Christmas traditions, love them or loathe them, it’s the time of year to think on them. Quaint ideas or silly, family customs can make or break a good Christmas day. Growing up, my family and I stayed in our pyjamas all day; even Dad, (who you could tell, really hated it!) We would get up and have bacon sandwiches on freshly baked baguettes (never even considered at any other time of year!). We would throw them down our necks as quickly as possible, so we could go into the living room and start opening our presents!
My sister would always be the one sat next to the tree, reading the labels and handing out the gifts to everyone. Eventually, we’d all have our very own pile of pressi’s each! I loved our Christmas traditions and just telling you about it now brings a smile to my face. We’d spend the next hour or so lovingly “ooing” and “ahhing” over each others finery. As I got older, I found just as much joy and gratitude in the giving as the receiving. Turns out I was pretty good at choosing gifts that went down pretty well!
My sister and I have both grown up, moved out and had children of our own now, but we’ve both carried on the “staying in your pyjamas christmas tradition” in our own homes. Bless our blissfully-compliant husbands and children! Along with Mom’s amazing roast potatoes and the fab ham supper, my favourite thing back then was actually buying presents. But I got to thinking about where those christmas traditions stemmed from? The ones that I sentimentally dwell upon when this time of year creeps around? My parents certainly wouldn’t have had these types of customs when they were growing up. Especially not my Dad, who grew up in a small terraced house with 5 brothers! So, I wondered about the christmas traditions we could consciously bring into our festive celebrations, with new family make-up, partners and children of our own to think about now?
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Getting into the Spirit
Chocolate advent calendars are all over the supermarkets before Halloween is even behind us! But, from a traditional standpoint, what about buying a reusable system and making your own special treats for the lead up to the big day! There is a world of different types that you can buy pre-made, from handcrafted wooden masterpieces to specially designed hessian bags that can be hung above the fireplace.
Getting a special tree decoration each year as my little one grows up is something that I have done for the last 4 Christmas’s. Sometimes they’re from places we’ve been during the festivities so it’s a dual reminder of the outing and the year. Others are personalised for the year, with baby’s first christmas, etc. There are some pretty beautiful personalised baubles around for every possible celebration that may have happened during the year! From first christmas in a new home to first christmas as a Dad or as a married couple – the list is endless and heartwarming! What a nice christmas tradition to have your tree made up of memories!
And Don’t forget the decorations! This in itself can become a christmas tradition that is to be eagerly awaited each advent! Doing the same thing each year can become a lovely way of getting the family to bond. If it’s not collecting a real tree, what about putting on the Christmas Channel and bopping around the house with Slade and Wham? All whilst one of you painstakingly untangles the lights with a Mince Pie in hand!
‘Twas the night before Christmas….
In the last decade or so of my sister and I living at home, (and I can’t quite place when this became another thing in our household!) we began our celebration by opening just one present each at midnight on Christmas Eve. I think perhaps it may have come about during a year when one of us needed new pyjamas for our “day in nightwear” routine, and this resulted in us having to open one of our lovingly wrapped gifts. Obviously, as a child, when one sibling does, so doth both! Whatever the cause, this became another thing that we did, and that you could also implement as part of your Christmas tradition package.
In recent years, the Christmas Eve box has become quite popular, and this in itself could make an awesome traditional part of the holiday. But if not, do like we did and just open one of your little pile from under the tree. It doesn’t have to be a “main present” or one of the heftier gifts, special family pyjamas or personalised Christmas Eve Sacks would work just as well and be a little bit different.
Hanging Santa’s key is a lovely christmas tradition to start with the children when they’re at the right age. Combining this with a Christmas Eve Board to ensure Father Christmas and his reindeers get all the goodies, is a great way to build excitement every year. For the young ones, you may consider dropping Santa’s lost button in a conspicuous spot when the children are asleep, or even creating tracks around your home with flour/snow spray and a boot stencil!
Morning Christmas Traditions
Where my family once threw our own special version of bacon sandwiches down our necks first thing on Christmas day, others may be inclined towards a more traditional family breakfast. Making a cinnamon inspired slow cooker porridge that has been bubbling away overnight is an awesome christmas tradition you can make together on Christmas Eve. It not only tastes amazing, it also makes the house smell awesome and festive too! Serve with personalised christmas milk bottles, boiled eggs with festive hats and dished up on a personalised breakfast plate for a super-special touch!
Later in the day, when the gifts are opened and the turkey is basking in the oven light, consider introducing family games that you only play at this time of year. Christmas trivia is a good way to start, or perhaps an indoor snowball fight is more your scene? Later in the day, pick a film that you all love and only watch together, and snuggle up under blankets with your selection boxes!
Whatever you choose, there are so many small things that can add to the super special memories that you create each festive season. Don’t forget, these aren’t just your memories that you’re making! Your children may well be writing something like this later in life, and introducing christmas traditions to their own families when the years pass. Which of your traditions will stick for generations I wonder?
Merry Christmas xoxo