Family traditions at Christmas

Sunday, 21 December 2014

There's something about being a parent that makes you want to create memories to Cherish.  You want your spawn to grow up with fond recollections of what you did and to see them carry it on.  Traditions.  You want to make traditions.

The problem with traditions however is that you have to commit to them, like the pig did to a cooked breakfast. 

Think about it.  Every year.

When I was a kid my parents never went hugely festive.  Sure we had the tree etc but other than three things everything else was more rules than tradition such as no going into the lounge until everyone is awake and no opening presents until the dog had been let out in the garden to pee and a tea tray was ready.   When we were all older The Mother tried to replace the every man for himself with an elongated process of taking turns to open one present at a time.  Now I'm a parent I totally understand the wanting to see everything part but as a child ... who wants to watch everyone else let alone have everyone bog at you every time you own something forcing you to display over exaggerated expressions of gratitude for socks.

So let's talk about some of the traditions I've come across, we're not talking cultural ones we're just talking common popular, well known ones.   Before I get stuck in,  I'm not dissing them per se, I just can't relate to them.  So wind your necks in,  If it works for you.... I'm glad, possibly even envious.  I never said I wasn't a Grinch.


I won't even pretend to understand the relevance of new PJ'S on Christmas Eve.  Apparently it's a 'thing'. A very popular thing even.  To me however it's just alien.


I've never in my life had a Christmas stocking.  Ever.  Neither have The Spawn. In fact I think if they found some new underwear, chocolate coins and a toothbrush in the bottom of a giant Xmas sock their 'WTF?!' Reaction would be warranted. 

Elf on a shelf

The creepy little fucker that gets up to all kinds of stuff that if your kids ever did they'd get bollocked for whilst the parents Facebook all the scenes they spent their evening setting up to try and out-elf all the other parents on the Internet and win the precocious Pinterest crown.  The elf then pisses off back home on Christmas Eve. 

Ok so I admit.  The Dude would possibly find this hilarious.  Maybe.  But think about it... That's 24 different stunts or pranks every December for years. I'd end up hanging it with a noose.

Not to mention it's another little sod you have to clean up after. 

Christmas Eve boxes

A lovely idea.  No, really.  I'm not even being sarcastic here.  Seriously. 

If you have one child.

Or a fat wallet.

I was going to do one this year but I'd either have to replicate everything four times or else endure a real life Hunger Games as The Spawn battle it out.

Gifts for teachers

Just no. They get paid. Plus it's never just 'a' teacher these days.  It's three part timers and leagues of Teaching Assistants. Not to mention the Dinner Ladies, caretaker and office staff.  We're skint and I'm scrooge. Bite me.

Gingerbread houses.

There isn't enough gin or prozac in the world to make me endure the masochistic task of attempting this with The Spawn and the ones you buy and assemble taste like shit.

So what do we do tradition wise here? !

Santa Snacks

Who doesn't?  No wonder he's obese.  Surely leaving out a snack and drink for Mr C and a carrot for Rudolph is the law?

Christmas Lanterns

Two years ago The Spawn decorated some jam jars with tissue paper and glue.  We put a tea light (which my phone just tried to auto correct to Taliban... How absurd,  they wouldn't fit) in them.  We leave these next to the santa snack to glow and guide him to our home.


As a kid we left Pillowcases out in our room and Santa would collect them,  fill them with presents and leave them in the lounge.   I have The Spawn do the same.

Reindeer food

I'd never heard of this until the inlaws bought The Spawn some from a charity shop a few years ago.  Every year since I fill bags with oats and glitter and the kids sprinkle out the front door (and all over the bastard carpet.  Gits. )

End of bed present

When I was a child, every year,  Santa would leave us a present on the end of our beds which The Parents geniusly named 'The End Of Bed Present'  catchy isn't it?  It was usually an annual.  The reason behind it was to keep us occupied (aka quiet) until everyone was awake and we were allowed downstairs.  This is something we've carried on with a The Spawn.

Chocolate Fingers

As a child, we always scoffed chocolate fingers for breakfast as we opened presents.   Whenever I remember I buy them too for Christmas morning.

Tree presents

Another from my childhood.  Every year my mum would buy us all a small gift which went on the tree. They'd stay there until New Years Day when they'd be placed next to our cutlery and a Christmas cracker at the dinner table.  Sure enough there's currently 5 presents (I don't bother getting myself one) on our tree.

There's so many cute ideas out there such as sooty/snowy footprints but like I said,  It's the commitmaent thing (and the mess)

I always thought I'd let each spawn choose a new Christmas bauble each year yet I never seemed to have the money at the right time and after the first year of parenthood passed it seemed daft to implement it randomly. 

What are your Christmas Traditions?  Did you create them yourself or are they from your own childhood? Are there any you regret starting or any you wish you had started?


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