I’m writing this post surrounded by Christmas chaos. Finished rolls of wrapping paper and sellotape, empty boxes, and about three ‘to do’ lists that are partially ticked off, empty chocolate wrappers (I’m sure my jeans are getting tighter already).. my kitchen is full of the chaos after the chocolate making session (gifts for my neighbours) that I had last night and I’ve not yet cleaned up from. Even my two year old has come back home after nursery and said, ‘Mama, it’s all messy!’. Tell me I’m not the only one!
I’m hoping to get on top of everything as soon as I can, so that by the Solstice, when this post will be published, everything is ready, and we can relax, and enjoy the festivities. It’s got me thinking about Christmas traditions. My family is still so young, with my children being just one and two, and I was asked recently about what traditions we have, and I couldn’t really answer. However, looking back over my camera roll for the last month, I’ve realised that’s not quite true.
Decorating the tree
We’ve had a real Christmas tree as long as we’ve lived in this house, and it’s our fifth Christmas here this year. I remember the first year we were here we didn’t have any furniture, just the biggest Christmas tree we could find, with some baubles that were going spare at work. The past two years my eldest son has loved being lifted up by his Dad to put the star on top. Whenever we see a Christmas tree out and about, he looks for the star on the top!
Writing to Santa
This is something we did for the first time this year. We made a card, and I asked my son what he would like to write and ask Santa for. He said ‘a yellow car, and a red one for my brother’. So he drew the cars, and I wrote the note, and we walked down to the post box to post it. It was such a special thing to do, and a tradition I’d love to carry on every year.
And that, is about it so far. Something I would love to do is go into the woods and decorate a Christmas tree there. I think it would be lovely to make a paper star and put it on top of a tree out in the wild. We’ve already been out and collected some holly to use as decorations inside our house. Maybe when the children are a little older we could make a Yule log together.
I’ve been so inspired this year by one of my favourite blogs, Raising Little Shoots, who has published a nature themed advent calendar which has arrived in my inbox daily. I’ve read it every morning when I wake up. It’s full of wonderful ideas to enjoy the season with your children by getting out into nature, which is always our favourite thing to do.
Last year, on Christmas Eve, we went into our local town to buy the fresh vegetables for our Christmas meal, then went to the park, which was very chilly and we were the only people there! In the evening we opened our Christmas Eve boxes which had new pyjamas in, and we read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ as our bedtime story. This year I’ve added a plate to put out with a treat for Santa to the Christmas Eve box.
Christmas Eve is such a special day, and I’ll always remember the excitement of it from when I was a child. Every year my Dad and I would go Christmas shopping in the morning for my Mum’s presents, which always included a trip to the newsagents to stock up on as many chocolate bars as possible! Then we would go home and I would wrap the presents we’d bought, and we would go to the 3pm Carol Service at the cathedral. In the evening, my parents always had a takeaway Chinese meal.
I asked some other bloggers what their Christmas Eve traditions were…
“We always have a Christmas Delivery from the Elves, which includes a PJ’s and a new film which we all settle down and watch in the evening with a takeaway” – Paula from Mummy Vs Work
“A matinee Christmas play at a local theatre, then back home for a Chinese takeaway for us!” – Catherine from Here Come The Hoopers
“I always clean the house and change the beds and then we watch Christmas films and eat chocolate. Everyone has a bath and puts on new Christmas pjs” – Sophie from Soph-Obsessed
“We go to the crib service at church and then come home for pancakes and The Muppets Christmas Carol! The kids Christmas Eve boxes are also waiting for them so it’s into Christmas PJs for the film.” – Laura from Edinburgh Life with Kids
“We have a little family party of good food and drink! We watch the space station fly across (Santa’s Sleigh) and spread reindeer food outside.” – Jaymee from The Mum Diaries
“We have a picnic dinner in front of The MuppetsChristmas Carol before our Christmas Eve box is delivered by the Elf containing PJ’s, a new book, hot chocolate and food for Rudolph! Then we have baths, get changed into new PJ’s, drink hot chocolate and read the book before a relatively late bed! It’s a lovely start to Christmas Day!” – Cherry from The Newby Tribe
“I always take time to go to church for the Carol service at 5.30, it’s our local parish church and it’s just a beautiful wonderful thing and a great opportunity to sing carols as loud as my lungs will let me, it’s also great to take an hour away from the real world to remember the true meaning of Christmas.” – Mandy from Mandy Charlton Photography
Do you have any Christmas traditions? How do you like to spend Christmas Eve?
However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful time this season!
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