The Joy of Making Family Christmas Traditions

The Joy of Making Family Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. There, I said it.  I mean, I REALLY love Christmas.  It’s the season of goodwill to all men. What’s not to love?

When I was little, Christmas was always a time of wonder.  Listening out for sleigh-bells, looking out for Santa.  Even once I’d worked out for myself that St Nick would probably struggle to deliver all those presents to all those children in one night, there was still an element of magic, still a slim possibility until I was told for sure.  From that moment, Christmas lost a bit of its shine for me.  I still loved the season, but it was missing the magic.

Now I have two children and the magic is back. It’s a different kind of magic, but magic none the less.

My husband and I work to create Christmas traditions and memories that we hope our children will treasure as they grow up and lose the magic. 

Here are our Christmas ‘traditions’:

1. Winter Wonderland – in the run-up to Christmas, we take a trip to London and visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.  To avoid the rush, we try and go late November/early December and this marks the start of the Christmas season in our household.

2. Christmas Movie Day – This is a day set aside in the calendar where it’s nothing but back to back Christmas movies.  All the classics – Home Alone, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street.  Modern Classics – Arthur Christmas and Love Actually (after the kids have gone to bed).  And there’s time, we squeeze in The Snowman.  It’s a great opportunity to get the family together before the big day, often on Christmas Eve, but not always.   This is a tradition that has grown and evolved from my husband’s childhood, and that we have continued since we had children.  This year, my oldest son (4) asked if he could have a movie day with his friends too, and so we obliged.  We invited 5 or 6 of his friends with their parents and siblings for a Christmas buffet lunch and a couple of kid-friendly films.  Although we struggled to get them all to sit still this year, we’re hoping that this will become a new tradition too.

3. Christmas Eve Box – a relatively modern tradition, but the elves deliver a box at some point on Christmas Eve which contains a new Christmas book, pyjamas for them both, reindeer food, popcorn and a Christmas movie to watch.  It also always contains ‘The Night Before Christmas’, which we always read just before bed.

4. Christmas Eve Meal – We know some families that always have a beef or gammon joint on Christmas Eve, but given all 4 of us spend the 2 weeks before Christmas at various work, school and nursery Christmas lunches, a roast on Christmas Eve feels like a roast too far.  With that in mind, we try to have a family meal that everyone loves, and for us, that’s a lasagne.  It’s also great because over the next few days there’s never much pasta on offer, and so it serves to add a bit of variety before the inevitable turkey sandwiches.

5. Leaving food out for Santa – We try to leave out food Santa won’t get elsewhere (we’re not fans of the mince pie! So we spend some time on Christmas Eve or the day before baking cookies for Santa, and we leave him one of Daddy’s beers to drink (I’m working on it being Mummy’s wine!). Obviously, we also leave out some carrots for the reindeer and some water for them to drink.

6. Snowy footprints – each year, after all the presents have been laid out, I make snowy footprints from our fireplace to the Christmas tree, using flour and an old pair of wellies. We’ve done this for the last few years since our oldest was about 2, and he considers this to be a sign of whether or not Santa has been.

7. Bacon sandwiches for breakfast – Christmas morning always means bacon or sausage sandwiches for breakfast.  After the first phase of presents have been unwrapped, and we’ve realised how long it is until lunch, we try and fill them up with a bacon or sausage sandwich.  Both working full time means we don’t often get chance to have a cooked breakfast, so it’s a good opportunity to have a leisurely breakfast with the boys whilst they’re playing with their new toys and games.

8. There is one more tradition that we have in our house, and it’s just for the adults: present wrapping. On the Friday and Saturday evenings in the run-up to the big day, we like to share a baked camembert for dinner, with some dipping bread and a bottle of fizz.  We sit on the floor in the living room, and wrap presents whilst the boys are in bed.

I hope when my boys are grown and the magic has been lost to them, that they remember the traditions we had while they were small.  And perhaps start to evolve them and add to them, if and when they recreate that magic for any children they may have.

Merry Christmas!

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About Wendy

Outnumbered. Wife to one man. Mother of two boys. Owner (slave) of one cat. Sales Account Executive.  Football nut. Follower of cricket and occasionally golf. Lover of American TV dramas. Once an avid reader, now occasional peruser of books I’d love to read. You can follow me on Twitter


Outnumbered. Wife to one man. Mother of two boys. Owner (slave) of one cat. Sales Account Executive. Football nut. Follower of cricket and occasionally golf. Lover of American TV dramas. Once an avid reader, now occasional peruser of books I’d love to read. You can follow me on Twitter @MadnessofMummy

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