My family love Christmas. Even the grumpy members can’t help but get excited and in the Christmas spirit. Ever since I was a child Christmas has always been a huge thing in our family and we have built up so many traditions over the years. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately of people sharing their own traditions and I love reading them so I thought I would do one of my own.
I guess the first tradition we have is advent calendars. My mother has always got us an advent calendar, even when I was at uni she would still get me one. We’ve had all sorts of calendars over the years, chocolate ones, picture ones and toy ones too. Every year on December 1st I remember going downstairs and seeing the calendars all lined up. It was always a surprise because we were never allowed to know which one we had. It was so exciting as it really marked the start of Christmas. Now we have a wall in the kitchen dedicated to our advent calendars and we still all get up early on December 1st to open them.
Since I was two years old my Nan has taken me, and my sister when she was born, to the pantomime. We always see the first matinee show which is usually the 1st or 2nd Saturday in December. For the past 23 years I have been going to the panto with my Nan, without fail. It doesn’t matter how old I get I still love going. It still makes me laugh, I still love each and every show and my Nan still buys me a toy haha either a light up wand or a tiara or a sword. It’s one of my favourite and most treasured traditions.
Christmas Eve used to be my favourite day out of the Christmas period. It was a day where we watched Christmas movies with a box of Celebrations. Prepared the cooking and started the baking. Played games. Had a nice meal and headed out to Midnight Mass. Then getting ready for Father Christmas, which was the best part.
Every year I would set out my empty sack at the end of the bed, ready for Father Christmas to take and fill with toys. We would leave a mince pie and a glass of sherry for him, and a carrot for Rudolph. I would spend so long looking out my window to see if I could catch him. Sometimes I saw a shooting star that convinced me he was on his way, so I would race into bed and try to fall asleep. I also always heard his sleigh bells. Every single year I would hear the ringing of his bells, very close to my bedroom, so close that he had to be on top of the roof. My mum would come running in all panicked saying I had to go to bed, otherwise Father Christmas would leave if he knew I wasn’t asleep. I fell asleep in an instant. Later I found out it was actually my mother, leaning halfway out the bathroom window, next to my room, ringing some bells haha.
Christmas day would normally start at 4/5am. I would wake up and see the sack I had left out the night before, filled right to the top with toys! I would run upstairs to my parents bedroom and wake them up. Then run back down to my sisters room to shake her awake. My sister has never been a morning person. We all gathered in my room first to see what Father Christmas had brought while she tried to wake herself up haha.
We then moved on to my sisters room and watched her open all of her presents from Father Christmas. Our parents said that we could only take a couple of toys downstairs with us, so as not to clutter the living room. While going downstairs we noticed there were big, glittery footprints leading from our rooms and down to the fireplace. The glass of sherry was pretty much empty and a big bite had been taken out of the mince pie. My sister and I then went outside to check if Rudolph had eaten his carrot and indeed a bite had been take out of that too.
Christmas morning then consisted of me and my sister playing with our toys, while mum cooked and dad set the table. The rest of our family would arrive and we would all sit around, chatting, laughing and drinking (I was allowed a bucksfizz and a glass of champagne). When lunch was ready we would head into the elaborately decorated dining room, where there was usually an extra little present for each of us, pulled crackers and began the feast.
After lunch we would sit back in the living room and choose someone to be the designated present giver. Our present opening sessions last for hours because we’ve always done it one by one, with everyone watching and seeing what someone’s got. Rather than everyone ripping open everything at the same time.
The rest of the afternoon was spent watching more films, eating more food and drinking more alcohol, all while wearing silly, paper hats.
Our Christmases are pretty small now. My dad isn’t around much anymore, he has a new family, and our extended family have been fighting for the last 4/5 years so we don’t see them at all. It’s usually just me, my sister, mum and gran. That doesn’t mean that we still don’t have a great Christmas. We still decorate like mad and go overboard with presents. My sister and I still get stockings from Father Christmas, and now so does my mother haha. Big, glittery footprints still appear from our bedroom doors, leading downstairs and I still wake everyone up obnoxiously early.
The three of us play silly games in the morning and start cooking lunch. Then my gran will come over and we’ll normally put on a Pixar movie. I set the table now, making it all pretty and ensuring each person has a little present and a cracker. We then sit around as mum serves the food and dig in. Afterwards we lounge on the sofas and open presents, somehow every year I’m the designated giver haha but I honestly enjoy it. We then spend the rest of the evening drinking and chatting, playing more games and just relaxing.
If everything goes to plan hopefully next Christmas I’ll be living in my own house. Then I can invite my family up to have Christmas with me, my boyfriend and his family too. I do miss the big, family Christmases. They were busy and chaotic but a lot of fun and there was always something to do. Now sometimes it feels a bit lonely with just the four of us, there are lulls in the conversation and a lot of sitting around. I still love Christmas, It’s my favourite time of year and we all make it as special as possible. But I am excited for us to all have a big family Christmas again and to introduce my boyfriend and his family to our traditions.
Past Christmas Pictures:
Before writing this post I was going through so many old family Christmas photos and thought I’d share some of them here. As pictures can really capture what words sometimes can’t. Some of these pictures aren’t very good quality so I apologise if they’re a bit grainy or blurry.
I hope you enjoyed this very long post! Well done you if you managed to get through it all! I love Christmas so much and have so many good memories that it’s hard to put everything all into one post. I’m sure there’s many traditions I’ve forgotten. If you have a post on your Christmas traditions then please link them down below because I’d love to read them. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram and Twitter too. I will follow all bloggers back. Thanks for reading!