Reading about other people's family traditions is so lovely and inspiring. We have a few of our own too, which I thought I'd record here. I'd love to know if you do any of these too.
Lebkuchen starts our countdown
Aldi does simply the best lebkuchen ever and our son, toddler girl and I all love it. We always kick off on the 1st December by opening our first packet of lebkuchen and savouring every bite.
Definitely uncoordinated Christmas decorations
Our house wouldn't win any coordinated at Christmas awards! I love that our house and tree is decorated with an array of colours and syles - all of which have been made for us, given to us or collected on our days out over the 10 years husband and I have been together. Our tree houses a Bloomingdales bauble from what feel like centuries ago when we went to New York at Christmas time (pre-kids, obviously!), alongside a Padstow crab decoration from a campervan holiday in 2012, so many of my Nan's lovely hand made baskets, stockings and trees and so so many others... I love it.
Swimming on Christmas Eve
I got in the wrong queue when I was pregnant, and ended up with kids who get so hyper on Christmas Eve that snuggling on the sofa with hot chocolate and a film would be an ordeal for all of us. So we go swimming instead. The pool is completely empty, and we have a very enjoyable hour splashing around. It's a total bonus that the kids go to sleep so much easier in the evening as a result too!
Scratchcard for starters
Our Christmas dinner always starts with a scratchcard for everyone at the table. For a total of around 30 place settings over the last few years, we've won a grand total of £3, but maybe this will be the year someone wins big (and please let it be me!).
Along with our scratchcards, everyone at the dinner table gets a table present. It's a bit like secret Santa - I don't spend a lot, usually £10 or so maximum, but I do try and get something meaningful for the individual. A hand made gift for grandparents from the kids always goes down well.
Love, laughter, cuddles
It's such a busy time of year with so much to do that it's easy to get caught up in all the jobs, making everything perfect, trying to fill every second with memories etc. So I try and make sure we do stop (briefly, because my kids never stop) and try and appreciate just how fortunate, happy and content we are. I hope this is what the kids will really remember as the magic of Christmas for many, many years to come.