3 Jan 2018

Christmas Traditions : Reflections

Merry Christmas & Happy New Yea readers. Its been a long while - its been a crazy busy and stressful times in our lives these past few weeks - with my mum being taken ill in hospital it was all hands on deck. Thankfully she is home and recovering but it was a tense time.

As we are now in the New Year I like to think and reflect back on the days that have past. The memories that have been made, and now we have children of our own we are forging our own traditions, marking the season in our own way and we have enjoyed it very much.

Advent Calendars : It seems there has been such a rise in recent years on the different types of calendars you can get from haribo, to cereal, to wine and gin. Its seems like this market is booming. We stick to two advent calendars for the boys - a chocolate one and their grandparents buy them a toy one. The choice this year was the playmobil ones. I have made various advent calendars but these sit in the Christmas box as memories for me of Christmas past where I spent time creating these.

Elf on a shelf : Love it or hate it but our boys find such enjoyment out of these little cheeky red elves. We don't go all out crazy with them - simple things like bringing Christmas bowls, hiding in their bedroom or hanging from the ceiling. (and yes me and the husband bicker about whose turn it is)
Christmas Tree : I love the Christmas tree - its one of my favorite things. I have forged a collection of baubles and trinkets. I like the tree up at the beginning of December - that is my limit. That gives us 4 whole weeks of enjoyment, as it comes down New Years Eve before the husbands birthday.

Decorations : I have collected over the years decorations for our tree. It is eclectic but full of memories. Each year I try get a few new baubles to adorn the tree. This years addition included some beautiful Harry Potter baubles alongside some superhero themed ones for the boys in the house.

Also my mum buys us a new decoration to add to the tree each year. This was this years - a rather handsome looking snowman. I love these little traditions as each year as I open the box and pull the baubles out I am reminded of those Christmases past.

Christmas Kitchenware : Yes I am sucker for the red and gold adorned plates and tablecloths that grace the shops as Christmas approaches. I try and buy a couple of bits each season to add to my collection. I have some plain white or wooden pieces which get used all year round for different occasions - but these are Christmas specific.
Christmas Cake :  It is not everyone's cup of tea but every year a bake a small Christmas cake. I soak the fruit in rum usually just after Nattys birthday on Halloween - before making the cake. I love the process of the cake making, the smell it makes and the slow cooking of this dense cake. I keep it fed and boozed up until Christmas before icing it in glorious white icing. I have a little collection of kitschy vintage style decorations that adorn the top of my cake. I switched over to these a few years back deciding that spending time icing a cake to perfection at this time of year is not worth the stress it brings me. I love the act of getting these gems out of the cupboard and sprinkling the cake with Christmas joy.

Christmas Eve @ the Edwards: A long standing tradition among our friends. Which started pre children when Christmas Eve we would descend on a local pub and share food, have a few drinks and gernally be merry before setting back off to our respective homes. Then one year in 2010 we had a small baby. Our baby's first Christmas and we didn't really want to be trekking off to the pub. Instead we opened the doors of our home to friends and family. 8 years on and its still happening. Its a given that Christmas Eve in our house there will be a table heaving with baked goods, christmas cookies, party food a plenty and a Chritsmas ham which would have been baked. We share drinks and now there are more kids among our friends the kids play and squeal, we drink wine and watch them bounce about. Again before our friends return to their respective homes (and my husband and brother in law watch Friday After Next while I dash about getting ready for Santa)

Christmas Eve Boxes : a fairly new traditon in our family which mainly include new pjs, a crafty item and some little bits and pieces for the boys. Some years they have more stuff and some years they have less. This year I added a new tradition in handknitting an item for the boys boxes.

A pair of tube style socks for my biggest boy - in this fabulus colour way of candy cane.
And a pair of finger-less mittens for the littlest dude - both boys were overjoyed with this little personal touch.
Pajamas : Matching of course, who would of though something so simple. This also captures another tradition of leaving goodies for Santa. Milk, mince pie and carrot. My boys like to keep is simple.

Present : Finally its stocking opening in bed before en mass we head to the front room. I'm a stickler and make the boys wait until I have made tea, and they have eaten some toast - only then the present opening can begin.

We really had a lovely Christmas together filled with lots of days indoors just being together. It was nothing fancy, no big gestures or day trips out. With poorly kids and in laws we just used the time to be together, rest and enjoy festive times together.

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