What makes Christmas so special?! I think it’s the little things. The things you do without noticing but then over the years those little things become the big things and those are the moments and experiences you seem to laugh about and remember the most. I know my memories of Christmas when I was a kid was the drive up to Birmingham from the Forest Of Dean (where we lived at the time), seeing all of my Auntie’s and Cousin’s and my Nan, going to Mass on Christmas Eve, the jingle of bells as I was trying desperately to get to sleep closing your eyes tightly shut and the cramming round a table for Christmas dinner in a tiny terraced house. I always loved getting selection boxes (not so odd if you know me well!) I remember one had a mixed tape of Christmas songs which I thought was amazing. I remember vividly playing it in my Dad’s car. For some reason, I thought owning a tape was very cool. I must have been quite young at the time!
When Finley arrived, I was very keen to start our own little family traditions for him to remember when he gets older. Who knows, he might keep some to continue with his children one day!
1. The Santa Visit
I am a planner and usually end up booking this pretty early when companies start releasing slots late in the summer. To be honest, we don’t spend a huge amount on physical toys on Finley. He gets so much from other people and at the moment he just spends most of his time running round the house and playing his musical instruments, so the Santa visit is something that we splash out on a little, sometimes even doing a couple (I get carried away!) We’ve done Black Country Museum, Severn Valley Railway and CBeebies Land. We are having breakfast with Santa next weekend at a local pub. We make a quite a day of itvand luckily Finley loves Santa so, so far so good! It’s always a really nice day out.
2. Bacon rolls for breakfast on Christmas Eve
Don’t ask me why, but every year on Christmas Eve we have bacon baps for breakfast. I think it feels like such a treat being a grabbing a quick bowl of cereal rushing to get to work and nursery kind of family! Plus it sets us up for a hectic day!
3. The Christmas Eve Box
We are very lucky that my Mom does a Christmas Eve box for Finley (and includes stuff for us too!) We usually have some chocolates, Christmas pyjamas, Christmas slippers, a Christmas activity book, something alcoholic for us and hot chocolate for Finley. There are some gorgeous ones on the market now, but you can always just do a simple one.
4. The Christmas Eve Buffet
I can’t lie. I actually love buffets. Cheese, chutney, meats. What’s not to love?! We have one Christmas Eve afternoon for close family. I love planning it, shopping for it and yes, I love eating it too.
5. Doing Christmas Day your own way
It’s difficult on Christmas Day to see everyone you want to in the space of 12 hours. We had a few Christmases before Finley where we would visit family and drive round which was lovely to be able to get to everyone but it felt like a bit of a whirlwind. We decided last year to be a little bit selfish and just stay at home the three of us. We wanted Finley to remember opening his presents at his own house, playing with them, having Christmas lunch, watching films and generally not doing very much. So that’s what we do. Just eat, play games, watch TV and of course no one is the designated driver for the day (it was always me!) so we can both have a little Christmas drink!
What do your family Christmases look like? I’m always after ideas to ‘borrow!’ Would love to hear about them!