Tuesday, December 01, 2009

24 more sleeps.....

Well it's official - it's the first of December today which means that the "Jolly Fat Man in the Red Suit" is only 24 sleeps away...... and geez were my kids excited to see the advent calendar hanging in prime position in the kitchen this morning.

Although we are used to seeing Christmas decorations in the shops early every year.... I have to admit to being a true traditionalist when it comes to Christmas and decorating. In fact my mam is and so was her mam.... thankfully Noel is happy for me to carry on my family traditions.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is somewhat traditional is our family. Officially starting on Christmas Day through to the 5th January is known as "Christmastide" and the day after the 12th night is Epiphany on January 6th.

We put our Christmas Tree and decorations up on the 13th December - 12 days before Christmas. No other decorations are put up before hand except of course for the advent calendar and Noel does start putting up the outside Christmas lights early as this does take some time. Traditionally (in the United Kingdom), the Twelfth Day is the last day for decorations to be taken down. It is said to be bad luck to take decorations down after this date. Needless to say we have 12 days before and 12 days after Christmas and it's all over for another year.

Christmas Eve has always been special time in our family also. Besides normally organising what we can for Christmas dinner the next day we bake mince tarts and other Christmas treats. It's great since mam always comes and stays with us for Christmas there is 3 generations baking together on Christmas Eve... my mam, me and Alex. The children then have their baths/showers and get to take one present from under the tree. Not just any present - it's a special present which is always their Christmas pyjama's. A special brand new pair of pyjama's to wear on such a special night. We all have a seafood supper and watch Carols By Candlelight on the tv together as a family.

Before going off to bed, a platter is left for Santa and his reindeer. Santa normally is treated to a freshly baked mince pie and a nip of whiskey, a couple of carrots for the reindeer and of course a bucket of water is placed at the front door just in case they are thirsty also!! Now because we do not have a chimney in our house, we have a "magic key" that Santa uses to enter the house and of course we leave this hanging outside on the front door.

We have a nativity scene, very rustic looking complete with donkey and cow, the angel, Mary and Joseph. Jesus in the cradle is not put out on December 13th instead the baby in the cradle is place in the nativity scene on Christmas morning not before.

Christmas dinner is always a traditional affair. Entrees are changed to suit, but when it comes to the main fare there is always Roast Turkey and stuffing, Roast Pork, vegetables, cranberry sauce, apple sauce and gravy. And always way too much of it. The Christmas pudding is always eaten, complete with it's treasure of hidden coins (which of course are sterilised before placing inside the pudding). Served with brandy custard or brandy butter there is no better way than to push your already over-full belly to the limits.

So what are your Christmas traditions? What are the special things you do to make your Christmas magic? I would love to hear what happens in your household.

Now off to do some planning and preparation before all the days disappear and it's suddenly Christmas Day already....... alright then, where do I start??

Oh before I forget.... here are some snaps from last year's Christmas decorations if you fancy having a look!!

1 comment:

Clare Murray said...

Good to see you are getting in the spirit, so glad you reminded me about an advent calendar, I am off out for lunch to buy one now. You know my Christmas tradition is to come to Melbourne to see all my great family and spend time with them. My new tradition of writing everyone a poem about them is something I want to continue for as long as I can. We will be puttin gthe decas up tonight and I might just buy some new CHristmas lights on my lunch break.


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