I come from a large family and so does my husband and we were both used to large Christmas gatherings when we were young. When we got married, we moved overseas with my husband’s work fairly fast and that set a different precedent for Christmases. We had to make our own Christmas Traditions and we have become very used to spending Christmas on our own – initially as a couple, and then with growing numbers of children.
We have several traditions that we do in the run up to Christmas itself – things like making a gingerbread house from scratch (I have to try and take a quick picture before it falls down usually), buying and decorating a tree and decorating the house, making Christmas cookies, going out to see the lights (obviously from the car this year!), and drinking lots of home-made mulled wine (adults only…) and eating lots of mince pies.
On Christmas eve, we open the Christmas Eve Box which has new pyjamas in it, and drink hot chocolate in front of a Christmas movie (Arthur Christmas for preference). Then the kids hang their sacks up, leave a mince pie and glass of Port for Santa and a carrot for his reindeer, leaving the grown-ups to enjoy the rest of the bottle of port.
Christmas Day I am usually awake before the children (I am such a kid) and we feed the animals and then we open stockings before having a lovely special breakfast (which includes champagne for the adults – are you seeing a theme here?!). After breakfast, we muck out the horses so that all our jobs are done, and then open our family presents. The morning is usually spent building Lego and eating chocolate whilst my husband cooks a simple Christmas lunch. We eat lunch together, then open the rest of the presents. We walk the dogs in the afternoon and then spend the rest of the day playing games and watching movies. It is so lovely to have a relaxing day together rather than rushing around.
This Christmas we are on our own as a family of 6 again as our extended families are celebrating down South and we need to be up in Scotland with the animals.
We are looking forward to our Boxing Day Party that we throw every year though!