‘All I Want for Christmas…..is to Start My Own Family Traditions’

‘I still think it looks wonky’ muttered high command as I unveiled the fully dressed Christmas tree.


It has taken quite a few years to learn how to enjoy the festive period culminating in Christmas Day.

I don’t need to go into details but I had quite a disrupted childhood and Christmas Day for me always meant arguments, bickering and was generally not a good time to be with my family.

Since meeting High Command, and spending each Christmas for the last ten years at her parents, I have slowly learnt how to embrace the festive spirit.

And since No1 and No2 have been born Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me.

We have recently moved house and now that we have the room, this year for the first time we will be hosting Christmas, with the Out Laws and Brother/Sister-in-Law coming to stay.

It goes without saying that this in itself will come with its own challenges….

However playing host, together with No1 who is almost 4yo really knowing for the first time what to expect, means that we really want to lay on a good show.

So it is with this in mind that I have been reflecting on how we will make the whole festive period special this year and each year thereafter.

Although very much work in progress these are our Christmas Family Traditions:

Letter to Father Christmas. This year we wrote letters to Father Christmas for the first time. We used the free Royal Mail one but there are lots of options which you can read more about here. For me this is a good way to capture the spirit early and also a way to encourage the kids to behave so they recieve their presents.

Advent Calenders. The use of chocolate ones (one in the morning and one after dinner) has been a great way to encourage good behaviour albeit not as healthy an option as fruit….maybe there is a gap im the market for a fruit advant calender!!

Real Christmas Tree. For the last 10 years we have invested in and reused a fake tree which isn’t quite the same. As we are hosting this year we have gone for a real tree (the deal at Ikea) and dressed it together as a family whilst listening to Christmas songs.

Chocolate money for the tree. Plenty of chocolate money on the tree is a must.

Potted Christmas Trees. The girls have been fortunate to have been bought baby potted Christmas trees for their first Christmas’. The idea being that they grow with the kids and we put outside Christmas lights on them and sit them on the porch each year to show them off.

Presents. Put pressies out on night before, pretending that Father Christmas has been.

Mince Pie & Carrot. In the same vein a half eaten mince pie and carrot will be placed on the dining room table to show Father Christmas to help reinforce his existence.

Christmas Stocking. Each daughter will have their own knitted stocking for pressies to go in.

Christmas Jumpers. For Christmas day it will be obligatory for everyone to wear a distasteful Christmas jumper. A prize will be awarded for the most nauseating one!

Walk on Christmas Day. After the lunch it will be compulsory for everyone to go for a walk to work off their Christmas lunch.

Well thats it for our Christmas Traditions.

Hope they provide some inspiration and would love to hear what your Christmas Traditions are :-)


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6 Responses to ‘All I Want for Christmas…..is to Start My Own Family Traditions’

  1. Potted Christmas Trees is a wonderful idea! Bloody brilliant!

    I love all of these, though since I moved from England to Australia there’s many I can no longer do… no chocolate on the tree for a start… there’d be little brown pools under it in a few minutes and no jumpers (found some wicked t-shirts this year though)

    When we were kids we weren’t allowed downstairs until Dad got up… and he’d take ages about, then walk really slowly down the stairs with us pushing at his back. Once in the front room we’d tear into presents and then it was all over pretty quick.

    We’ve blended mine and the wifes traditions for our kids… they aren’t allowed to touch anything (apart from the stocking) until I get up, then they can open one gift. Then breakfast, then when Nanny gets there the kids choose a present from under the tree and gives it to her… she reads out who it is for and the kids pass them on… makes the whole present opening thing last quite a long time… I love it.

    Merry Christmas mate, love this blog!

  2. ideas4dads says:

    Hi Alex – yes the potted xmas trees were my Sister in Laws idea (shes a forest ranger) and is into all of that sustainable malarkey – thats some schedule on opening the presents but a great way to get Nanny involved :-) – this is the first year that our 4yr old really knows whats going on so is going to be great to see her excitement on the day – I’ve just managed to pick up balance bikes for both of them off gumtree so am looking forward to seeing them whizzing round on them
    Take care
    ps what about frozen chocolates that you put out the night before to scoffed on xmas day?

  3. My own childhood memories of Christmas are very happy, and as a Dad Ii’m really keen that my daughters will also look back with similar happiness. I think you’ve made a great point that starting our own family Christmas traditions is really important! Whilst I’m tempted to continue to follow the traditions of my parents (it was a working recipe!), I’m sure that they wouldn’t work with different people of a different generation, let alone a different country and culture!
    Maybe it will take a few Christmasses before they’re ironed out…but I suppose that’s some of the fun of it too!
    Merry Christmas! :)

    • ideas4dads says:

      Hi Paul thanks for taking the time comment. I like the idea of cherry picking and taking the old with the new and think that some things may become dated. One thing I just realised is that I didnt inclyde Xmas Cards on the list……..and thats probably because we havnt got roubd to sending any!!

  4. Having survived Christmas there are a few more things I am going to add to our list of Christmas Traditions:

    - Attend Christmas Eve carol service at local church

    - Buy a holly wreath to go on the front door

    - Go on local Lantern Walk two weeks before Christmas

    - Put out knitted Santa from Great Groma Porte

    - Give the Christmas table cloth an airing

    - Invest in good quality crackers

    Phew think thats it for now!

  5. Pingback: ‘Childhood Memories’ | Ideas4Dads

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