Our Favourite Christmas Traditions
This week we wanted to have a little fun and share with you some of our favourite Christmas traditions - so here’s the rundown of our top 5 family traditions that we look forward to every year. But it’s us so as usual, you will get the warts and all version!
Putting up the decos
Now you’ve all seen National Lampoon’s right? Well, Clark may go a little bit more overboard with lights than Cheryl or I do, however...his challenges to actually get them lit feel very similar! Not a year goes by when at least one set of lights doesn’t work, right? Why is that? Then you replace them and they are different colours to the other lights. Now in the perfect scenario, the lights issues start before you have actually put all of the baubles on - when they go off after, it’s a whole other world of pain. Which is exactly what happened to my sister this year - hopefully by next Christmas, she’ll be ok to talk about it!
Twinkling lights dramas aside, the process of getting the decorations out of the loft, unwrapping them all (and there’s always some you forgot about so you get all excited remembering them!), placing all of your favourite baubles, hanging up the stockings and just generally making the house all cosy and Christmasy - all to the tune of Christmas music blasting is just always one of the most fun days of the year. In our house we have Kaleb’s tree in his den and then ‘Mam’s’ tree. In other words, the one Kaleb is allowed to put the baubles on and the one where he’s not allowed to touch them!
Christmas Eve is sooo magical! One of Cheryl’s absolute favourite things about Christmas Eve, is when The Salvation Army Band go to her street and they play their carols door to door. She just loves the sound of the music, the fact they have given up their time to go around to other people on Christmas Eve to make them feel good and to earn money for their charity is incredible. It’s a great chance to give back too and to make a donation to charity - how lovely does that feel?
For me I love having supper with my family and then getting Kaleb home, into his Christmas pjs, putting the reindeer dust on the lawn, leaving Rudolph and Santa’s refreshments on the hearth and then reading The Night Before Christmas when we put him to bed. The whole thing is just so tummy-tingling! I think I’m probably more excited than Kaleb...Of course you have to get to bed before midnight too and make sure Santa doesn’t see you!
Has he been yet?
Do you recall that feeling when you woke up as a child - you start to wake up, you realise it’s finally Christmas morning and you jump up and run into your parents bedroom screaming, “Has he been yet?” - because it’s usually still pitch dark! I LOVED those butterflies and I still get them now! How can you not with a five year old in the house?
Even as a grown up, we do the same in our homes as we experienced as kids…Neil gets out of bed first and in Cheryl’s house, Graham gets out of bed first too…they go downstairs and put the Christmas lights and music on, then we file down the stairs, hubby to the front and kids to the back, bending our necks over the stairs to see what treats await us! You have to believe!
The opening of the presents
Now in our houses as we have admitted previously, we have been known to go a little over the top with the gifts in earlier years. Just a tad. But the beautiful thing with our families is, the lack of expectation. We when creep down the stairs on a morning - to see if Santa has been - we genuinely wouldn’t mind if there was just one gift each under the tree, as long as the people we love are all around it. Call the schmoltz police if you like, but seriously, we think the build up and anticipation is the most fun! Don’t get me wrong, my five year old might think differently right now, but we are working on him!
Watching everyone opening their gifts and seeing their eyes light up that you remembered a little conversation about a book they really fancied or a top that they said they loved but would never buy for themselves...and their it is in lovingly wrapped glory, just waiting for them to uncover! I remember one year, Neil got me a DVD of a film I had mentioned months earlier, that I had described but couldn’t even remember the name of at the time, and it was the thought of the love and the thoughtfulness that brought me to tears. Wonderful.
The Christmas lunch
Before you get to the Queen’s speech (a staunch tradition in Cheryl’s home and one she has done all her life) - you have to eat the best dinner of the year...Christmas Lunch! It calls for bigger than usual plates and reinforced table legs but what a feast! All of the hours you’ve seen your Mother in the kitchen in and out of the oven, finally make sense. It’s a feast for the eyes and nose as much as it is for the tastebuds. Crispy roasties, creamy mash, mouth-watering meat and buttery vegetables. The ultimate feast.
Even though you’ve been nibbling chocolates all day, you still manage to eat the gut-busting meal, largely helped by the elasticated trousers - or is that just me?! There’s always little speeches about how lucky we are to be together, to have such an abundant table and always thoughts for those who aren’t with us and we send them loving prayers. It’s always a poignant moment in our house and then the eating commences with gusto. Fabulous. Then of course at the end you always realise you forgot something - we always have at least one vegetable that’s still sat keeping warm somewhere all sad and forgotten. Oops!
What are your favourite traditions? Share them, bring them to life for us below - we love to hear all about them!
Wherever you are spending Christmas this year and whoever you are with, we wish you love, abundance and blessing to you and yours.
Love and hugs,
Donna & Cheryl xx