So the big day is almost here, is anyone else counting down the days, hours and minutes, or is that just me?! As the countdown is almost over I thought I’d best post part two of my Christmas Traditions post as promised. This post covers the day itself (squeee) and beyond. Don’t forget to read Christmas Traditions (Part One) if you haven’t already and as always please do share you’re Christmas traditions below.
Stockings – As I mentioned in Christmas Traditions (Part One) everyone in my family gets their own stocking on Christmas morning. What I failed to explain is that these are all opened at the same time and none of us are allowed into the room that houses them until we’re all up and about. We generally agree that 8am is the earliest we can wake one another, a lot of people thinks this is incredibly early but this is a lot later than when I was growing up! And also it’s Christmas day, why on earth would you waste it sleeping, that’s what the other 364 days of the year are for! This year we’ll all be in festive attire when we do our stockings – namely spotty onesies with penguin feet – except for Dad who’ll have a new knitted jumper featuring Snowmen, basically any excuse for festive items!
Christmas walks – Christmas is all about the walks in our family and the first one of the holiday happens on Christmas morning before lunch, usually with us all sporting Christmas hats. There are some woods and fields across from our house, so we head out there for an hour or so ramble. It’s the perfect way to feel less guilty an hour later when you proceed to eat your own body weight in turkey! It’s also lovely to see other people out and about, running or walking their dogs, and everyone’s always very cheery when it’s Christmas Day, there’s none of this typical Englishness of keeping to yourself.
Christmas lunch – This is perhaps my favourite part of Christmas as my parents make the best Christmas dinner. I know I’m biased as it’s what I’ve grown up with but it’s truly scrumptious. We’ll have a massive turkey (usually enough for 10 people), lots of roast potatoes, sweet potatoes and home-grown parsnips, sprouts, leeks in white sauce, carrots, bacon, homemade stuffing pork sausages, two bowls of homemade bread sauce and cranberry and gravy to accompany it. It’s tradition that you have to have at least one sprout with your lunch, or else you aren’t allowed to open any presents. Such harsh bargaining was the only way my sisters and I would ever eat vegetables when we were younger and it seems to have stuck! But I enjoy sprouts now so you won’t hear me complaining!
Presents – After lunch comes present opening! Yes that’s right we leave our pressies until the afternoon!! It’s tradition to take it in turns to open our presents, working through our family from youngest to oldest, one present at a time. This might mean it takes about three hours to do, but it’s so much nicer than us all unwrapping stuff at the same time and missing everyone’s excitement about their gifts.
Christmas Night – This is all about board games and Christmas TV! We always play Articulate, Scrabble and The Logo Game followed by a dinner of cold meats (turkey and ham) and potato salad, before collapsing on the sofa and watching the recorded Doctor Who Christmas Special and hopefully this year the Downton Abbey Special.
Boxing Day – For as long as I can remember we’ve always had a family Christmas with my dad’s family on the 26th or 27th. It’s always very loud (there are 13 of us) and it will involve a lot of food and an awful lot of fun. Dad always does a Christmas quiz for us all and this gets VERY competitive and usually ends in an argument and accusations of cheating! Ah Christmas and families you can’t beat it!! This year we’ll be heading to my uncle’s house for the celebration but I think I’ll still make my Ginger log as is the custom and we’ll force Dad to do the quiz still!
Food – So apart from the Turkey at Christmas lunch there is a whole host of other food that we make and bake over this period – some of which doesn’t make an appearance at any other time of the year! First off is the Christmas cake. My mum makes this every year and it’s usually a slightly altered fruit cake as I’m not a fan of proper Christmas cake – I find it far too rich. Dad always makes sausage rolls and Mum the mince pies and a sponge cake for my sisters. And it’s my sisters job to do the gingerbread and shortbread. This year I might instigate a new tradition of Sticky Gingerbread Cake which I made recently and it was truly amazing and basically like eating Christmas!
So there you have it the rest of our Christmas traditions. We really are quite obsessed with having Christmas how we always have, but when it’s so much fun, why would you even think of changing it!!