Do you have Christmas traditions in your house? It is for me the one time of year when traditions come into play. We get out the same decorations that have been lovingly collected over the years, the same card holders, the same Christmas toys and books and each one is greeted like an old friend that hasn’t been seen for years. Well a year anyway.
But Christmas Eve is the time for tradition in our house. It is a family day. That is the most important tradition. We always try and get all of the jobs done before so that we can relax a bit.The day itself is usually spent seeing family members, catching up with those last minute people who you haven’t already exchanged gifts with and then Granny arrives with the largest bags of presents (and this from the woman who says every year that she is NOT going to spend a lot again next year).We are not church going people but the local church does a lovely Christmas service on Christmas Eve designed for families and the church is always packed to the rafters with people singing to their hearts content and there is always at least one person who has had that little too much festive spirit and is worthy of a snigger or two.
Back home to a warm drink and we all sit around the table and have a hearty feast to give us some energy for all that present opening the next day. And then the real fun begins.
First a snuggle up on the sofa for some festive viewing which ALWAYS includes Father Christmas (the Raymond Briggs version) and chants of “another blooming Christmas” will be heard for miles around, followed by me trying to hide my tears when The Snowman melts at the end of that magical film.
Then we have the job of getting three over excited children to bed. The next job on the list is to prepare for the great arrival; running around the garden like lunatics spreading the magic reindeer dust, carefully placing a couple of Granny’s homemade mince pies somewhere obvious with a bowl of water and some fat juicy carrots for those weary reindeer and then the discussion about which tipple Father Christmas would like this year (I don’t know about yours, but we find that he is rather partial to a large glass of Baileys).
Finally comes the Thomas family song. Now I was a little cynical about the song in the early days,but I have to admit that it has grown on me as time has passed. It was a song that my husband’s family made up when he and his brother were little and it is very important that we continue this family tradition.It is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells and the children sing it as they walk up the stairs to bed with their stocking. It goes:
Christmas Eve is here
as we go off to bed
as we climb the stairs
not a sleepy head
take our stockings off
hang them in a row
then jump quickly into bed
and off to sleep we go
oh jingle bells
jingle bells etc
And so it ends with our not so sleepy heads all discussing how they are going to stay awake this year and see Father Christmas … but they never do.
What are your Christmas Eve Traditions? Do you do things like your parents used to do them when you were little or have you come up with your own family traditions?