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Thursday, 24 December 2015

My Christmas Eve/Day Traditions

"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling."
Edna Ferber

I haven't really done any Christmas themed posts this year but I thought since I had a little time on this Christmas Eve while waiting for Eva to come home from work that I would share with you our Christmas Eve/Day traditions. The way we've always spent our Christmas. I love tradition and I don't handle change well. This may be my last Christmas living with my parents, so I have no idea how Christmas will be next year and how we will have to adapt these traditions. I just hope that whatever we end up doing I love it just as much as I have since these traditions started when I was a child.

1) PJs & Showers

Christmas Eve starts officially around 7pm when our parents give us one (or sometimes two if we also get something for our feet) present to open. The present is always new pyjamas and then we shower before changing into them.

2) Present Delivering

Once we're in our cosy new pyjamas my mum sorts out all the presents that need delivering and my dad, sister(s) and I all head out to delivering them while my mum sorts stuff back at home. Yes, we deliver presents in our pyjamas! The last house we go to is my grandparent's house. It's the only house we actually go into rather than quickly dropping the presents off. Usually they put on a little bit of a spread for us and give us a cup of tea while we hand out presents and they give us theirs for us. My aunt Karen is always there too.

3) Party Food

When we get home my dad puts party food on for us and we all sit around and eat together. For a few years we actually went out for Chinese food instead but we soon knocked that on the head. Staying in is always a better option than going out, in my opinion.

4) Food For Santa & His Reindeer

Despite being 25 and my youngest in our house being 20, we still put out food for Santa and his reindeer before we go to bed. It's tradition! I remember when I was a kid I thought the fact that the reindeer food was obviously eaten was proof Santa existed because it really looked like reindeer had eaten it. Slobbers and all. I'm still not sure how my parents pulled that off and I'm afraid I'll ruin the magic if I ask.

5) Christmas Film

Once Santa's food is out we head to bed, all in the same room, to watch a Christmas film, which I concentrate on some years more than others but since sleep is so difficult when you're that excited it's always good to have some kind of distraction to pass the time. The film that has become a bit of a tradition to watch is The Family Stone. Check out my other Festive Film Favourites here.

6) Stocking Check

We do things a little different to a lot of people and over the years I've had some people mortified by this tradition. Mostly people who aren't that into Christmas though. We have our stockings on our doors and from the time the film ends either Jann or Eva checks the stockings periodically to see if Santa has been. It used to be Jann but when she moved away and started missing Christmases, Eva took over the reins. Usually Santa has been by around 3am and that's when we get up. When I was a kid my friend used to be jealous that we were allowed up at that time but as we got older people couldn't believe we could be bothered. It's one of my favourite traditions!

7) Opening Our Presents

We take our full stockings down to my parent's room and wake them up before we proceed to open everything in them. Once they're open we then go to the living room and check if Santa has been. Remember these are traditions I've been doing since I was a kid. I remember being so nervous that we might disturb Santa or something. Our presents are always laid out on the couch or armchair and we then proceed to open them. Once mine and my sister's presents are opened it's time for my parent's to open theirs.

8) Sandwiches

This is a best case scenario tradition. If everything goes to plan, by the time we finish opening all out presents the stuffing in the turkey is cooked enough for my dad to make us some stuffing sandwiches. Usually the turkey isn't completely done so we can't have that. My dad makes the nicest stuffing I've ever tasted and I live for those stuffing sandwiches, still warm from the oven. Usually we then head back to bed for a nap, though when I was younger I used to stay up to play with my toys.

9) Family Visitors & More Sandwiches

When we were kids we used to go to a Christmas morning church service. I used to love picking a toy to bring along and show everyone. However, I can't remember why but we stopped doing that. I think I stopped the year I got really sick and just didn't feel up to going. Eventually we all stopped. After church my grandparents and aunt would visit, as well as my other aunt and uncle, to see what we got from Santa. Although we stopped going to church, they would still call in after they went to see us and our presents. For them coming my dad would make more sandwiches, including turkey this time because it would usually be done by then. Last year my aunt and uncle didn't visit and my grandparents might not be up to coming this year as they've not been well, so this may be a tradition that we're laying to rest this year. Hopefully I'll still have the sandwiches for breakfast at least.

10) Chilling & Dinner

Once our extended family leave it's just my parents, sister(s) and I for the rest of the day. We basically just chill and play with whatever we got. The upside to still getting toys at 25. We usually end up watching one of the Christmas films on television too. My sister's sometimes get changed into one of their new outfits and get dressed up for dinner but I usually stay in my pyjamas. I don't see the point in getting ready to just stay in the house. At around 5pm we have our Christmas dinner, later than when many have it but I personally don't think I would like it any earlier. We have a starter, main and dessert. The starter is always prawn cocktail but I have melon as I don't like seafood. My dad's Christmas dinner is to die for and it's my favourite meal. Nobody could ever top it.

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