My mother is French, so we used to start the big celebrations on Christmas eve. Now it would change if we had family with us for Christmas, though not much, but I’m going to talk about our typical Christmas traditions and how it has kind of changed since being with my other half.
Christmas Eve. It used to start by gathering around the table at 5/6pm with food cooking. As we got older mum would just allow us to pick whatever our quickest, easiest and most favourite meal was and we would have that. One year my mum, dad and brother all had a microwave curry and I had hotdogs. Then we would open the presents we received from our aunts and uncles and family friends. We would go to Christmas mass either in the evening or at midnight, it changed as we got older. Since being with my other half, well since being 18 I suppose, Christmas eve has consisted of getting all dolled up in a Christmassy dress and going to the pub and just drinking away. The pub closes around 12/1am and then we would make our way home. Something that hasn’t changed is my mum puts together a stocking for my brother and I and we get to open them during the night. My brother hasn’t spent Christmas at home for a few years, but when he was home the first one awake used to wake the other up and we would open them together.
Christmas Day. Wake up as early as possible, even now, and start opening presents!!! We would then chill in our pjs until lunch, eat, then enjoy our presents more afterwards. We would then all watch a film or play a game. While at the lunch table we would pull crackers, read the jokes and wear our paper crowns. We would also have a small present to open at the table. If we had a visitor for the day it would be whatever they got us and we got them and if we had no visitors then it would be a small, usually useful gift. Generally it was a calendar diary or other small gift. Nowadays we go to my other half’s parents house after we have opened presents at my mums house and walked the dogs. Here we open more presents and then have a late lunch. We will then relax until we are so tired we feel the need to go home and nap. For the past two years my mum has gone back to France for Christmas.
Boxing Day. This is a day that is not recognised all over the world. It is also known as St Stephen’s day. It is the day that servants got to go home and spend Christmas with their families and rich families had to fend for themselves for the day. It usually consists of eating leftovers and picky bits. My brother and I used to have a gift to open. This was always something we could do as a family such as a board game or puzzle, we would then spend the day playing it as a family. Nowadays we go to my Aunt’s house during the day and spend the night at my partner’s parent’s house as they have a party. Last year I worked boxing day from 7:30am until 2pm, rushed to my Aunt, then went to the party. The party ends when the last person leaves, so usually around 5am. Lots of drink and party dances!
I’m not sure how this year will differ but I’ll be sure to let you know.
What are you Christmas traditions?