The whole festive season is characterised by these little things that often we can’t quite remember the meaning behind, nor remember when they started, but without them, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas. Some traditions are known and practised worldwide, the obvious ones – leaving milk (beer / whiskey / Malibu and coke) and cookies for Santa, hanging up stockings, putting up and decorating a Christmas tree. Others are particular to specific families, or perhaps even communities. Some have passed from generation to generation, again always just being that way with no real memory of why or when that particular tradition started.
What I love about Christmas in our house is that special blend of the traditions rooted in Super Daddy’s history, those that come from my side of the family, and best of all, those new traditions that we’ve started on our own, that are special to us and our little gang. Already, we have many. Some we’re not quite sure why they’ve become tradition, but they’ve stuck and we like it. From the lovely (and replicated in many a family) new Christmas pyjamas for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve (for us, randomly they’ve got to be from Gap and got to be skinny legged and be adorned with snowmen / penguins / polar bears / angels / Eskimos and the like) to the sprinkling of reindeer magic dust across the front doorstep so they know where to land as they make their way from house to house; to the covering of Super Daddy’s Rockport boots with icing sugar and the stomping all the way from the front door to the plate of milk and cookies in the kitchen then back through to the living room beside all the gifts, thus showing that Santa with his non-melting North Pole Snow covered boots has indeed made his way through our home while we slept and deposited all our gifts.
There’s the opening of stockings (containing the traditional satsuma and £1 coin) only allowed on our bed, and the eating of one chocolate coin before we’ve even rubbed the sleep from our bleary eyes. Then there’s ‘Daddy has to go downstairs and check Santa’s been’ before the rest of us troop down excitedly behind him. Since the receiving of a coffee machine four Christmases ago, this practice has evolved to include the switching on of said machine and the quick making of two coffees to add that caffeine kick to the adrenaline rush us parents already have at the thought of the joy the unwrapping of Santa gifts holds.
Then there’s the Christmas Eve tradition of a Smoked Salmon starter, Beef Wellington, Red Cabbage and dauphinose potato dinner for Super Daddy and I, washed down with a millionaire shortbread desert and followed swiftly by the opening of the gifts we’ve bought for one another (one of which for Super Daddy will always be a box of red Lindt chocolates, nothing else will do.) There was a mild panic this year on Super Daddy’s part when I told him I hadn’t been able to pick up a Wellington, similar to that of the year I’d bought the Gold variety of Lindt Chocolates to mix things up a little. Note to self, tradition all the way.
There’s the Christmas Day Sausages for breakfast with my parents and sister, then the Christmas Day dinner with the outlaws. Not to mention the obligatory cheese and oatcakes once the winks are safely tucked up in bed after a day of festivities – whether we need them or not (always not). Not all traditions centre around food I must add, there’s the traditional ‘won’t-be-a-late-one-nipping-out-for-a-few-festive-beers-with-the-lads’ that must feature in Super Daddy’s Christmas break, which of course, traditionally ends up being ‘never-want-to-have-a-drink-again-as-being-sick-whilst-sitting-on-the-loo-and-not-knowing-how-I-got-that-muddy-mark-on-my-new-Christmas-shirt-is-so-last-year’
This year we decided to add staying in our PJ’s on Boxing Day to the list of traditions, one which was a huge hit with the kids as I expect will be the case for a number of years such was the novelty. I’m also adding having a bath in the middle of the day to the new traditions I’ll partake in during the festivities, though next year I’ll lock the door to save being joined by every other member of the household who clearly found my trying to relax in peace behaviour quite uncharacteristic!
One final addition this year, and it’s only now I’m a little wiser and a little more tuned into what really matters at Christmas time, is taking time to be thankful, and grateful for all that we have; to acknowledge that none of it is taken for granted, and everything is appreciated, and to count every single one of my blessings. I hope this is one tradition I can fulfil each and every year and hope it’s included in the special blends we share with all our family and friends.
Merry Christmas everyone.