Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Christmas Traditions

With around 15 weeks to go til the big day, I have been thinking about the family traditions that surround Christmas.

For some, it's going to Midnight Mass at their local Church, singing carols at their local service, helping others by volunteering at homeless shelters, day care centres or simply giving to a chosen charity.

For others, traditions stay closer to home. Spending some quality time with their family and friends. Traveling from abroad to sit at the family table on that special day. Having a turkey with all the trimmings. Watching the Queen's speech, and falling into an over-stuffed, drunken coma!

For Amy from The Contented? Maybe it's all about the presents and food!
"* Open one present from under the tree on Christmas eve
* Not allowed to open the Quality Street until Christmas eve (though my brother and I did once open it up several days early and then tape it back up again so Mum and Dad wouldn't know)
* Open presents in PJ's
* First thing to eat must be a chocolate (I think I made that one up, as not all my family abides by this rule!)
* Open stockings first
* Stockings are more joke-type presents (silly rubbers, a wrapped up walnut etc)
* Everyone has to eat at least one sprout with their Christmas dinner"
This seems to be the general 'rule' of the people I spoke to, but not for Amy's husband who's traditions are, shall we say, a little less relaxed!

"* Up and dressed before any presents are opened
* Stockings opened last
* Stockings contain substantial presents (such as perfume, DVDs, clothes)"

What can I say, he's a man with expensive tastes!

Many people included driving around in the run up to Christmas to gaze upon all of their neighbourhoods festive light displays whereas Michelle from Who drank all the tea? and her family like nothing more then a good Christmas movie!
"Every Xmas Eve we always draw the curtains, snuggle on the sofa and watch 'A Muppet Christmas Carol'. Done it for YEARS."
Here, in my family our traditions are simple.

We see my side of the family on Christmas Eve, and Drew's side of the family on Boxing Day. Christmas Day is just for us.

In the morning, the children open their stockings (which Santa leaves at the end of their beds) while Drew and I sit in bed listening to their excited squeals 'He's been!', 'WOW, some new crayons!', 'Yes! I wanted one of those!' before the inevitable stampede across the hall into our bedroom and getting jumped on!

We then go down for breakfast, although mostly very little is eaten due the the excitement and the shaking of further presents from under the tree!

Each child opens a present in turn, and shows the rest of the family what they have received.

If the weather isn't too bad we all wrap up warm and take a walk to the local park after Christmas Lunch and let the children play and let off a bit of steam.
When we arrive home, I make some hot chocolate with some mini marshmallows to warm us up and we play with new toys and games.

We make a 'Thank you' card for Santa with the new stationary sets.

As a special treat, the children are all allowed 1 chocolate from the tin (Roses/Quality Street etc) before bed.

In the lead up to the magical day, we decorate the house with lots of homemade decorations. Handmade wreaths, paper chains, salt dough figurines, pompoms and clay divas, while listening to Christmas songs.

We walk the streets to look at the beautifully lit houses.

The children put on a performance, dance/sing etc for the family.

We select the Hallmark channel and watch all of the old Christmassy movies, along with all of the Disney channels Christmas cartoons!

We bake a couple of batches of Christmas cookies. And we buy a brand new Christmas story book, for Daddy to read to us all before bed on Christmas Eve.

We also participate in making up charity shoe boxes with small toys and gifts for those less fortunate, and I donate to Cancer Research UK, which is a charity close to my heart which I raise money for throughout the year.
I would like to think that in years to come, when my children have children and so on and so forth, some of these traditions will continue.


  1. It's lovely to have Christmas traditions. Makes the day extra special!
    (But don't make me think about Christmas now, it's still August - well for two more hours anyway!)

  2. You've brought tears to my eyes. I very much hope to instill some tradition to our celebrations. It is sad that I have no traditional christmas memories to look back on from my childhood. I can feel a christmas blog coming on..

  3. Sorry, PhotoPuddle! Will ease up on the Christmas blogging!

  4. Mummybean, I didn't mean to make you cry!! lol.
    We never really had any formal traditions growing up either, but I really wanted to install some for my children to grow up with. I think things like that are important. It's stuff like this that they will remember in years to come.

  5. Love this post.
    Had completely forgotten about the "He's been" comments you listen to your children squealing on Christmas morning - my brother and I still say that to this day (he's 36, I'm 32!).
    I think the Christmas story book is a great idea, and I'm stealing it!

  6. Thank you! I'm truly glad that you liked the post, especially as you and your hubby were featured in it!

    My bloke is the same he'll be 34 this year and it's his families joke to call eachother up first thing Christmas morning and shout 'He's been' as loud as they can!

    I introduced the Christmas book thing about 5years ago. The big kids love it and this year the little kids will be getting a bit more excited by it all too. I can't wait to see their little faces!