It’s the 5th December and I’m feeling fully festive after a lovely family weekend. We’re putting the decorations up next weekend and then it’s Lucas’ Christmas Play at school so lots of lovely things to look forward to. I thought it would be nice to share five traditions that we have each Christmas.
The advent calendar is an important part of Christmas for me. Ever since I can remember my Mum has bought me a chocolate one and now, aged 34, that tradition continues.
This ritual has created fond and funny memories of the festive period for me. As a school child, I would leave my Mum a Post-It note every morning, which read
“On the first day of Christmas, my advent calendar gave to me….”
I would complete it with the picture I got then add
“and a partridge in a pear tree.”
on the end. This developed as I left home for university and, thanks to the invention of texting, I was able to copy and paste the message and edit appropriately. I did this faithfully, every year until I had Lucas. As much as I tried to keep up, I kept forgetting and sadly that element of my advent calendar faded.
One year I can only assume she lost her mind as she bought me a Doctor Who calendar. Why is this strange? Well I’ve never watched Doctor Who in my life. Disappointingly, each picture was a tardis or a darlek so my text messages went along the lines of
“On the tenth day of Christmas, my advent calendar gave to me ANOTHER BLOODY TARDIS!”
I told my Mum that she failed as a mother that year.
Elf on the Shelf
I think you either love or hate the Elf. Personally, I like that it adds a little more Christmas magic to the festive period. Yes, it can be a pain in the arse. Yes, I get snuggled up in bed then remember he needs sorting but Lucas LOVES finding him every morning and our Artie is great as bribery!
“Remember Lucas, Artie is reporting back to Santa every night so you best be good for Santa will find out and put you on the naughty list!”
I’m quite a creative person so I enjoy coming up with new things for him to get up to and finding random places in the house to put him. I was in Poundland that they have a whole range of accessories for them so that will make it a little easier this year. This year we have a new elf that has arrived to watch over Sienna. She is called Elsie and they will have lost of fun together. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories to see what they get up to.
Christmas Eve Box
We have lovely wooden Christmas Eve boxes from my friend Nicola’s company Tilly Tally. They are hand painted so are extra special as they are made with love. I’ve never agreed with people opening Christmas presents before Christmas day. As far as I’m concerned, Santa brings presents so they shouldn’t be in the house till they are delivered on Christmas Eve. The Christmas Eve Box is an excuse to embrace the Christmas magic and enjoy some treats and family time before the big guy comes.
Within the boxes I include:
- Christmas Pyjamas – Lucas and Sienna have matching ones from Next this year.
- Reindeerdust/food – to sprinkle in the garden and help the reindeer find their way
- Light Up Spinners – like a snow gobe with a spinning reindeer/santa in and snow. Last years played music too…I’m made sure I didn’t buy the same this year. It was so annoying. They don’t last the full year but are only cheap (about £2) from Card Factory.
- Sweets or chocolate – this year a Christmas chocolate lolly for each of them. I may even let that be Sienna’s first bit of chocolate!
- A book – we have personalised books this year! I saw them (randomly) in the shop at The Deep when we were there at half term.
- Festive sticker book – from Poundland and for Lucas only. Sienna is a bit young for a sticker book so she has a glitter ball with an elf inside.
- Christmas jigsaw – also from Card Factory. They have some great little bits for Christmas Eve Boxes.
Some years I add in slippers, if they need new ones, but they don’t this year and also a festive DVD to watch before bed but we have Sky Movies so will probably watch one off there this year.
Christmas 2016 was the year we figured Lucas would be old enough to go to see the Pantomime. He slept through the second half – ha ha! It’s tradition I was keen to create, given my love of the theatre. Pantomime is one of the most long-standing styles of theatre, beginning with Melodrama, and I love the fun and cheesiness of it all. Last year, being pregnant with Sienna put some things on hold for us and unfortunately the Pantomime was one of them.
This year, we’re excited to be seeing Cinderella at Wakefield Theatre Royal. No Sienna, it’s too late and too long for her little body and brain but I’m hoping Lucas will be able to stay awake for the entire show this time! It’ll be lovely to do something with just Lucas, it doesn’t happen so often these days.
Visit To Santa
Every year we try to visit Santa once. I don’t see a lot of point in going to see him more than once or nearly near Christmas. The beginning of December is the perfect time for us as I can then use it against the kids for the rest of the month.
“Do I need to phone Santa and tell him to forget what you told him you wanted?”
Mean? Possibly! Wise? Definitely. If you don’t use Santa against you’re kids, are you even a parent?
Last weekend we went to Stockeld Park to begin our festivities.
We booked online to avoid too much queuing and went in the afternoon so by the time we got to the Enchanted Forest, it was getting dark.
It really is a magical place for the children and has a lovely atmosphere to it. We went to see Santa first in his Grotto. The elf gives each child a special coin sprinkled with glitter and then you’re ushered through to a room to wait your turn. Santa was lovely and very chatty with Lucas, asking him lots of questions. We had more than one picture taken so we could pick the best one and, by utter fluke, the first one we were all looking! The photos are £8 each and they have a buy two get one free offer so we got a book for Sienna to mark her first visit to Santa and two glitter frames, one of us and one for my Mum.
It’s a little pricey at Stockeld Park but given that you can spend an entire day there, I don’t think it works out too bad. We just had to rush a little because Sienna needed her tea and bed.
So there you have five traditions we like to have each December to ensure Christmas is fun, festive and family related, after all…that’s what it’s all about. I love that we have our own little family that we can create memories with that my children will look back on when they are my age and have children of their own.