Sharing Our Christmas Traditions

christmas traditions

With Christmas this year looking different to anything many of us have ever known, I’ve seen a lot of people starting new traditions and looking for new ways to make the time special. We may not be able to have big Christmas parties or large family dinners, but traditions can sometimes be a good way to bring some magic and excitement to your celebrations.

We have a lot of Christmas traditions, some better than others. I thought I would share with you a few of our favourites. Feel free to take our traditions and turn them in to your own.

1. Paper chains. 

I remember making paper chains as a child with strips of coloured paper and Sellotape. My brothers and I would sit for hours cutting strips from large pads of paper and spreading them across the dining room before forming our long multi-coloured chains. It’s something that I have done with my children every year without fail (although I now buy the pre-made sticky strips to save time). I hadn’t intended to buy any this year, but then my 15 year old asked when we were making paper chains so I ordered a few packs online. All 5 children sat for a couple of hours one afternoon making their chains which we hung in their bedrooms. A cheap, effective tradition which bought me some peace on a Sunday afternoon.

2. Chocolate/sweet raffle.  

This is a tradition which my dad says was started by my great grandmother (Nanna). It is incredibly simple but always creates a sense of excitement. In the run up to Christmas I buy lots of cheap selection boxes and multipacks of sweets. I un-package it all and each treat gets a raffle ticket. The corresponding tickets get folded and put in to a Tupperware. Then, whenever the children want treats over Christmas, they choose a ticket and get whatever chocolate or sweet their ticket is for. The children love waiting to see what they will get and the rule is that once they have chosen their numbers they aren’t allowed to put it back. They are allowed to swap amongst themselves though. 

 

3. Crafts on Christmas Eve. 

Christmas with young children can mean excitement overload, especially on Christmas Eve. Parents around the world will know the stress of trying to calm little ones down. One of the best ways I’ve found to combat the excitement is to organise some sort of craft activity for Christmas Eve. Often, this will mean that we bake the biscuits we then leave out for Father Christmas. We spend the afternoon doing whatever activity I have planned and then finish with hot chocolate and a Christmas film. 

 

4. Let the children decorate the tree. 

When I was growing up, we were never allowed to decorate the tree. That was something my mum would do when none of us were around as she didn’t like the way we would decorate it. As a parent, this is something I have been determined to change. As much as I appreciate the beauty of insta-worthy Christmas decorating, I like to have an eclectic mix of colours on the tree and generally go for the overall feeling that an elf may have puked all over the house, spreading Christmas magic and a tonne of glitter. By letting the children decorate, I have found that they take extra enjoyment from the tree and also fiddle with it a lot less. I will often have to tweak things once they’re in bed (just to make sure that there are decorations at the top) but they do most of the work.

5. Keep the stockings downstairs. 

As a child, I remember that my siblings and I hardly slept on Christmas Eve. Our stockings were kept at the ends of our beds and the anticipation of seeing whether Santa had been meant that some years we wouldn’t fall asleep until 2am, only to be awake again at 4. As a parent, I have never put stockings on their beds or in their bedrooms. Stockings are usually left lined up on the sofa or in the hallway so that Santa doesn’t have to waste time going from room to room. He can get everything done in one go. The bonus of this is that (so far) in 15 years of parenting the children have never been awake past 9pm and are usually asleep until at least 7am. I know I have been incredibly lucky and there is always time for that to change, but I really think that having the stockings downstairs has helped.

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