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Christmas Traditions Worth Sticking To

I’ve written in the past about how I feel overwhelmed by certain elements of Christmas. Being a mum in the age of social media means that as soon as Halloween is over, I’m bombarded by images of huge piles of presents, questions on groups about where people are going to see Santa and what people are loading their kids’ Christmas Eve boxes with. Each to their own, and all that, but I do find it all a bit excessive at times. When I was a kid, Christmas was a little more minimal but just as enjoyable.

We do, however, have a few Christmas traditions that we stick to and I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

Christmas Dresses from David Grant

New Dresses

The girls and I always get a new dress to wear on Christmas day. The key features are that it must be pretty, it must be festive and it must be comfortable! This year, I wanted something special for the girls so I’ve been looking at special occasion dresses for children from David Charles. The designs are stunning and I think Burrito Baby would look so cute in them!

Decorating the Tree

This is something that the girls and I do together every year. We set aside the first Saturday or Sunday of December and get the tree and decorations up. We drink hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, we put a Christmas music channel on the TV and we get properly in the festive spirit while we adorn the house. It’s one of my favourite parts of the Christmas season.

Films

There are certain films that we watch as a family every year – Elf, Home Alone, Gremlins and The Polar Express, to name but a few. Then, on Christmas Eve, Husband and I watch It’s a Wonderful Life once the kids are asleep and share a few hours of peace before bed.

Wrapping

Speaking of wrapping, ours has become a bit of a regular event. I’m a bit of a control freak and love doing all the wrapping myself, so we usually compromise by enjoying a mulled wine while I’m doing it, with Husband delivering me festive treats like stollen and mince pies while I work. It may sound silly, but it’s something I really look forward to.

Boxing Day

Christmas Eve and Day are usually the time we spend with family, but Boxing Day is spent at home, eating junk (we usually buy party food from Waitrose to pick at throughout the day), watching movies and letting the kids play with their toys. Its great to have some downtime after two busy days and I think it’s something we definitely need, as a family.

It’s Christmas! A Meme.

I’ve been tagged in a Christmas meme by My Mills Baby which involves answering all sorts of festive questions and I’m hoping it’ll put me into more of a season-appropriate mood, so here goes!:

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

When I was younger, I’d have said going out with friends and celebrating the festive period, but now I’m a Mum my favourite bit is the moment after Sausage wakes up. For a split second, she forgets it’s Christmas and it seems like waking up on any other day. Then the realisation kicks in and a look of excitement and happiness crosses her face and it makes every second of stress in the run up to Christmas 100% worth it.

What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?

Probably fairly similar to my usual going-out look, smoky eyes, lots of mascara and clear gloss on the lips, but maybe with the addition of a bit more sparkle on my cheeks and eyes.

Real or Fake trees?

I know a lot of people will disagree with me here, but I like fake trees. I kind of hate the way we chop down beautiful trees just to put them in a pot in our front room for a couple of weeks, then thrown them out. I’d much rather see real trees growing outside. As a kid, my family always did fake trees too, so there’s something about the smell of a fake tree coming out of the loft that is so quintessentially Christmassy for me. Plus, sod hoovering up all those fallen needles!

Giving or receiving presents?

This is a difficult one for me to answer because I much prefer giving but it also sends me into a state of heightened anxiety so it’s not all that straight-forward! I’m both blessed and cursed with a Husband who is amazing at buying gifts, in previous years he’s remembered me mentioning that I want something around the beginning of August and actually bought it for me as a Christmas gift, which is pretty good going! On the flip-side of that, it’s a stark contrast against my frankly appalling gift-buying skills, so it just makes me worry about getting it wrong for everyone each year!

Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

MORNING! Do people really wait until the evening to open their presents? If they do, I’ve never met them and I don’t know if I want to – surely anyone who can be that restrained on Christmas Day takes life FAR too seriously?! In fact, one side of Husband’s family is part German and they do most of the gift giving on Christmas Eve, which suits my impatience even better!

It’s A Wonderful Life

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

Oh gosh, well ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was introduced to be by Husband about 6 years ago and we’ve watched it every year since as we both adore it, so that’s my absolute fave. In fact, Husband and I have said on many an occassion that we’d love to move to Bedford Falls! But actually, I love MOST Christmas films, I even sit and watch the tacky made-for-American-TV ones that they show on Xmas24. Anything set in New York goes down a particular treat too as it’s been a dream of mine to spend Christmas in NYC pretty much my whole life.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Hmm, that’s a toughie, we all know how much I love my food! Roast dinner is one of my favourite meals at the best of times, so obviously the whole Christmas dinner is high on my list, and actually I’m one of those people who really likes turkey and thinks it’s a very underrated meat. A very close second, or possibly a draw is Christmas Day supper though. We usually spend Christmas Day with Husband’s family who will put out cold cuts of meat, pickles, crackers, smoked salmon, cheeses, homemade pickled onions, all sorts of delights and we all just tuck in and help ourselves round a big table. It’s lovely!

So, now I have to tag three other bloggers, but I’m cheating and tagging four!:

Jamillah at Bare Beginnings

Lauren at The Wonderful Adventures of Spud and Spike

Paul at I’m Well Confused, Me (maybe you could sub the make-up question out for a ‘What’s your favourite thing to wear on Christmas Day’?!)

And Mummy Barrow at Mummy Barrow!

Good luck and godspeed!