Since having my daughter, I have cherished the Christmas traditions that my parents upheld for my brothers and I. Not only have I incorporated these traditions into my family Christmas as a mum, but they have also made me seek out new traditions.
When I look back and remember any Christmas from my childhood, or from adulthood, the parts which make me smile the most are the traditions we have upheld. Some of them are silly, some of them are probably carried out in hundreds of homes across the country, but that doesn’t matter because a Christmas tradition is made special, not just by carrying out a ritual but by sharing it with people you care about.
I love hearing about other people’s traditions and passing on ours so that we can each share and incorporate parts into our own family lives. The way I see it, a Christmas tradition is something we could potentially be handing down for generations to come, so make them extra special! Here are some of my favourite ones:
1. We always watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on the first night that we have put up the Christmas Decorations. It is one of my favourite films and gives me a warm glow no matter when I watch it, but snuggling down to watch it with the twinkling of Christmas tree lights is magical and guaranteed to remind you of the true meaning of Christmas.
2. Christmas Eve is for me and my Daddy! When I was younger, my mum would often have to work on Christmas Eve and so the day became all about my dad and I. He would take me for lunch, we may get a last minute Christmas present or two and we may watch a Christmas film, we didn’t care we just made it fun and festive. There has never been a Christmas Eve that I haven’t spent with my dad, but as we have grown up and my brothers have also had children, our Christmas Eve together is now often gatecrashed by lots of other family members too! We don’t care of course it makes it special, so long as they know that it’s ‘our’ day 😉
3. A Christmas Eve Present. Now everyone knows that Santa brings most of the presents for Girls and Boys, but ever since my daughter was born, I have also chosen her something too. This present is always given to her on Christmas Eve and usually causes loads of excitement too!
This picture was taken several years ago when she received a Cinderella carriage, I love the excitement in her face.
4. Oldest at the Front, Youngest at the Back! Now being the youngest child in my family, this tradition used to drive me crazy. Every Christmas morning we would wake up and go and jump on our parents bed. We would tell them they had to get up and my dad would drag it out for as long as possible, he would tease us saying he needed to shave or shower first. When he had finally dragged it out for as long as he could, he would tell us we had to go downstairs in order of age. Meaning my dad would be followed by mum, my eldest brother, my middle brother and then me. As my father would creep up to the living room door, peek in and then quickly slam the door saying that Father Christmas hadn’t been and we had to turn around and go back upstairs! We would groan and giggle as we persuaded him to look again.
I love that I have carried this tradition on with my daughter and when the whole family spends Christmas together the line down the stairs gets pretty long!
5. Naff Presents. One of our funniest traditions began as we grew up and my brothers began buying silly presents for each other. This turned into ‘naff presents’ we could not spend more than £5 per person on buying someone the worst thing you could possibly find. These presents are exchanged after lunch and always perk up that after lunch lull you get on Christmas Day. We have had some hilarious gifts and also made the rule that if you were bought an item of clothing, you had to wear it. This results in my brothers raiding charity shops for the worst possible clothing they can find!
We have so many more traditions and every year we adapt or embrace new ones. What are your favourite ones? I would love to hear them!