Do you start with an advent candle, advent calendar (with or without chocolate) or an advent wall hanging? When do the decorations go up, as soon as December arrives, 12 days before Christmas, Christmas Eve or any date in between when you can find the time? Is the decorating part of the festivities, a joint family effort scattering tinsel liberally while tippling on eggnog or mulled wine, singing carols at the top of your voice. Perhaps its a task performed with all the planning and precision of a department store display team, or maybe its a solitary activity that takes most of the day as each item unearthed triggers a new memory of Christmas past.
|Me, helping with the decorations, many, many years ago!|
And what about the tree? Will it be a fresh fir, an artificial spruce or a colour phasing fibre optic?(as a child of the 70's I have a vague recollection of a silver tinsel affair with red berries on the end of the branches,... nice!)
When it comes to presents do they all get wrapped and put under the tree for little fingers to poke and prod at, the pile getting larger as the big day draws closer? Are only some put under the tree, those that arrive from 'Santa' being kept in a safe place until required ( and does Santa wrap them or not? ), or are there no parcels under the tree until the actual day dawns? As to stockings,if there are any,will they be shop bought, hand made or scavenged from dad's sock drawer, hung from the bed, the mantle piece or the back of the sofa, opened in private before anyone else gets up or saved until last.
|The latest addition to my Christmas ornaments, a fantastic snowman from Fiddley Diddley Pottery|
Then on to the cooks highlight of the day, the traditional Christmas dinner, or is it lunch? Starting with soup, or smoked salmon, or should that be prawn cocktail, perhaps pate. Main course has to be the traditional turkey/goose/duck/glazed ham/venison and for dessert it's obviously going to be Christmas pudding, or a Yule log, no, a trifle. Phew!
I grew up with 3 older sisters, all following the same routines and rituals at Christmas, but as adults with families of our own we now all have new customs, a blending of the habits of two households, ours and our husbands. We have created our own traditions, suited to our families and lifestyles that in later years will no doubt be moulded by our children to suit their families, as it should be.
A traditional Christmas? No thanks, give me a personal Christmas every time.
Merry Christmas Everyone.