This week for Special Saturday we are discussing Christmas Traditions and my family have lots of traditions - some old and some newish.
I don't believe Christmas is just for children and I've learnt that from my parents. We all still thoroughly enjoy our family specific Christmas traditions - Christmas is my favourite day of the year. It's about family, love, surprises and thoughtfulness, good food (allowing for memorable accidents) and time spent together as a family.
Everybody sleeping in our home on Christmas Eve, including the pets, has a stocking and on Christmas Eve we all hang our special, personalized stockings in anticipation of Santa visiting us all during the night. If anyone asks me if Santa Claus is real I always reply with wide eyed conviction that I certainly believe in him because he always fills my stocking on Christmas Eve. (I still have the same stocking I've had since I was born.) Consequently we have two or more of Santa's helpers creeping around the house in the middle of the night and it is always exciting in the morning to see what Santa has left everybody.
Hopefully it won't be until her teens but I look forward to the day I introduce our family tradition to My Little Angel and she joins in the early hour dodging of multiple Santa's creeping around the house. She will learn that the thought and planning for others is far more fulfilling than the receiving.
Our stockings are always placed in the lounge room and we all wake up and find out if Santa has visited us during the night together. We follow My Little Angels lead on discovering our stockings. Traditionally we don't wake Cameron up on Christmas morning, he is allowed to wake up when he is ready and then we all join him and enjoy his discoveries as he investigates his stocking. It's Christmas and the best gift we can give Cameron is uninterrupted sleep. Mind you, there have been some years when the waiting for him to wake up has been excruciating.
The morning is kept for enjoying our stockings and gifts from Santa Claus this helps to extend the excitement and fill the whole day. Everyone gets time to truly appreciate what Santa has brought them.
After stockings we always have a special breakfast and I'm tempted to introduce a new tradition this year which I heard about last year from another family. We always enjoy a special breakfast but this new tradition is a special breakfast laid out and left by Santa Claus. I like that idea.
We introduced a new tradition about six years when I announced that my family was staying home for Christmas Day every year and our families were very welcome to join us but my children deserved to have a calm and relaxed Christmas Day every year without being rushed from house to house and not having time to even open presents some times. My parents and sister join us each year and My Marvellous Man's family started another tradition of all coming together to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. It was the best thing I ever did. Our Christmas days are so relaxed now.
We always have a roast lunch. Over the years we have contemplated a change and despite the heat, here in Australia at Christmas time, the resounding response is NO we like our roast. I always find a new way to glaze a ham and then we have to discuss if this years recipe is better than previous years or not.
My father makes us a traditional plum pudding in a cloth with coins hidden in the pudding. That is a tradition that if we didn't have it, it just wouldn't be Christmas. The excitement of who has coins and who doesn't and how many coins different people find is hugely exciting each year.
Once we have finished lunch it's time to open the presents under the Christmas tree and by then it is mid to late afternoon. We always have a tree, despite what Cameron or the cat might try to do to it and each year I try to find each of us a new personalized decoration to add to the tree. Over the years we have built up a beautiful collection of tree decorations and as we decorate the tree each year each decoration holds a beautiful memory for me. When My Little Angel leaves home she will have her collection of decorations to start her Christmas traditions. Thinking positively - so will Cameron.
Presents can't be placed under the tree until Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because otherwise Cameron would unwrap them, in the meantime I leave Christmas decorated tins and boxes under the tree. Everybody puts a present under the tree for everyone else, including any guests who join us and the children. It doesn't matter how much you spend, it truly is the thought that counts and we spend a glorious time slowly handing out the gifts and enjoying every one's enjoyment as they open their gifts.
For the rest of the day everyone does just what they want to do - it's Christmas - kick back and relax. Although it sounds like we have a tight plan for our day, we don't really, everyone looks forward to all our traditions so the day flows like a lazy river from tradition to tradition with no clock watching and lots of photo taking, hugging, laughing, joking, enjoyment of good food and drinks and conversation. It truly is the most relaxed day of the year.
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