, some sort of board game day and celebrating reaching the end of a stressful and busy term.
Basically, holidays and celebrations in general are exceptionally important to me and my family and it made sense to dedicate a section of my bucket list to fulfilling all those cheesy things people do to get into the holiday spirit!
305. Host an Easter Egg hunt.
306. Decorate an Easter tree.
I did this last year for the first time but the photo is of this year's effort as it really gave the house a bit of life and colour this year and made it feel like Easter inside even when the outside world didn't feel like there was anything to celebrate.
307. Paint an Easter Egg
I remember doing this with my Grandad when I was only small then rolling the boiled eggs down a slope so they cracked and we could eat them. Since I had a bit of time to myself this year I thought I'd have a go at painting an egg as an adult (Ben blew it for me so that it was empty).
308. Host a 4th of July party.
309. Host a Halloween party.
I love Halloween so this is something I'd been meaning to do in our house much sooner, however we only finally got around to hosting something in October 2018. Our dear friends visited and we played Halloween themed music and board games (Atmosphere). Em and I had also spent several hours the previous evening baking like crazy for it making pumpkin hummus, spooky cottage pie, brain rice crispy cakes, vampire teeth cookies, Halloween cupcakes, cheesy witches fingers, green slime (jelly) filled with horror creatures (gummy snakes) and also spider pizzas.
310. Carve a pumpkin.
This was only something we really got into when I reached adulthood (during my childhood Halloween wasn't really a big thing celebrated in the UK). I always make sure to carve a pumpkin every year, mostly because I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup and pumpkin curry but also to let the little trick-or-treaters know they can knock at our door for sweets!
311. Go trick-or-treating.
Again, this was something I did for the first time as an adult, taking our little brother Matthew. Of course Emma and I love dressing up so we got properly into it going around the village in costume too. We also had the pleasure of visiting our friends Mary and Harvey in America during Halloween so we went trick-or-treating (Mary let me borrow an Indian brave outfit) and we got the experience of doing so on an American street with American candy too! (Also it was light, which was a weird phenomenon, it's always dark by the time kids start turning up to us).
312. Decorate the house for Halloween with spooky decorations.
Ben thinks I'm quite insane but I genuinely just get excited about decorating stuff! This was last year's Halloween effort - toilet tubes which I cut with spooky eyes and put glow sticks in which sit in our maple tree, I string spooky lights around our clematis and I even made gravestones out of cereal boxes, sprayed them with a stone effect paint and put plastic spooky bones coming out from the ground! Even the kitties don't escape, they both have Halloween bows.
313. Make toffee apples
314. Bake Halloween cookies
315. Try pumpkin pancakes
316. Make homemade Halloween decorations
Some of them you can see in the pictures above - I made spooky toilet paper eyes with glow sticks in them, cereal box gravestones, taffeta pumpkins and ghosts and a wreath out of crete paper for the door.
317. Give BOO gifts to friends
318. Go on a ghost walk.
319. Have a Halloween movie night.
320. Do a spooky Halloween photo shoot.
So we didn't actually take these purposefully on Halloween (we actually did a full day DIY photoshoot in April as we were experimenting with face paint, make up and hairstyles. They do make a pretty eerie set of Halloween photos though...
321. Make a fireplace decoration for autumn
322. Make a Thanksgiving feast for fun.
323. Kiss under the mistletoe.
One of these things Ben and I have done at home but we didn't take a photo of... this year I'll ask him for a mistletoe selfie!
324. See the Coca-Cola Truck at Christmas time.
We were half there. We saw a Coca-Cola truck. In New York. In October... I want to see the holiday Coca-cola truck that tours the UK at Christmastime!
325. Try ice-skating.
I tried ice skating a couple of times as a child for friends' birthday parties. I'm not a natural skater. Even roller-skating inside the house (I'd never go outside) I'd knee and elbow pad up! I'm a clumsy person and I wasn't taking any chances. Ice skating I refused to even let go of the side. A pitiful effort. I will try again as an adult and I will skate victorious (or more likely, fall on my bum)!
326. Sit in an igloo.
327. Have a snowball fight.
I'm a massive child when it comes to snow, mostly because we don't get it very often in the South West of the UK (every 3-4 years we may get enough to do something with). When we do I go crazy for snowball fights, snowman building and occasionally snow angel making (although I tend to leave this last because it's so cold)...
328. Make snow angels.
329. Own a cheesy Christmas jumper.
Christmas is without a doubt my favourite holiday because it's one that is celebrated by the majority of the UK so there's a real community feel to it. I love sparkly lights, heavy roast dinners, chocolates, anything with raisins (Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies!) and of course Christmas jumpers! I even bought Ben his first one because I couldn't leave him out. Look at his face, he just loves it!
330. Build a snowman.
This is one of the larger snowmen I've ever been able to build (and you can see it used up a lot of the surrounding snow - we really don't get much here). Em and I worked on it with Matthew when he was really small to make sure he had the full snow experience.
331. Host a large family Christmas.
332. Host a cozy Christmas party.
I loved this afternoon. Back in 2017, Ben and I cooked a Christmas dinner for our close friends, we told everyone to turn up in PJs/Christmas hats or jumpers and we did a gift exchange in our living room as well as eating our dinner on the sofas, chatting and listening to cheesy Christmas music. It was such a fun way to kick off our Christmas celebrations and to make sure we saw them all before the festive season got too busy.
333. Celebrate Christmas or New Year in another country.
334. Have a white Christmas.
335. Have a Christmas movie marathon (3 films in a row) with hot chocolate and Christmas treats.
336. See a Christmas lights display/light switch on.
We did this one last year (2019) although I've been to a number of Christmas light switch ons prior to this. I think the photos from this are easily the most beautiful - one of the National Trust properties nearby, Stourhead had a Christmas Light event taking place through December with the theme of the Twelve Days of Christmas. The day we went it absolutely threw it down with rain so we all soaked through to our skin but it was so pretty and atmospheric that it felt worth it. It also made the hot dog and mulled wine I had for dinner taste even better (plus I took home a big slab of Christmas cake for Ben and I to share).
337. Go carol singing.
338. Make a Christmas ornament from scratch.
I made a whole batch of these adorable little sock snowmen to sell on our Christmas stall although I kept this little guy for home. On the right is the Christmas wreath I made from scratch in a workshop that was being run after work last year (2019). I absolutely loved chatting to my fellow teachers, munching cake and creating what I think was a truly lovely wreath. I was really proud to display it!
339. Make my own Christmas cards and send them
340. Visit a German Christmas market.
341. Have a photo with Santa.
342. Drink eggnog.
343. Go sledding on snow.
344. Perform at a Christmas show/sing in a church choir at Christmastime.
Sadly I haven't been part of a choir for over a year now, due to time constraints plus our choir mistress needing to take a break because she was having a baby. I loved performing for Christmas on a number of years as part of a couple of village choirs, nothing professional but great fun (and we raised money for charity!)
345. Host a New Year’s Eve party.
We had a New Year's Eve party the very first year we moved in (2014) followed by the year after (2015). The first year we had all our guests stay over so we got up early to make them a special New Year's Day breakfast! Both years were relaxed and fun, we played games and generally caught up, heading out into the street to watch fireworks being set off as it chimed midnight.
346. Have a New Years’ Eve kiss.
I love spending Christmastime with family - this is how we usually bring in the New Year with Mum and Dad, Matthew, Nanna and Grandad (Em and Simon are usually there too, they were with Simon's parents' this particular year) raising a glass, toasting and hugging each other. Of course having our first kiss of the New Year too...