This week I have been thinking lots about family christmas traditions. Up until this year, we have only had a couple of things we do every christmas. My girls are older now so I want to up my game a bit and create magical christmas memories for them to treasure. My christmas decorations usually go up in the last week of November. I was totally late this year after having my son and moving house so they weren't put up until the second week of December. I love my christmas decorations, I think they make the house look amazing. I always have a red, white and silver theme. Some things I buy new and most things I reuse from the years before. I love to get all of the old grotto pictures and put them up around the front room, it's so nice seeing the kids when they were younger and they really enjoy looking at them.
I made quite a few decorations myself and we have an elf that sits on the tree and watches the kids to see if they are good. He reports back to Father Christmas and this helps decide whether the kids are on the good or naughty list. I can't remember where I got the elf from. I think it must've been a gift from someone but I can't remember who. My girls love looking at him and seeing if he's moved and telling him that they are good. Ever since Leyla's first christmas, I have made sure that every year the kids have had new pyjamas and a book on Christmas Eve. I didn't realise how many other people did this too. I like to make the pyjamas somehow christmas related for the Christmas Day morning pictures but I know that not everyone cares about that. I have also always picked a book about christmas because I think it gets the kids into the spirit of christmas and gets them excited.
This year, as the girls are 6 and 7, I am going a bit more all out with the Christmas Eve bags. Kieron is just getting a little christmas sleepsuit, as he will be just short of 12 weeks on Christmas Eve so there is not really much I can give him. The girls bag will be much bigger. They will be getting a joint gift bag with a pair of reindeer pyjamas each, a christmas book each, a cup each with a hot chocolate sachet and a chocolate bar in, a little bag of homemade reindeer food (glitter and oats - so easy!), a magic key as we have no fireplace, a little plate for them to leave Father Christmas his treats on and some popcorn. I will find us a nice christmassy film to watch on Netflix and it will be lovely.
We usually leave Father Christmas a few cookies and a glass of milk or mulled wine and a carrot and reindeer food for Rudolph. I love the plate I found this year to put the treats on! I found this last week in Wilkinsons and thought it was cute. I like to keep Christmas Eve a family day, with no running around getting last minute things done. I try and make sure that all of the wrapping and jobs are done by the 23rd. Bedtime on Christmas Eve is obviously not easy, with the kids being so excited, but I try to get them in bed early so I can have an early night ready for what is usually a very early morning on Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day, I always make sure that one of their presents is a nice outfit and pair of party shoes that they can wear on the day. I usually make or buy a beautiful red party dress. This year, with it being Kieron's first christmas, I made him a crocheted Father Christmas outfit to wear. We are going to my parents house for dinner and afterwards we will play games and sing karaoke and have a nice family evening together with more mulled wine. I can't wait! What are your family christmas traditions?