In search of Christmas

Frog, getting into the festive spirit this time last year

I’ve searched high and low. In cupboards and under sofas, at the end of the garden and inside countless photo albums. But I still can’t find it. Christmas is keeping a very low profile.

It’s not that I haven’t entered into the festive spirit. I’ve been belting out Christmas tunes with the best of them. I’ve hung mistletoe and put up a tree and even spent two hours one evening sticking cloves into oranges.

But still, Christmas is nowhere to be seen.

I’m in search of a particular Christmas, you see. One that hasn’t really lived before. One that is at once both new and old, traditional and unique. I’m in search of our Christmas. Our family Christmas.

Last year was the first year we spent Christmas as a family. With a new addition, not yet six months old, we decided to make it our own and postpone family trips with previous traditions. We had big plans. Turkeys, smoked salmon, stockings in bed, a Christmas film or two and much excitement.

But then our car broke down. And our oven blew up. And the washing machine packed in. And the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine was struck down with a particularly bad case of Man Flu.

So the Christmas I’d known since birth stepped in to play and we spent the big day with my parents at their home in Bristol. My sister also came along. It was lovely, with food galore and many many presents.

But it wasn’t what we’d had planned.

So this year, we’ve decided to start from scratch and attempt the Christmas that wasn’t to be last year. This year we will make our own Christmas.

We’re at Year Zero in the Christmas stakes, and so far all the NLM has brought to the table is an undying need for a can of Foster’s on Christmas Day, coupled with a packet of salt and vinegar Pringles. It doesn’t really go with the Kirstie Allsopp affair I had in mind.

So I’ve ordered the turkey (from one of those posh butchers, with a pretend vintage bike propped up outside and many signs stating the happiness of their birds before they eventually end up on the chopping board). I’ve bought the presents, wrapped the presents and hidden the presents.

But that’s as far as I’ve got. So it’s here that I need your inspiration.

What are your Christmas Day traditions? How do you make the day as special (and stress free) as possible?

Answers on a postcard. Or, you know, you could always leave a comment….




Filed under Family, Seasonal

22 responses to “In search of Christmas

  1. actuallymummy

    I know what you mean – I’m not really there yet. I suspect the making of our gingerbread house at the weekend may help! We also chuck oats and glitter on the garden (reindeer food) on Christmas eve, and jingle bells outside the kids windows at bedtime so they scurry into bed nice and quick. Then we have canapes and champagne and watch Love Actually to start feeling all Christmassy. Hope yours is good this year 🙂

  2. Crib service on Christmas eve, followed by a wander around the village in the dark to see people’s Christmas lights. Home to feed the reindeer as above, then t’other half and I will have M&S canapes once the sprogs are in bed. On Christmas morning we open stockings in bed, then have blinis with smoked salmon and bucks fizz for breakfast before church. The rest of the presents are opened throughout the day, lunch will be mainly courtesy of M&S (I refuse to waste my family day cooking and washing up) and lots of Lego-building will occur. Cheese ‘n’ biscuits for dinner, then we’ll collapse on the sofa in front of the TV – is there a Royle Family this year?

    Last year had the lovely addition of a snowball fight in the garden with my boy and my 34-week bump. This year, the bump is a beautiful not-quite-crawling 10-month-old, so lots of wrapping paper will be consumed!

  3. I wasn’t feeling at all festive until yesterday when it finally hit me! Now I am EXCITED! I know what you mean though about starting your new family tradition. I think it’s a bit hard when the kids are this age because they are still a bit young to fully appreciate what is going on but I think in a year or two when they want to do lots of festive things, the family traditions will start. Until then it’s Home Alone and mince pies! x

  4. The Snowman on Christmas Eve, in pjs of course. Champagne, smoked salmon and scrambled egg after opening stocking presents very early. They’re the only traditions that have lasted over the years, every year seems to change now (is that a sign of being a grown-up??). Whatever you do this year I hope it’s break-down, man-flu free x

  5. I am not there yet either! I still have too much to do, so much for being organised this year!

    I hoping by Christmas Eve, I will be calm and we can all sit down together and watch a Christmas movie in some new PJ’s!

    Have a great Christmas Molly, looking forward to that drink in the New Year. xx

  6. One thing I do is prepare a brunch for Christmas morning, when I get up I make eggs and sausage and bacon, then I put out fruit, bread, cold cuts, cookies, cake, crackers, cheese, simple breakfast/lunch/dessert foods so that we can open gifts and hang out and eat at our leisure. There’s no starving until presents are done and no rushing to make a large breakfast. It gets us through until dinner time. Enjoy your holiday!

    • That sounds delicious! We’re planning ham and eggs for breakfast with a smoked salmon and cream cheese blini treat around 11am. That’s if we ever manage to get in gear and do the Christmas food shop!

  7. Richard the neighbour

    Crib service, a festive tipple with the neighbours on Christmas Eve, stockings in bed on Christmas morning. Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs for breakfast. A festive tipple with the neighbours around 11am. Presents, cooking,eat around 2pm. The Queen’s speech. More presents. A good film. A walk around the lake to make way for the next load of food. A festive tipple with the neighbours. More food, more telly. Oh and did I mention a festive tipple with the neighbours (although we don’t stock Fosters)!

  8. Molly! I feel a full blown post coming on!!
    So briefly in my over 60 years Xmas have been planned (With or without, in famine and in feast) … the plans are made … with the added proviso ‘wait and see’
    But overall I am usually disappointed for whatever reason …
    So I have learned to catch the ‘moment’ the warmth, generosity, fun and ‘no alarm clocks’

  9. christmas traditions, i’m very set on them. most of them from my childhood but a few that are all my own.
    Stockings in bed and a new outfit.
    A gift an hour/every half hour depending on the amount. This stretches out the gift getting all day, the last 2 gifts are a special towel and bath toy then Bubsy takes his bath, and pyjamas and a bed time story.
    Xmas lunch is the big meal, the other meal is a ploughmans type meal, ham, cheese, crisps, biscuit, pickles etc, crackers at lunch and have to wear hat all day 🙂
    Xmas walk after Xmas lunch. This year Bubsy will have a new bike to go out on. Last year it didn’t happen as Bubsy had an ear infection but the year before he enjoyed it from his pushchair.
    Xmas eve morning, mincepies and carols in mummy’s bed.
    Xmas eve evening, a hamper of pjs for everyone, a selection box for everyone, a little toy for Bubsy a DVD and a book. then we eat our chocolate while watching the DVD, then Bubsy has his new bedtime story.

    this probably sounds like it’s all a bit structured but it’s just nice for us all, knowing what’s coming next lol

  10. The stockings are very important. My eldest came down one Christmas morning when he was about 2 (he had, for the first time EVER, slept in until 9am!). We all asked “So what did FC bring you? His big blue eyes widened, as if a light bulb had ‘pinged’ in his head, and he raced back to his room, he had missed the stocking completely! This was a total one off: Subsequent years saw an emergence of said son at 4.30-5am in our room generously ready to share in the delight of Father Christmas’s stocking fillers.His sleep deprived parents, just thrilled to see him; as you can imagine…….Jingle all the b….. way!!

  11. granny from the north

    Keep it simple, do as much as poss night before and definitely put stuff out for santa. Cultivate family and friends so when oven dies on christmas day you can ferry turkey to twin sister for her to cook for you and then transport back without spilling any of it! have a christmas quiz …guess the tv programmes from way back and make it hard so children cant beat you this time!
    and…Downton this year..who can wait!? Massive treat…even if boys dont think so!
    Have a good one

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