Isn’t it weird growing up in your home and thinking the way you/your family does things is the same as everyone else? Then one day realising it isn’t.
Christmas is one of those times. Not just from a religious aspect, but just from family to family.
As a child, Christmas was always my favourite time of the year. Not just because it’s my birthday month, but because regardless of my age, my mum especially, always made it feel magical. A lot of the Christmas traditions from my childhood are now becoming my children’s memories, along with a few new ones, and that makes me extremely happy.
1. Santa’s Arrival On A Boat and Boyes Christmas Window
In our town, Christmas officially begins when Santa arrives into the harbour on his boat. Yes, you read that right, Santa = Boat. We live on the coast. We’re a fishing town. Plus, have you tried to get to Scarborough along the A64? Nightmare!
This normally happens towards the end of November. Once in the harbour, he boards his waiting sleigh and after a tour of the town, he ends up at Boyes (a local bargain department store that was originally founded in the town, now boasting forty stores across five counties) where he resides until Christmas Eve. You are able to visit him there and have your photo taken with him and receive a small gift. It’s all very pleasant.
Boyes window display is also worth mentioning. The scene changes each year. To us locals, it’s a bit like Fenwicks to Newcastle and Hamley’s or Harrods to Londoners. It’s something you wait for and once it’s complete it signals the start to Christmas.
2. The Elf On The Shelf.
Elf is one of the newer Christmas traditions in our house. We introduced Elf when our eldest was two and Elf has returned every year thereafter. He really enjoys waking up each morning seeing where Elf is and what he’s been up to. Sometimes he’s a good Elf, sometimes he’s a naughty Elf.
Our Elf is the ‘real’ Elf on the shelf. Who came with the Elf on the shelf story, but in all honesty, any kind/shape/type of Elf will do.
This tradition may be for the children, but it definitely brings out the inner child in the adults too. My husband and I take it in turns over the 24 days of Elf’s visit and we take it VERY seriously. Some Google time, prop buying and making definitely is involved!
3. Christmas Bedding.
Christmas pyjamas are a thing, so why not Christmas bedding?!
I love brushed cotton bedding in Winter. It’s so warm and cosy and I just love jumping into bed even more when it’s on. We already have a white/grey tartan checked set from Matalan and picked up a red/green version just for December. I also purchased a cute children’s Christmas set too. Well, I couldn’t not!
4. Children’s Christmas Eve Box.
This isn’t something my parents ever participated in when I was younger and to be honest, however, it is something I now do with my own children. I really love creating the boxes each year. The box always contains staple items which change each year and also as they grow. I shared a post on What’s In Our Christmas Eve Boxes if you fancy a read.
We also tie the boxes in with Elf and him leaving. So his last day with us is the 23rd December and when he goes back to see Santa that night he doesn’t return, apart from to quickly drop of this Christmas Eve box, if the children have been good.
5. Stocking and contents/Terry’s Chocolate Oranges.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a stocking at the end of my bed. Even into my twenties! Yes. Really. Christmas was my mum’s favourite. At the bottom of my stocking there would always be an orange. My stocking would also contain chocolate coins, some socks and generally smaller presents more fun presents.
This is definitely something I’ve continued on in our house. Though the orange does cause some confusion.
Sometimes instead of a real orange, there would be a Terry’s Chocolate Orange at the bottom of my stocking. However, regardless of where it was, there would also be a Terry’s Chocolate Orange somewhere. In our house growing up to the present, the chocolate orange was seen as a small gift to go with the actual gift. So with having my Uncle stay with us each year, who did the same, we’d easily end up with at least two chocolate oranges each! I’m not complaining though.
6. Christmas Day Bacon Sandwiches.
This surely isn’t just a tradition in our house?
Although being up early, generally around the 6am mark, and although we have our Christmas dinner between lunch and tea time, elevenses always means bacon sandwiches. In between, we normally run on tea/coffee and chocolate coins…
I have to add that elevenses bacon sandwiches aren’t just limited to Christmas day. This is the go-to over the whole festive period. Even up till New Years Day.
7. Christmas Jumper.
Who doesn’t love a Christmas jumper?! Can there really be anyone? I mean, there are even jumpers and t-shirts that cater to the scrooges and grinch’s and also those that purely say ‘My Christmas Jumper’ on them. (I have the t-shirt version.lol)
I’m sure the whole world joins in on it now though. Especially with Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.
I normally have two to three Christmas jumpers that I alternate wearing over the festive period. Though the collection in Primark is always strong that I want to buy them all.
8. Family Picture.
Since having our boys, this is something we began doing. Plus also with having my auntie and uncle stay with us over the festive period also.
As a family, we don’t have many family photos taken throughout the year. I’m really good at capturing moments and memories of the boys and even of my husband, but not so much of the four of us. So it’s nice at Christmas to set the camera up on a timer and take a few photos near the Christmas tree. It’s great also to look back over the photos and see how much the boys have grown and plus how many more wrinkles you have and how big the eye bags have got.
9. Family Christmas Dinner And All The Trimmings.
We don’t have a big family, between my husband and I. There’s four of us at home and we normally host my auntie and my uncle for a few nights. Although we have the children, I really love having some family to stay.
What Christmas traditions do you have or special family things you do each year? Do you do any different ones to mine? I’d love to know.
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