Jacqui - posted on 12/06/2012 ( no moms have responded yet )
I love hearing other family's Christmas traditions! I LOVE Christmas.
I love watching children's faces as they see the lights on the trees, the wonder in their eyes when they sit on Santa's knee and the excitement on their faces when they wake up on Christmas morning.
Last week we decorated the tree. Nothing makes Christmas quite so real as when you go out and buy the tree and unpack all the Christmas decorations, hastily put away from last year.
For me, decorating the tree has always been about putting on the Christmas music, surrounding myself with boxes of gorgeous colourful decorations and deciding on a theme for the tree. Nowadays, however, I have to reign in my neat-freak tendencies and my need for a perfect looking tree, as these days I have two little helpers who have their own idea (or rather no idea)of how the tree should look.
Imagine this....mum happily humming away to Christmas music as she pointedly arranges her silver baubles in a very particular line intermittently broken up with red baubles....then out of nowhere, a little hand places a GOLD bauble right in the middle of my pattern...
"Nooo...Sasha...we're not doing gold this year," I patiently explain to my four year old, who promptly ignores me and shoves colourful baubles all over the place. Meanwhile, my 6 year old is unwrapping the awful gold tinsel, which I really should have thrown out at the end of last year but for some unknown reason, still seems to be in the box, and drapes it all over the place in no particular pattern or system at all.
I have realised that, unless I want a beautiful tradition to end in tears, biting my tongue on the way the Christmas tree is decorated for the next 16 years is highly advisable. I will one day get my perfect Christmas tree back. But for now, it is a mix-match of red, gold, silver, green, purple and blue with plastic toy snakes(yep - I'm serious) and Batman hanging off its branches alongside the fairies and reindeers...Yes, my children believe that Batman too has a place on the christmas tree - "to keep the wooden toy soldiers company," says Jack.
Apart from the Tree Decoration Day, we have plenty of other traditions we like to do at Christmas. Each year we take the train into town to go to the big local department store and visit Santa. We queue with the other children, but nobody minds as the anticipation of meeting the big man in red is so exciting. After visiting Santa, we treat ourselves to High Tea at the department store cafe, overflowing with stressed-looking mums, grannies and highly excited children, before getting the train back home to draw Santa a picture.
For those parents who don't know about it, the Portable North Pole video is an excellent way to bring delight to the children. It is a personalised video from Santa and my children tend to watch it again and again...eyes shining and giggling with delight. Just click on the link above to visit the website and follow the instructions. It is totally free and is really quite marvellous.
If you haven't yet done it, sit down with your children and write a letter to Santa telling him you are really excited about him visiting. Label the envelope: Santa, North Pole and post it to any postbox. You always seem to get a letter back - quite fabulous!
Finally, Christmas morning itself. I love to hear how other families spend their Christmas morning. Our children have a stocking each on their bed with small toys and treats inside. They are not allowed into the living room until everyone is awake. Considering that the excitement is untenable from around 5am, we adults have no choice to but to waken early that day. Then we all go into the living room together to see if Santa has visited. Pure squeals of delight for the rest of the morning are quite normal!
I've always loved Christmas, but now I have children, I can really see the magic.