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What are your xmas traditions

(29 Posts)
GipsyDanger Sun 07-Aug-16 18:56:20

This will be my pfb ds first xmas this year, I am insanely excited, I love xmas! I want to have special traditions alongside the usual milk and mince pie for Santa, the xmas movie marathon (hello White Christmas!) he will remember and look forward to year after year.
What are the xmas traditions you have done with your family or new ones that happened when you had a family of your own. I'm going to be hosting xmas this year (but will not be making custard under any circumstances grin) and I really want it to be special this year.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Sun 07-Aug-16 19:07:26

we're a mixed culture family so we have loads. We live in Switzerland so we have the Swiss /German tradition on 5/6 December where Samichlaus and schmutzli come to the house and give DSS a sack filled with chocolates, nuts and fruits, there is also a Samichlaus parade that weekend in our town. Both our mums come to visit for that weekend so we bake the gingerbread house and put out the first of the decorations (not the tree though). We also have an outdoor lights competition with our neighbour and this year we've decided to make a night of it on that same weekend where we'll invite the other neighbours for mulled wine, mince pies and the grand light switching on! We'll also go to the Christmas market. DSS birthday is 17th December so usually sometime after that we go searching in the 'stadtwald' for our Christmas tree (and usually end up buying one from the shop). Our dads arrive sometime before Christmas. We then have the Danish Christmas celebration on 24th December, Danish food, Danish Santa Claus and the neighbours come round for Ris al almond followed by dancing and singing around the Christmas tree and the rest of the house followed by presents from the Danish family. We leave carrots for Rudolph and whiskey for English Father Christmas and hang stockings by the fire. Stockings are opened Christmas morning followed by presents from English family under the tree and English Christmas dinner in the afternoon with crackers, hats and setting fire to the Christmas pudding!

I love Christmas!!!!!

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Sun 07-Aug-16 19:07:39

Sorry, that was a bit long!!!

MillieMoodle Sun 07-Aug-16 19:08:01

We do elf on the shelf with DS in December, and the elf has to go back to Father Christmas on Christmas Eve to help deliver presents. The elf leaves a present on DS's pillow while he is having his bath on Christmas Eve; new pyjamas and a Christmas book which we read once he's ready for bed.

WaccaWacca Sun 07-Aug-16 19:14:39

We have a party buffet on Christmas Eve for dinner. Just me, DH and the DC. We put on music, light candles and set up a little buffet table next to the tree (sausage rolls, mini pizzas, crisps etc, plus some more exciting canapés for me and DH). It feels quite indulgent and special with it just being the four of us. The kids love it.

featherpillow Sun 07-Aug-16 19:21:01

On 1st Dec, the elves leave DC a pair of PJ's, fluffy socks, a new Christmas/family DVD and some chocolate.
We see the panto every year as a family.
Have the same Christmas Day dessert, that we make on 23rd.

Roll on December star

nellifurtardo Sun 07-Aug-16 19:24:30

I have a handmade advent calendar that comes out on the 1st of December. All my decorations get put up the night before while listening to christmas music. I have a hamper full of Christmas books and activities which comes out as well. We go somewhere different to visit santa every year. I almost forgot my favourite tradition I buy new baubles every year as I collect them, I have a fair few.

Haudyerwheesht Sun 07-Aug-16 19:42:15

Advent calendars and elf on shelf (but not the scary creepy one) arrive Dec 1st.

Tree and decorations go up first weekend in December. Kids get to choose a decoration each from local Santa place when we go usually second weekend .

Drive around to see lights in closest city with chips for dinner!

Panto after Xmas and before new year.

Xmas eve box arrives after christingle service - PJs, snack, socks, Xmas decoration etc.

Always make sure we give something to charity and kids are involved.

Make salt dough.

RainbowPickle Sun 07-Aug-16 19:45:53

We normally put the Christmas Tree up first weekend of December. I bake throughout December freezing Christmas muffins and biscuits for use on Christmas morning and through Xmas period. On Christmas Eve we take dd to cinema in the morning and then dd gets to open her Christmas Eve box that's been delivered by the fairy on the tree. This usually contains new pjs, a book and sweets. We do the mince pie, milk and carrot by the fireplace. Father Christmas delivers something smallish to each of our stockings and the remainder of the presents are from us and friends/family. If we are at home we don't really do a full Xmas Dinner just cheese, crackers, sarnies, crisps, olives etc. I usually cook a turkey either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for left over meat/sandwiches. We try to go out for the day on New Years Day and obviously do some sales shopping- usually online!

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 07-Aug-16 19:48:49

My Christmas tradition is to moan/wail/despair/shake head in disbelief/and go hmm and wtaf over people discussing Christmas on Mumsnet in fucking August.

featherpillow Sun 07-Aug-16 20:17:12

Ooh you sound a joy bib!!
Have you got nothing better to do than comment on a subject you dont enjoy?

GipsyDanger Sun 07-Aug-16 20:32:16

bib looks like someone's getting coal for Christmas grin

TheFlyingFauxPas Sun 07-Aug-16 20:39:45

Christmas Eve. I pack everything up and drive about 10 minutes across town grin to stay at my mum and dad's. DS(13) is usually already there as I tend to get a bit stressed (not that I have to do much!) I get there just after 3 just in time for everyone else (who is now stressed) to have a bit of a go at me then me, mum and ds pile into my car and drive to local church for child friendly crib service. Then we go to my Auntie's. Woe betide everyone if she's not there! She's always expecting us. Mum always thinks they're not in. This is start of Christmas for us. May differ slightly this year as we now have ddog (wonders if crib service is dogfriendly hmm ...)

Star2015 Sun 07-Aug-16 21:00:21

We don't have children, so my response probably isn't child fiends you, but these are my traditions -

I save £50 a month throughout the year so I have cash for presents and decorations at Christmas.

First Friday in Decmber I take off work and me and my mom go Christmas shopping. I get the the centre early and have breakfast in Starbucks where we meet. We always go to TK Maxx first, dump those bags in my car then head to the other shops. Our last shop of the day is Homsesense to browse the decorations. We then depart Compnay and head home - this year though we'll be travelling together as we're moving into the same village my parents live in.

We always have a real tree and this usually goes up the first weekend of December. Our tree is vintage style with lots of individual decorations that I've picked up from our local Christmas market over the last few years. We have Christmas music playing whilst we put the tree up then usually watch home alone afterwards.

I'll wrap presents on the evenings my DH has to go out to work whilst listening to Christmas music or watching love actually.

Me and DH take a trip to our local Tesco superstore usually with a budget of £30 each to pick up presents for one another's stockings. I love doing this and hiding the presents away from one another. Last year DH got me face masks, nail varnishes and really lovely beauty bits which I loved.

I always book Christmas Eve off work, if it means I can only have one day off over the festive period as I make it my first choice it doesn't matter as we always go to my parents for lunch of hot pork sandwiches on Christmas Eve. We stay a few hours then head home for a cosy night in front of the tv after I lay our presents out under the tree.

Christmas morning we visit DH's family then it's to my parents for lunch (always 3 courses), a board game after lunch then settling down to watch the soaps and turkey sandwiches for supper.

Boxing Day we tend to go to the cinema to watch the new release.

That's it! I love Christmas and reading back our traditions probably don't sound anything special, but they are to me and I love them :-)

Haudyerwheesht Sun 07-Aug-16 22:13:28

star that sounds so idyllic

featherpillow Sun 07-Aug-16 22:18:26

Your Christmas sounds lovely star

wobblywonderwoman Sun 07-Aug-16 22:19:51

I am only starting as I used to gate Christmas before DC.

Each year we go to Dublin to see Santa and get a new decoration for the tree. Last year there was a globe and each family stands in it and get a free photo.

I have a plaque 'Merry Christmas from the wobblys' and I sit the children on the sofa holding it. As they grow up we can compare.

Our village has Santa so we go to that.

I bake mince pies each year.

Would love few more traditions

GipsyDanger Sun 07-Aug-16 22:20:51

These are amazing, I love your idea of lots of wee things in a stocking, totally doing that. Me and my parents usually go to Edinburgh for a day out and see the German market and a show. I have a whole list of xmas films that must be watched every year. I like the idea of new Jammies as well

SisterViktorine Sun 07-Aug-16 22:39:36

1st December Tree goes up. At some point we buy a couple of new feature baubles to add to it.

'Christmas House' (wooden advent calendar) comes out. Christmas House has a tiny gift every day.

Visit local garden centre which has amazing Christmas display.

School Christmas show.

Centre Parcs for 'pre-Christmas break'.

Christmas Eve Box- new pjs, dvd, little gifts (in place of stocking).

Panto on Christmas Eve.

Beach on Christmas morning.

Pub lunch on Christmas day.

Grandparents house on Boxing day.

Star2015 Mon 08-Aug-16 06:20:27

Aw thanks haudy and feather :-)

HelloConfidenceAreYouThere Mon 08-Aug-16 12:37:49

Star we also don't have DC - do you often get people thinking it's odd to have traditions and be excited without having children involved?

My traditions may out me -
I get woken with Christmas music from December 1st.

Christmas tree goes up first Sunday in December - DH puts it up then goes away and I decorate it on my own with Christmas music on.
We have a collection of baubles from places we've visited and decorating takes me ages because I remember the holidays we bought them from.

I have a wrapping night - set myself up and watch elf and muppets Christmas carol (and possibly home alone). I wrap every present and enjoy every second

I spend at least one evening, on my own, with all the lights on, fire on, a few drinks and a chocolate orange with Christmas music on, just having a nice think about the year gone.

Me and DH go to the nearest city each year for their Christmas Fayre - we wander, have a nice lunch, some drinks and come back early and have a takeaway. This is a must as we get so busy.

Christmas Eve is always at my mums - cold cuts, cheese and crackers, a million sweets and lots of funny games - random friends and family pop in and it is sometimes the only time I see some of them all year.

Christmas Day we do presents, dinner on, walk the dogs, eat, then have visitors that we play with drink. My parents still pretend my presents come from Santa, and in the evening, always 'find' a present for me and my sister that Santa forgot. It's usually tickets for something.
This has now been extended to dnephew - last year my dad had a call from Santa apologising for dropping a present and asking if nephew could look for it in the garden. Dnephew loves this.

Ooh I wish December would hurry up!!

BiddyPop Mon 08-Aug-16 13:54:54

We bought a hardback version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" for DD's 1st Christmas, and it still gets read every Christmas Eve to her (now 10). I keep that in the "Christmas Eve Box" so it doesn't (a) get lost or (b) get read too early.

The reason for (b) is that we have a large collection of other Christmas books, which has changed over the years but much slower than other books (we had lots and lots of bedtime reading for many years). From December 1st, roughly, we would change from normal books to Christmas and seasonal books for the month.

We also have lots of festive movies (from very young kiddie ones that DD refuses to abandon, to old classics that I love and lots in between). And quite a bit of Christmas music playing on CDs and also Christmas FM and various internet radio stations and DD discovered Spotify last year as well.

I do an advent calendar. DM made a lovely fabric one for DD years ago, and I pop a little chocolate figure into that and something else - like a free printable colouring sheet or a quiz, a note about what we'll do today, and a couple of little toys (one per day not all at once!).

Apart from trying to get my shopping done in lunchhours rather than drag the family on extended treks, I always take 1 afternoon off work and bring DD to "do her shopping". Mostly, it's an excuse for us to look at the "Live Crib" in the city, wander around and enjoy the atmosphere, have a hot chocolate together in a coffee shop and people-watch, maybe getting a few things like her present for DH etc if we haven't already. We try to do that trip on public transport as well, as that adds to the fun.

DD was about to turn 1 for her 1st Christmas (Boxing Day baby!), and was able to stand on a steps at the worktop with me, in her little apron, helping to mix eggs with a fork and roll out and cut out some cookie dough with me. She "made" cookies for crèche every year (in early years, her versions were for home use as there was multiple rolling before baking and they weren't suitable for outside consumption!), and we still do a fair amount of baking together in December.

We also make cookies for Santa every Christmas Eve. I always make sure to do a batch of that dough (different to the other one above) early in December and freeze half, just in case we don't really have time or energy to bake from scratch on Christmas Eve - I can just slice and bake straight from the freezer. But I can distract her if need be with making them herself now.

I think she was 3 before we heard about Christmas Eve boxes. Ours comes out after dinner, some people do them earlier and have activities in them to occupy DCs earlier. But ours is a "lead up to bedtime" type. It contains -
DD's stocking
Plastic Santa plate (gets used in December by DD but Santa gets it on 24th)
Plastic Santa glass (ditto)
Festive hot water bottle
Twas the Night before Christmas
My festive slippersocks
All the above are long standing items and reused every year.

New items are
PJs for everyone (DH, DD and I)
Slippersocks or slippers for DD (usually needs bigger ones)
Lush festive bath bombs (2 - for DD and I), sometimes a festive but manly showergel for DH
Hot chocolate for everyone - the "lump of chocolate on a wooden spoon" type, DH and I sometimes have alcoholic versions

DD then puts out the cookies and milk for Santa, carrot for reindeer and her stocking, before heading up for her festive bath, new PJs, back down for hot choc and a cookie, and then gets her story in bed with cozy HWB to snuggle up to.

We also have tree decorations that we have gathered over the years from holidays around the world. I still try to get 1 new decoration every year (I need about 3 trees now!).

DD used to love various crafting activities in December when smaller - a couple of years, I would give her a shoebox of strips of different coloured paper (mostly plain, a few patterned), and sticky tape pieces, and let her make paper chains to decorate her room, the hall, playroom etc. I also have a few decorations that go up in her room (usually earlier than the tree) and she also has a love of snowglobes so we put up a couple of those in her room as well.

We also do the Irish tradition of the youngest in the house lights the Candle on Christmas Eve - that's DD. We don't do the entire rosary, or even a decade as my DPs used to do, but we do take time as the 3 of us to talk about the year just finishing and the good and bad things to have happened, people to remember etc, and then say 1 prayer together.

I also have my own tradition of taking some time, on a night that DH is out and DD has gone to bed, of turning off all the lights except the tree, usually the fire is lit as well, and sitting/lying on the floor with a drink (sometimes alcoholic but not always), to take some time to myself and contemplate the year, make some plans for the year ahead, remember loved ones who have died or big events during the year like weddings/births, and just make a small oasis of peace for myself in the season. I've done this since I was 16 and babysitting younger siblings (they wanted tv in 1 room so the tree in the other room was quiet and calm).

We didn't usually go to Santa in shopping centres, we went places like the Green Santa in Narnia (Belvedere House in Mullingar) which was cool as DD planted her own Christmas tree to take home and learned a bit about animals hibernating, or on the Santa (steam) train with wandering guitarists and elves as well as Santa making a great family event.

Some of those traditions are new since DD arrived, lots of them were already ones DH and I did, but things evolve over time as well and that is nice too. (I suspect that it won't be long before I can introduce a "stockings for everyone" regime as DD no longer puts hers out for a man in red to fill - the idea being that we'll each put a few bits in the stockings of the other 2).

Soon2bC Mon 08-Aug-16 14:39:09

A few new traditions have been born in our house as this will be only our 3rd Christmas as a family with my DF so we have rejigged to accommodate her and the fact that DS is 'a bit old for that now' in his 16yr old opinion.
Tree and decorations go up either on 1st December or the first weekend of December depending on how long I can wait.
The Christmas dvds come to the front of the shelf and we work through our faves. the MIL travels up to us on Christmas Eve Eve and brings the turkey and crackers. We will all bake goodies inc. mince pies on Christmas Eve - DS helps less now but eats more.
DS is expected to be at home by 3 and spend the rest of the day/night with family and not on electronics or at friends houses.
Midnight mass for MIL and DP (I went last year and got a migraine from the incense! so still undecided for this year might go to a carol concert instead). Back home to hang up stockings for all who are staying the night and off to bed.
Christmas morning open stockings together and then breakfast and showers/dressed.
Mobile phones to wish everyone a merry Christmas but then used at an absolute minimum.
Tree presents and then veg peeling together.
DM & DF arrive for more presents and then dinner.
Afternoon walk and back for movies/games/snacks and nibbles followed by a Christmas buffet tea if anyone is still hungry.
DM & DF live local but stay the night so me and DP are relegated to sofa bed.
'Posh' boxing day breakfast before ds goes to his dads and DM & DF go home. Then off on a 2 hr road trip to take MIL home where we sleep on the sofa and spend the next few days visiting our Essex families.
Walk along Southend pier to blow away the cobwebs and then drive back home in time for a day or two of relaxing. I used to work all over Christmas and New Year but now I am off for the whole thing so get to relax.
New Year - bottle of bubbly and dinner.

We collect baubles so will buy them from special places through the year and bring them all out when tree goes up.
DS HAS to put his bauble with his name on the tree each year and when he leaves home he will have to visit to hang it during the festive period.

Soon2bC Mon 08-Aug-16 14:45:18

Almost forgot fave tradition!
I go to Waitrose every weekend in December and decorate their naked display trees with their baubles. I think this is frowned upon as the staff undress the trees again when I am finished but I cant help myself I am a tree addict!

wanderings Mon 15-Aug-16 10:12:49

I love walking round the streets looking at other people's decorations (once saw Santa in a hot air balloon hanging from scaffolding).

We put a disco bulb in our outside security light, to provide the effect of (ugh! seen in a catalogue) "give your friends a Christmas buzz as they walk to your door".

Before my first Christmas with DP, I kept denouncing Santa (how dare some fictional character take all the credit), so he put a Santa hat over my eyes and made me sit quietly while he wrapped my presents in front of me. I really liked this silly activity, so every year I'm in the room blindfolded while my goodies are wrapped! smile

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