I enjoy reading and hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions. We don’t have any. Or at least I thought we didn’t, until a massive spanner was put in the Christmas works due to illness, and I realised we actually have quite a few.
Every year we go on the Santa train – a steam train to see Father Christmas. We’ve done it every Christmas since my eldest was 18 months. I thought last year would be our last time, because my boy was in year 6, but then all the kids (including, surprisingly, the 11 year old) started asking to go on it this year. Thinking about it, it didn’t seem fair to my daughter not to go on it just because her brother was at secondary school. It’s not cheap, so we compromised on me taking the younger two, rather than the whole family going.
On Sunday 23rd December, Santa Train day, my younger son staggered out of his room. I didn’t need a thermometer to tell me he had a temperature, poor kid. So my eldest got to go on the train after all, but he let his brother have the present from Santa.
We alternate Christmas dinner between our house and my mum’s. Whoever isn’t doing Christmas dinner has a little early evening buffet on Christmas Eve for the family. Some of the family usually go to the Christmas Eve crib service at the local church too.
Christmas Eve tea was supposed to be at our house this year. But with my boy still ill, and my sister VERY heavily pregnant, we decided we couldn’t risk passing the illness on, so it didn’t happen.
Before bed on Christmas Eve the kids lay out their sacks and have a photo in front of the tree in their pyjamas. This photo then features as the ‘December’ picture in the calendar we make every year for the family.
My poorly son was in bed before his brother was out of the shower, so there was no Christmas photo. I’ve no idea what we will put on the December page of our calendar now!
As my daughter was going to bed, she said ‘What about Santa’s mince pie?’. This is another tradition – a mince pie, a cup of tea and a carrot. All the kids enjoy assembling it. We had no mince pies, due to the uncertainty over whether Christmas Eve tea would happen. So Father Christmas had a biscuit. With one boy in bed and one engrossed in Merlin, only my daughter and I got it ready. It felt like a real anti-climax.
On Boxing Day we usually go to my mum’s for leftovers, crackers and a Christmas walk. Instead I have a houseful of ill people.
Other plans are still up in the air. We always go to my in-laws’ after Christmas for a few days. Sometimes we go on Boxing Day. I now have THREE family members ill, so thank goodness we didn’t arrange it for today. Whether they will all be recovered in time to go remains to be seen.
On New Year’s Eve, my mum and dad and sister and brother-in-law come round to play games. Although the baby isn’t due until just after, I think it will be putting in an appearance before then. Another Christmas tradition which isn’t going to happen.
We’re already looking forward to a PROPER merry Christmas next year.