One of the many things I love about Christmas is that so many of our family traditions centre around this time of year. I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas’s as I grew up and I know my Mum worked so hard to make them as magical as possible for us. The magic of Santa lasted well into my teenage years as despite inevitably knowing the truth behind the legend, from about the age of 11 I was able to live the awe and wonder of the season through my sister who’s 10 years younger than I am. I got to revel in her excitement, often taking on the role of the big man himself on Christmas Eve – drinking the drink, eating the treats and putting out the presents that had been hidden on top of my Mums wardrobe for weeks. It’s fair to say that for me, the magic of a childhood Christmas lasted a lot longer than it probably did for many others. In fact, last year was our first truly ‘grown up’ Christmas. Sean and I had moved out, I had an 18 week Florrie bump and the wool could be pulled over my sisters eyes no more. She was too cool to pretend to believe. Don’t get me wrong, we still did
This year we are celebrating Florence’s first Christmas, our first Christmas as a family and first of all, I feel so lucky to be back in the centre of the magic. Granted, The whole thing is likely going to go over Florence’s almost 7 month old head, but we will be putting the foundations in place for many Christmas’s to come with a combination of passed down family traditions and some lovely new additions of our own.
The Decoration Shop
Every year for as long as I can remember, a couple of days before our tree goes up we head to Matalan and pick out a special Christmas Decoration. They always have such lovely bits & bobs in their Christmas range.
Out of any other time of the year, Christmas morning has to be my favourite. Until this year, I’ve always, always spent Christmas morning at my Mum’s house. Even last year when we were in our own home I excitedly woke Sean up at the crack of dawn and around we walked in our PJ’s, arms laden with presents ready to sit around the tree in her living room in our own little spots (me & my sister on the floor like we used to when we were kids and Mum & Sean on each sofa) ready to open our presents one by one. We go around the room each taking a present at a time and showing off what we got. To be honest, it’s not just all about the presents, it’s that feeling of us being together in one room and being grateful to have one another. Once we’ve made our way through the mountain of gifts, we have a big cooked breakfast and my sister & I arrange our presents ready for our obligatory present photograph. This year Christmas morning is going to be a bit different. We always said we wanted Florence’s First Christmas morning to be at home and so instead of going there, we have invited them and Sean’s parents and brothers over for a big breakfast and to watch her open the first of her presents. Then we are heading back to mums to carry out the usual routine slightly later.
Father Christmas Presents
In our house Father Christmas always delivered our presents from him in special wrapping paper that he knew we would like so that we could tell the difference between those from him & everyone else. The bulk of our gifts on Christmas morning would be from him and her generally cover all the ten things we put on our list. He’s not a bad old stick. This is definitely something we will carry on for Florence and I’ve even done it this year despite her not having a clue what’s going on!
Tea time presents
In lieu of a stocking, we had tea time presents which were always from My mum. They were things like make up wipes, chocolates & little bits. For years, my sister told everyone that all our mum had gotten her was a toothbrush and some smellies! Only last year did the penny drop. I really like the idea of carrying on this tradition and will likely keep a few of the smaller bits we buy Florence each year for tea time.
Christmas Eve Boxes
These weren’t really a thing when we were growing up but I really love the idea of them and last year I put together a ‘Grown Up’ Christmas Eve box filled with lovely things for Sean and I and along with something similar this year, Florence will have her very own one too. They’re not as elaborate as some I’ve seen, just very simple with some lovely little bits and bobs. I have two posts coming up on what I’ve put in each of them in the next week or so.
Sean might be reluctant but I am determined to get us all matching Christmas Pj’s for Christmas Eve & Christmas morning. It’s cheesy as hell and not something we have done before but I love it!
Dinner with my mum
I’m not sure I can imagine Christmas dinner without my Mum, and sister for that matter. For so long it was just us three that to be honest, anyone else just fits in as a guest around our Christmas table. Whether it’s at ours, at Mum’s house or away somewhere, Christmas lunch just wouldn’t be the same without them. We are going there this year and Florence has a reserved spot at the head of the table.
I absolutely LOVE a good Christmas market. Since I met Sean, it’s been a bit of a tradition that we pay a visit to a local one each year. Our favourite has to be Rochester Dickens Christmas market, but we try to go to at least two or three a year. I love looking through all the little stalls and supporting all of the fab small businesses that turn out to sell their wares.
Christmas Photo Shoot
I adored putting together Florence’s First Christmas Photo Shoot earlier in the month and it’s something I’d like to do every year to document each of her Christmas’s and how much she grows between them.