23rd December

A Santa with a wobbly nose? Twiglets? Whatever next?

This year's Chriggy tree

Those Christmas traditions – we love them and we hate them, don’t we? There are the sparkly ones, the ones of our choosing, the ones we inherited and hung on to because they were our favourites, and the ones we started ourselves.  Then there are the grotty ones, the ones that really cheese us off, like going to Great Aunt Muriel’s every Boxing Day morning… (I don’t have a Great Aunt Muriel… I’m just saying!)

Let me tell you now, we don’t do traditions in our house.  In our house, I am responsible for Christmas and I like change.  Nope, none of this tradition baloney for me! Well, except for ONE tradition – Christmas tree decorations!  We

The children's 2011 decoration

have baubles that used to be my Grandma’s and that I gave a home to after she died.  We have baubles that were my mum and dad’s, before they moved to live on their boat.  We have odd hangy things that I have taken a fancy to, and we have the children’s decorations  – I have bought them a Christmas tree decoration every year since they were born… well, I suppose that’s a tradition of sorts.  As a result, our Christmas tree is a mish mash of all sorts of prettiness – none of this colour co-ordinated malarkey but meaning and memories that dangle and shimmer.

Old Santa

Then there’s our old Santa, passed on to me by my parents, whose nose becomes more unattached from his poor old face every year… I’m convinced he’s been on the whisky, as the bottle is emptying at an alarming rate!  In fact, we had to ram it back into place (his nose that is) this year.  But Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if our old Santa wasn’t perched at the top of the tree.

Obviously, we have to leave Santa (the REAL Santa!) a mince pie and a whisky, and Rudolph a carrot… every year.  Well, it would be mean not to, wouldn’t it?

I suppose there is ONE other tradition, and this relates to Christmas presents.  Santa leaves a stocking full of goodies at the bottom of my son and daughter’s beds, and every year, they sit at the bottom of our bed and take turns to pull out a pressie – and we all look and go ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and marvel at Santa’s fantastic pressie choices.

Then of course, we all head downstairs, gathering around the pressies and around the mish mash of prettiness that dangles with meaning and memories, for the Grand Opening… Well, I suppose that’s a sort of tradition too… I guess.   And this is not just any old Grand Opening you know.  Oh no!  Each of us opens our presents one at a time, so that we all get to see what each other has got and can go ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and marvel all over again.   Then, well, maybe there’s ONE more tradition: bacon sandwiches cooked by hubby… Christmas just wouldn’t Christmas without a bit of Christmas Oink!

Oh, and there are the bells.  Did I tell you about the bells?  There are two, one of which is placed close to the top of the tree.  Why?  Because when it’s knocked the angel gets its wings, of course!  Have you not seen ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’?  Then there are the Christmas crackers… well you have to have Christmas crackers don’t you?  It’s tradition!… and some special Christmas doggie treats for Molly (our greyhound)… we can’t leave her out can we?

Then we watch films in the afternoon – with Twiglets.  I suppose that’s a kind of tradition.  We have to have Twiglets – at no other time of year, but at Christmas, yes!  Then we have bits for tea – bread and crisps and cheeses and cold stuffing and mince pies and cream… yes, every year.  But honestly, that’s all, no more traditions.

No, we don’t do tradition in our house.

What traditions make your Christmas special?

About Abi Burlingham

I write children's books and paint pictures inspired by nature, animals, trees etc, mostly in acrylics. I am a crisp addict.
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16 Responses to 23rd December

  1. That sounds just like my house, minus the Twiglets. Nobody can stretch out the Opening of The Presents Ceremony like a Pielichaty. Enjoy!

  2. We have many traditions too 😉 We all make our own individual pizzas on Christmas Eve — which has become a bit of a competition over the years; we have almost the same Christmas morning traditions as you minus the Christmas oink (replaced with the Christmas bagels and veggie sausauge!) and we always take a walk in the woods on Christmas. And the other tradition is that our kids both get ornaments each year that are reflective of a big event or significant moment in their lives the year before. Other than that? I’ve got nothin’ except a Santa box under the tree from a new Santa friend 😉

  3. Hee hee! A Santa Box? Under the tree? I wonder what’s inside… 😉 Your traditions sound lovely. I love the idea of making pizzas on Christmas eve, and the ornaments for the children reflecting their year – what a lovely idea! Bagels and veggie sausage sounds great too… in fact, is there time for me to get to Maine for Christmas? 😀

  4. I think it’s part of our make-up to make up traditions. Did you say your parents moved onto a boat? Wow! That’s different. I wonder how Santa gets to deliver their presents!

  5. I think you’re right, Rosalind, and I think we pretend it’s for the children, but it’s as much for us as anything. Yes, my mum and dad live on a canal boat. They have done for a few years now and absolutely love it. They move around all over the place, but are with us for Christmas this year so Santa WILL be visiting 😉

    • Malaika says:

      My sons are grown up now and we don’t do tradition either, except for the stockings which, whatever else they contain, must have walnuts, satsumas and a Terry’s chocolate orange and, like you, the ooh-ing and aah-ing as we take turns to open our presents and… and…

  6. A lovely post, Abi. You’ve inspired me to feel more Christmassy, especially now I’ve done my cleaning. Santa had better wear overshoes on his boots, is all I’m saying.

  7. Hee hee! I’ll have a quiet word in his ear-hole when he comes to us, maybe suggest a gas mask too 😉

  8. All I’m gonna say is HAPPY CHRISTMAS!! And I hope next year is a brilliant one.

  9. Thank you Dan, you too.

  10. Our Christmas tradition is pretty much like yours. Lots of oohs and aahhs at the end of the bed from the stocking opening, then downstairs.

    Have a lovely Christmas Abi.

  11. Ah! Lovely. Thanks Rebecca and have a fab Christmas too x

  12. Emma Pass says:

    One of our traditions is that we have a Hound angel for our tree, complete with wobbly eyes. Another is that we always take the Hound for a long walk so he’ll sleep while we’re having our Christmas dinner instead of trying to pinch stuff. And of course, The Hound has to have some pressies which he unwraps himself – he gets SO excited.

    Hang on… all our traditions seem to revolve around the Hound. How did that happen…?


  13. Ha ha! Hm, yes, strange that. Having seen an example of your Hound Angel, I think this should be everybody’s tradition and should be merchandised asap. The long walk thing is a great idea – these hounds are just the right height for food pinching aren’t they? Our hound has pressies too (she’s got a rug thing and a pelican thing this year… SHHH!) Have a fab Christmas too x

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