Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas Traditions...

...mean so much.

With just a few days to go before we start the Advent countdown, I start to think of all the things that have become a tradition for our family at this time of year.

Probably the biggest tradition that has continued is the new PJs, slippers & dressing gown to snuggle into on Christmas Eve...

Growing up, Mum would bundle my sister and I upstairs for our bath on Christmas Eve and then wrapped in big fluffy towels we would come down to see what Santa's Elves had left us under the tree as an early treat...we always felt so smart in our new PJs or nighties and we always tried to stay awake so that we could show them off to Santa - we never managed it but I'm sure Santa thought we looked lovely in our new nightwear.

My sister continued this with my niece when she was small and even now I usually have something new to put on Christmas Eve - even if it is just new slippers.

My sister's birthday is in the Summer so she could have birthday parties in the garden or trips to the seaside...with mine being just over a month before Christmas, Mum & Dad helped me to celebrate in a different way. The weekend nearest to my birthday would be when the Chrismas decorations went up in our house. This has been tempered over the years and now I try to make a start on my home decs on 1st December so that I can enjoy them for a whole month.

On the subject of Chrimbo sister and I always got to choose a new decoration for the tree and I am lucky enough to have these delicate glass treasures carefully wrapped as a keepsake of my childhood. These days I love to pick a few new baubles for the tree and when ever possible I try to make some decs as well - this year I have made a couple of padded fabric hearts (which I shared with you a couple of posts ago).

I don't remember exactly how old I was but I do remember that my first Advent calendar came from Mum's cousins in Sweden - it was sent to me instead of a birthday card...I have had an Advent calendar every year since. Sometimes they were just the 'open a window' type and other years they held chocolate treats. For the last good few years I have made myself an Advent...I have had decorated boxes made from matchboxes (the first year I made this style I made quite a few - I'm sure the local stores thought I was a secret arsenist LOL) and several years I have made the "sleeps 'til Santa" type.
Last year I actually attended a workshop and I made a tower full of boxes which was great for filling with sweets. This year I'm back doing a "sleeps" style (if I manage to get it finished in time).

I think one of the traditions I missed the most was the visit to Santa. Growing up it was such a treat to be taken up to Gammages Department Store in London to see would board the 'magic sleigh' and journey to the Northpole where you would then wander through 'ice' grottos before reaching Santa's workshop. You then got to chat to Santa and tell him what you really wanted for Christmas before being given a gift to take away on the day...usually colouring books and pencils or the like. When Gammages closed it was never the same just going to see Santa sat in a store and I think this was one of the reasons we started the letter to Santa tradition for my niece.

Christmas can be so hectic and so very commercialised that it is nice to have traditions and memories that you can hold on to. Some of the traditions have changed slightly over the years but there are still things that provide a constant at this time of year...there is always a gift for everyone (including the pets) from Santa under the tree - I mean, it just wouldn't be Christmas without a gift from Santa; would it?.........................................


Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Lovely family memories. So sweet to imagine you two as little girls. *smile*

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

oh you can still visit santa - LOL. they even take pictures now too - LOL.

i remember a neighbor used to dress up as santa and would come over at midnight on xmas eve. mom would wake me up and santa would give me ONE gift. it was awesome.

in case we don't touch base... wishing you all a truly blessed holiday. thank you so much for all the smiles you've brought me during the year. i hope we see more of each other in 2013.

hugs :)

Katherine (sutty) said...

They are fantastic's interesting to see what things we do as traditions - like all the stockings in the morning, and something new to wear on Christmas day :)

Lesley G said...

I do the PJ thing for my DD, I love seeing her snuggled even now!

Her birthday is Jan 4th and the tradition here is that the decs go up Dec 1st so they can come down the day after Boxing Day which means there is a whole week of nothing before her birthday. I hated the idea of her birthday and CHristmas becoming one