Guest Post: Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions

Does it ever feel like everyone else has loads of lovely family Christmas traditions they do with their kids every year, and you’re just flailing around still buying and wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?

I know it’s the whole curse of social media, everyone showing off their best bits, but I sometimes think I’m massively failing in making Christmas the best it could be for my boys.

So I thought this year could be the year to start some new ‘traditions’. You know, some festive stuff that we could then do every year. And in 30 years time my kids’ will be looking back saying ‘ah, remember when we used to do so-and-so’ or ‘I used to love it when we did that every year’. You know what I’m talking about.

I think up until last year my twins (now aged 3) were more bothered about pulling baubles off the Christmas tree than they were about what Mummy was going to put in the Christmas Eve box. Mainly because they didn’t know what a Christmas Eve box was, and certainly didn’t have one. But my eldest (now 5) would definitely love to start some new things. It’s deciding what to do that’s the problem.

But yes, looks like Christmas Eve boxes are the way forward. And personalised stockings. I’ve even bought a personalised plate for the boys to leave out for Father Christmas with mince pies and carrots. Three things in the bag, I’m doing well!

Christmas Stockings

I’ve decided to firmly steer clear of Elf on the Shelf until I absolutely HAVE to do it. So I need a few more ideas. My fellow bloggers have come to the rescue. Here’s what they do:

Christmas Traditions ideas

  • We have breakfast with Santa at our local carvery every Christmas Eve. It’s my favourite day of the year. Jennifer from  www.mightymamabear.com
  • Make a bauble or a decoration for the house. My son loves it and it brings back fab memories year after year. Rebecca from www.greyhome.co.uk
  • We do matching pyjamas, hanging Santa’s magic key on the door, leaving cookies and milk out for Santa (plus carrot for Rudolph, obvs) and then we watch a Christmas film with a mug of hot chocolate. I also have a photo taken of me and the twins in front of our Christmas tree. I’ve done this since the year I was heavily pregnant with them! Rebecca from www.beccablogsitout.com
  • We go out for a drive around the middle of December to look at all the Christmas lights (obviously poor Daddy doesn’t get to look because he’s our chauffeur) then we go home and warm up with hot chocolate. Josie from www.businessformums.co.uk
  • This is a new tradition for us this year. Making a Christmas shoe box for an underprivileged child. We fill the shoe box with goodies as well as some essential items like toothbrush and flannel. It’s a nice way to start Christmas off and think of others before all the Christmas madness commences and will hopefully help teach my little man about charity and compassion too. Rowena from www.mybalancingact.co.uk
  • Our family Christmas tradition is to buy presents and food for our local hospital and foodbank. Raimonda from www.cosmomum.co.uk
  • We have a Christmas Eve box which is delivered whilst we are out for Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We also go on a walk around the neighbourhood to see the Christmas lights. Becka from www.mummyest2014.wordpress.com
  • We adapt the four gift rule for Christmas to giving our child something he wants, something he needs, something to experience and something to read. The big presents always come from family members and the small presents from Santa. Speaking of Santa, we make sure he knows that Santa = St Nick and we watch videos about St Nicholas so he knows the difference. And we never use Santa as a means to manipulate his behaviour. Jade from www.liveablissfullife.com
  • We go to a friend’s house. We have a lovely meal, get the children to sing songs and play games, and we sprinkle some reindeer food on their lawn. One of our friends surreptitiously opens the top window and jingles bells so the children think Santa is on the way. The children run riot actually, but it means that they are tired enough to go to sleep! Jo from www.arosetintedworld.co.uk
  • We do a reverse advent box for our local food bank so each day add in something to donate. Hollie from www.thriftymum.com
  • We have activities that we add to our advent calendar to spend some time together as a family doing – like baking cookies, watch a Christmas film etc. Louise from www.thimbleandtwig.com
  • I do an elf breakfast on December 1 to introduce the elves’ arrival and the elf brings them advent calendars and they have breakfast on Christmas paper plates, cups etc, and a special breakfast like pancakes and bacon. They absolutely love it. Lianne from www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk
  • We don’t send Christmas cards anymore but instead me and the kids go to Tesco and buy food for the food bank with the card/stamp money. It’s become a real tradition and the kids really look forward to it. Amy from www.allaboutamummy.co.uk
  • We love decorating a gingerbread house together. We may try and bake our own this year though, fingers crossed it turns out okay! Laura from www.threelittlezees.co.uk
  • We take part in the UK Money Bloggers reverse advent calendar to collect and donate food in the food bank in November so they have more stock ready for the run up to Christmas. Victoria from www.lyliarose.com
  • I’ve always done a book advent calendar with my kids. Each morning they unwrap a new Christmas or winter themed book to read together. I don’t buy 24 new books each year. I reuse the ones we’ve collected over the years and add some from our local library. To reduce waste I bought some Christmas fabric. Each night I wrap a new book in the same fabric for them to open the next morning. Claire from www.theladybirdsadventures.co.uk
  • We buy a bauble for each child and write their name and the year on each year. The idea is that they can have them for their own tree when they leave home. Erica from www.theincidentalparent.com
  •  Presents always opened in age order from youngest to oldest with everyone watching one at a time. Also the tree goes up on my December birthday. Both of these are long-standing from my childhood and I now resent being second oldest as was the baby of the family for many years. Kate from www.kateonthinice.com
  • We don’t open presents from under the tree until after the Queen’s Speech. We open stockings in the morning. Sarah from www.champagneandpetals.com
  • We always have a last present Christmas tradition. It’s kind of like a way of saying thank you and goodbye to the festive season. It’s a family present that gives us a chance to spend some time together, encourages some reflection on our Christmas and puts a close on the festive season. The last present sits under the tree and will not be unwrapped on Christmas Day. Instead we wait until just before the new year, and have a Last Present Picnic. The present will be filled with items to make hot chocolate with an array of toppings, sprinkles and squirty cream, a box of biscuits, new mugs, and a box of crackers to see Christmas out with a bang! Deborah from www.familydaystriedandtested.com
  • We make and decorate a Peppakaka Hus (basically a gingerbread house) as a Christmas tradition. The children then smash and eat it on New Year’s Eve. I lived in Norway as a child and this is a tradition we borrowed from Scandanavia and have done every year since we were kids and now I do it with my kids and God kids. We also have a tradition of having an after dinner present so we all have something else to look forward to, and it was often a game for us all to play as a family when we were kids. Kirsty from www.navigatingbaby.com
  • Ours is around merging the narrative with what we bring from our traditions. It can get very complicated between who Santa is to St Nicholas, and who brings what presents when! Monika from www.mumonthebrink.com
  • We make a wishing tree at New Year and write out goals and wishes we have as a family and hang them on stars on a tree to welcome in the New Year. Becky from  www.babybudgeting.co.uk

Any of these take your fancy? There are some brilliant ones here. What are your Christmas traditions?

Guest Post written by By Helen Copson from Twins, Tantrums And Cold Coffee

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