Outfits

Outfits
Outfits

Adventures

Adventures
Adventures

Writing

Writing
Writing

Christmas traditions

One thing I love is discovering other people's family traditions.  In life it's so often the little details that make the biggest difference and it's those quirky components of a celebration or a year that really warm my heart.  Because of this I adore hearing about how other families 'do' Christmas Day.  I'm sure there's no one family on the planet that do every single detail the same and I find that so exciting! Last Monday Tom and I went to Brockenhurst in the New Forest to pick up our tree and decorate the house.  I have some photos I wanted to share of the day but I also thought it was a fun opportunity to tell you about our family traditions for Christmas Day.  Although Tom and I no longer live at home I still haven't spent a Christmas away from my parents' house and for me it's utterly my favourite time of the year, and my favourite place to be.  Because my brother works away in Leeds (though soon moving to Norwich), I live about an hour away and even my Dad works in Dublin during the week it's really the only time when we get to spend an extended period of time together and every year I count down the days until I can completely immerse myself in family time, and all of the details that make it so special to me.

Tom and I decorated the house last week and I've already wrapped lots of presents! I must admit it's looking absolutely lovely - I can't wait to get home from work every evening so I can sit and enjoy the lights and the smell of the tree.

Christmas presents Christmas reindeer Christmas presents Christmas tree Christmas decoration

Tom and I will both be heading to my parents' on the evening of the 23rd.  There, our family Christmas traditions begin on Christmas Eve.  We almost always go out for dinner together and often we make a trip to the cinema too (though less often in recent years).  I remember being much younger and sitting in the darkness of the cinema, full to the brim with excitement about the impending festivities and eager to get home for one last peek at the presents under the tree before it would be time to see what was concealed under the wrapping paper the following morning.  On returning home my Mum always suggests opening a present and everyone is always reluctant, eager not to forego even a tiny bit of the joy of the next day.  The evening of Christmas Eve might end with a board game or another Christmas film, and will certainly involve cosy pajamas and slippers, the fire roaring away and a warm drink or two.  Of course when my brother and I were younger there were even more facets of the Christmas Eve routine - a carrot left out for Rudolph and a mince pie and a drink for Father Christmas.  Oh the indescribable glee of the next morning finding a plate of crumbs and a half eaten carrot! There would even sometimes be snowy footprints on the stairs that if one had dabbed a finger in might have tasted peculiarly of flour...

On Christmas morning the first person to wake usually wakes up the rest of the family and we gather downstairs in pajamas and dressing gowns for warm croissants and Bucks Fizz.  After we've devoured breakfast we open smaller presents from stockings and the like.  We used to open all of our presents in the morning but these days we open a few as we go along to eke out the excitement and pleasure throughout the day.  As soon as we've opened the first set of presents some of us will disappear off to get washed and dressed and others will get started on cooking Christmas lunch.  The smell of the turkey will waft through the house as upstairs any new bath/shower products are given their first try and clothes that have been laid out for Christmas Day outfits are pulled on.  More Bucks Fizz is poured, Christmas songs are on the stereo, tins are chocolates are cracked open and the day is in full swing.  At this stage Bodhi will be tearing around (literally) - ripping wrapping paper to pieces, wearing his Santa hat and enjoying any new toys he might have been lucky enough to receive!

The rest of the day will pass in much the same vein - gathering to open presents, top-ups of drinks, mass consumption of any chocolate based stocking fillers, Christmas music and the house filled with the smells of the lunch we spend the whole year waiting for.  It never disappoints - piles of crispy potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, turkey, pigs in blankets and bucketloads of gravy.  We eat until we can't eat anymore, and then we eat dessert.  There will be candles burning, Christmas carols and the buzz of excited conversation - talk of our favourite presents and which board games and Christmas films will fill the afternoon.  And they will - Frustration, card games, Balderdash, Scrabble, Wii Bowling... with prizes for the winners! We'll while away the afternoon with Christmas specials on TV (already pre-circled in the Radio Times) before a bracing walk along the beach at dusk to burn off all those naughty potatoes and chocolates (well, maybe not all of them).

Even reliving the day makes me feel full of anticipation and eager for the next two weeks to rush by! It also makes me thankful for how lucky I am to be spending Christmas in a warm home with a loving family and I've made a donation to Shelter to help those that aren't fortunate enough to have those things we take for granted.

Now I've told you my Christmas day, tell me about yours! What are the traditions you and your family uphold every year? What's the little detail you most look forward to?


// follow me on twitter or bloglovin

26 comments

  1. haha Rosie, that sentence made me laugh "We eat until we can't eat anymore, and then we eat dessert". That is exactly the same as my family, everyone says how full they are but you always have room for an xmas desert! Your family Christmas sounds really lovely. We also have bucks fizz in the morning which is fun and lots of my family head down to my aunts for Christmas dinner, dancing and singing! I love my family Christmas so much too. Me and Robin put our tree up at the weekend too, you can't beat the smell of a real tree! One of the strangest traditions my family have is we have a ghost with a trick or treat tshirt that goes on our tree every year...no idea why but it wouldn't be christmas without him! haha
    Lianne x
    rubyrubyslippers.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love love love this post! Your house looks amazing! So so beautifully decorated! It sounds like your Christmas's are always a lot of fun! And I agree I don't think Christmas would at all be complete without the customary eating slightly too much, especially chocolate! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have no idea how much I now crave Christmas dinner!! zz

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your Christmas sounds very similar to ours-we are also huge fans of the croissant and bucks fizz breakfast. Your wrapping paper and tree look stunning!x

    ReplyDelete
  5. yup, its Christmas breakfast all the way for me...and I have to confess I never EVER hesitate about the special Christmas Eve present to open!
    Just found your blog, love it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm beginning to get a bit excited after reading this Rosie!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is such a lovely post and is making me feel all festive! Wed= do the normal things at Christmas, but lovely all the same. I usually wake up the earliest, despite me being a big girl now, and then impatiently wait until everyone else wakes up (i.e. trying to be as loud as I can when walking around). Walking down the stairs is the most exciting bit, and then we sit and watch each other open our presents. Then we have something silly for breakfast, which is usually bacon butties but I'm a veggie so naturally I opt for chocolate instead. And then my mum will cook an amazing meal whilst I watch one of my new DVDs (Batman this year!), and then I eat until I can't walk.
    A few days later my dad and his girlfriend hold a little family party at theirs, when we play silly games and eat even more food.

    To sum up, family + food = my Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a lovely post, your tree and decorations looks divine. We have a few traditions that have been tweaked over the years but that always stays is our bacon sandwich breakfast after we have unwrapped all of the presents. It has now become tradition to visit my sisters to see my niece and nephew which is so lovely and one of my favourite parts of the day now. xo

    ReplyDelete
  10. If I wasn't already excited enough, I am now! Your house just looks so lovely, we're still adding finishing touches! This year our usual Christmas routine will be different, my Dad's working for most of it.

    Lucy
    http://lucyywrites01.blogspot.com xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! Wrapping presents already? I haven't even finished shopping for mine! One Christmas tradition is stockings - I've had one each year for as long as I can remember and this year the Mr is taking the baton for my mum, so I'm making us both stockings so that it's a tradition we can start together : )

    ReplyDelete
  12. I absolutely love this!! Christmas traditions make me so happy :) might do a blog post on our family's traditions, way too much to fit into a comment! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. You Christmas day sounds lovely. We will be spending Christmas with my mum, kenny the labrador, mum's two kitties, my sister, Me, Ben and Pip this year. I can't wait. Christmas's have never been particularly traditional in my family (divorced parents, step mothers etc. etc.) but I love it. This year we'll have 10 days in Wales with my lovely mum. Can't wait. And Norwich!!!! I live in Norwich!!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your Christmas day sounds like the best! Such lovely pictures too, festive photos are my favourite. Christmas days always start really early, with opening gifts, and then a pancake breakfast and then the Doctor Who christmas special (because my family are DW nerds) and then lots of sleep! X

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your Christmas sounds lovely! My Christmases are not nearly as good as this! No bucks fizz for breakfast, just chocolate ;) Your decorations look beautiful, I love the photo of your tree and fireplace. Wish I had a cute home like yours x

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is so cute...thanks for my blog comment, hope you'l stop by again, glad I found you too, we can be blog stalkers together ha :)
    LOVE CLOTH

    ReplyDelete
  17. this is a perfect day rosie.and your house. utterly beautiful.i want to get into my festive jumper and come on over right away. i'll bring the after eights if you get the christmas songs and cracker hats on the go xxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. This was so lovely to read :) x

    ReplyDelete
  19. It really is fun to hear about other people's holiday traditions; my favorite Christmas one is just putting on Christmas music and decorating the tree with my mom while laughing at all of the ugly ornaments we've amassed over the years.

    Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com
    ENTER MY GIVEAWAY WORTH $500!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. These photos are beautiful, I love how you've wrapped your presents. I just look forward to opening my stocking in the morning and having a cooked breakfast!

    Tara
    The Style Rawr!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this post and finding out other people's Christmassy traditions, I have one planned for a little closer to Christmas sharing my own (: I love how traditions are adapted as you get older, but how certain things remain the same no matter what, even when you don't live at home! Just goes to show what a family-orientated time Christmas is (: xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those photos are beautiful <3 you looked to be really organized - well done! I'm waay behind this year.

    http://www.annanuttall.com/

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is such a lovely post! I love knowing about other people's traditions too. It sounds really strange but we have a tradition that on xmas eve we have KFC, as my mum doesn't want to cook anything! Then me and my sister wear brand new pyjamas. My sister always sleeps in my room so we can wake up together. There is always a lot of board games and normally a walk followed by a nap (for the older relatives!) in the afternoon. I love Christmas so much, even typing this makes me excited!

    Cx

    Shopped and Dropped

    ReplyDelete
  24. Aww, loving the idea of the floury footprints ;) (And loving your Xmas set-up, so pretty!) Our traditions involve watching Muppets Christmas Carol and any other Xmas movies we can get our hands on – it's the only thing that stays the same each year.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your day sounds so.... festive. As a family, Christmas for us is very much a 'lets see where we're up to this year' kind of affair- depending who's where, and in earlier years, who is working what and when. I'm having Christmas with someone else's family for the first time ever this year- and I'm a bit nervous, T's family are quite religious, and I, being the heathen that I am, don't know a carol all the way through, let alone a hymn or a prayer.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.