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Christmas traditions: where do you sit

Christmas traditions: where do you sit

I know it’s still technically November and might seem early to be talking about Christmas so much.

The truth is, I haven’t actually stopped since June my daughters birthday.

Currently, I am potentially averaging the ‘C’ word (Christmas, not the other one) at least 4 times per hour.

So it’s understandable that I spent last weekend dusting off my baubles (ooh err), for my daughter to wake up to.

Christmas countdown

It’s actually only 27 days until Christmas.


Time is ticking.

As I began planning themes and colour schemes for my Christmas decorations (back in September), and frantically pinning to my festive Pinterest boards, I started to wonder where other people sit on traditions.

Of course, we are a symptom of our upbringings, so it’s entirely logical that we approach holidays and occasions the same way that our parents and grandparents did.

They will have undoubtedly influenced our decisions but to what extent?

The tree

Growing up, apart for a few times, we always had fakies.

My Dad couldn’t handle the mess (yes, really, a man who loves housework), and my Mum got a reaction to the pine needles. So year after year, we’d put up an artificial Christmas tree and adorn it with tat my family had collected since the 1970s.

Having had both types, I have to agree that a fake one is much more practical and cost effective, but nothing beats the feeling of dragging a real tree out of the car.

OK, there’s the mess during and afterwards, and the month that follows of seeing dead trees lining the streets as they are abandoned, but they are special.

The smell, the shapes, the whole process; that’s Christmas right there.

christmas trees

Christmas cards

As a child,  I was obsessed with writing Christmas cards. Sometimes, I’d even re-write them if they weren’t neat enough.

I’d watch my Mum writing hers and forgetting to deliver or post them and wonder how that could happen?

Of course as a busy parent myself, I now know exactly how that can happen!

Ecards are a good option for friends overseas or when you have missed the post, and donations to charity make a very thoughtful alternative.

Some people still love a card though. I am mainly talking about older relatives.

So whilst I happily make a donation to charity at Christmas, I still tend to send a cheery card out too.


In the 1980s and 1990s, I used to help my grandparents decorate their house at Christmastime.

My Nan had collected some really retro decorations that eventually she decided were tacky and threw away.

But can you ever get too tacky at Christmas?

The decision is whether to go for lights inside and out, a blow up snowman for the front garden, and dancing Santas for the kids.

Or whether to keep it classy and go for something out of the White Company catalogue that no one is allowed to touch.

And of course, as a parent you’ll have been collecting items that your child makes, that you can never ever through away.

I think the answer is, go for something in between. It’s only for a month or so.

kids decoration

Gift buying

Do you actually have the time or the inclination to hit the high street to go Christmas shopping?

I don’t think I’ve been Christmas shopping since my daughter was 6 weeks old. Ahh, those days where they sleep for long stints during the day.

Any year after that has been too much effort. Balancing nap times, traffic, parking, toilet trips, and my own sanity with queues is just too much.

I have to admit, our gifts are usually a combination of presents I’ve managed to get on click and collect, or online shopping so that I don’t have to encounter other actual humans.

I’m also guilty of sneaking out on Christmas Eve to pick up a few gift vouchers for those really hard to buy for people!

Here’s a gift guide I wrote for a few pointers.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was always about my parents going out to some kind of party, and me and my brother getting excited at my grandparents house.

In later years, it was me doing the drinking with friends, and nursing a hangover on the big day.

Now that I am a parent myself, it’s all about the kids.

This year is the first year that we will really do the Christmas plate for Father Christmas and my daughter will actually understand it.

So it’s going to be new fluffy pyjamas, hot chocolates, and trying desperately to wear her out so that she goes to bed!

Christmas eve

Present opening

Are you an ‘everyone can open presents at the same time’ kind of family?

Or do you run a ‘we open one at a time’ household?

My family have actually always dragged present opening out over 3 days.

Day 1: We have a tradition of ‘Christmas tree presents’ which is one small gift (usually novelty) on the tree for Christmas Eve.

Day 2: Christmas Day is a frenzy of present opening.

Day 3: On Boxing Day, the grandmother provides ‘cracker presents’. Inside the crackers are clues for the children have to solve to find an extra gift.

And I love it!

What are your Christmas traditions?

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28 Comments on "Christmas traditions: where do you sit"

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Kristie - Mammaprada

Wow you are so organised! We tend to only do presents on Christmas Day. Although now I have kids I feel like it’s almost too much excitement for them in one go and they don’t really notice anything they’ve opened! We do stockings in the morning and the rest after lunch. My family go way overboard and my Husband’s family are like scrooge so it’s always an interesting balance keeping everyone happy! 🙂 #ThursdayTeam xx

Pamela Lorimer
Sounds like you live Christmas as much as me! We never had much money growing up but christmas was still the most amazing time and I want ro crry that on. Now we have a lot of money to spend but I still try to keep things small. My biggest fear is that the kids become expectant and ungreatful. I am exxited for their little faces in the coming weeks. I want to start new traditiona like a christmas eve box and a fun weekend of fun the first weekend of dec – whixh happens to be tomorrow and I… Read more »
Rachel George

I am not as organised as my parents were. My preparation traditions involve telling myself I will be more organised this year, then starting to think about Christmas on December 1st yet again!

Lucy At Home

Ooooh this has really got me excited for Christmas! We normaly put our tree up the first weekend in Dcember but we were this time so I feel a bit behind with things. But this has brought back so many happy memories of Christmasses past. I LOVE the idea of cracker presents – I think I’m going to steal that! How exciting to find out on boxing day that you still have a present to open! #blogcrush


We are starting to make our own Christmas traditions now which is lovely. I have to say I haven’t even started my cards yet and really need to as I think it’s nice to send them, I just can’t seem to find the time! Thanks for linking this up to #thursdayteam


The main thing being that you love your unique way of doing Christmas. #BlogCrush

Noleen Miller
Ooh the family traditions – well we always had fake trees when I grew up and now that I have my own family we are continuing with that as it just last must longer and it is less messy. We have now deviated from buying everyone Christmas pressies – we do a secret santa where you draw a name and only buy for that person (adults of course from age 18) but we still spoil all the kids in the family with presents. Lukily there is not a lot of kids in our family. The food well we will never… Read more »
Vicki Hurrell

I love the cracker presents idea that’s magic

Donna Parker

You sure seem to have Christmas in the bag and I can feel your love of the season. I have a son with Autism so our Christmas and traditions are different than the average, but I enjoy reading about more traditional traditions. Dropped by from #Blogcrush and wishing you and yours all the best in the holiday season and all the year through! 🎄

Sara @ Magical Mama Blog

I am an organized whirl wind! We always do stockings first on Christmas morning, then everyone opens their gifts (in their own wrapping paper – which they figure out when they get to the bottom of their stocking), we only buy practical gifts, we have fake trees all over and they go up around Halloween! I adore the idea of cracker presents. That would be a big hit in my house, I may have to steal that!

my goodness you do like to plan! I refuse to consider Christmas until after all our birthdays (5/9/19 November) and beer festival (9 days – we run a B&B) are out of the way…that usually ends in a big physical exhaustion crash and me being run down for about a week, so Christmas planning generally starts at the very end of December, or beginning or December. Then i love it and we have loads of traditions pooled together from the best bits of both our families and a few of our friends routines and a few we’ve created ourselves. Merry… Read more »
Heather Keet

I don’t really have many traditions, Hubster has been deployed for many of the holidays so we just take it year by year. Sometimes we like to go to a movie on Christmas day. #BlogCrush

Alice | Letters to my Daughter

Those are some great traditions! I love the boxing day secret gift idea. We’re deffo a plastic tree bunch, because I got given one and can’t stand to shell out more cash each year for one that is going to cause more house work. We’ve also used the same decorations for 4 years running now and will use them to death in an effort to be reasonably sustainable.

And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush