Rather than writing blogs, I've been trying to gear myself up for Christmas and embrace the festive spirit a bit more as I haven't been as excited as I usually am. Luckily, Leeds is always a great place to get excited for December 25th and the last week has really got me into the right frame of mind.
I'm now feeling really excited and can't wait to head to the South West next week to see my family and then the in-laws - even if it does mean leaving the husband on Leeds for a week and having the cat sitter look after our kitties over Christmas. As well as wrapping presents - which I absolutely love doing - there are a few other things in the city that have helped me feel a bit more festive.
All the lights
The huge number of shopping areas and random little streets in Leeds city centre also mean there is a huge number of different lights everywhere. Even though Ive now done all my Christmas shopping, I've found myself just going for wanders on my lunch break and after work to have a look at everything. Even though it's cold and sometimes miserable out, this has helped me get excited about Christmas and is a great way to avoid desk lunches.
In the last week, I've been twice and it has made such a difference. I actually think the market is better this year without the massive beer tent as there is a lot more room and less shoving. There are also a few more stalls and it just seems a lot more relaxed.
I went with a couple of friends for food after work - which meant me ended up in Mr Foley's Tap House as well - and then took the husband for dinner before going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Even though I no longer eat meat, I do miss the cheese-filled sausages. However, there is plenty of other great food to enjoy and honey mead is definitely the one.
It didn't take long once I walked into the market for me to feel a lot more Christmassy, especially when combined with present wrapping sessions when I got home.
Lazy nights at home
I've spent hours wrapping gifts and making them look pretty with curled ribbon before stacking them under the tree. I usually spend ages decorating too, but this year I have only put the tree up as I couldn't find many of our other decorations. However, when combined with all the fairy lights and candles dotted around the house usually, it still looks very festive.
Even though I do love Christmas in Leeds, I still don't mind travelling the eight-plus hours to Devon or Cornwall to spend the period with our family. For me, that is definitely the best part of this time of year.