Every family has their own Christmas traditions, whether it is always having dinner at two o'clock, getting a new tree ornament every year or driving around on December 24th to look at Christmas lights.
They are loved, time honoured and passed down through the generations, but something special can happen when you start your own family, you can carry on with traditions, make your own and ditch the ones that make no sense to you whatsoever!
It wasn’t until we had Joan that my hubby and I actually thought about this, about introducing our own family traditions and thinking back to ones we had as kids.
One of my favourite traditions growing up was my twin and I could choose one present to open on Christmas Eve. The only problem being that as we are twins my poor mom had to remember what was inside each package to make sure we were opening up the same thing!
We also got to sleep in the same room that night. It was the only night of the year we would ever opt for that. But I do remember us chatting for ages in an attempt to stay awake to catch a glimpse of the big man, before inevitably falling fast asleep.
We also had the tradition of spending every Christmas with my dad’s side of the family either in our home town or travelling to the big smoke, Toronto. My memories are always of so many people being around, it being lively, a little bit chaotic and so much food! Then for New Years we always spent it with my mom’s sister on their horse ranch and because their house was so full of kids, my twin and I always got to sleep in a purpose made fort under the dinning room table. And the excitement around that was 90! We would lie there every Dec 31st and look into the kitchen watching the adults play trivial pursuit, eat, drink and be merry. It was one of my most comforting memories of my entire childhood.
So when Joan arrived in 2011, she was 7 months old for her first Christmas and it was magical. We expanded on the gift on Christmas Eve tradition I had growing up to make it a Dec 24th box. And in it is always new pyjama’s, a toy, hot chocolate and bubble bath. We make a big deal about her getting to open something ahead of Christmas Day and she loves it. We also borrowed from my Aunt Kathy’s tradition of everyone getting a new tree decoration each year with their name and year written on it. Opening up the box of ornaments really becomes like exploring a time capsule and each decoration brings back a sweet memory.
I put it out on Twitter to hear about your family traditions and here are some of the lovely ones that people shared …
- Una - When I was little, my mom would get us into our pyjamas and drive around the city in the dark, looking at Christmas lights and drinking hot chocolate in the back of the car. We loved it!
- Maggie - On Christmas Eve each year I write a letter to my kids about their year, my mom did this for my sister and I each year when we were growing up and I love reading those letters to this day.
- Eoin -We all get a new cheesy mug each year, as you can imagine the cupboard is getting pretty full!
- Dave - Each year it is presents first, before we even eat anything, followed by pancakes, followed by watching Elf! Before we head off to my folks for dinner