This is the year that changes everything about how we have done Christmas in our family. This is not just with me being in Canada – if I was at home, things would still be very different. Before traditions and Christmas change for the good, I wanted to remember all the things I loved most about the old ones.
1. Our stockings. Me and the sibling have always had the same ones, put out on the landing every year until this one. Always opened in our parents bedroom, with the time changing throughout the years, and in latter years, with a cup of tea. When they were around, the grandparents would sit in the corner and watch the opening. Occasional switching of presents by mum if they had got in the wrong stocking, dad saying ‘what’ve you got there then?’ and being handed anything requiring opening or assembling. Chocolate coins, selection boxes, socks and underwear, face wipes, hair bands and post its. Staple items that I have never before needed to purchase myself!
2. Roast dinner. Well, there will always be a roast dinner. Where possible, followed by Langage Ice Cream.
3. Outdoors on the farm. This has always varied, but usually involves some sort of walk/ feeding of cows/ petting pony. Other pet based entertainment involves dressing them in Christmas collars or tinsel.
4. Christmas TV. Eastenders. Dad says, oh not this rubbish again. Throughout the show, mum and dad ask questions answered by me and sibling with encyclopaedic knowledge. Mum has somehow picked up some random knowledge throughout the year. Dads last big update was last Christmas. A film? Perhaps, depends what is on and which DVDs have been received for Christmas. One year, we watched The Inbetweeners film. It was not really family viewing on reflection.
5. Cheese, coco pops, nuts, chocolate, ice cream, roast dinner, mum actually roasting chestnuts on an open fire, dad producing some nice chocolates later in the day that he had stashed.
6. In past years, visits to other grandparents and every year a phone call to Auntie Ruth. Hello Auntie Ruth!!
7. Board games. Usually at some point over the festive period. Who doesnt love Cluedo?
8. Playing with presents. Feeling the ones under the tree and trying to guess. Arranging them under the tree. Rearranging them under the tree. Feeling them again. Handing them out so we each have one to open at the same time.
9. The log fire. And everything about it.
10. The search for the perfect present box or basket. I smile writing this one.
I suppose this year, I may not be making new traditions, I wont know until next year. Sibling will be having her first Christmas in her new house and flying through the new traditions, buying decorations and entertaining. I like to see the pictures and updates and am look forward to when I visit home next year and see it all for myself.
Not all of these things have to change, next year maybe some will return. Some may have to wait until there are little people to begin them all over again.