I am a true fan of planning, a real organiser and I love a good solid routine, so naturally when Christmas time comes around I embrace our family traditions with so much excitement and joy each and every year. Every Christmas I find another one tags on the end, to expand on our already lengthly list. I have found as I have grown up I have become ever so sentimental, not for material things or trinkets, but for memories. By revisiting familiar traditions we have created, really helps keeps those memories alive time after time. As my children grow older I notice they really enjoy it so much more, as they are able to understand the meaning and importance of coming together as a family and making the most of such precious time together. I really do hope they look back fondly of the memories of all the festive fun, happiness and our traditions when they are adults themselves and hopefully carry on one or two themselves as I have.
1). December 1st the tree and home decorating commences
1st of December is a very important date in the diary in my house, it marks the beginning of Christmas month and we do like to really kick it of with some serious festive feeling. The main event is of course Daddy bringing home the Christmas tree, turning up the classics on MTV Christmas and getting to work on the decorating. I used to be a plain copper and gold kind of lady with clear lights, very chic looking with the pièce de résistance, until my husband convinced me to change it up a couple of years ago and go traditional with the colours and now I will never look back. I didn’t think I could ever feel more Christmassy than I did already until we went all multi coloured with the lights and all red, gold and green with our decorations but alas I certainly am! If you can’t come out your clean lined, colour pallet comfort zone at Christmas, when can you hey?
2). December 1st box opening and gratitude advent crackers presentation
I’m not sure why I called it ‘presentation’ sounds unnecessarily formal, what I mean is we present the boxes to our children and we do make it an exciting evening for them. Its pizza dinner, all dressed up with an array of munchies cracked open for all to dive into. I really do get them all hyped up and excited and the fun they have ripping open the parcels and the smiles on their faces is just such a fantastic start to all the Christmas madness and mayhem. You can read all about the box and advent crackers on my previous blog posts which goes into more detail about the whole idea behind them.
3). First week in December we visit Santa’s grotto
I have always most enjoyed visiting Santa really early in the month as again it really stretches out the gradual build up and mainly because I simply can’t wait to go. I am literally Buddy from elf in female form.
4). Maria on repeat every hour of every day from 1st December until New Years Day
You may think~ “sight exaggeration there Amz” but those who know me well will certainly disagree. Yes “All I want for Christmas is You” is my all time favourite song even in July but I do actually play others this time of year of course too. Every morning at breakfast we will crank up the Alexa with some Christmas songs over our porridge. It really set you up for a day full of festive feeling and true Christmas spirit starting the morning with some good ‘ole Wham and The Pogues!
5). Elf on the shelf
So in the previous two years we have had ‘Buddy’ but this is December I thought we would change it up and welcome Ernie instead (buddy’s brother). Plus poor Buddy had a bit of an accident and ended up with a rather large tear in his jumper oops! The children are astounded every morning and super excited when they see what funny tricks our little prankster has pulled. We’ve done the underpants hanging on the tree, flour angels on the work surface, zip wiring across the kitchen, snacking on Cheerios to name a few. I find as fun as the elf on the shelf is, it is certainly a commitment so I suggest don’t start this tradition with a half heart, embrace the challenge and admire the magic it brings to your children’s mornings leading up to Christmas Day.
6). Drive around our town to see all the houses with Christmas lights
This is certainly one of those traditions that comes in handy when you have a stubborn child who won’t go to sleep! To make this a bit more fun it had to be done with pjs on, blankets and a little festive snack, my children love those little Cadbury festive biscuits. Blankets double up for keeping snuggly warm and catching any crumbs. Popping on some Christmas tunes and driving around the avenues and streets in our little town, searching for the most magnificent display we can find is just one of the best ways to bring out even more Christmas spirit. Don’t people really go all out these days? It’s just magnificent the amount of time and effort that goes into some of these houses and gardens, we just love it. If we result in any children nodding off- bonus they are already in their Jimmy’s I just be sure their teeth get an extra good brush in the morning!
7). Bake for Santa & make reindeer food
We tend to bake a fair few times sporadically throughout December and our traditional two favourites are shortbread and chocolate flapjacks. However we always bake on Christmas Eve morning, carefully choosing the best of the batch for the VIP that is Father Christmas himself. We do stick to leaving a snack of the traditional mince pie, carrot and a glass of milk, but also like to pop a homemade treat along side on Christmas Eve.
Also on Christmas Eve my children and I like to make up our own reindeer food. We mix up porridge oats, raisins, glitter and colourful confetti and divide into little tubs with lids for each of my children. Right before bed we stand at the door, each of my children make a wish and then sprinkle out the sparkly reindeer food onto the ground. Now Santa can follow the shimmer of the magical sprinkles from the sky above and find his way to our home.
8). Polar express on Christmas Eve night in matching pjs
Pjs play a rather large part in the Christmas countdown I’m beginning to realise here, it’s a wonder why we even bother to dress ourselves at all really! Anyway our Christmas Eve film of choice is the wonderful Polar Express. Now seen as we have a rather jam packed and fun filled day i am surprised they see past the first five minutes to be honest. I will also be rather controversial here and say Polar Express isn’t really the one I would of chosen as our film tradition I’m not a huge fan, but my children love it and for that reason I enjoy it for them.
9). Leave flour footprints and wrap the door up in Christmas paper
Leaving flour footprints from the fireplace to the presents is something my mum used to do for my brother and I when we were children. What a fantastically magical little detail and one which makes such a huge impact. Another absolutely amazing tradition I have carried on from my childhood is one of the best ones I could share and that’s sealing off the door to the presents with wrapping paper. I still remember walking down the stairs and being greeted by this and feeling the most excited I’d ever felt. Having to burst through the wrapped up door to get to your presents is the most crazy and fun thing you can do as a child on Christmas morning. I would always recommend this to add an extra dash of excitement to the mornings events, just remember to buy an extra roll of wrapping paper!
10). Stockings, sit down to breakfast and then presents
Believe it or not, my children actually like doing this as it really spreads out the excitement. Rather than racing down the stairs and aimlessly tearing all the paper off the presents and it being over all at once we like a bit more of a chilled approach. The stockings are brought into mine and my husbands room, we all sit together on the bed and open them. Next we go downstairs and enjoy a lovely breakfast altogether of cream cheese and smoked bacon bagels and I indulge in a Buck’s Fizz. I find having breakfast altogether at the table is a lovely start to the morning and ensures they get some breakfast in full stop, otherwise we would spend so long opening presents, it would be approaching lunchtime and they would be eating far too close to the Christmas dinner and nobody wants that spoiling! As soon as they have wolfed that down the crazy excitement can restart again.
11). Christmas quiz
Yes I am that person that loves a good ‘ole Crimbo quiz and I’m not afraid to admit it! What better way to get all the family together, group up and answer some daft questions over a bowl of cashews?!
12). Buffet supper and Quality Street watching the Christmas entertainment
Well there’s always an inch or two spare to squeeze in a turkey sandwich, a handful of twiglets and half a cheese board. Funny even when there’s no room left at all you think stuff it I’ll crack open the Quality Street and ram a few of those in too~ it is Christmas after all! By now there is a serious food coma in the making, so all there is to it, is to pull on those famous jimmys and getting stuck into some cheesy festive TV.
Did I mention I love Christmas?!
Are any of these familiar to you?
Thanks for reading ✨