I am just bursting with excitement about Christmas this year. Maybe you can tell by the fact this is my third Christmassy post and it’s only mid-November. In fact, being the soppy wreck I seem to have turned into since childbearing I could almost well up at the fact this is our first Christmas as a proper family. I have been dreaming of this moment so long and I cannot wait to see Violets face on Christmas day as we sit by the tree opening our presents – the reflection of twinkly lights in our eyes. In the background Christmas tunes jingle away as the smell of the roast drifts through the air. Could we just skip December and make it tomorrow!?
So, being the ball of irritating festive enthusiasm I am (verging on Buddy the Elf standards here), I’ve been planning ways to start some of our very own Christmas Eve family traditions. Quite honestly before now, we didn’t really have any and our previous Christmases have been most un-festive! Last year we didn’t even have a tree up, V was working long shifts and I was a heavily pregnant beached whale who was too busy stuffing mince pies to put the tree up. I’d only knock the baubles off with my giant belly every time I walked past, so why bother?! The Christmas before that, we were on a Nile Cruise and didn’t even notice Christmas slip by – so traditional, we are not – but this year all of that will change now we are a family.
Christmas Eve to me as a little girl was when the magic started. I know Violet only be 10 months old and won’t totally understand it, but it’s never to early to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Waiting to go to sleep, knowing that in the night, Father Christmas will come down the chimney leaving presents at the end of my bed. I remember waking up and wiggling my toes to hear the crackle of wrapping paper, feeling the weight of my stocking pressing into my quilt before I had even opened my eyes. I think Christmas eve was the only time I ever wanted to go to bed early! This year we’ll be getting ready for bed nice and early – turning our phones off for the next few days, cosying up for the evening in front of the open fire in with Violet, snuggling up in our warm Christmas pyjamas, only the best from Marks & Spencer, of course. I might even crack open the Quality Street tin, we shall see.
Violet loves books and I’ve already started to read her Christmas stories, both about Father Christmas and The Nativity Story. I enjoyed both as a child and I want to pass onto her the meaning behind Christmas and that it’s not all about the twinkly lights and presents. We also have a Nativity Set that we bought on our trip a couple of years ago to Bethlehem, which I can’t wait to set up with Violet – I think she’ll be really intrigued by the animals in the stable the most this year. We bought it as a family decoration we could use every year – it’s beautiful and means so much to us that we bought it on one of our trips too. One day I’m sure she’ll want to set it up and arrange it all herself, I’m sure!
A newer tradition to me is the Christmas Eve box, I’m not sure this was ‘a thing‘ when I was growing up as I certainly didn’t open any presents until Christmas Day, but embracing both new traditions and old – I am going to make Violet a little Christmas eve box to open. As she’s only little it’ll just have a few little toys in there for her to enjoy as well as some keepsakes like this little Violet’s First Christmas Mug, a first christmas bauble for the tree and a Santa plate for her first Christmas meal too.
My final tradition is once we are all off to bed, I will make sure we all put a mince pie and a carrot down for Father Christmas. I used to always leave him a small glass of sherry too, but seeing as that’s not something we have in our house, maybe he’d like a gin and tonic instead? That we can do. We’ll have to leave it up high though, as I’m sure Robbie will think his luck is in with all those tasty treats being left out overnight!
How do you like to spend Christmas Eve as a family? I’d love to hear your Christmassy tales in the comments below!