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Making Our Own Christmas Traditions

Author: Naomi Liddell

This will be our first year as a family of four and in our own house. I don’t know why, but I feel like a more legit grown up this year (perhaps it’s because I’m now well and truly into my 30’s). And I’ve become acutely aware of the fact that Ethan is about to turn 5… FIVE. Which means we’ve got, at very best, a handful of years of Christmas magic left. And this makes me wonder if I’m giving him enough happy Christmas memories.

I have tons from my own childhood, and as my Dad often says, so much about being a parent is creating memories for your children. I feel like the best way to instill these happy feels and cosy memories, especially around this time of year, is to create homely family traditions.

When I was a lass, our Christmas traditions went something like this:

Christmas Eve:
Being awkwardly filmed by my Dad whilst we hang our stockings on our bedroom doors and leave goodies for Santa. Try to go to sleep while listening to various neighbours dropping by to share festive drinks with my folks.
Christmas (Early) Morning:
Reaching around our bedroom doors to feel if Santa had been and filled our stockings. Excitedly racing into our (exhausted) parents room to open them. Dad going downstairs to ‘check if Santa had been’ and pointing the video camera at the door to film our reactions as we walked into the living room.
Christmas Morning Morning:
Opening gifts, Bucks Fizz for the grown-ups and bacon sandwiches all round. Christmas music and phone calls to loved ones.
Christmas Day:
Going to Mass donning our new Christmas clothes, visiting grandparents, eating all the selection boxes. Dinner, of course. Then food coma. Much toy playing in between all of this.

This year, Ethan is already a ball of excitement and fun, so I’d love to boost the memory making as much as possible. I’ve seen that Christmas Eve boxes have turned into a proper ‘thing’. I’m considering one of those, with Pjs, hot chocolate ingredients, popcorn and homemade fake movie tickets for a film we can watch together (we don’t have a DVD player, so will likely rent something through Amazon Prime).

On Christmas Day, we don’t have any visiting to do, so I’m swaying between letting them hang out in their Christmas PJs all day or getting them nice comfy clothes for lounging and playing. We’re having a fake Christmas dinner with Gavin’s folks before the big day and one after with my parents. So Christmas Day itself will be blissfully free.

The opening of stockings in our bed in the morning and bacon sandwiches for breakfast will be traditions carried on. And I’m thinking that we should maybe all go for a nice countryside walk around our way at lunchtime on Christmas Day. I suppose there doesn’t need to be bells and whistles for the boys to grow up with happy memories from this time of year. Just a feeling of warmth and love.

How are you making merry with your family this year?
Any inspiring Christmas traditions to share?

Wishing you all a gorgeous, merry and love fuelled Christmas, however you’re celebrating. xo

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Naomi can’t decide which she loves more: adventuring with her boys or being left alone in a luxurious bath with a great book.
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7 thoughts on “Making Our Own Christmas Traditions

  1. Your plans sound perfect. In recent years I have fallen into a bit of a tradition of going to the Christmas eve carol service at my Cathedral with my best friend – we haven’t yet trusted ourselves to make to attempt Midnight Mass (we tend to get a little carried away with the G&T). And on Christmas morning my husband won’t let me near the presents until we have had a nice breakfast of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup with some bucks fizz.

    Growing up my mum used to leave a present of a new outfit for Christmas Day on my bed and we had to get dressed nicely before we were allowed downstairs to look for presents.

    1. Oh man I can only imagine trying to delay presents in my house 😂
      Although I love the sentiment. I’m. Now off to look for a Christmas Eve Carol service near me. They always make me really emotional!

  2. Ah, you’ve reminded me that I used to make my parents go into the lounge first in case Santa was still there! I’m now enjoying Christmas as an adult with my partner. His friends have a Christmas eve get together, althoguh sadly one of us always has to drive. I’ve taken up running this year so I’m keen for us to do Parkrun on Christmas Day to work off some of the calories in advance! We’ll then join his family for a traditional day – I turned up with lots of fizz and orange juice last year so I think me doing Bucks Fizz for everyone is now my ‘thing’! We have a little 3 year old nephew who will provide lots of fun for us on the day.

    I’m really excited about having two weeks off work, whooop!

  3. We are Crib servicing too on Christmas Eve. We never did as kids but I like the idea of making it less commercial – it’s what is behind it all really and we try and give the kids an understanding of all religions. Plus it’s at 4pm which is a really good time to come back, have dinner, snowman, new PJs and night before Christmas. Sorry but I hate the idea of a Christmas Eve box as an official thing. It’s just another commercial piece of BS.

    Boxing Day walk. If we were home we would wave off the hunt but they aren’t as popular here and not advertised then lazy walks and food for the rest.

    1. If we all stop talking about Christmas Eve boxes they will go away. Honestly there are too many people in the UK who can’t afford the basics at Christmas on the day itself, without another financial pressure to meet. Stop it.

  4. It’s our first Christmas as a family but our daughter is a bit young to understand at 6 months. We’ve got some traditions that we have fallen in to as a couple though, that I’m sure we’ll carry on as she grows up.
    We always get our tree in the first week of December. The decorations are all mismatched – lots of them I’ve inherited from my mum so they remind me of my childhood. This year I’ve made us stockings that we’ve hung from the mantle, so hopefully they’ll become a tradition too – they’re knitted and they’re a bit of a funny shape so I might have to just fill them with clementines and chocolate!
    I always wrap presents in plain brown paper and pretty them up with gift tags and coloured raffia.
    We have Buck’s Fizz and bacon sandwiches for breakfast on Christmas Day, and my partner makes prawn cocktail as a starter for Christmas lunch (is that a thing?).
    When I was growing up I remember dressing up for Christmas – now we make our own rules and we have wholly embraced the Christmas jumper trend! Much more comfy than a dress. This year I’m going to wear my maternity leggings too, for maximum parsnip consumption. Probably won’t get away with that next year.
    Boxing Day usually involves a walk and hoovering up the leftovers for supper with turkey sandwiches, cheese and crackers and Christmas cake 😋

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