In my home, we began the tradition of the youngest child putting the angel on the tree. I grew up with a star on our tree. If my memory serves me correctly it was a silver tinsel star. When I left home, I began some of my own traditions. One of those was putting an angel on the tree. When the First Born was a baby, I sold Avon. One year, they had an angel in their catalogue so I purchased it for myself. I still have that angel and it is still put on the tree every year. We have tried a few stars over the year, but they just didn’t feel right and were taken down so the angel could be re-instated.
Another tradition that I began when the Tween was a baby was baking with her every year. We are hoping to get some of that done tomorrow. Over the years, she has taken more and more responsibility for making things and it lessens the burden on me.
Christmas Eve has seen the family coming to us in recent years. We have a cold dinner and pass out gifts afterwards. Since we’ve moved to this estate, Santa pays us a visit just on dusk. The first year we heard sirens in the street we were worried until we realised that Santa had hitched a ride in the local fire truck. The grandchildren love this and stand out on the footpath as Santa calls out to them. They can approach the truck and he gives them lollies in a little bag. It adds to the magic of the evening.
Another tradition that I have continued on from when I was a child is the reading of the story “The Night Before Christmas” before everyone leaves to go their separate ways on Christmas Eve. Mum had this beautifully illustrated book. It was red as I recall. We’ve changed it a little slightly here and we have the “Aussie Night Before Christmas”. I’ll share it with you in another post. The lights are all put out and the story is read by candlelight. These days, the children have some of those little battery operated candles but it is still nice. In times gone by I replaced my mother as the reader of the story and now the Tween reads to the grandchildren.
First thing Christmas morning, the Tween (she still tells us she believes) sneaks out to check her Santa sack and then comes in to wake us and show us what she has. We get up at a reasonable hour (the children learned that if the sun wasn’t up, neither were we) and gather around the Christmas Tree. The Garden Gnome dons the santa hat. Nothing gets handed out until Mum (me) has a cup of tea in her hand though. This is made by the children. (Although I have a photo of one Christmas where the GG, the middle child and my baby brother were all in the kitchen making my cup of tea). Presents are handed out one at a time and we all watch and wait for the recipient to open it before the next one is handed out. It takes time but it is so worth it.
Breakfast on Christmas Morning is the same for us every year. We have ham off the bone with cheese on croissants, fried eggs, hash browns, fried tomato & onion and a glass of champagne (or apple juice for the younger ones). The champagne is served in the good flutes.
After breakfast, we usually rest a little and play with our Christmas presents until it is time to go visiting. This year, everyone is coming to us so the morning will be much more relaxed. I’m looking forward to this very much.
So, there you have some of our traditions. I’d love to hear some of yours. 🙂