1 December 2010

Family Traditions at Christmas

I need your help.

I want to establish some Calico family Christmas traditions, but I don't really know where to start.

I want Christmas to be a magical time for all the family, but most importantly for Presley and Cash. At three and two they are getting excited about Christmas, even though they don't really know that much about it. They know they get presents, but there's so much more to Christmas than that.

I found out on Twitter tonight that Young Mummy and Cosmic Girlie are at the same stage as me and Pippa has promised to give us some pointers on her blog - after all, she is the queen of all things Christmassy.

These are my ideas so far:
  • Advent calendars
  • Go carol singing with our neighbours
  • Visit Father Christmas. This year we have booked to go on the Santa Express steam train.
  • Make or buy new tree decorations
  • Decorate the tree together
  • Make paperchains (if I can find some - suggestions of stockists please)
  • Drive around to look at everyone's lights (I stole this from Cosmic Girlie)
  • A special meal on Christmas Eve and a special breakfast on Christmas Day (to be decided)
  • Leave a mince pie for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph
  • Letters to Father Christmas (the NSPCC will send a letter back for a small donation)
  • Buying one present for the poor children of the world via UNICEF
  • Taking our old toys to the charity shop
  • A walk on Christmas Day after lunch
  • A pantomime between Christmas and New Year

Over to you. What are your family traditions at Christmas?



  1. I think you're doing great if you manage all that!
    Our main Christmas tradition is our trip to England to see the Scottish in-laws.

  2. I plan on doing SO MANY of these :D I'm also gong to add:

    ~sitting on our bed Xmas morning opening stocking gifts
    ~hot pork, apple sauce, gravy and stuffing on Christmas eve
    ~The Smalls spending forever on the phone to their grandparents
    ~Not turning on the tree lights until Big Small is home from school

    I'm sure there are more traditions to come!!

  3. One of the things that always spring to mind when I think about christmas is getting a new nightie, dressing gown and slippers to wear on christmas eve. Its something that I've carried on along with:

    making handmade cards/decorations
    Visiting father Christmas
    Always decorating the tree together with sweets/popcorn/hot chocolate and a Christmas film afterwards

  4. Lovely lovely lovely!

    Do your little ones get to phone their far flung aunts on Christmas Day and shout MEEEEEERRY CHRISTMASSSS at the top of their voices (or gurgle it)? I can not tell you how awesome it feels when my nieces, nephews and godchildren do this.

    My current favourite tradition (stolen from my best friend) is to read the Nativity just once as a special bedtime story about one week before. If I am lucky I get to do this!

    My mum was a Christmas Tradition genius. Once of her tricks was to secretly hold back a little on the decorations (save some tinsel and the best decorations) and finish them in secret on Christmas Eve. When my three brothers and I came down in the morning, the door to the main room was mysteriously shut and we were told we could only go in after breakfast when we were dressed (great bribe). The anticipation of simply opening a door was insane.

    "Look!" she used to say "Something magical has happened! Christmas is here!" And it was.

  5. How funny I have just written a couple of post on Christmas trantitions for posting next week!

  6. We play xmas music when putting the tree up and also on xmas morning. I've heard someone puts wrapping paper over the door of the room the tree is in on xmas morning so the kids have to burst their way through it. We don't really have any traditions yet, mainly because we've always had visitors on xmas day. This year it is just the 4 of us so we'll see what comes of the day!

  7. Make some pastry/biscuits stars with a hole in and a ribbon and hang them on the tree to be eaten as a treat from Boxing Day to 5th January!... decorate with silver balls, dolly mixtures etc...
    We always sing round the Christmas Tree on christmas eve evening waving sparklers with the lights out - you need to supervise this closely!

  8. Er, doesn't anyone else take their children to church over Christmas - isn't that a major part of Christmas? We have the christingle service in early December, the crib service on Christmas Eve (both services designed for children) and then the Christmas Day morning service is a real highlight.

  9. Lovely - am writing my own post now too! Paper chains - http://www.coxandcox.co.uk/products/pretty-printed-paper-chains

  10. While not one of ours, one I've heard a few mentions of in the "real world" lately, that I think we're going to adopt - Christmas Pyjamas! New, special, pyjamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve.

    As we're spending Christmas at my in-laws, this could prove a very good idea.

  11. Gosh we do so many of those :) One I can add is the making of christmas pudding - I do the making but everyone gathers round, has a stir and makes a wish before leaving it to soak overnight and waft the aroma of christmas throughout the house... often in November.

    Oh another - even though they are now 15 and 14 (and the little one 5) they still all sleep in the one bedroom on Christmas Eve and watch Anabelle's Wish and Rudolph The Movie before going to sleep. My teenagers are tradition addicts. I started this one when we were tiny and we were a family of three. I needed them to SLEEP already - being a one (wo)man Santa and all that.

  12. Reading "'Twas The Night Before Christmas", as the last bedtime story on Christmas Eve, we've done that since Jonno's first Christmas and he's 11 now!

    Watching The Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve afternoon.

    For the last 3 years we've read Terry Pratchett's Hogfather in the run up to Christmas (finishing on Christmas Eve)

    Logging on to NORAD Santa, it's fantastic

  13. We light a candle ob christmas eve and take it in turns to say thank you for all the people who have come into our lives this year. We also send love to those we have lost. This year is going to be hard.

    We get new Pjs too, throw ouw out reindeer dust to Rudolp. Go to a crib service, On boxing day we hide tiny presnts for each other around the house and write poem clues which get placed inside a fabric snowman to be opened after lunch. Honestly gifts are tiny but its more fun than Christmas!

    I love the wrapping paper door thing will adopt that!

  14. We do a lot of the things you've mentioned but we have a few of our own too...

    * The Pyjama Fairy always visits in December and leave a nice pair of pyjamas under the tree for them.

    * We track Santa on Christmas eve using the Norad website.

    *Every Christmas eve, the kids bake cookies with their dad for Santa. It's the only time he bakes with them and they love it.

    * We always make our own reindeer dust and sprinkle it outside before bed on Christmas eve.

    *The kids get a stocking on their bedroom door on Christmas morning with little gifts in that we open before going downstairs.

    I am like a big kid myself and can't wait ;-)

  15. We always go to a carol service- preferably a candle-lit one. There's a great one at St John's on Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill on Sunday 19th at 6.30 with mulled wine and mince pies afterwards. We also go to a lovely nativity puppet show at the same church on Christmas Eve. The puppets are beautiful silhouettes made by a professional puppeteer telling the Christmas story.
    Another tradition is decorating the tree together and always putting the fairy on the tree last.
    The children are scared of Father Christmas coming into their bedroom at night so we always leave their stockings next to the chimney in the living room, with lemonade and a mince pie for him to eat.
    He always leaves a clean plate and empty glass and a thank you note for his refreshments!

  16. We do a lot of the ones above but we also

    *Sprinkle reindeer dust out on the garden

    *place stocking on the bottom of the bed on Christmas eve

    *no presents are put out under the tree until Christmas eve and that is done after we have delivered pressies to local friends and family and got all the rest

    *one present is opened before bedtime on Christmas eve

    *go for boxing day party to MIL's

    I think that that is all of the extra ones we do.

    There are so many aren't they interesting to read xx

  17. Oh I love Christmas traditions!

    As I was growing up we had a very specific routine.
    Carrots, a Mince Pie and a glass of milk was left on the table for Santa and his Reindeer. Then we would go to bed with 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'
    Then a 4am start and we would sit on Mam and Dad's bed looking in our stockings before Mam went downstairs ahead of us to turn the Christmas Lights on.
    Then there would be the usual unwrapping presents followed by bacon and sausage sarnies. Mam and Dad would go back to bed for a few hours while me and Little Bro played with our new things.
    Dinner and Tea would be at Nan and Bamps.

    Now I live so far away from myy parents and there's now so many of us it's changed a bit and this year will change even more as my parents are coming to ours for Christmas Dinner. :)

    I try to make sure my kids get the same sort of Christmas routine. It really makes their Christmas.

  18. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I have stolen loads of them!

    I'm sorry I haven't replied to you all individually. I will try harder next year.

    Merry Christmas x


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