What are your Xmas traditions?(21 Posts)
I was reading the thread aboit the Xmas eve box and it made me think about what other family traditions people may have.
For the last 7 years we have done Xmas eve boxes. I may even make myself and dp one
We go to the panto every year and the Xmas eve carol service at church.
What does everyone else do every year?
Last year DD (now 15.6) wanted her CEH on the 1st Dec which made more sense. Rather than the hamper to give over hyped DC to sleep they have longer to use the PJs/robes/books
DS will be 18 this December .
No panto here now ( Boo) but we try and book a theatre trip (usually DD and I)
DD and I go to London a couple of days before Christmas just to look around.
I have a money tin (used to be £2 coins and I'd cheat and weigh the tin trying to guess how much . This year its £2/10p/5p/2p/1p.
It gets cashed up late Nov and split between the 4 of us.)
Christmas Dinner is always after dark/before Dr Who.
I add a new Tradition each year , this year it'll be a Secret Santa £10 each.
We have a Knitivity (knitted nativity) which my DM made. We hide Baby Jesus then say cold-warm-hot until he is found. We called it Hot 'n' Cold Baby Jesus! My friends have adopted the game too. Can play it anyday and ds, now 6yo, has been playing it since he was 2.
I make crackers with ds and hide extra gifts in when we have finished, always surprises him.
We lie under the tree when it has gone up (around 8-10th December) in the dark and look at the sparkling lights. I have done it since i was a nipper and DS loves it too.
DH and i usually have a shag under the tree on Christmas Eve before we put the presents down
We always have an Xmas eve meal at my mums and do a charity shop challenge where we essentially do a secret Santa but it's £3 and under and must be from a charity shop. I can't remember how it started but now it's on about its 15th year!
We do St Nicholas' night on the 5th of December, as I lived in Germany as a child. We all put our shoes out and they are filled with small presents if we've been good or coal if we've been naughty! We also have German treats such as Lebkuchen and stollen, which are a lot easier to find nowadays thanks to Aldi and Lidl.
Me and DS tend to do a gingerbread house on Christmas Eve and make mince pies whilst listening to Christmas songs.
We (me, DH and DS) all snuggle up in bed to open our stockings on Christmas day morning.
Since the film Elf came out I have always had it on when wrapping presents.
I'm not one for planning traditions bit I'm so adopting the shag under tree😀
Some are from my childhood (reading the night before Christmas at bedtime Christmas Eve, all food in the house is fair game come Christmas Day, so if you want chocolate for breakfast you can have it) others have just come about over the last few years - Poundland challenge - biggest tat you can find wins, felt Christmas tree goes up on the first for the kids to decorate, actual decorations the first weekend of December, Christmas Eve trawl of the supermarket reduced sections
We're in Finland so mostly do a Finnish Christmas (although I've added in stockings because I love opening stockings in the morning and I put some of the presents under the tree for us to open in the morning) so we celebrate on Christmas Eve - start the day with a bowl of rice porridge with an almond hidden somewhere in the pot, whoever gets the almond is lucky for the next year. Then listen to the Declaration of Christmas Peace (old tradition, special peace is declared for Christmas time).
Big meal in the mid-afternoon usually - ham, potato casserole, swede casserole, carrot casserole, pickled herrings.
Then Joulupukki (Father Christmas) comes (i.e. a neighbour dressed up) bringing the presents and giving them out to us all after the children (DD and OH's little sister) sing a song for him.
Then sauna time.
Usually make a gingerbread house (actually I usually make a gingerbread Moomin House) a few days/week before and we eat it on Boxing Day. If my mum sends over Christmas pudding and mince pies which she sometimes does then we have them on Christmas day, along with leftovers from the Christmas Eve meal (usually eating those leftovers for a week!)
el - we get a real tree - will this pose problems regarding dropped needles?
It all adds to the fun Santawontbelong , it's like sex outside without going outside!
Turn off all the lights except tree lights and/or any strings of lights around mirrors or wherever. And enjoy
We buy a new tree decoration every year. We try to pick one up from somewhere we’ve been or the years the kids were born we bought first Christmas baubles. We write the year somewhere on there. It’s fun to remember when we hang each one on the tree.
We have a December box which comes out on the first. It has Christmas pyjamas and slippers, advent calendars, a couple of Christmas books for bedtime reading, a new Christmas dvd to add to the collection and some yummy biscuits and things.
We also do Christmas Eve Boxes which have stockings in, bubble bath, choc coins, reindeer food (bird friendly plain oats) snack and drink for Santa, popcorn and hot chocolate. Then we watch a movie on the sofa before the kids go to bed.
We also have a sleigh bell that gets hung on the door handle before bed so Santa knows where we live.
We make Nigella’s Christmas ham on Christmas Eve and eat a ton of that while wrapping gifts in the evening.
Also, Santa only brings 1 gift each in our home. And it’s always made of wood. He also fills the stockings.
All other gifts are from whoever bought them. Not so we get thanks, more so the kids realise they can’t have everything they want from magic money tree Santa. If we ever have a super poor year we know at least we will be able to buy one wooden toy from Santa.
We always open stocking/Father Christmas presents in the morning and then after lunch we all sit round the tree to open the rest of the presents. The kids put them into piles and we go round as everyone takes it in turns to open one. It can take hours but it draws out the excitement of the presents and also the kids get excited about watching people open the presents they have got for them. It's something I did when I was little and I love it
We thought of a new one last night - gonna get festive duvet covers to have on the beds for the same time the Xmas tree is up!!
First of December the tree goes up, it’s always a six foot Norway spruce and the DC get a new bauble each every year. The elf on the shelf arrives that day too (we’ve been doing it for five years now and it’s starting to become a PITA .) We all have a Christmas duvet cover. Every weekend I try to make sure we bake something festive together and watch a Christmas film. We also go to the Christmas market, my mum takes them to the winter wonderland in Manchester and we go to a Christmas feast with crafts for the DC. We have a visit to Lush to choose a Christmas bath bomb each.
Christmas Eve I’m always rushing around like a headless chicken with my Christmas apron on . We have a North Pole breakfast to say goodbye to our elf friend with Santa Claus pancakes. They always watch the snowman on Christmas Day. Last year we went to a church Christingle service which was actually very fun so we might do that again this year. We come home to eat a buffet then they have a Lush Christmas bath bomb bath and get into their new pyjamas and socks (always matching) and we all have hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows and watch the polar express. Last step is reading the night before Christmas before bed!
Christmas Day I don’t allow the TV to be switched on, I’m quite precious about it. I rush around like a lunatic again making a breakfast and the dinner. We play board games and the DC sit fiddling with their toys. That’s about it really.
Oh Iforgot we open the gifts one at a time too. We sit by the tree and hand them out. I think it makes everyone appreciate their gifts a bit more rather than just ripping into a big pile all at ones.
I’m also going to do the Christmas duvet covers this year
A present from under the tree is chosen and opened on Christmas Eve along with a bag of chocolate coins with milk for kids and large baileys for adults
We have a ham on Christmas Eve too, usually done in coke because it smells amazing and really Christmassy. On Christmas Eve we make rocky road 'for Father Christmas', but I only have one nominal believer now. I also marinate some pork in rum and spices for Boxing Day and bake a lemon cheesecake for pudding over Christmas, as no one likes dried fruit. The DC help. Basically all out traditions are food related!
Mother and I put Classic FM on in the kitchen and start wrapping pigs in blankets, then all other manner of food prep. She always wears her 'Christmas pinny' and we get squiffy on mulled wine.
Mother always insists last year's tree lights didn't work properly and needs a new set. I always argue that we did that last year and she had a new set. She always buys a new set of lights.
Every year we have the same conversation over the turkey gravy on Christmas Day:
"Is this gravy too salty? I think it's too salty."
"No, Mother, it's fine"
"Its a bit salty. Its from the turkey bacon."
"Honestly, it's fine"
"Its too salty for me, I don't like it. Go on That Google and see if I can add sugar"
"You could probably stir a spoonful of cranberry through it"
"Oh that'll have to do, but it's still a bit salty.....".........every year.
we have a Chinese take away on christms eve, before my adult children go off for a drink at the pub
i have a lovely Nativity set on the mantelpiece but add to it each year - flamingos, giraffe, even an extra king as he look lonely in the shop.
we always have a birthday cake after christmas lunch - it is baby Jesus birthday after all!
I get out the advent calendar that DM sewed for DD just before 1st Dec, and also get out her Christmas fleece blanket, Christmas duvet set, Christmas stories and DVDs, and a mug each. (I may or may not have a reasonable collection of Christmas mugs - most though are kept until the tree goes up or DH would explode!! !!). (DD's sheet set does get a wash (or 2 if needed) in the middle of the month, wash in the morning, tumble dried later, and going back on the bed that day).
We generally put the tree up more in the middle of the month, and then DH will allow the house to be transformed a bit. I also have some hand towels and teatowels for the kitchen and downstairs bathroom, but I keep those until the days right around Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, the youngest in the house (DD) lights the Christmas Eve candle, an Irish tradition to light a red candle and put it in the window to show any weary travelers that there is room in our inn. We put ours on the mantelpiece rather than in the window. But, as my family did growing up, we take the time to remember the good and bad things about the year just gone and to remember family who have died, before saying a family prayer.
Then DD gets out the Christmas Eve box - new pjs, bath bomb, hot chocolate, and some old favourites - her stocking, a Santa plastic plate and glass, "Twas the night before Christmas". She lays out her stocking and puts the cookies she baked earlier (from scratch if we have time, but just "slice and bake" from the freezer if not) , milk and carrot out for Santa and the Reindeer. Then she has her bath, into new PJs, has a hot choc and snuggles into bed with DH or I reading the story.
We have Christmas stories most evenings at bedtime in December, even now though she doesn't have bedtime stories most of the year anymore (not that long since we managed to change that).
She has a lego advent calendar - and loves making up the bits every day. She also gets a small choc treat in her fabric one, but that's about it nowadays. Before she got into the lego and when she was small, I put free printable colouring sheets and puzzles, the odd small (pocket money, or lego mini-figure) toy, a note about something we'd do that day, or a note leading to a treasure hunt through the house to find the day's chocolate (or treat) - the treasure hunts were much loved!
I also liked to give DD a shoebox filled with paper strips in different colours and sellotape. It meant she could make paper chains for the hall ceiling, picking it up and doing a few minutes when she wanted (or I could point her towards it when she announced "I'm bored"[frgrin]) - it also could be safely stored from getting crushed while a work in progress in the box. And she'd generally have a long enough chain when it came to decorating the house.
DD opens her stocking and anything Santa has brought her in the morning. But we open the presents under the tree later, after we've been to mass and any other visits - so once we're home for the rest of the day and can relax!!
I'd be tempted to go for the shag under the tree tradition, but we usually get a Norway spruce, and the needles are sharp and get everywhere.
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