Why are traditions important, well for me they cement and make memories. The more frequently we do them the more memories the boys should associate with them. As the boys are getting older it is so much fun to involve them in our traditions and create new family traditions. I find them comforting and great fun too and a way to draw us closer as a family. Christmas is a great time for traditions and it is also a great way to take the focus on the commercialism and materialism that seems to surround the time.
Advent, this is the first year we will be really celebrating advent
This year we are making an advent wreath
We have an advent candle and light it each evening at dinner time
I have an vintage (well it is 30 years old as I won it at Sunday School) advent calender that tells the story of the nativity over the lead up which we read before we eat.
I also have a craft planned for each Sunday over advent and we will talk about the nativity and the relevance of the craft.
MadDad and I tend to wrap the Christmas presents whilst watching Sports Personality of the year, we have done this for the last 13 years, but now that it is on earlier in the month we have to make sure we are doubly organised.
We will also be attending our first Panto with the boys at The Club on 23rd December, which is Cinderella. It is the first time Bro and SIL have had someone come to them, rather than take a coach load of children. This way is far more cost effective and is only going to cost £1 per person and they can cater for 200 people. I am also hoping as the environment is familiar that they wont be frightened of the panto itself, as I remember being so scared that my dad and me had to leave early on many occasions when I was younger.
We tend to make a day of it on Christmas Eve
Crib service at the local Church
Popcorn and a bad Christmas movie (Christmas Buddies this year hopefully), we also string the popcorn to go on the tree. if there is any left.
Easy food that enjoy ie party type food that we wouldn’t normally have
We all prepare the veg for the next day
We wear daft party hats
Christmas Music on the CD
We make and sprinkle Reindeer food (glitter and oats) on Christmas eve (more on this in a later post)
We had our special key for Father Christmas as we dont have a chimney
the Christmas Elves leave new nightwear on the doorstep for everyone (I am making them)
We leave a mince pie, carrot and milk for our visitors
We always hang the boys stockings
Christmas Day really depends on where we are celebrating, ours or my mother in laws, but we always
Open stockings at home in our new nightwear
Have bacon butties for breakfast
This year we will be going to my mums on boxing day along with my brother and his family and are really looking forward to the children opening their presents from everyone together and mum will be doing good old steak and chips for everyone (you can get a little sick of turkey).
Boxing day evening is usually spent at The Club for the children’s party, but that will be on the 28th (Monday) this year. It is always such good fun, games, fancy dress and Father Christmas.
With my Brother and Sister in Law being in the pub trade it is a busy time for them, so we grab what opportunities we get to see them and also with my Farther in Law being a farmer work doesn’t stop for Christmas, so again we try and fit in with their timings.
Since we moved back to the North East it has been so nice to spend this time with the people we love and our family.
We tend to do a lot of baking and making on the build up to Christmas time, handmade presents, homemade mince pies and Christmas cakes and puddings. Since MadDad’s Gran died I have been the go to girl for the puddings and Christmas cakes.
I could go on and on and will over the coming weeks, as I love Christmastime, it is such a special and magical time. For us it is very family focused and filled with the joy of having MadDad ever present through till New Year.
As you can see many of our traditions focus on the lead up to Christmas Day itself. We endeavor to keep Christmas Day as peaceful as possible, which can be hard with 2 young children, but we dont want to cram it full of visits. We try to enjoy the time with each other and the process of giving and receiving.
So what are your traditions and what does Christmas mean to you?