Christmas is a time for family and to be honest that is all we have known, its never really been just me and hubby. If you don’t know our background story here is the condensed version…we met on a Thursday and had our first date on the Saturday. He proposed the following Thursday and we had moved in together and were pregnant within 3 months. TA DA!! Benjamin was born 1 year and 8 days after we first met!
When you know you just know!
Each year we have tried to do something that we know will turn into a tradition, as well as keeping some of the traditions we grew up with too. I have to admit the children are a great excuse to do a lot of things that people would normally think you were nuts for doing but that is the joy of having little ones! We do have an awful lot of things that we do each year but I think the following 3 are our top and most favourite ones that happen without fail each year!
Elf on The Shelf
If you don’t know about elf on the shelf where have you been?! Starting out as an American tradition, the little elf appears on the 1st of December and is meant to watch over the children to make sure they are behaving for Santa. Just search online for a whole host of ideas, there are websites dedicated to helping mummy make sure that damn little fella moves every night! Seriously, you don’t know panic like waking up at 2 am and sitting bolt upright realizing you never moved the bloody thing! A lot of people use the elf as a warning, about how he goes back to tell Santa you’ve been naughty “the elf is watching!”, there’s even a Santa Cam he can bring with him whereas others use it to bring treats and get up to mischief during the night! I have to admit ours is more of the mischief and treat elf – it would freak the kids out too much if they thought someone was watching them all the time! haha
We have the usual chocolate advent but damn it if you don’t leave the room for 2 minutes and the whole thing is open by the second of December! Sick of the usual ‘I said one damn chocolate’ we decided that we needed something else in the countdown to the big day so after looking at a few options decided on the book advent. The kids get to open one book each on the first of December and then one book each DAY until the 24th of December, the girls share a room so this works out well as we read each book at bedtime so they both get to hear it together. The Works usually have books on special offer from the beginning of November and we have managed each year for the last two to get different Christmas themed books for each day! Of course some of them are activity books and the same kind of story – ie Night Before Christmas but the girls love being read to so its lovely to have some new images to look at even if the story is similar. (Plus you get the chance to mix it up a little if you can work impromptu with different voices etc when reading lol) Each book is wrapped and tied with string and dated so takes a little longer to open and lasts an awful lot longer than a piece of chocolate so we love this idea instead or as well as the traditional chocolate advent!
Christmas Eve Box
From being little I always got a present on Christmas Eve of new pajamas and we carried on this tradition with our children too. They would get out of the bath and wrapped in warm towels, head to their bedrooms and find a present on the bottom of their beds that included new pjs and a selection box. Once dressed they would head downstairs where we would all have hot turkey sandwiches (another tradition when we were little of cooking the turkey Christmas eve and having hot turkey sandwiches before bed!) and sit watching Scrooged!
These days that present has progressed to include their final book advent gift, new pjs, hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, candy canes, new mug for said hot chocolate, reindeer dust to guide Santas sleigh (this gets sprinkled in the garden and is a mix of oats and edible glitter), Santas Key (how else is he supposed to get in when you don’t have an open fire!) and finally something to snuggle into while waiting for the big man to visit!
I have to admit I love gathering all the bits for the kids Christmas Eve box and seeing their faces, fresh from the bath and wide eyed in anticipation of what they are going to receive makes it worth every second!
Do you have any traditions you have to do each year? Is there anything you are hoping to start next year?