This weekend I went back to my family home for about 24 hours as we all decorated the tree together. This has become somewhat of a tradition in our family and so wherever we are in the country and whatever else we’re doing, we always make sure we come together on one Saturday or Sunday before Christmas to put up the tree. It’s such a nice way of starting off the festive season properly – even if we might have had three Christmas meals, copious amounts of Starbucks red cup Christmas drinks and even put up decorations in our abodes!! In reality Christmas doesn’t start until the Evans Family tree is in residence in front of the French doors as per usual, it’s just a fact of life!
So being at home for those few hours got me thinking about all our family’s Christmas traditions. I think traditions are fascinating and love hearing how others celebrate so I thought I’d share a few of our traditions with you all. We have quite a few traditions, as Christmas is a BIG thing in our household, so I’ll start with the pre Christmas ones today and share the Christmas day and beyond traditions another day!
Advent calendar – Mum always creates an advent calendar for my sisters and me, she fills each pocket with a name tag and when your name appears on the nametag you get to choose a pressie from the pre-prepared sack. It’s as simple as that! There’s something lovely about starting Christmas this way, not just because of the snowman shaped hand soap or Santa hat that you receive. It’s nice to stretch out the holiday season just a little bit more!
Christmas decorations – Each year Mum (yes her again – she’s a little like a Christmas fairy!) gives us each a Christmas decoration. The decoration will either be a tree decoration or a gorgeous Christmas ornament and they are always wonderful! So far I’ve amassed quite a large collection, and the memories related to each of them are so special. Some of my favourites decorations from Mum are below and this year we each got a shiny red one with white snowflakes or sparkly dots on them.
Buying the tree – Tradition dictates that my sisters and I to go to the local garden centre with Dad to pick out the tree, while Mum stays at home guarding the fire and organising the room. There is always a big debate about which one to get but we usually manage to persuade Dad that we need a bigger one than he suggests. Traditionally we then have to chop a foot off of it so it fits but at least it’s nice and big and bushy! One year we even picked this sad half squashed one as my little sister decided it would be left behind if we didn’t buy it!
Decorating the house – Once we get back with the tree it’s Dad’s job to make sure the tree is upright and then he’s on outside light duty, nothing tacky mind you just simple coloured lights. My sisters and I are in charge of the tree itself as we each have a boxful of decorations to put up (the aforementioned decorations). Mums job is the rest of the house as we have Christmas themed everything. Christmas plates. Check. Christmas candles. Check. Christmas jug. Check. Christmas apron. Check. Christmas hats. Check. All of the decorating is done with Christmas music blaring out (of course) and in front of a roaring fire.
A fish and chip dinner – On Christmas Eve we always treat ourselves to fish and chips, well steak and kidney pie and chips in my case. It’s a bit silly to have something so calorific before our massive turkey dinner the next day but it’s something we’ve done for years. It all stems from when I was younger and spent the afternoon/early evening at our Aunt’s house with my sisters, parents and grandparents. We’d always pick up fish and chips on the way back as by the time we got home no one could face cooking as there was always loads of bits and bobs still to do before the big day. So the convenience of the chip shop was born!
Board games – This is a very important part of Christmas in our household and the board games and card playing kick off properly on Christmas Eve night. Once we’ve scoffed our fish and chips we get going on the games and will play until bedtime, so a good five hours or so. Being part of a very competitive family means we’re always guaranteed lots of laughs, arguments and sarcasm!
The stockings – We still do stockings for everyone in our household so last thing before bed on Christmas Eve we’ll label and fill them all, then lay them out in front of the fireplace. Then we all trundle up to bed and won’t peek at them until the morning!
There we go, those are just some my families Christmas traditions. Do you do any of the same things, or is your Christmas totally different? I’d love to know as its always fun to start new traditions!