I can’t believe today is actually Christmas Eve – where did all the time go?
I have now been home for a whole week and it’s gone so quickly, I guess the saying time flies when you’re having fun is true!
Today’s post is one I was planning on writing yesterday but my parents were having a Christmas party and I had a couple of friends round so I got completely sidetracked… It was a lovely evening though.
I’ve been planning on writing this post for a while now but haven’t had the time so today I will finally share my family’s Christmas traditions with you 🙂
My mother is French. My father is English. And so my sister are half and half (obviously).
Our Christmas traditions are an amalgamation so to speak.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
For us Christmas isn’t about the big lunch on Christmas day. Our Christmas dinner is in fact on Christmas Eve, as is done in a lot of Europe, this is when the magic really begins. All of that anticipation, that planning and this excitement finally comes to a realisation. This is when I want time to come to a stop, I want to stay there, just waiting for it all to really start. We spend the afternoon baking mince pies, decorating the Christmas cake, listening to Carols at Kings on the radio, wrapping presents and cooking up a delicious feast before Midnight Mass and more carols.
Tonight the feast is going to be fresh, dressed crab with avocado and rocket; proceeded by a roasted guinea fowl surrounded by roast potatoes, roasted root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and gravy; and the whole thing coming to a close with a gorgeous fruit salad.
It may sound like a lot, and it does leave you pretty full, but it’s just one of the most wonderful meals of the year. Everyone is relaxed and happy because there is just something special about enjoying a Christmas meal together as a family. And you know, I think there is really something to be said about the special meal being before presents and things like that come into the picture. I just love it all.
Christmas day is no less special for us though! When we wake up, my sister and I still rush into my parents’ bedroom and we still open our stockings together. We’ve done it since we were tiny and to this day I’m pretty sure that I still get as excited. After stockings comes a lovely breakfast and then for next moment of excitement: the presents. We each make our pile and we unwrap them one by one. I love seeing the reactions people give when opening the gifts I chose so carefully for them. And I have to admit, I love getting presents too! The next tradition on the list: the Christmas day walk. Some of my oldest childhood friends still live on the same street as me and all the families go on a lovely walk together before lunchtime. It’s a nice way of sharing the day with others. Obviously I can’t walk very far anymore but I still make one field just to keep the tradition going!
Then lunch. You might be wondering what we have? Party food! Nibbles essentially, little pieces of delicious food. It’s great fun and just what you need after a heavier meal the night before. Crackers are pulled, jokes told, and I always insist paper hats are compulsory for at least the first ten minutes of the meal. And then the afternoon is just a time for relaxation. We used to play with our toys from lunch until it was time for bed and I have a feeling this year with my present it might be the same (not telling what it is yet :-P).
So there you have our Christmas traditions!
Christmas really is a time of giving, of generosity, of good-will and of happiness and every year I always take a moment to reflect and spare a moments thought for all of those whose experience of Christmas is not so special. Those for who Christmas just means another on the streets, for who Christmas has to be spent in hospital, for who a happy Christmas seems a distant memory or has never even happened at all. It may sound a little trite but maybe it’s because I love Christmas so much, I really can’t bear the thought of all those without, so at Christmas I always make a donation to a charity, just as much as I can give. It might not be much but I know it will help at least a little. This year I haven’t chosen a charity yet so if anyone feels particularly strongly about a certain charity, or knows of a small, less well-known charity, then I’d love to hear from you!
I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful Christmas and enjoy the next few days!