It's very grown up when you realise you are your own family. Sure we are still part of our respective families where we play the roles of child and sibling. But we are now a fully fledged family of 4. We are parents. We have two children to care for. Make Christmas special for. We are the ones creating those memories for our children.
Those memories like I have as a child. Of being in pjs, opening presents, family meals, silly games and general fun. Those photos we look back fondly in the dated clothes, embarrassing haircuts and highly questionable decor. We are creating those memories for our children now. A fully instagramed with glitter and sparkle on memories. A Christmas they will be able to look back at social media platforms and reminisce over. (Wonder if in years to come by boys will be trawling back through old blog posts or tweets?)
Then merging of two people, two adults with traditions, cultures and memories of their Christmas past. Me and K come from different familes with different ideals of what Christmas was to them. The forging of one family does then mean combining these ideas, creating new ones and feeling happy with these decisions. We also have to now consider what we want from a Christmas and also the fact that our parents (and grandparents) now count seeing our children (and us to some degree I'm sure) as part of there changing Christmas traditions.
In the past (as me and K have a long past, this year saw us be togther for 12 years, married for two of them) in our early (opp!) dating days we would spend Christmas at our respective parents houses and usually seeing each out her briefly at some point to exchange gifts. Our Christmas Eve has always traditionally been spent with friends. Before kids it saw us all transcend on a local pub, get the drinks and food in. Since becoming parents it usually falls on us - we open the doors of our home to friends. This year it's a scaled down version of friends. (due to the fact I am only just getting my head round being mummy to 2!) As me and K were together longer we then spent Christmas Day with one side and then Boxing Day with another. Fitting in seeing all the family over those two days. This tradition continued. Then both sides wanted to see us Christmas Day! That then led to us spending Christmas morning at home, driving to my parents for Christmas lunch followed by a drive to the inlaws for Christmas dinner. However once we had M I wanted to spend Christmas at home. Just like Christmas pasts that I remember being at home. Boxing Day we would make the round journey to both families.
This year things are little up in the air due to my sister due to give birth anyday so plans are a bit vague.
With our own family we have forgerd and created our own Christmas traditions and ideals. We put the tree up first weekend of December, our decorations are an combination of bits and pieces from over the years, we try to buy a new decoration or two each year. Our tree comes down on 1st Jan as it's K birthday the following day. We put up strings of lights around the room. We have stockings (which neither of us had as children but was something I wanted to introduce) which has little bits and pieces in. We usually cook a turkey on Christmas Day but also usually something else - mostly pork. I try and cook a gammon on Christmas Eve. And bake cookies Christmas Eve for Santa. I try and get new pjs for us all (kinda failed on that this year! Oh well. Sometimes something has to give) my parents but advent calendars for M - a chocolate one and a playmobil one though I can see it changing to a Lego one in future years! Traditionally I usually bake. A lot. This year not so much. I am making my peace with this and fully intend to make up for it next Christmas! We open stockings in bed followed by piling into the front room, watching a Christmas movie or Christmas music and open presents. Seeing the excitement on M face is amazing as he goes to bed Christmas Eve and the next morning seeing the presents piled under the tree!
All these things now in my mind make our Christmas. It things I think of fondly. Things that make me smile and happy.
This year a new tradition has been added to the mix - our elf! M has thoroughly enjoyed this element!