Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Blogmas: 3rd Dec: Christmas Traditions


We all have those little festive things that we do every year without fail. We all want to hold onto the traditions of your childhood because we all know Christmas was so much better then!

The time when Christmas really begins is when Mum and I choose a Christmas tree and put it up together. We've always done it together and only when I was really small do I remember my brother and Dad helping. We're both really particular about everything. You have to have a real tree. You just can't do Christmas without the smell of pine. The baubles go on first and then all the little trinkets go on next. We have a lot of trinkets that don't all really match but they all have a little story behind them. I like my tree to have some character. We have a lot of other decorations too, candles and little nativity sets and angels. Mum always makes a wreath from some of the lower branches of the Christmas tree and we hang live mistletoe over the door. If there are spare fairy lights I'll usually put them in my room so it's all nice and festive in there too.

Since my Gran has lived out in the countryside, going Carol singing around her village has become a bit of a tradition. But obviously this year if I'm feeling unwell it might be difficult to do. I might just have to join in at the end for mulled wine and mince pies!

On the subject of mince pies, mum and I always have a tradition of making mince pies. When I was young I didn't like them so I used to make holly and star shapes from the left over pastry and put a tiny bit of mince meat on the top and then I'd get a nice festive treat without having to eat too much mince meat. I like mince pies now so we just make them but it's a fun tradition to do it together.

More recently going to the Christmas Market in Bath has become a great festive thing to do. They have lots of stalls selling homemade gifts. There's lots of food too, usually things that are a little bit different but still very festive. It's always really busy but it's a great place to get unusual presents and Bath is such a beautiful city, especially at Christmas. My boyfriend and I used to go while we were at university, my brother lives in Bath and my often often goes too so there should be a good chance of getting there this time.

As my mum's remarried we have a few new traditions to add in. Now, we always have at least three nativity scenes around the house and on Christmas Eve before we go to bed we add baby Jesus to the scene. The child in me just loves this and it's such an unusual tradition. The other thing I do every Christmas Eve as my own personal tradition is to read The Night Before Christmas. I know all the words now so it's mostly a case of reciting it and looking at the pictures but I've done it since I was old enough to have it read to me and it's definitely a firm tradition now.

When I was little my brother and I used to open our stockings in our parents' bed but now they both have new partners and we're older that would be a bit weird so we open them by the Christmas tree but always before all the presents under the tree. After presents my Gran, Grampy and Aunty come round for another round of presents and the most amazing lunch. In England our Christmas dinner is similar to American's thanksgiving meal. We eat turkey, cranberry sauce, sprouts, red cabbage, roast potatoes and parsnips, it's basically just the best roast dinner you can imagine. I know it's different in other countries. I met a Swedish girl at uni who said she had meatballs for Christmas dinner!

As I say, the last few years I've spent Boxing Day with my dad so that's a bit of a tradition now. The only year I'd planned to spend Christmas Day there I got glandular fever and ended up going on Boxing Day anyway. We usually have bubble and squeak (which is basically all the leftover potatoes and vegetables mashed up and pan fried. It's eaten with cold left over meat and pickles). It's the only time I have bubble and squeak so I always look forward to it. I open my second stocking (oh the joys of having split parents!) after lunch and then we all just chill out and chat. My other grandparents are usually there too, so I see all of my other half of my family.

And then that's Christmas gone! But we've still got nearly a month of merriment to enjoy first! I can't wait to get through my little traditions, then bring on Christmas Day! 

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