For me, it was always about the stocking. When I was a kid, I’d wake up numerous times throughout the night to take a little peek at the red and white stocking I’d hung on my bedpost and see if I could spot a candy cane or two poking out of the top.
If Father Christmas had been and my stocking was full, I’d then take great delight in waking up the rest of the household to inform them of this exciting fact, like some self-appointed Christmas town crier. My parents were always not quite as enthusiastic as giddy, 7-year-old Lisa at 4am on Christmas morning – I cannot imagine why.
As I grew up, that level of festive excitement never really went away. So as the years passed by and I had a little family of my own, I began our own Christmas traditions. Every Christmas Eve, we’d enjoy a buffet tea (or dinner if you’re not from ‘Up North’) and indulgent hot chocolates whilst watching a movie together, ranging from ‘Home Alone’ and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ to ‘Elf’ and ‘Miracle On 34th Street’.
We then read one of my favourite books, The Night Before Christmas, before leaving out some foodie treats for the big man and his reindeers; a few carrots, a glass of milk and a mince pie. I know that some people like to leave Santa a beer or glass of red but we like to keep things old-school and wouldn’t want him to get too tipsy when he has such a busy night ahead!
Just before bedtime, the girls take their stockings upstairs, grab a bath and ‘Father Christmas’ leaves a surprise parcel at the foot of their respective beds. This usually contains a pair of new pyjamas, cosy socks, a personalised decoration for the tree and a little treat, from chocolate to beauty products as they got older. (Is it even Christmas if you don’t have new pyjamas to wear? I think not.)
Once the girls are asleep, I then relax with a gin or two and wrap the odd present that I’ve inevitably forgotten about and try to stay awake long enough to make sure their stockings are filled. They have certainly inherited my festive genes as we always wake up bright and early on Christmas morning (although these days, I refuse to entertain the idea of getting up before 6am) to enjoy a cooked breakfast and a Bucks Fizz whilst opening our gifts together.
This year, I decided to include my niece in our little traditions and will be gifting her a personalised Christmas Eve parcel of her own with a personalised dressing gown and a Christmas decoration to hang on her tree. Given that she was born shortly before Christmas 2016 and is called Hollie, it seems very apt.
On a side note, trying to find anything Christmas-related featuring Hollie or Lucie’s names spelt correctly is no mean feat. Studio came to rescue this year with these cute personalised festive decorations for just £1.49. I did draw the line at getting the cats one each but there’s still time yet…
Given that my girls are older (Megan is 18 now), I actually suggested to them that we ditch a few of these traditions, such as the stockings, new pyjamas and leaving food out, and was met by a horrified cry of resistance so we’ve decided to keep them going for a little bit longer.
On the lead up to the big day, we always crack open a bottle of fizz and a tin of chocolates, whack some classic Christmas music on and argue quite a lot whilst trying to assemble the tree. Attempting to stop the cats from climbing it and trashing my glass baubles is another challenge altogether.
We also light an advent candle every night throughout December in memory of loved ones who are no longer with us. Christmas seems to magnify the loss so it’s our little way of remembering and including our friends and family who have passed away into our traditions and celebrations.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? That every family has their own personal ways of making the Christmas period their own. I’d love to hear how you spend yours and what little things you do to make it special.
Shop the look with Studio. Don’t forget that if you’re a new customer and use the code 089, you’ll get free delivery.
Personalised Initial Make-Up Bag – £9.99
Christmas Pyjamas in a Bag – £7.99
Brights Christmas Gift Wrap Set – £2.99
Victoria’s Secret Body Spray – £11.99
Christmas Stag Jumper – £9.99
Glass Cat Mug – £7.99
Snuggle Twosie Pyjamas – £7.99
*This post is sponsored by Studio as part of my ambassadorship