My first signs of Christmas

My first signs of Christmas | rhianna olivia

I adore Christmas.

The songs, smells, the food, the weather, the feels, the decorations. I love it all.

I know Christmas is less than a week away now, but today I wanted to talk to you about the first signs of Christmas for me. I love hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions, what they associate with Christmas and what gets them excited.

I love that feeling when the weather starts to get colder. Usually in October time. That moment where you wake up one morning and have to put your coat on for the first time of the season. You can feel the chill in the air, the leaves are falling off the trees and everywhere starts to look cosier.

Then, once Halloween is over, that’s when I first start to feel properly Christmassy. The nights are officially getting darker, the cold snap is coming and the fluffy socks are out.

The whole of November is just a build-up for me. As soon as it’s 1st November, I’m gonna be outwardly festive.
(I don’t care if that’s too early for you, I flipping love Christmas and I will feel festive as early as I damn well please.) But the real magic happens on November 30th.

You may already know this, but on November 30th every year, Joe, his Mum and I decorate his parent’s house for Christmas. It’s a family tradition that marks the death of a loved one – they decided to make it a happy day every year, and I just think it’s such a wonderful tradition. And it’s always one of my favourite days of the year. We wake up early, have bucks fizz with breakfast, decorate the house, drink snowballs, watch Christmas films and finish the day off with a full Christmas dinner. It’s amazing.

My first signs of Christmas | rhianna olivia
My first signs of Christmas | rhianna olivia

Then, when December hits, that’s when the real fun begins. EVERYONE gives in to their festive feels whether they like to or not. The weather gets even colder, it may even snow. There are Christmas films on telly 24/7. There is constantly a pack of biscuits going around the office. It’s perfectly acceptable to drink your daily calorie allowance in festive hot chocolates. Advent calendars mean you can have chocolate for breakfast every day.

I think the run-up is my favourite part of Christmas, which is why the first signs get me so excited.

Big thanks to Fortnum & Mason for sending me this advent calendar, tea and tea strainer, and for giving me the inspiration for this post. They’re all helping me feel so cosy and festive! And, if I don’t manage to post again before the big day, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas <3

My first signs of Christmas | rhianna olivia
My first signs of Christmas | rhianna olivia

My first signs of Christmas | rhianna olivia

Photos by Joseph Burrows

The products mentioned in this post were sent to me from Fortnum & Mason in exchange for a blog post. All words and opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer for more information.



  1. 10th January 2018 / 9:07 pm

    Why did I read this post after Christmas?! Now I want it to be Christmas ALL OVER AGAIN.

    Decorating the house on November 30th and rounding the day off with a full Christmas dinner sounds like a wonderful tradition. The most consistent family tradition I have, is inhaling a spread of buffet food on Christmas Eve… But my friends and I have cruised around the local towns looking at Christmas lights for the last two years, which is such a lovely way to spend an evening. I hope you and Joe had a wonderful Christmas, and a fantastic 2018! xxx

  2. 2nd January 2018 / 3:03 am

    Oh Rhianna I love that mug so much – and that tea strainer will help you be more eco-friendly in the new year too by wasting less tea bags. Beautiful photos as always.

    Sharni xo
    A Girl & Grey

  3. 28th December 2017 / 12:20 am

    That all sounds so lovely. I feel like it’s a little easier here to prepare for Christmas because each month has a holiday at the end of the year (October – Halloween, November – Thanksgiving). As soon as one holiday is done we look forward to the next so the weekend after our turkey dinner the Christmas decorations go up. I do think the idea of turning what some may find to be a sad anniversary into a special day full of family and cheer is a beautiful idea though. <3

    I've actually never had an advent calendar, which makes me super sad as a chocolate lover. I'll be moving to London next year though so I'm definitely going to buy one. It's a perfect excuse to have a chocolate every morning!

    And yes for all the hot drinks and coziness during the holidays. If I had to choose between too cold and too hot I'd always go with the former, so I enjoy winter since it means you can pile on the layers and cuddles without discomfort. Oh, and the snow! I don't think you mentioned it but where I live in the States we almost always have a White Christmas so add that to my list of signs of Christmas.

    Anyways, enough rambling. Lovely post and I hope you and your loved ones had a happy holiday! <3

    Asti |

  4. 27th December 2017 / 2:02 pm

    I love the tradition on the 30th of November, it is such a lovely idea to turn something terrible into a joyful day. I hope you had the best Christmas babe xxx

    Abi | abistreetx

  5. 25th December 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Your 30th November tradition sounds wonderful. I’m so glad you guys were able to turn the anniversary into a happy one.

    Hope you guys have had a wonderful Christmas, kid xx

  6. 22nd December 2017 / 5:33 pm

    The strainer is so pretty! I need to get a new one, after my move I can’t find a lot of the things I used a lot. I love Christmas too! It is a bummer the decorations only stay up for a month, that’s not long enough.

  7. 22nd December 2017 / 2:57 pm

    That tea from Fortnum and Mason looks awesome! I love the tins :) I’m a sucker for tea tins anyway and I just love the color and design of those.

    For me as an American the Christmas season officially starts the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t participate in Black Friday shopping (mostly because I don’t care to be trampled to death), but that weekend used to be the weekend that my family would get our Christmas tree and decorate it and the house. As an adult I’ve struggled to continue my family’s Christmas traditions or develop my own, especially since I now live in another country where the traditions are different. It doesn’t help matters that my husband doesn’t like Christmas music (how dare he!) and doesn’t like rewatching movies, which eliminates two of my favorite aspects of the Christmas season from our holiday celebrations together. Something I would like to work on in the next few years is finding Christmas traditions that fit into my new life but that still provide that Christmas-y feeling.

    Thanks for the post! And Merry Christmas!

    Danielle |

  8. 22nd December 2017 / 1:57 pm

    That’s a lovely Christmas tradition! We don’t really have any at home, although we go all out in decorating the lounge and a few of the bedrooms, which is nice. My family is more into it than I am, I think. Although, I personally love Christmas day. Just sitting down together for a meal is lovely. x

    Alicia |

  9. 22nd December 2017 / 10:27 am

    Sounds like you have some really lovely Christmas traditions! I’m not a huge fan of Christmas, myself, but with only 3 days to go till Christmas Day is upon us I can’t help but feel a little excited! x x