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The excitement was building. Nativity plays, carol concerts, and chopping down Christmas trees in the forest. It was a very busy few weeks in the Oliver household as they prepared for the big day.

My absolute favourite time of the year is Christmas! Frankly it was upon us in late August, when Daisy left her Christmas list by the fireplace for Father Christmas - yes a little early but she can't help it! I was musing over it, on my sun lounger in France a few weeks earlier - like mother like daughter! So with just a few days to go, I finally felt completely organised, almost! There was still the big job of the wrapping!

We absolutely loved the last few weeks of term, and the nativity plays are my favourite dates on the school calendar. We got to watch little Buds first which was so super cute dressed as a little elf, singing his heart out, it was way too much for me. Thank goodness I brought our friends to watch, so they could film, I couldn't see through my glassy eyes! The same happened with Petal, as soon as the music starts to play, and they all file in, I literally must be the first parent to weep, and not just at my child, it's with everyone else's too, it's just such a magical time of year!

The big girls' concert is our chance to belt out some carols, along with their gorgeous choir. Admittedly, my voice AND Jamie's aren't exactly a harmony of angels (thank you Pops for the quote, as she helps me write this blog!)

Christmas always seems to stay the same. I think it's so lovely that traditions are so strong and have been passed down from family down to family. We have so many that we do, and I just know the kids will follow these, and that really makes me happy! This year we managed to achieve the one custom that I have always wanted to re-enact for my children - the annual tree choosing! Instead of picking from our local garden centre like normal, we managed to come across a little tree forest where we could choose our tree and chop it down ourselves, something that our wonderful dad used to do every year, but of course in those days we would be dragging our tree through the thick snow to the car. Those were the days!

I think Jamie thought it was a tad dramatic when I saw THE tree and belted across the forest claiming it like intrepid explorers do when they reach the North Pole! Swiftly followed by Bud, who staked his claim by pulling down his pants and weeing! Now that's what you call marking your territory! I wouldn't mind but there were only two other people in the forest, so I think we might have been ok with my choice!

So, with the tree up and the twinkling lights around the house, we could finally get excited. Yes! I had the little children's Christmas Day outfits all laid out! I just couldn't help myself, although it's not just me. Petal was beyond excited to put on her Little Bird maroon cord dress with the lace collars, and she is very lucky enough to be road testing our latest little shoes in navy blue, just a move on from the traditional red t-bars, she has even chosen her tights!

We managed to squeeze in one last meeting at Mothercare, in between all our children's plays and various coughs and colds! It really was so thrilling. We had the samples back for Autumn Winter 2014 with so many fab colours patterns and beautiful detailing. As Petal was off school she was fascinated by all the dresses, skirts and shoes popping out of the boxes. She already has her eye on a super cute dress with teeny flowers, with lace running down the middle! I don't want to give too much away, but it really is a beautiful range even if I say so myself!

Well, with the stockings up, and the fire roaring, I got back to wrapping - a big digger for Buds and doll for Petal like last year, and
the year before! She really loves her babies! A mountain of books for Pops and a pile of 'One Direction' merchandise for Daisy - specifically Niall! I can't keep up!

Much love the Oliver gang! See you on 2014. Yeah!

Lots of love Jools xxxx

Read all of Jools Oliver's blogs here!








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