How does your family get in the mood for Christmas?

Sometimes the run-up to Christmas is almost as good as the day itself. Mumsnetters share the family traditions that really get them in the festive mood.

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1. Hot chocolate + shopping = happiness


"We love to visit the Christmas markets - roasted chestnuts are also a must." 


2. Encourage a bit of Christmas anarchy


"The children and I are secretly planning various things for our naughty Elf on the Shelf to get up to over Advent. We'll take turns setting them up at night to surprise everyone else in the morning."


3. Belt out a few Christmas carols 


"We love going on the village carol singing jaunt. This always gets us in the mood for Christmas." 


4. Embrace the pleasures of audience participation (he's behind you!)


"From this year onwards our tradition will be going to the pantomime with nanny. Our daughter is nearly two so she was too young last year."


5. Close your eyes and make a Christmas wish


"We always make a wish when stirring the Christmas cake." 


7. Find some free festive magic 


"We spend an evening riding on the double decker buses in London, enjoying the Christmas lights on Oxford and Regent Street. Doesn't cost anything and it's especially nice when we can get the front seats." 


8. BIY (bake it yourself) for an extra warm glow 


"Baking the tree biscuits together and hanging them up is one of my very favourite Christmas preparations." 


9. "I just want my family back": sob snuggle up together with classic Christmas films 


"We all like to sit and watch a couple of our favourite Christmas movies, such as Elf or Home Alone." 

10. Head for the great outdoors for festive greenery


"My favourite tradition of all is visiting a local lake where there is a flock of white doves. They sell bird seed there and mistletoe cut from the trees around the lake. We go on Christmas Eve and the doves are so hungry they come and feed from your hands. Then we buy mistletoe and hang it in the hall for when the family comes over for Boxing Day tea."


10. Swerve the Christmas crowds by keeping it local


"We love walking around the local houses, with hot chocolate in flasks, to see all the Christmas lights." 

11. Help the kids get Rudolph-ready


"Sprinkling reindeer food (glitter and oats) on the lawn in our pyjamas on Christmas Eve so the reindeer come and land in our garden." 


12. Make time for the true spirit of Christmas 

 "I always go back to my home town for a couple of days a week or so before Christmas to help my elderly Grandmother with her last minute Christmas shopping and to wrap all the presents she has bought. It's a lovely time for the two of us to spend together without the rest of the family around for a change!"


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Last updated: 25 days ago