Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Traditions

I absolutely love Christmas! Even before we had kids, it was my favourite time of the year. I think it's all the traditions and the planning gifts for other people. The fact that it's the time of year that brings families together. 

When I was younger, my mum had everyone round to our house on Boxing day for a Christmas dinner. I think there was usually at least 20 people there, aunties and uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters, family friends. The more the merrier. I used to love being crowded around the tables (we had to have two, the kids were in the conservatory!) with crackers and lots of noise and laughter. 

Sometimes it was the only time in the year that we'd see some of our cousins, especially as we got older. And having that day, where we were all together, was magical. Even after I was done believing in Father Christmas, Christmas and all the components that made up Christmas, was just so special. 

It's something I really want to recreate with my children, so that they can celebrate Christmas in many different ways, and not just the presents. Some of the traditions I'd like to start aren't really appropriate yet, because the kids aren't really old enough, but I can't wait to start adding them in, bit by bit, as they get a bit older. 

So what are your Christmas traditions, and which ones would you like to start? 

Here are mine:

Current Christmas Traditions:

  • The Christmas tree gets decorated on 1st of December. I can't wait to have our two year old help this year!;
  • Advent Calendars - they must be chocolate ones!;
  • Going to watch a Christmas Carol Concert. We only lasted 15 minutes last year because our two year old didn't have any kind of attention span, but we got a few carols in!;
  • Writing Christmas cards one evening with Christmas carols in the background and a bottle of wine to share;
  • Visit Father Christmas in his grotto;
  • Watching a Christmas movie with the kids, with popcorn;
  • Baking gingerbread reindeer cookies for the staff in our apartment building. I did this on my own last year but I'm hoping our two year old will want to help this time round;
  • Go and see the Christmas decorations in the mall. Even in Dubai, they are amazing!
  • Hanging up our stockings on Christmas Eve;
  • Leaving Food out for Father Christmas and the Reindeer. This year will be the first year we've gotten to do this;
  • Read "T'was the Night before Christmas" on Christmas Eve;
  • Christmas stockings contain Something you Want; Something you Need; Something to Wear; Something to Read plus a tangerine, your favourite chocolate (mine is Terry's Chocolate Orange) and some socks. 
  • Silver presents on Christmas day. We each have a wrapped silver present, which we are only allowed to open once we have tasted every vegetable on our plates at Christmas Dinner. 

Future Christmas Traditions:

  • Each child to choose a new Christmas tree decoration each year. We always did this at home when I was little and I loved browsing all the sparkly decorations and choosing one. I can still tell you which ones I picked, because they are still put up at my mum's house each year. 
  • Bake and decorate a gingerbread house. I think I'm probably more excited about this than the kids will ever be!
  • Writing letters to Father Christmas. I can't wait to see what my kids will write and ask for!
  • Giving one toy away to charity. This one is something I'm really looking forward to doing, to teach the kids that there are so many people less fortunate. 
  • Go to, or be part of, a nativity play. This is really important to me now that we live in Dubai, because they won't do the nativity at school at all. I don't want Christmas to just be about the presents, and the understanding of what is Christmas and where it has come from, is something I want the kids to learn. 
  • Do some more charity work. I'm not sure what there is in Dubai yet, but I'd like to add a bit more giving to our Christmas traditions. 
  • Playing board games as a family.

I think I'll leave it there, although I'm sure I can think of about 1000 more traditions I'd love to add to our Christmas celebrations! 

Is everyone really looking forward to Christmas? Only 3 sleeps to go!