The Christmas Traditions Thread ;) (in July, oh yes, for real)

(105 Posts)

Hello, all Christmas Lovers 'tis time to settle down and consider the Christmas Traditions. Then in December when everyone else is running about , tearing out hair and raging at Amazon/Post Office or supermarket of choice, we've got it sorted. wink

(Bit of background here) I was born in the late 1960s so Christmas in my day <<old gimmer emoticon>> was much more low key. Memories were a pillowcase of presents and buying tangerines from the market.
Then age 8+ my mum especially was very meh about Christmas, too much effort (though she didn;t actually do much) . Meals got made because we had a family friend who visited,and cooked , then I used to cook. Any decorations were done by us.

So when I had my own DC, I had a mental image of how I wanted Christmas to be. DH takes the mick says I'm over-compensating for my youth. I like to do things to build up to the Day. Doesn't have to cost much.
And every year as the DC get older, things change. We add a new Tradition each year, some get abandoned.
The DC are involved more now but when they were little I wanted them to think it was all 'seamless'.

So.....coffee in hand, here we go. grin

I do a £2 jar from January. Try to save £4-6 a week, then we open it, put it in the bank and share the money out. (DH,DS,DD and me)
I save my Sainsbury Nectar points (and use the extra points vouchers) usually get £120+ in rewards for my Christmas food shop)

DS birthday is December so we don't do any decorations until 10-14 days before Christmas. Some of my decs are 23 years old, but every year we buy a couple of new ones.

We have a little advent calender (with decorations that are hung on a little tree) and room for a chocolate coin.So on Dec 1st it starts.
I do have an Elf on the Shelf that I made from a doll (A-Team - liam neeson one) before it was a Dr Who doll (Christopher Eccelstone- he was scary). I made clothes from felt blush. He hides round the house each night.

When DS was about 3-4 yo I made a little sleeping elf in a bed and we walked down the Playhouse with a candle in a jar to peep.
I put lines of candles in jars on the lawn to make a guide for the sleigh.
We did Reindeer Food (once) edible glitter, coloured sugar and porridge to scatter on the lawn. It sat like a lump of vomit for days shock hence only once.

We do a family day out to London. See the lights. Go to Hamleys. Count the Hamleys bags.
Winter Wonderland (though last year it was really busy)
DD and I go to see a ballet

DH,DD and DS go to the cinema to see a film while I do the food shop in peace.
DH and I have a child free shopping day at end November.
Then we take DC to Lakeside/Bluewater to do their shopping (with their share of the £2 jar)

On Christmas Eve, we used to feed ducks or reindeer, now they are older we go for a walk (park usually) and they come back to their Christmas Hampers in front of the fire.
Lunch is chips,salad,fish fingers for DS, veg grills for DH and I.
Trifle for us, ice-cream for DC.
We have crackers and poppers etc on the table.
We watch a Christmas Film.
Check out Santa Tracking (online)
DD does a tray for Father Christmas (which I eat)
We do a late night buffet- sandwiches and crisps things.
DS sleeps in DD room (grumble grumble) grin so we can hear them wake up and open their stockings. They can't go downstairs until the fibre optic little tree (on a timer) lights in the hall.
The lounge door is covered in wrapping paper that they burst through.

I do the same meal every year for Christmas Day (I don't like these new fangled 'different' meals).
Has to be dark and has to be finished in time for Dr Who.
I spend all day pottering about, cooking, setting the table, watching the soaps as I work.
Candles, all my nice crockery (I have a Christmas Cupboard ) , popper, crackers, lovely tablecover.
We don't eat Christmas Pud so I don't make one (or Christmas Cake but I like fruit cake and cheese)

The DC used to dress up(fancy dress) on Christmas Eve but they are too old now.
Christmas Eve Hamper (CEH) is in a nice festive box: new PJs, annual, jar of sweets, hot chocolate sachet,a Christmas mug, mini biscuits, bath bomb.

Christmas Morning Stocking:selection box, tiny Lindt reindeer or teddies. Underwear. Earrings for DD. Keyring for DS. Books (I Spy book or paperback)
All wrapped with extra sellotape to keep them busy grin

My DC are 11 and 13 now so every year it changes and in a couple of years my DS won't be out of bed until noon. The presents are getting smaller and more ££. (So that's why we need the stockings. Little 'filler' presents but useful and only a couple of £ each).

Come and add to the list (if you've managed to read this far)

And - Yes I KNOW it's July before anyone says it,
But this is THE CHRISTMAS THREAD. wink

TicTacZebra Tue 12-Nov-13 08:31:29

Best. Thread. Ever.

I'm so excited this year as DD is 2 and will have some idea of what's going on. It's also DS's first Christmas. We have been emotionally blackmailed into going to my mums this year, so we've decided to have our own Christmas on the 23rd which is also my birthday.

DP and I will decorate the tree once the DC are in bed and tell them that the Christmas faries did it. We always go to the local garden centres and the Christmas market in December. We also go put and pick a decoration for the tree. For DDs first Christmas, she had a 'baby's first Christmas' bauble. Last year she had one with her name on and I think she is old enough to choose her own this year. DS will be getting 'baby first christmas.' DP and I also have a DD free shopping day. (bf DS has to come with us)

On 'Christmas eve' we will let the DC open a present early. We will do a major clean up of the house and just get things ready for the next day. For dinner, we will have an indoor picnic on the living room floor with mixtures of all our favourite snacky foods. In the evening, the chritmas eve hamper will bring new pjs, bath bombs, hot chocolate with marshmallows in our matching Christmas mugs and mickeys once apon a Christmas DVD. We will sit and watch it before bed time for the DC. Just before bed we will put out mince pie/milk for Santa. We will hang the magic Santa key and a carrot for the reindeer from the tree in the garden.

Once the DC are in bed we will do last minute wrapping and fill the stockings while watching something christmassy and hopefully a few drinks. A box or two of Christmas chocolates may be opened too wink

On Christmas day, stockings are opened on our bed and christmas breakfast is always sausage sandwiches followed by pancakes. As we'll be getting a traditional Christmas dinner on the real Christmas day, we'll probably do something different for dinner. Not sure what yet. We will try to stretch the present opening by saving some for after dinner.

Sorry this is so long! I didn't mean to write so much, I'm just so excited!

wamabama Tue 05-Nov-13 13:20:28

We watch a Christmas movie every day of December. Starts off with my favourite that I really don't have the patience to wait for- National Lampoons Christmas vacation and we leave Polar Express till Christmas Eve.

Dc are all toddlers so we do a lot of crafts throughout December. Make paper plate snowmen and Santa's, paper chains, xmas cards, snowglobes etc.
We also do a lot of baking. The cake and mince pies are done in advance but we bake Christmas shape cookies, I make vegan eggnog, stollen, chocolate orange cake for Christmas day etc. And this year I will accomplish the gingerbread house and people!

Usually we go to the mall Santa but this year we're going on the Santa steam train which I can't wait for.

We all wear Christmas jumpers and the DC wear Christmas pudding hats. Also have the Tots Bots Christmas nappies for a photo opportunity!

This year I'm making the garland and stockings. Also actually doing stockings for the first time. Usually just have a santa sack with their names on each filled with presents. But I've got smaller stocking presents for them to hang on the fireplace. I'd like to see carol singers this year too.

1st December elf on the shelf arrives with a note explaining why he's there, Christmas duvet, Christmas colouring book and Christmas books. Also they start the advent calendar and we have a little countdown to Christmas thing we change the numbers on.

Christmas Eve we bake choc chip cookies for Santa and have a special Christmas plate and mug for him to put them and his milk on and the carrot for Rudolph. We go for a walk and when we return eots has gone leaving a note explaining that he'll see them again next year and there's a little hamper for each DC with new PJS (this year all matching!), slippers, chocolate coins, marshmallows and a soft toy. Then we all settle down with hot choc, cream and marshmallows to watch Polar Express. Read The night before Christmas before bed.

We read a lot of Christmas books throughout December aimed at children- Jolly Christmas postman, Dear Santa, The Grinch etc.

DH and I have a lovely wrapping evening where mainly he wraps because I'm absolutely useless grin and I 'prettify' them. We usually wrap in brown paper with pretty ribbon and we scoff mince pies, watch White Christmas and swig some eggnog whilst we're doing it. ALWAYS drink eggnog out of the Lampoons moose mugs, how else?! grin

Because DC are so young atm DH and I do the decorating on the evening of 30th Nov when DC are asleep. Always have a real tree with a gingerbread man skirt, we buy a new bauble each year although this year I've bought quite a few new vintage ones. Decorations are a mixed bag of vintage/traditional and random stuff like handmade felt ones and Nightmare before Christmas. Got our first outdoor lights this year to wrap around the tree in the front garden. Cushion covers become Christmas ones!

We have a 'holiday tree' which is decorated for Halloween, Christmas and Easter. I put lights around it and for it's decorated with a mixture of the DC's crafts and little felt decorations.

Christmas Day the TV is banned grin. After waking early and opening presents, I make breakfast (from scratch) which is croissants, pain au chocolat and breakfast muffins. DC usually have a nap around midday and DH and I crack on with Christmas dinner. We have tried starters in the past but the main is so massive that the starter seems to ruin it and half of it gets left and wasted so I don't know if I'll do a starter this year. We try a different veggie main each year but none have overwhelmed so far so we're going to try a new vegan roast which has been released this year. Homemade onion gravy and lots of veggies. Dessert is chocolate orange cake and Christmas cake. Might try making a Christmas pudding this year. DH and I swig champagne with edible glitter. I'm decorating the table for the first time this year, I haven't bothered before because I thought DC would just pull it all down but I'm going to attempt. Got a robin and Christmas pudding tablecloth, fox napkin rings, fox and owl napkins, a stag head candle for the centre and russian doll salt and pepper shakers. Sounds like a random mixture which goes with us grin. When DC go to bed DH and I spend the evening playing board games with a chocolate hamper.

We go to the Christmas market every year but this year we might not take DC and just have an us day there because the DC never seem to enjoy it and just end up tantrumming around the market so...

And I probably missed something but I think that's it! So excited.

MARGUERITE18 Tue 05-Nov-13 11:30:09

Every year dd's and I choose a new decoration each for the tree, this year we used disneyland paris ones.

Christmas is a charitable time- We always buy a macdonalds for 1 homeless person, give out socks and mince pies wrapped to the big issue sellers and fill an operation christmas child shoebox. We also buy 1 charity gift or gift from an independent crafter/ small business for each person we buy for.

Everyone gets an advent calendar or 2. We always go to see a show- jungle book this yr, white christmas last year. We always go to the xmas markets. We go shopping for new pyjamas on xmas eve and spend our xmas money on boxing day. We always go to a christmas light switch on and have 1 baking day and 1 craft day

cheekbyjowl Sun 03-Nov-13 22:01:16

Monroe would you like another child? im almost 30 but available for adoption wink

CrotchStitch Sun 03-Nov-13 00:53:27

I thought we didn't have any traditions but reading this thread it seems that we do grin
I have always longed for a well coordinated and tasteful tree- I don't have this as DS has a school made decoration from every year plus one we choose when out on the special "decoration buying expedition" DSDad has also taken to buying DH and I, DD and DS baubles which is quite sweet smile and adds to the general tackiness
I have a small gold glittery Santa tree decoration that was hidden on the tree every year for DB and I to find. For the past 6 years or so it has been DS who finds him which I love smile
We always went to town on Christmas Eve as kids and we will be doing that this year as I will be uber organised grin Gingerbread lattes in Starbucks then home for a long dog walk, a buffet tea while tracking Santa most likely for the last time <sob> and then bed.
The big day will be stockings downstairs as my DPs are staying with us, church, presents, pub, dinner in some sort of order (we too are without a vicar so are yet to see what will be happening when)
More dog walking, some silly games etc (the men of the family are getting model boats in their stockings to race down the stream) TV and then bed smile

Mckayz Sat 02-Nov-13 12:35:13

Olibean I stomped about last year trying to wake the boys up. They get up at 6 the other 364 days of the year.

krisskross Sat 02-Nov-13 11:42:07

Loving these so marking M y spot so I can copy!

voscar Sat 02-Nov-13 09:57:47

Fuzpig - a friend of mine has a fizz and filmfest on as eve. It's an open house and all friends/family pop in during the day for half and hour at any point. The only rules are that Xmas films will be playing non stop and fizz will be drunk. I'm really looking forward to going this year.

I wouldn't say all these are traditions but this is how our Christmas will go this year:

1st weekend in December ( actually starting 29th nov) weekend away in Manchester to visit Christmas markets and Trafford centre etc.

2nd weekend; tree up on the Saturday followed by Sunday school nativity then visiting Santa at a local farm. You can stay for the whole day and were going with sil and nieces and nephew so will have lunch there and see the animals too.

3rd weekend: visit big garden centre with Christmas decorations up and ds wants to buy a snow globe from there.

Not sure about 4th weekend but we'll definitely visit dh's grandparents.

23rd: do big shop in Sainsburys that is always randomly quiet in our town grin and do some Christmas baking and tidy the house.

Christmas Eve: have nice breakfast ( pastries I think), go to church with dsis and nieces( although our vicar is leaving in Nov so not sure what will happen with Christmas services with no proper vicar sad ) then have lunch in pub next door. Let ds and nieces run off some steam in park next door to that then home where Santa will have left an early present for ds ( I'm not a fan of CEH but this year he needs 2 things early so we're going to tell him that Santa delivers an extra present to boys and girls who have been really good in their first term at school). Ds will then have a (very) early bath with lush glitter bath bomb, get into his onesie ( from his early present) and read Santa is Coming to X ( seems silly to give up him that on Christmas Day when he's already been...) and then we're going to a ' onesie party' at sil's. I'm actually more excited for Christmas Eve this year!

Christmas Day: ds will no doubt have his annual lie in confused while me and dh wake up early and stomp around increasingly noisily trying to wake him up! Then we go down stairs to see if he's been grin ds will open his presents then we get ready and go to sil's again for breakfast, where the pils will also be. We'll swap presents there and stay til about 12ish and hopefully visit dsis on the way home. Then we'll open presents from each other ( we're each helping ds to choose the other one this year) and I'll make lunch. It's just for the 3 of us so no massive preparations but it'll be nice and there will be all the trimmings with christmas pudding for dessert. In the evening we'll have chocolates, wine/ lemonade for ds and tv.

Then on Boxing Day we always go up to the lakes for a walk and have lunch in a cafe.

fuzzpig Wed 30-Oct-13 21:52:43

Apparently I am very lucky then... <baffled>

grin

fuzzpig if you want to do a "GoodLuck Charlie" tradition , you need to make Christmas Tree Shaped Pancakes. grin

(If you don't know what GoodLuck Charlie is -- think yourself very lucky )

fuzzpig Wed 30-Oct-13 18:47:05

Also it's funny how the things that get remembered are not always what you'd expect. DD started talking about Xmas recently and the first thing she said was "Xmas is when we get pancakes for breakfast!" ... so I guess that's a tradition now. smile

They also really loved getting a new cuddly toy on Xmas eve and I think that will become a regular thing, they don't get them at other times (in fact most of the ones they have are actually mine blush)

fuzzpig Wed 30-Oct-13 18:43:22

We are slightly altering a tradition this year - instead of going to the cinema and lunch in the run up to Xmas, we will do it between Xmas and new year. Less hectic as no school stuff, and is a fun family event to look forward to after the big day too.

Mckayz Wed 30-Oct-13 17:58:51

Thanks smile

Bump for Mckayse

blondieminx Thu 19-Sep-13 18:01:25

Luffly thread <sighs contentedly>

SugarHut, thank you - have just ordered the Robert Sabuda book smile

Monroe Sat 14-Sep-13 18:18:32

I have found my true home <<contented sigh>>

I love Christmas. I genuinely get a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy when I walk down a supermarket isle and see the shelves slowly being stocked up with Christmas chocolates and advent calendars.

Our family traditions are still evolving and many have been pinched from here over the last few years.

They involve...

Xmas hamper, which is delivered 1st December by our Elf Cranberry. This year DH has suggested we get another Elf and do 2 boxes as DS, 7 and DD, 3 are not overly keen on sharing and DS already considers Cranberry to be his Elf as he has been coming for the last 3 years. The boxes will have new onesies, toothbrush, bubbly bath stuff, Christmas book, dvd, chocs and the advent calendar.

We do elf on the shelf all December which the DC's love.

I have just booked our panto for the Saturday before Xmas, the matinee show which will be followed by tea out somewhere.

We visit Santa on the farm at the local National Trust park.

Last year I took DS to pick presents for family followed by the cinema and lunch out. I'll do this again this year with DD too.

Christmas fair / carol service.

PNP - they love getting their vidoes from the big man.

This year we are planning on going out Xmas eve, not sure where yet but maybe bowling and tea out / run around the park depending on the weather and probably Christingle service.

Before bed we track Santa with Norad, do the milk / carrot / mince pies .
This year if the weather is okay I want to do the candles on the drive to light the runway and scatter the magic reindeer oats.

Christmas morning, the DCs bring their stockings in to our room and open them on our bed.

Another new one I want to do this year is the wrapping paper over the living room door for the DC's to burst through when we all come downstairs.

Also I am going to keep back a couple of presents either till after dinner or Boxing day depending on how late we get finished! Dinner is at home with DM and my gran and is always pretty traditional. We also don't bother with starters and very rarely manage dessert

wibblyjelly Sat 14-Sep-13 12:00:07

DS will be 15 months this Christmas, so although too young to understand, we are going to start traditions this year. These are what we would like to do as stolen from other MNettersgrin and what we already do....

We have slowly replaced my crappy IKEA tree decorations with sentimental ones over the years. Our tree has an array of weird and wonderful decorations from dh's grandmas hand knitted ones, to our amazing rubber duck decoration!

I've just told dh about wrapping paper over the living room door, and elf on a shelf, both of which we are using this year.

As well as having a chocolate advent calendar, we are also using an idea I saw on here last year for a book advent. We are going to buy ds 23 books, a mixture of new and charity shop bought ones. We are going to put them into a bag, and ds will do a lucky dip each night for his bedtime story. Christmas Eve will of course be Twas the night before Christmas!

Christmas Eve hamper will consist of new pj's, dressing gown, slippers, and a new sippy cup for him to have a hot chocolate before going to bed. Once he is in bed, we will have a fish and chip dinner.

Christmas day we will be round my parents, so ds will open father Christmas presents in the morning, then after lunch, we open family presents. This takes hours as we bring them out 1 at a time. This will include my df complaining about how long it takes.
The Christmas day buffet in the evening, and Dr who.

At the weekend, we will be at dh's parents to do it all over again. grin

wibblyjelly Sat 14-Sep-13 03:53:25

Thanks 70 will have a read grin

bumping for wibblyjelly wink

OhDearNigel Thu 12-Sep-13 11:25:43

This year we are Family HQ as we have just moved into a new house which is big enough to host everyone comfortably. So our house will be full of people for most of the season (which is just how I like it). My uncle is coming to stay with my parents, he lives in Scotland and I haven't seen him in over 15 years. I am having annual leave and will be off from the 21st to the 2nd January. DH is a police officer and will be working over Christmas. My plans for the year are a mix of old traditions and some new for this year, DD will be nearly 4 and therefore first year she will really appreciate it. I ahve an ancient Advent Calendar that I used when I was little, DD has it now.

23rd December Having a drinks party with friends
Christmas Eve - we have a christingle craft group at church followed by service in the morning. I am making DD a peacock fancy dress outfit for her to wear. We will come home via the park and feed the ducks then come home for her Elf Box and bake some biscuits for the santa tray. I always make a Julbord for Christmas Eve with mulled wine. It will be open house. DD has a special Santa Tray with a robin on it, then she will go to bed

Christmas Day - DH's on earlies and is bringing his section round for breakfast as we live very close to the station, so I will be cooking full english for about 10 police officers !! Christmas Lunch happens around 2pm then we might play this chocolate roulette idea. We will be about 12-15 for lunch. My parents do a charity thing (we used to do this until we had DD) so they will come round after they have finished for a snack buffet. Queen's Speech is essential.

Boxing Day we go to the bandstand in the morning and watch the entertainment. My Dad always wears a flashing Christmas tie and my Mum wears antlers smile Then everyone will be round to ours for Boxing Day tea and trivial pursuit.

Wanksock Wed 11-Sep-13 20:45:27

Ours are -

Cloth advent calendar with pockets, some filled with sweets and some with cheap little toys

Tree night! Decorating to Christmas tunes, with some fizz and party food.

Santa at the beach with the real reindeers.

I wrap the presents when on my own one night with baileys or Tia Maria!

Panto every year.

Xmas eve - make the snack for Santa during the day, either cake or some kind of sweets. Sparkly reindeer food. Santa key. New pjs and a book. Hot choc before bed.

Santa sorts all the presents into piles per person. Santa doesn't wrap his, he lays them out on the sofa!! He also leaves a bit of his beard on the glass he drank from!

fuzzpig Sun 08-Sep-13 18:33:28

It has cheered me up rereading this. I will look at poncetastic later (although it is worlds apart from my half-arsed ways!).

One of my traditional must-watch things, since I got the box set last year, is the awesome original Vicar of Dibley xmas special!

SugarHut Mon 02-Sep-13 20:44:00

I would if I had anything greater than Neanderthal skills on a laptop... <<twiddles thumbs awkwardly>>

If you type "poncetastic tips" in the MN search box then her prior years pop up, the woman who starts it all is called FellatioNelson, and is utterly brilliant. It appears she always starts the annual thread on the last Saturday of September, and it goes from there...has rather a cult following it would seem...I'm in!!

x x x

Can you bump the Poncetastic Christmas Thread?

<<flutters eyelashes>> smile

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