Christmas Traditions

A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 1A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 2A cliche it may be, but this really is the most wonderful time of year. I love the the festive cheer everywhere (there are few things lovelier in December than the sound of carollers in Parliament and the Christmas lights around Regent Street), the glittering parties and celebrations, traditions old and new and, most importantly, sharing time with beloved friends and family.

The Clever Boyfriend is in Australia for a couple of weeks (our first Christmas apart), so we started the festivities rather early this year. So far, December has been filled with all the key ingredients which, for us, add up to a wonderful festive season; decorating the house (the first Christmas in our own apartment), coming home after a long day at work to a house filled with the sound of the Rat Pack’s Christmas tunes and the smell of Diptyque’s holiday candle, and Christmas movie nights with our friends (complete with a side of Christmas cake and mugs of candy cane hot chocolate).

A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 4A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 7A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 5When it comes to those presents under tree, I love the treasure-hunt involved in finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list (even if I do always seem to leave the wrapping until the last possible moment). For me, bringing joy to others with something that you know will make them smile makes the act of gift-giving more rewarding than receiving.

But that said, I do know what I most like to recieve; a stack of beautiful books, a boxset of old movies, or a gorgeous bauble to add to my jewel collection.  Every year, my boyfriend buys me a beautiful piece of jewellery for Christmas. Whereas I’m always buying myself fun, statement costume jewellery when it comes to a special piece, when it comes to a special present, I prefer something delicate and beautiful that will stay with me for years to come. Monica Vinader has become one of my (and his) favourites; I treasure these perfect little rose gold rings, the gemstone earrings that work just as well on their own as they do when paired with a statement necklace, and the simple engraved charms that remind me of the love with which they were given every time I slip it on.

Guess what’s on my wish list this year…? 

A Girl, A Style _ Christmas Traditions 3

Wearing: Monica Vinader diamond hoop ring, diamond disk ring, moonstone stacking rings + rose quartz earrings // Alice by Temperley dress (past season, but similar style available at Net-a-Porter + TheOutnetShopbop) // Monica Vinader engraved pendant necklace c/- // Eugenia Kim headband (similar style available at Net-a-Porter).
Beauty: Clinique ‘Matte Peony’ long last lipstick (also available at John Lewis + Neiman Marcus) // Estee Lauder ‘Fuchsia Flash’ pure colour lip lacquer // Nars ‘Gaiety’ blush (also available at Sephora + ASOS + Selfridges) // Deborah Lippmann ‘Today Was a Fairytale’ glitter polish (also available at Liberty).
Homewares: Antrhopologie monogrammed mugs // C. Wonder gold plates (sold out, but similar styles available at Shopbop) // White Company platter // Paperchase Christmas decorations.

Love, Miss B xx

This post is in partnership with Monica Vinader

Glittering Festivities

Here in England, I’ve been in fully-fledged festive mode for the past week. Despite long hours in the office each day, I’ve been cramming in nightly playings of all my favourite festive tunes (Frank, Bing and Dean), having cosy Christmas movie marathons (It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Love Actually, A Muppet Christmas Carol…), ice skating (badly) at the outdoor rink, wearing glitter and sparkles with everything, and generally making the most of this wonderful time of the year.

Last weekend, I met up with some of my favourite blog friends for an all-day festive girl date. We began with shopping and the Christmas windows at Liberty (my favourite London department store), black cab rides in the rain, walks through the West End (amidst, inexplicably, thousands of chaps dressed as Santa), afternoon cocktails overlooking Trafalgar Square, dinner at the National Gallery and my very favourite Christmas tradition, the English National Ballet’s performance of The NutcrackerAs well as those festive rituals I already treasure each year, I love the English Christmas traditions I’m now making my own; the novelty Christmas jumper (which is simultaneously fun and hideously bad taste) – this bedazzled version is my 2012 version, mulled wine, and hearing the glorious choir sing carols from Kings College in Cambridge.

Now, I’m tucked inside my family’s place in London for a few nights of cosy laziness, too much of my Uncle’s good food, walks along the Thames and board game marathons until midnight.

And with that, I wish you all a very happy festive season (whatever you celebrate).

Wearing: Topshop crystal-embellished jumper, Uniqlo oxford shirt, Witchery skirt (old), Chanel shoes, 2.55 bag and crystal ring, Mimco necklace and clear bangle, Michael Kors Paris watch, Lulu Frost for J. Crew bracelet, bow hair clip from Tokyo, Chanel ‘Malice’ nail polish, Mac ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick, the smile of an excited child at Christmas.

Love, Miss B xx

 

Christmas Joy

It is Christmas Eve here in London, and I could not be filled with more joy. After weeks of working up a frenzy in the political day job, it feels utterly glorious to have at last collapsed into the giant marshmallow-squishy sofa at my English family’s place right beside the big Christmas tree (complete with pine smell, fairy lights and vintage ornaments from generations of the family) as the lights of West London twinkle outside behind me.

Although Christmas as an expat will always evoke bittersweet nostalgic memories of loved ones who are either no longer here (my darling Mama) or on the other side of the world in Australia, there is something so very exciting about a northern hemisphere Christmas. Whereas in Australia Christmas, falling in the midst of the Southern Hemisphere summer, was always celebrated with lunch and cocktails and games in the garden outside, here I can happily indulge all the Christmas traditions that, due to the heat, one simply can’t enjoy with quite the same enthusiasm in Australia.

And so I plan to spend the next few days doing the following in as high a dose as possible (in no particular order): sitting beside the fireplace with the scent of Christmas candles burning, baking gingerbread men and roasting chestnuts, eating chocolate for breakfast (because Christmas is the only time, aside from Easter, when this is permissible behaviour as a grownup), going for long walks along the Thames to avoid a state of food-induced coma, going to watch the Nutcracker and the great British pantomime with the family, wearing all the sparkles in my wardrobe, attempting to work my way through my stack of as yet unread magazines, and cramming in as many Christmas movies (the cheesier and more childlike, the better) as the family and Clever Boyfriend will possibly allow me.

So, to each and every one of you, whether you celebrate Christmas or another equally precious set of traditions, I send you love and joy and good wishes from London. I am so very grateful for all your kindness and support and sweet comments, tweets and emails which make me smile every single day of the year.

Love, Miss B xx