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Its a Christmas thread - don't come in if its not for you ;-)

(74 Posts)
NanaandGrampy Tue 08-Nov-16 11:45:31

From another thread I got thinking about the joy I get from Christmas. From family time and visits , to turkey dinners
( what's not to like about that ? ) to the traditions that make Christmas special for our family.

We have a tradition of having a little buffet on Christmas Eve afternoon , just mummies, kids and grandparents. We play silly Christmas games and then we all open our stockings. Filled with pound shop junk and funny bits and bobs. Its almost as exciting as Christmas Day smile

So I wondered what little traditions do you have that help make your Christmas special?

Willow500 Wed 09-Nov-16 11:45:32

Miss my youngest son at Christmas as we always did the veg together on Christmas Eve but they're in NZ now so it's all topsy turvy when they have Christmas day 12 hours before us. The tradition was that my husband took our sons into town for the shopping and I'd put the sweets and nuts out while they were gone. Also miss my dad carving the turkey and mum fussing round in the kitchen - they always came to us for Christmas dinner and 'helped'. Boxing day was always a party at either my house or sister in laws with the whole family. Sadly all gone now so it's a much quieter affair but I still love the build up to it and getting the house decorated - the more lights the better grin. This year we're having a new kitchen fitted at the beginning of Dec so I feel sure we'll be in a mess up to the last minute. My eldest son and family are travelling up with their dog for Christmas day so that will be fun though I'm not sure my cats will agree! I'm from up north originally and New Year's Eve was always a huge event for my mum and dad with first footing, the cake cutting, Jimmy Shand or Andy Stewart on the tv and lots of visitors when I was a child. I've always hated it since I grew up though and find it the most depressing night of the year - it all seems so false and I hate all the kissing and forced hilarity so we're usually in bed before midnight!

Craftycat Wed 09-Nov-16 12:19:36

I love Christmas too but NOT UNTIL DECEMBER!!! I don't want to think of it before then.
I make the sausage rolls & mince pies listening to Carols from Kings on radio 4 on Christmas Eve & sing along doing all the descants where no-one can here me as I'm sure it's painful to the ear.
It has to be posh frock on the day family come to us- which could be Boxing day or even the day after. I appreciate that DiLs want to see their family too & as long as they all come to us & let me cook my heart out I don't care which day it is.I just love having all the children & GC round the table pulling crackers & eating far too much & getting over excited ( & that's just me!!)
Bring it on!! After 1/12.

Daisygirl Wed 09-Nov-16 12:24:53

I am with you cornergran. I love Christmas. Lots of lights, lots of decoration, family, mostly around, Christmas pud, mince pies and Carols from Kings. I even have a special ring tone for my mobile phone, which, because I love it so much will go on after Remembrance Sunday. It's from the Hely-Hutchinson Carol symphony which was played on the Box of Delights. We'll also watch that yet again. Memo to self do not buy anymore Christmas decorations. You do not need another gold reindeer

Teetime Wed 09-Nov-16 12:31:19

Today I did some Christmas listings on the Gransnet Local site for Leicestershire - please look in their are some lovely events on, and some on-line Christmas present shopping. Something nice for my sister that she wouldn't buy for herself (can't say in case she reads this) a small thing for DH and some maybe's left in the John Lewis on line basket if I don't see anything nice when I do my first Christmas shop in Leicester on Friday.
We are at my youngest daughters on Christmas Day and coming hoe Boxing Day but I will still cook a turkey the following day so that's all ordered at Sainsbury for collection Christmas Eve. Getting in gear!!

Yorkshiregel Wed 09-Nov-16 13:24:56

I love Christmas. However, it is not as much fun as when the children were little. Why? Because all my family are scattered now and have their own Christmas to see to, so sometimes they stay home and entertain their In-Laws, which is only fair, and I don't see my Grandchildren. Sometimes we are lucky and they pay us a visit on Boxing Day to make up for not spending Christmas with us. One of our sons lives close by and we are lucky that he spends every Christmas Day with us, because his wife's parents are German so that means they celebrate on Christmas Eve. We try and make it special anyway for whoever comes to us.

We had a real fight on our hands a few years ago because immigrants wanted to change the name 'Christmas' to 'Winter Fest'! Didn't happen! It always amazes me how people these days say 'We are not Christians' but are happy to take the holidays off work.

sweetcakes Wed 09-Nov-16 14:38:23

Every year since my daughter was born I have bought her a new Christmas tree ornament this year will probably be the last as she plans her new home for next year and is taking them all with her ?

ValC Wed 09-Nov-16 15:16:52

I love Christmas. It starts for me when my granddaughters and I make the Christmas cake and they all make their Christmas wish. Then it's on to pickling the onions, I make lots for my sister, daughter, son, and friends. I usually like to get the decs/tree up the first weekend of December and from then on whatever I am doing at home or when I am driving the Christmas cd is on. Living alone I rarely make a Christmas dinner.but I still like to cook my meats on Christmas eve just to get that lovely smell in the house. I am going to my daughters this year who lives in Wales and we are all going to a panto on Boxing day. I don't like New Year as much, I usually do an afternoon buffet for the family but that's it, too many sad memories.

rosesarered Wed 09-Nov-16 15:23:42

Teetime I bet you have been looking around Gates garden centre! ( I am psychic and know everything btw.) tchsmile

grannypiper Wed 09-Nov-16 15:32:37

I love Christmas but the cards arent posted until the 15 December and the cards we receive dont go on show til then either along with the tree and decorations.I have been known to take them down on the 27 !

grannypiper Wed 09-Nov-16 15:38:23

annodomini, i am from south ayrshire and loved hearing the boats in the harbour hooting.My Mother ran a dry house but would allow alcohol in for Ne'erday which lasted all of January, mind you the strongest drink she took was ginger wine. It was very different when i lived down south too.

annodomini Wed 09-Nov-16 16:25:28

My granny used to make ginger wine from a little bottle of concentrate, but when her back was turned, my uncles used to spike it with whatever alcohol came to hand.

DanniRae Wed 09-Nov-16 16:37:31

Went shopping on Monday and bought a few presents, some wrapping paper and *Christmas kitchen roll and Christmas toilet rolls*- Oh, we LOVE Christmas in this family!! grin

Legs55 Wed 09-Nov-16 17:35:43

Mine has changed over the years, with my late DH we had a real tree, loved picking one out but this didn't go up until after my step-daughter's Birthday 19th Dec. Mum & Step Father always came to stay so Christmas Eve was me & DM preparing veg ready.

Christmas Day just us, Parents & DC who were still at home. Boxing Day was big Family get together, huge Buffet & lots of alcohol wine

When 1st DGS was coming up to 3 Boxing Day transferred to Step-Daughter's - still big get together. smile

Finally Christmas Day was just myself & DH, when we moved to Somerset end of November 2011 we had our 1st Christmas Lunch out at a local Hotel - wonderful experience smile

1st year after I became a Widow I came down to my DD in Devon & now I have moved to Devon I drive to DD's early Christmas Day & spend the day with her, her OH & DGS - leaving mid-afternoon after we've all opened presents & had a lovely Lunch - rest of day is mine to watch what I want & nibble on special treats grin

I write my Christmas cards mid-November ready to post 1st December. Tree now goes up early December as all my neighbours put theirs up & decorations hmm Presents wrapped by mid-December.

I love Christmas, traditions have changed as family have grown up & we've all moved around. My DH was a bit of a "Bah Humbug" but he loved it for the DGC smile

mcem Wed 09-Nov-16 18:32:47

Tree goes up the first Sunday of advent.
On Christmas eve Santa always manages to delegate an important duty to an elf - to leave new pj's on the beds of every family member!
Don't know how many more Santa Christmases we'll have as our wee ones are now 7 and 8.

auntybee Wed 09-Nov-16 19:54:04

For our family it's simple: come hell or high water all the family try to get together, hopefully overnight, on Christmas Day or Boxing Day to exchange small gifts, eat, drink and generally enjoy time together. Aged from 3 to 90 and spanning 4 generations, we gather round a family tree, tiny ones collecting and distributing gifts from under the tree, older children reading tags and redirecting excited tiny hands to recipients. Finally we open our presents.

Our unique tradition is that Santa personally decides who's been naughtiest this year and instead of leaving them something nice, leaves them a bag of "stones".

A small bag of polished stones is left under the tree wrapped, sometimes in a small package, sometimes in a large box, together with a note from Santa explaining why the recipient has received these. Admittedly it's usually a male adult (often my husband!) who has done something silly/naughty (e.g. not washed the car often enough/not stacked dish washer, or simply eaten/drunk too much etc - any trivial but fun reason, really!). The kids love the built up anticipation of who is going to get the "stones" (and the relief of knowing that it wasn't them!). But who will deserve to get the "stones" next year (and why?) - only this year's recipient will know....!!

I don't actually know who/when it started (50+years to my knowledge) and I don't know any other family who does this but it's here to stay in my family, the little ones love it!!!

starlily106 Wed 09-Nov-16 23:11:24

I love to listen to the Salvation Army band playing carols in the streets near to Christmas. It brings back memories of my grandad who played in the band in Blaydon on Tyne when I was a young child. On Christmas morning the band would come to play in the streets and everyone would go outside, gather round and sing all the carols.

Celeste22 Wed 09-Nov-16 23:49:21

I love the Christmas season. We get into the spirit early as the family is involved playing carols for the 4 Saturdays before Christmas. The family comes to stay on Christmas Eve, and we go to a Christingle Service. Everyone has a their own stocking, which has been used since childhood. DH & I fill the sacks after the "children" (lol, both married &now with a gorgeous little GD) have gone to bed. We listen to carols while we open some gifts before going to our Christmas morning service where we enjoy singing lots of carols.

Marthajolly1 Fri 11-Nov-16 10:40:41

Cherrytree59 I'm so pleased I'm not the only one who feels as you do. I would so love to enjoy Christmas but I just don't get thrill any more, try hard as I do. I just feel sad.

Bellanonna Fri 11-Nov-16 11:05:19

Cherrytree, I'll be seeing GD1 in her first Nativity role too. She started school in September and is still only 4. I don't get excited either, sadly, but I do quite enjoy the day itself.

annsixty Fri 11-Nov-16 12:43:43

Seeing GC in their Nativity is very special, perhaps even more than your C. Just make sure you have a pack of tissues and a camera.

DanniRae Fri 11-Nov-16 15:00:55

That's beautiful creation Lewlew - Well Done! grin

Witzend Fri 11-Nov-16 19:06:33

Yorkshiregel, was it actually the immigrants who wanted the name changed, or misguided council bods who imagined it would be 'offensive' to other religions? I seem to remember Birmingham City council wanting to call it 'Winterval' or some such ridiculous tripe, until local other-faith groups protested that they did not find other people's festivals offensive in the slightest.
Such idiocy on the part of officials only fosters antagonism, instead of encouraging good race relations.

I lived for a long time in Muslim countries, and there was no official or any objection AFAIK to Christmas trees and decorations in hotels, etc. One year the local police even lent a ceremonial camel for Father Christmas to arrive on at the English speaking school! He told the children he'd had to,leave his reindeer at the airport because they didn't like the sand!

Jalima Fri 11-Nov-16 19:47:54

Carols round the tree outside the church
and, of course, DGD dressed as an angel smile