It’s no secret amongst those that know me that I love Christmas and everything about it. So I thought I would share a few of our family traditions that we do in the lead up to Christmas and the day itself. Some are old and some are only recent additions since having children.
- We always put our Christmas tree, decorations and lights on the house up the first weekend in December. Some people may think this is early but we take it all down very soon after Christmas so that it doesn’t interfere with Freya’s birthday 4 days after. And quite frankly, we don’t have enough room in the house for all the Christmas stuff and two lots of presents.
- We take the children to visit Father Christmas at some point in the lead up to the big day. Last year we went to visit Father Christmas on the Severn Valley steam train and Freya (Ben and I) absolutely loved it, Toby was too young to really understand what was going on. Hopefully this year he will understand it a bit more and not be freaked out by it all.
- The young farmers of the village organise a fantastic Father Christmas visit around the village. He is in a trailer towed by a tractor which we go out to see so the kids get an extra glimpse of the main man. It’s really lovely to see all the kids of the village get so excited and it raises money for a chosen charity
- On Christmas Eve our village does a fantastic “carols on the green” with a brass band and it is so lovely. Really gets everyone properly into the Christmas spirit and then we head to our local for a quick drink before heading home to have dinner (usually something Ben has put in the slow cooker dinner) and get ready for Father Christmas.
- Before Freya and Toby go to bed we help them hang their stockings on the fire-place and put out a mince-pie or a Christmas cookie, and glass of port for Father Christmas and of course carrots his reindeer’s.
- For the past few years I have wrapped all the Christmas presents on Christmas eve after the children have gone to bed with a glass of wine and a Christmas film on the TV to help me along. However, I’m not sure whether to get the wrapping done a little earlier this year so I can relax a bit more when the kids are in bed. Ben always does the building of any toys that need any “man tool” assistance with a beer in hand. (usually at least one tool from his farrier kit comes out to assist!)
- Luckily at the moment the kids don’t wake up too early but I can see that changing this year as Freya is already excited about Christmas! I’m prepared for a pre 6am wake up, ugh! Stockings are opened downstairs in front of the Christmas tree before breakfast but we try to leave bigger presents until later.
- We start the day with some Bucks Fizz and croissants with either bacon or Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
- We take it in turns to spend Christmas at either my parents or Ben’s parents house for Christmas day. This year we are heading up to my parents (in Lincolnshire) which will be lovely as all of my brother will be there with their partners. We all live so far apart (Northern Ireland, Worcestershire, Northumberland and Australia!) so we rarely get to see everyone at the same time. I’m really looking forward to it.
- Christmas dinner is generally around 4/5 ish, after ponies have been sorted out for the day. We have the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings and of course crackers! And everyone has to wear their crown from their cracker. I have very fond memories of my granddad being asleep in a chair in front of the TV after dinner with his crown still on his head and the pearl necklace he won from his cracker around his neck.
- After dinner and the kids are in bed we like to play a board game of some sort. A couple of years ago we played Articulate and I highly recommend it if you are after a good game. My brothers get very competitive and this was so funny I was cry laughing at one point. Safe to say geography is not my strong point! If you have any board game recommendations let me know.
- Then veg out in front of the TV in a serious food coma!!
A tradition that I want to start this year for Freya and Toby is the Elf on a shelf. I think Freya is now at the perfect age to start this lovely tradition. A lot of my friends do it with their children and they say it’s really great so I’m looking forward to trying it out. I already have a lot of ideas of what our mischievous is going to get up to so if you would like me to write a blog post about it do let me know.
Another tradition that I’ve seen people do is a Christmas Eve box. I’m unsure of whether to start this or not but it seems like a great way for our little elf to leave our house with a parting gift. Do you guys do a Christmas Eve box? If so, what’s in yours?
So those are our Christmas traditions. I’d love to know what your family’s Christmas traditions are, do you do similar things or something completely different.