Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Traditions

I'm one of five siblings and my memories of Christmas make me deeply nostalgic. We grew up in the countryside in a beamed Tudor house where every room had a fireplace, including our bedrooms, so after Christmas Eve in front of the log fire in the lounge watching National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation, we'd put mince pies, whisky, carrots and milk out for Father Christmas and his reindeer in all of our bedrooms before willing ourselves to sleep so it would be morning sooner.
When morning came we'd wake to snowy footprints down the chimney which lead across the carpets to our beds and resting on our feet were pillow cases stuffed with individually wrapped presents.
My mum and dad had a huge four poster bed and we'd all pile in, dragging our pillow cases behind us, to unwrap our presents. For the whole of Christmas Day, we'd drag those pillow cases around wherever we went, torn wrapping paper at the bottom (it made for an even more impressive stocking), digging into our chocolate selection boxes while trying to decide which was our favourite present.
Apart from the brussel sprouts, which Dad insisted on buying from the market in a huge bag and caused us to invent countless ways to rid ourselves of them (the brussel shoot made of crackers, with its entrance hidden under a napkin and its destination an empty water jug, was by far our favourite and most successful method), Christmas was filled with excitement. It still is.


So, as the youngest of five and the most recent to add to the ever growing clan of grandchildren, I'm beyond excited at the thought of creating such special memories for Charlie and the bump. With his premature arrival and extended stay in hospital, we only bought Charlie home on Christmas Eve, it's become even more special to us (the pic above gives me a lump in my throat every time I see it).


My husband and I have amalgamated a few of our family traditions in the last few years: our pillow cases are sacks (they're the same shape as a pillow case, so that's allowed); we read The Night Before Christmas when it starts to get dark on Christmas Eve; watch Home Alone and National Lampoons under the duvet on the sofa in our pjs; and we put out treats for Father C and his reindeer on the hearth.


While the rest of us are sorted - the hubs and I bought our sacks for our first Christmas together (similar) and the pup has his personalised one from last year - I wanted to find one for Charlie that would last him for years to come and fell for this Fairisle one from My 1st Years which featured in my Baby's Christmas Gift Guide.


There's a tradition in my brother Dominic's family that we're adopting this year too; on Christmas Eve the whole family unwraps one present - Christmas pyjamas. Their point is that the children want to unwrap something and what's the good of Christmas pyjamas if you don't get to wake up in them on Christmas Day?


I get new ones every year and even wore mine in hospital last year when I had Charlie, which raised a few laughs from the nurses! The hubs is less keen; he's a human radiator so finding something for him is always more of a challenge and I always opt for something with a t-shirt. This year, his bottoms are from Fat Face (Penrith) and are in lovely deep blues and greens with a hint of red so he can wear them long after Christmas is over.


I didn't need to spend long looking for Charlie's before I ended up browsing The Little White Company's selection, but struggled to decide between four pairs. In the end, I settled for this gorgeous red tartan flannel pair, which are now on sale.


I haven't been allowed to see mine yet so I can't feature them here, but tomorrow evening we'll all be tucked up on the sofa for Charlie's nightime bottle ready to begin our Christmas Eve film-fest once he's tucked up in bed.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope it's a good one and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
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