I adore this time of year, growing up in the countryside meant snow, sledding in the fields and long evenings by the fire. The thing I love the most is taking time to celebrate with my favourite people, those precious dinners when you get everyone together and lazy brunches at the weekend. A chance to catch up, to take stock and celebrate the highs & say goodbye to the lows of the year.
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Our Christmas tradition is a big walk in the Wicklow Mountains, it’s so un-glam! I always think your own Christmas is the most special. Whatever you do for Christmas is the thing you love the most. On Christmas day, we wake up and have a really lazy late breakfast at about 11 and then we’ll head to Wicklow for a big walk. I’m from Wicklow so on Christmas Day we normally go to Glendalough. It’s lovely to get outside, Christmas day weather is so unpredictable – it could be raining, snowing or the sun could be shining but a walk in the countryside is so important to us.
We then come home and make dinner together. Ever since I was little my whole family would cook for Christmas, we all love to get involved. It’s a really social part of Christmas for us, it’s so rare that you get all of the people you love in the same room together. It’s really important to me.
Having everyone in one place is so magical, you get all the big news from everyone and get the chance to celebrate it together.
We have some amazing friends living abroad who come home for Christmas and two days before Christmas we all go for dinner together. Having everyone in one place is so magical, you get all the big news from everyone and get the chance to celebrate it together. One year our friends were late to the dinner and we couldn’t figure out why but it turned out they had just gotten engaged! This dinner is where we celebrate all of our big moments from the year. Christmas this year will be extra special – one of my friends just announced that she’s having a baby so it’ll be really lovely.
The meaning behind my Christmas tree decorations
I’m super sentimental about our Christmas tree decorations. My mum never did a themed Christmas Tree, she always let us be creative with our decorations. When I look back, I think god – the terrible things we put on our Christmas tree and the nonsense we made! My mum always encouraged my brother and I to be creative so our tree was always an incredible mishmash of decorations.
We’ve carried that tradition with us through to today and every year Brian and I give each other a Christmas Tree decoration. We’ve got 20 years worth of Christmas decorations now and the date written on all of them in sharpie! It’s lovely to look back on them. Brian got me a decoration of these two little ceramic dogs the year we got Poppy & Rufus! It’s such a lovely idea, it makes our Christmas tree like a time capsule with all of the memories from the last 20 years.
Every year Brian and I give each other a Christmas Tree decoration. We’ve got 20 years worth of Christmas decorations now, it makes our Christmas tree like a time capsule.
My most-loved Christmas recipes
My favourite Christmas recipe is this ridiculously dirty chocolate brownie recipe – I love it SO much! I love cooking, we have our friends over for dinner all the time. I remember hearing a pieces that said your family are the people you cook for and I think that’s such a lovely description. My family are not just my family, but the people I love best in the world.
My favourite cocktail is the most dangerous thing you’ll ever drink, it’s outrageous! It’s Gin, Moet, elderflower liquor and a leaf of basil on top. It’s really simple and so delicious, the perfect Christmas cocktail. For a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail, you can use Seedlip, Freixenet Legero & elderflower cordial. It’s just as lovely!
Christmas table setting
I love the idea of setting a table all of the time but life is so busy, so I love getting to properly set the table at Christmas. We have some beautiful napkins that our handwoven down in Wexford. We went to the mill and met the guys who made them – I’m so excited about them!
Time is the most precious thing we have and we should really value it at Christmas.
I also made napkin holders out of our gold twigs and they look gorgeous wrapped around the napkins. I’ll also be handwriting everyones place names, it’s a lovely chance to do something personal and extra special.
I think it’s really important to remember that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. Christmas is people, my mum really taught us to never get caught up on the perfect decorations or the perfect tree or the perfect meal. The most perfect Christmases are the ones where you’re all hanging out together, eating cheese from the fridge and having a glass of wine. They’re the ones that you always remember. It’s about time. Time is the most precious thing we have and we should really value it at Christmas.
Christmas gifting ideas
We asked Chupi to share her favourite gifts that she has given to her loved ones over the years. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a beautiful piece that’s treasure beyond the season. So if you’re looking for your Mum, Sister, Bestie or even yourself, read Chupi’s gifting ideas for some festive inspiration.