What are your best Christmas memories/traditions as a child?

(76 Posts)
Freco010 Sat 01-Oct-16 08:44:03

So many great ideas out there these days. I'm looking for simple traditions that wouldn't take a lot of time or money!

My one is helping my mum clean the house of Christmas Eve so that she could have a rest and it was ready for Father Christmas visit and then after lunch we settled down with films and treats. She was very surprised when I told her!

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 01-Oct-16 08:48:28

We used to walk down to the local duck pond after Christmas Eve tea, it was usually frosty if not snowy and icy and we would have to wrap up warm. We would take bread for the ducks and as it was a small village often see people we knew to stop and chat. After feeding the ducks we would walk back past the fields with the horses in and give them a carrot or two then back home to change into PJs in front of the fire and off to bed to wait for Santa. It was my favourite bit of Christmas apart from the presents of course.

smallandimperfectlyformed Sat 01-Oct-16 08:51:22

My abiding memory is of travelling to the other side of London to see my nan and grandad on Christmas Eve.. they'd always lay out party food, I'd eat too much despite my mum telling me not to & then I'd throw up on the last part of the journey!! It was lovely to see them.though

Mummydummy Sat 01-Oct-16 08:54:56

With my kids now we run around doing last minute errands then we have fish and chips for tea, go to a carol service and then down the pub with a bunch of famillies, walk home and watch the polar express with hot choccies. (We don't hang out with those famillies any other day of the year but we've done it for years).

hazeyjane Sat 01-Oct-16 08:57:48

Sitting up with my sister to watch Hitchcock films......

....possibly not a tradition from my odd childhood that anyone would want to emulate!

SlatternIsTrying Sat 01-Oct-16 09:34:26

In my family presents were always opened in the morning, but there was always one present kept for after dinner. The idea was that after all the excitement in the morning it kept a wee bit of anticipation for later.

clairlycrazy Sat 01-Oct-16 09:52:30

Half German over here so a few odd traditions. On St Nicholas Day (6th of December) was when Santa Claus came to us. My dad explained that it was a myth that Father Christmas travelled around the whole world in one night!! We would visit our family in Frankfurt and go to the Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas market). And of course the gingerbread and Stollen!!

ThanksForAllTheFish Sat 01-Oct-16 10:21:39

clairlycrazy I think Germans know how to do Christmas better than we do. I can only imagine how wonderful Christmas in Germany would be. We try to go for a short trip every second year in December to got shopping in the markets. I always buy a couple of beautiful but expensive ornaments when I visit. Frankfurt is beautiful but I would say the Nuremberg market had been my favourite so far. (Although Berlin is my most favourite city in the world). I think nothing feels more Christmassy than walking round a German Christmas market (unlike the poor excuse of a market we have over here).

Sorry op didn't mean to hijack your thread!

My favourite traditions from childhood are my brother and I reading under the blankets with our new books and a torch, chocolate at breakfast time and our family Christmas party. We had dinner in our own houses and then the family would meet in the evening (usually at grans house but sometimes other people would take a turn to host) and have a party. It was the best part of christmas, seeing cousins, aunts and uncles that I only got to see once a year. That sticks in my memory more than any toy ever did.

missyB1 Sat 01-Oct-16 10:23:48

Midnight mass! It was so exciting to be out that late and coming home knowing it was already Christmas Day smile
And of course my mums amazing Christmas dinner.

Wayfarersonbaby Sat 01-Oct-16 11:03:22

Oh I've got loads! The run-up to Christmas was always the most exciting thing! Carol services, making Christmas craft things in school, putting up the tree and the wonderful pine scent throughout the downstairs of the house. Going carol singing with church. Then on Christmas eve we would make our parents sing carols in front of the tree! Possibly my favourite moment every year was waking up and finding the stocking, and opening all the stocking parcels - it doesn't get better than that! Visiting my grandparents in the evening of Christmas day, when their house always looked mysteriously different. Loved all of it!

justgivemeamo Sat 01-Oct-16 11:21:40

I think Germans know how to do Christmas better than we do

Having Germans in the family I agree re christmas markets in Germany.

But nothing beats the xmas eve night - waiting for the sleigh bells ringing, the great man flying through the sky and that wonderful amazement that on xmas morning he did make it! HE CAME!

Nothing beats that.

OSETmum Sat 01-Oct-16 11:57:14

My Grandad had a tin of sweets that was decorated to look like Santa (it was homemade I think) and we'd be allowed a sweet or two out of the tin when we went round around Christmas time. They also had a Christmas train ornament that wound up and went round and round that we loved to watch. My Grandad died when I was 6 so I must have been really young but still remember those things really clearly.

My dad used to let us have a shot glass full of Advocaat for Christmas dinner. The shot glasses had balloons on and weren't used for anything else. I still remember the lovely warm fuzzy feeling it gave me!

LillianGish Sat 01-Oct-16 16:29:36

I second all comments re German Christmases. We lived in Berlin when my DC were little and those Christmases were really magic. I remember coming downstairs on December 6 The first year we were there and seeing something hanging outside on the front door handle through the glass. When I opened the door it was a sack of gifts for the DC. The neighbours told me later they thought we wouldn't know about the tradition of St. NIcolas and didn't want the DC to miss out. I can honestly say it felt like St NIcolas had really been - I still get goose bumps when I think about it.

Freco010 Sat 01-Oct-16 16:35:10

I love that one about your Grandad 🎅🏻

helenatroy Sat 01-Oct-16 16:38:46

None. Christmas was shit in my childhood home. My cousins on the other hand. Real tree, roaring fire, lovely treats and bedtime story's.

Freco010 Sat 01-Oct-16 16:40:47

Helenatroy I'm sorry to hear that

helenatroy Sat 01-Oct-16 16:47:02

It wasn't all bad. DM hated that time of year.

CharminglyGawky Sat 01-Oct-16 17:01:39

Rushing round getting everything ready on Christmas Eve, everything clean and tidy and all gifts under the tree and Christmas dinner prep done.

And then sit down with lots of junk food and watch Christmassy films, always including The muppet Christmas carol.

On Christmas morning stockings first thing but then no more presents until after lunch and the Queen... This worked brilliantly with little kids as there wasn't a post present opening slump until pretty much bed time and it spreads the excitement throughout the day.

jessica11054 Sat 01-Oct-16 17:08:08

I like this thread fsmile

Purplebluebird Sat 01-Oct-16 17:26:14

I love Christmas! I'm Norwegian and growing up we often had lots of snow, so we'd go out and make snow lights like the one in pic. Also used to have my best friend there for decorating tree with me and my sisters, and we used to bake 7 kinds of cookies together with my mum. My best friend was like a sister (my two sisters are 9 years younger and 8 years older than me, so we weren't that close), and I have very fond memories of it all. 7 kinds of cookies is tradition, though I only make 2 myself! :P Did I say how much I love Christmas?

junebirthdaygirl Sat 01-Oct-16 17:45:08

I'm probably older than a lot here. One of my favourite memories is getting Christmas Annuals. We got other presents but l loved those annuals.

flapjackfairy Sat 01-Oct-16 17:55:54

I so remember christmas annuals! My 2 brothers got the dandy and the beano and my sister and i vot jackie and bunty! Aw happy days !

Chaby Sat 01-Oct-16 18:07:05

Burning the wrapping paper on the open fire once we had opened all our presents and seeing the flames change colour. Staying up late with my brothers and sisters to listen out for the sleigh bells. Mulled wine on Xmas eve (am sure that was a plot to make us sleep).

FinnegansCake Sat 01-Oct-16 18:16:15

I loved Christmas annuals too, especially Bunty and June. I also used to love getting a pack of bathcubes and some talc (always Pretty Peach) in my pillowcase, that was the smell of Christmas for me. And then the selection box - they seemed huge and a real treat, all the Mars bars, Milky Way, Milky Bar and Bounty etc seemed to taste better than the usual ones from the sweet shop smile

flapjackfairy Sat 01-Oct-16 20:12:07

Oh finneganscake you just conjured up my childhood christmases perfectly. I had forgotten the pack of bath cubes !

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