Every year I love climbing into the attic and bring box after box of our Christmas decorations and memories that we have collected over the years. Its my favourite time of the year, and we spend a lot of time thinking of things to help make it magical for our little family.
Making Christmas Magical
1) Elf on the shelf.
We have a small toy elf that visits our house over the advent period during the advent period. He always joins us on the first day of advent and comes with a letter from Santa, which explains some more about him, and that he is an elf-in-training. He tends to get up to mischief when the children are in bed and we wake to discover what he has been up to, one year he climbed inside the toilet roll tube and rolled all the way down the stairs leaving a trail of toilet roll behind him! He also brings things for us to do during advent as a family, such as baking and crafts. He returns to Father Christmas on Christmas Eve, and as a parting gift, he brings us an Christmas Eve box (see below) Our first elf joined us when James was 4 years old and Lily was almost 3, they absolutely loved it!
2) The Christmas Story Advent
This is a new tradition we are starting this year. We have selected 24 winter / Christmas books and have wrapped them individually. We will open one each evening, and curl up on the sofa together while we read.
3) A different Advent Calendar
We have our usual chocolate advent calendars, and in addition we have a train shaped advent calendar with small pockets. This year we plan to write a small note for each day and have a mini challenge / extra treat and a song to sing.
Christmas Eve Traditions
4) Visiting loved ones
We try to spend the morning visiting Family and Friends so we can hide away at home in the afternoon and let the festivities begin!
5) Christmas Eve Baking
This year we are going to bake our own chocolate chip cookies to leave out for Santa (We may also have a few ourselves with our Christmas Movie!)
6) A (not so festive) Buffet
This year we are planning on having a Christmas buffet of either pizza or chinese, we are planning to choose a good variation of food so we can set up a mini buffet. This will hopefully make Christmas Eve a little simpler and mean we can avoid the kitchen and spend time together as a family
7) The Christmas Eve Box
Our Christmas Elf leaves us our Christmas eve box, which contains new nightwear, (and maybe slippers and a dressing gown) a hot chocolate, some chocolates and sweets to share and a Christmas movie to watch together. The ingredients for a perfect Christmas Eve movie night (and perfect Christmas morning photos!)
8) A full family photo
We are planning to set up the tripod and take a family photograph with us all together, Christmas eve is the perfect time to do this as the house is nice and tidy before the mayhem that Father Christmas brings, and everyone looks nice and fresh in their new Christmas Pjs.
9 ) A Christmas Movie
We will spend the rest of the evening cuddling on the sofa watching a movie, just enjoying each others company. Its the one night that we dont worry if the children are late to bed, infact the later the better!
10) A festive story
Is it possible to have Christmas Eve without reading “Twas the night before Christmas”? We read this just before bedtime, we even have a new book this year that we will open as part of the Christmas Story Advent!
Christmas Day Traditions
We don’t really have a structure for Christmas day, its easier that way! We try and start with stockings before breakfast, then presents. I love listening to Christmas songs with a glass of wine while Mr T and I cook dinner. Dinner is eaten when its finished cooking and we try and play a family game and watch a movie in the afternoon if the children aren’t otherwise engaged with toys! We try and stay in festive mode for the full 12 days of Christmas before we take all the decorations down and carefully pack them away for another year.
We also have a list of photographs we try to take each year as a memory of the festive period. I think this year we will create & print a Christmas photo-book of our family memories.