I thought it would be really fun to have a look back through some old Christmas photos to see what I did each year, see what festive traditions I’ve kept and mainly to have a little trip down memory lane!
I actually got really emotional doing this which surprised me! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together, and I hope it inspires you to dig out some old photos and videos and reminisce on your own Christmas memories! Prepare yourself for some really terrible quality digital camera photos from the noughties!
This year is super special as we now have beautiful Buddy! We get to see our friends and family and have Christmas fully back again and I am grateful for every single part of it!
I would really love to know what your favourite Christmas memory is over on Instagram 🙂
Christmas with my grandparents – 2001
This is the year of the J-Lo perfume!! I’m so glad this jumper is captured in a photo because even just looking at the photo I think I can smell the perfume haha! We used to go over to my dad’s parents on Christmas day and have lunch with them and play bingo. My grandad used to bring out a briefcase with presents in it and we’d play countless games of bingo while he dished out the prizes. You could always tell when the presents were running low as we’d all start getting Parker pens! As we got older we all started to contribute and buy gifts and bingo got bigger and bigger each year.
My Grandad – 2008
Here he is playing bingo! As I mentioned, my grandad was the quiz master when we played, but when we got a bit older we took it in turns so he could play games and win some prizes too!
Christmas 2010 – Clovelly, Devon
Christmas 2010 was one of my most favourite Christmases ever! It was my first year of uni and I felt really happy with where I was living, my new friends and housemates and just feeling more independant and where I was meant to be at that time. It was super exciting to see all my family after moving out for the first time and my immediate family and wider family all went away together, which we’d never done before.
All my cousins were there, my aunts and uncles and there were so many magical things. My aunt celebrated her 30th, my cousins were really young so they were really excited about Christmas and Santa Claus, and it snowed more than I remember it ever snowing in the UK! I almost didn’t make it home from Bristol, and then when we went to Devon it was pretty impossible to get to the house we were staying in, but once we were there we didn’t need to leave and we were happy to accept we were snowed in!
It was unlike anything I’d known and it felt more like we were in Canada than England, and we built snowmen, had snowball fights, made snow angels, had a frosty Christmas morning in the hot tub and played the most epic game of hide and seek. I have a few snaps from that holiday and really enjoyed looking through them and remembering how amazing it was!
I also wanted to include my cat Jif because he was the best and I miss him so much!
2012 – Brussels.
Just after Christmas, my best friend from uni and I went to Belgium and got completely snowed in! The weather was so bad that most of the Eurostar trains were stopped and for some bizarre and lucky reason, our train going out and going home were both running so we were completely unaffected! When we came to leave there were so many people sleeping on the floor of the Eurostar check in area because they’d been waiting days for a train – we were so lucky!
It was such a fun trip and we always had the best time together. We filmed stupid videos, visited all the site, drank lots, ate lots and had so much fun.
I also wanted to include this photo of cheap baileys and colourful glasses and the cute gift my friend got me because can you get any more festive student life than that haha!
2013 – Paris
Another festive trip with my bestie! We did a little trip every Christmas, either just before or just after because we were obsessed with each other and she was from Germany so we would want to get as much time together as possible before or after being apart when we weren’t at uni, and because it’s so fun visiting European cities in the winter time. We had actually just finished uni that year, but were still living together in Bristol.
We also saw Placebo in Paris, both of our favourite bands and we had so much fun together the entire time.
2014 – London With The Girls
This was at Winter Wonderland and is just such a classic festive thing to do for anyone who lives near to London or who visits over Christmas!
2016 – The First Christmas In My Flat
This was a year for me… a year. I went through a big break up and moved into a flat on my own for the first time ever. It was a shock to me and I struggled a lot in the months leading up to Christmas, and I think September in particular was my lowest point and then by Christmas I’d learnt to really embrace the situation and make the most of my new life. I was able to connect with my girlfriends in a way I never had before and we were just obsessed with each other.
I was in a great place mentally and physically, probably at one of the fittest I’ve ever been and I was really taking the reins on my life. I decorated my tree alone and loved it, I had lots of Lush baths and a trip to Devon with the girls. For our annual Christmas meal and Secret Santa we had to dress up and I was Jesus! Controversial maybe, but no offence intended!
I did want to add in this photo because it really makes me laugh. I went to stay with my aunt and uncle with the aim to have a little holiday, change of scenery and help out with their kids, and somehow I got food poisoning and was more ill than I ever have been! It was beyond traumatic and rather than helping, I ended up stuck there for days longer than I was meant to be and I was a total shell of myself because I was so sick! My cousin was so cute and wanted to get in bed with me and so did the cat. I love this picture because I remember trying really hard to summon some energy when all I’d had for about 3 days was lucozade!
2017 – Dotty’s First Christmas
My parents got their puppy, Dotty and she was so incredibly tiny I couldn’t believe it! She was super cute and made Christmas even more special, and the girls and I went out for our Christmas dinner rather than having someone host it.
2018 – Lily’s First Christmas & Our First Christmas Together
My niece was only 4 months old here, I had my family round for a festive brunch and we ended up having a little festive photoshoot with Lily under my tree!
This was actually mine and Toby’s first Christmas together and he hadn’t met my family yet so he came to the supermarket with me to help me buy all the food and then he left before my family arrived!!
I came to Bristol for a few days over December and helped Toby buy his tree for his new house and we had the best few days together.
2019 – The Unknown Last Christmas Together
I felt really emotional looking back through these photos, and particularly when looking at 2019. I think it’s because we didn’t know that the following Christmas we wouldn’t all be together, so looking back at the memories we made and the things we did made me feel quite sad.
We had such a wonderful time and this makes my heart happy, because out of all the Christmases to have before not having one at all, this one we really made the most of.
Toby and I stayed at my parents on Christmas eve and my brothers family came over on Christmas morning so we all opened our presents together and were able to have Christmas morning with Lily too.
We then drove to Toby’s parents in Wiltshire and had such a great day with them. Because we saw both, Christmas was really spread out throughout the day and felt like it was lasting a long time rather than the day running away which is something I always fear happening!
I was very unhappy at work, but I left just before Christmas, so this photo is one of my last days showing Toby what I was wearing to work (I used to send him photos from the lift in my flat in the morning), and I moved to Bristol so we could live together. We painted the spare room a super dark green (Duck Green from Farrow and Ball which is SUPER dark), and we made such a mess of it, but we were so happy to finally be together it was so much fun.
We went to Frome Christmas Market and that was really fun. I’d never actually been to Frome before and I loved the cute cobbled streets and the market was amazing for feeling festive, picking up gifts and having a few drinks at the pub.
I took a photo of our wreath just before we left to go to Surrey and I remember just being so so so happy that my life was changing and that we didn’t have to constantly be apart and say goodbye.
2019 – Covid Christmas!
This Christmas was obviously very hard for everyone, and I found it really difficult. We put our tree up which is my favourite thing to do and I just burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying. I’ve never bought a pack of decorations, I collect them from places I’ve been and some of them have been gifted, and after eventually stopping crying I found a decoration from my bestie which read ‘True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart’ and it totally set me off again! I have so much anticipation for Christmas and love every single thing about it so it was one of the hardest parts of lockdown for me.
One thing we were able to do was go to a local, very small Christmas market which was a nice taste or normality, despite the face masks and social distancing!
We weren’t able to see my family due to the change in tiers, so we did a Zoom call to open presents together, we also did the same with our friends and to help numb the pain I had a lot of cocktails over this period!
Luckily we were able to spend Christmas Day with Toby’s parents as we were both in a tier which meant we could mix on Christmas Day and I will be eternally grateful for that day.
We got to Toby’s parents house, which is one of my favourite places anyway, so I was relieved to be able to be there, and when we pulled up there were two little present bags outside the door for us.
We had a great day and had lots and lots of presents to make it extra special, played lots of games and soaked up every moment of being together.
I had a moment outside on my own around 1 or 2am. I was looking at the sky thinking how silent it is in the countryside and because there’s no light pollution there the stars were so clear and the sky was so lit it was almost light. I had such a profound feeling of sadness, happiness, feeling grateful and just processing everything that had happened during the last year. Toby came and joined me and it was just such a weird feeling that I think totally summed up 2020.
We came home and the rest of our week looked like this! A lot of mess, building and playing with new presents, champagne and food.