Christmas traditions

Christmas traditions

There are just 8 more days to go until Christmas day, and I’m still not feeling too festive. I’d have thought being at home around Christmas, and with my little boy would have left me exploding with Christmas joy. But for some reason, it’s just not arrived yet. I haven’t even watched any Christmas films yet! Partially because I’m so hooked on Grey’s Anatomy (and Dr McDreamy!) that whenever I have a few moments of spare time, I’m watching that! Luckily my friend is coming round tomorrow to sort that out. Everyone needs a Christmas movie day leading up to the big day.

Every family has their own traditions at Christmas time. Now that I have my own little family, it’s time for me and my husband to combine ours and set our own traditions.

At home, I really struggle with change. I hate it. I like things to be the way I’m used to, and you’ll have to really push me to change. I’m fairly (obsessively) routine oriented, and if someone asks me to deviate from my ‘norm’, it’s like asking me to kill a cat. It doesn’t happen. Although, now that I’m playing ‘grown up’, I am trying to be better.

So, when I was exposed to different ways of spending Christmas (i.e. Neals), I was horrified when I realised that I might actually have to get rid of some of my ways, to make way for his. Our Christmas’ are so different.

I thought I’d share a few traditions below:

Christmas Eve

When we were kids, we always got to open one present before bed on Christmas eve. Not big ones, but little ones. It got us really excited for the next day, and for Father Christmas to arrive.

My husband didn’t do this, instead their Christmas Eve tradition was having steak for dinner the night before. This is a tradition I like. Who doesn’t like steak?!

Christmas Eve also involved my cousin and I scouring through the latest Argos catalogue, and writing down all the things we wanted, and leaving it at the end of our beds for Santa. In hindsight, probably not the best idea. How can Santa (ahum, parents) get items from the list when only told them just before bed on Christmas Eve. Whoops!

Christmas breakfast

FRY UP. Christmas morning isn’t the same, without a huge fry up and a glass of bucks fizz (gross, I don’t partake in the bucks fizz part. Orange juice for me, thanks).

Neal however, always had salmon and scrambled egg. Even grosser. I’m afraid that is one tradition that won’t be continuing…

Christmas stocking/presents under the tree/Father Christmas

The first thing we’d do is wake up (probably about 5am) and open the presents from Father Christmas. I know some have the presents under the tree as being from him, but ours were always in the stocking. We’d then go downstairs and open the presents from our family. There’d be little presents hiding in the tree branches also, that we’d open up later in the day, after dinner – when I was little, I genuinely believed the Christmas tree went out shopping during the night, and bought us presents.

Christmas Eve was always the hardest night to fall asleep. Santa only visits when you’re asleep, of course. So I always used to panic. I also used to worry that if we didn’t leave enough carrots for the reindeer, that they might try to eat me.

One year, I remember my cousin and I decided to try and trick Father Christmas. So we set up a plan to catch him, and take a photo of him. It was foolproof, really. We had string tied to the door handle, which was also tied to my cousins foot. So, when he opened the door to come into our room, my cousin would be awoken and would use the camera we left in her bed to take a photo of him. Genius, right?!

Maybe not… We woke the next morning and the presents were in our stockings at the end of the bed, the string still tied to the door handle. To this day, I’m still confused as to how that worked.

Games

Games are a must for me! Particularly Pictionary. At least one round of Pictionary must be played each year. This is non negotiable.

Winchester Christmas market

This isn’t so much of a tradition. But the past 2 years, we have gone with our friends to the market. We never really buy anything, or spend much time looking at the stalls in great detail. But it’s just lovely. It’s so beautiful, and Christmassy. Especially when accompanied by good company, and of course, Christmas coffee (thank you, Starbucks for your beautiful Eggnog lattes).

New traditions?

I kind of feel that we have the chance to make our own traditions now. And although I’m very much stuck in my ways, it’s something that really excites me.

Next year, I’m totally trying the Elf on the Shelf thing. Super Christmassy, but I also think I could use it to my advantage when Dom gets older. Mwahahaha.

I read something recently about a Mum who changed her husbands name on her phone to Elf/Father Christmas, I can’t remember which. And he’d call every day to check the kids were being good. If not, the Mum would report back to Father Christmas, so the kids would behave really well to avoid being put on the dreaded Naughty List! This is definitely something I might try in the future!


 

Not so much of a tradition, but the most important part, of course, is family. My family don’t all live too close together, so it’s wonderful getting together and playing games, eating and generally just being merry! I’ve always stayed at my auntie’s house the night before, and we’ve spent the whole day there. The next day, I’d go and visit the rest of my family at my Nan and Grandad’s.

Christmas day to me is a chaotic, messy and fun. I’m not so into the structured, ‘no TV’ kind of day. In fact, I quite like to snuggle up with my cousins and watch our new DVDs and Christmas films. Christmas is not for being quiet, for me. It’s about lots of noise, lots of games, and most importantly, lots of family.


 

 

Do you have any Christmas traditions? I think it’s lovely to share these, as you never know, it could inspire someone! :)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Did you sing the title as you read it too? I’ve now gone and got it stuck in my head. Over and over and over – as that’s the only part of the song I know!

Anyway. Christmas. That’s what I want to talk about. My favourite time of the year. Despite the cold. I hate the cold.

Christmas tree.JPG

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas treeeeeee.

Each year the Christmas decorations come out earlier and earlier in the shops, and everyone complains. Though I might groan about it, “It’s only September?!?!!”, but inside it gets me ever so excited. I mention this in the first blog I wrote, and I still stand by it. The earlier they come out, the earlier you can start getting excited. And who doesn’t love getting excited?

It’s also a nice prompt to start Christmas shopping. If you’re anything like me, every year I plan to start shopping early/mid November, and every year I fail. I always end up panic buying mid December and then spending way more than I’d planned. This year I’ve been much better (most likely because I’m not working), and have bought a lot already. Black Friday was largely to thank for that. Good ol’ American traditions!

I most definitely won’t be attempting the shops again this year either. At least places with multiple levels. I’d never realised how frustrating it would be having to wait for a lift every time I needed to go to another shop (because sods law, it’s never on the same floor you’re on). One thing I did love about West Quay (namely, John Lewis) is their breast feeding facilities. They have a really big room with about 3 or 4 changing mats, a large toilet area, and a bit at the back to feed your baby! Definitely easier than trying to do it on the sly in a restaurant or coffee shop.

I was also massively impressed by Halifax. We were in the bank when Dominic decided he wanted to scream, and scream, and scream… A lady heard me saying that he needed a feed, so she set up a private room for me  to go and feed him (without me asking, I might add). It’s kindness like that, that really makes a difference. I imagine some places may have asked me to leave for making a scene, but they really made me feel at ease.

Anyway, I digress.

This Christmas will be our first Christmas as a family of 3. My husband isn’t overly into Christmas, which causes quite the clash in our house as I go Christmas MAD. I have also noticed that over the years, the magic has started to disappear, now that I know that – close your eyes kids! – Father Christmas isn’t real.  But now I have Dominic, I really feel the Christmas cheer again. This year is just the start though, as I know he has no idea what’s going on. But next year… next year will be amazing! Christmas will not know what’s hit it.

Yankee advent

Grown up’s are allowed Advent calendars too, right?

I’m quite keen to do the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ thing that everyone’s got goin’ on.  I’d only actually heard about this recently, but it seems like so much fun. Dominic’s a bit too young for me to do it this year (although I’m tempted to do it anyway…), but I can’t wait until he understands that sort of thing. I’ll fill the house with elves! I’ll be the crazy lady on the street, with a house full of elves. Forget cats, it’s all about the elves.

I feel I may have gotten a little bit too excited.

I have a year (or 2?) to calm myself.

I would be really interested to see pictures of these, if any readers are doing, or have done the Elf on the Shelf.

I better go now, I have Christmas shopping to do. Online, of course. Ain’t nobody got time for elevators.