I mentioned yesterday how important this Christmas is for us, my eldest daughter is moving to the UK in February. What I haven’t been thinking too much about is how important our Christmas traditions will be for her next year when she is not with us. I thought I would share our traditions as they are unique to us, and a little different.
Our Christmas traditions begin with our very different Christmas tree and working together as a family not only to gather our tree, but to trim it as well. Always a fun day, that is guaranteed to get the surly teenagers smiling.
Each year we will spend one evening traveling around the suburbs looking at the Christmas lights. We have joined the Christmas light house decorating this year and last. I think The Builder firmly has the bug now and will be all Griswold next year!
My Mothers parents are Dutch and in Holland Christmas was mostly celebrated on Christmas Eve. My Mother adopted this idea and since I was a child we have had our big Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. This is something we still do to this day,I love it. All the mess and hard work is done the day before Christmas and simple leftovers with salad will do for lunch. I much prefer cooking a hot roast dinner in the evening rather than the heat of a Summers day.
This one was adopted from The Builder’s family. When they get together for their Christmas celebration one family member would be responsible to gifting a small table present to each of the guests. We have changed it a little however, as we gift each person celebrating Christmas Eve with us a new set of pajamas. This was especially funny the year our daughter invited her boyfriend to meet us for the first time. I think we scared him off!
When we moved into our Pen Y Llechwedd, we discovered a family of friends. Some of those have moved on in the past few years, but we still host Christmas breakfast on our back deck. It is a great low stress way to catch up with our adopted family, have a few laughs, enjoy delicious food and maybe a champagne or two. One of our neighbours brings their entire family which is so very exciting for us, as they have 2 small grandchildren. Watching their joy, is one of my favourite Christmas memories and reminds me of my own children when they were young.
Being a blended family means compromise, for us this means that we have all the kids on alternate years for Christmas day, on the other years, we have Christmas with our kids on Boxing Day. While not the same, it’s a great compromise that lets the celebration linger. Something we have all come to enjoy.
The Leighton Cup
When I was a child, each year my Father would produce a polystyrene cup with the words Leighton Cup and the year written on it. We would then compete within the family and friends who were visiting, in that years chosen sport, for the Leighton Cup. We resurrected the Leighton Cup last year, and will again play for the bragging rights for the year to come.
I am sure there are many more small traditions we share in as a family, but this is an insight into the big things we share each year. I can’t wait to watch the changes as our children move out of home and have their own families, though I do hope some of these will remain.
Do you still observe traditions from when you were a child? What family traditions do you hope will stand the test of time?