Thursday, 2 December 2010

Family Traditions

This evening we put up our Christmas decorations. My husband put the lights up in the window while I put the lights on the tree and the kids bounced around the room clutching handfuls of hanging decorations waiting for me to finish so they can weigh the branches down with them.

We then turn the room lights off and Oooh and aaah over the twinkling lights in the dark. We then eat together and my children go to bed excitedly knowing that their Christmas boxes will have a treat waiting inside for them in the morning when they wake up.

The Christmas boxes started 3 years ago when my eldest son was 2. Rather than a shop bought advent calendar, they each have a small cardboard box which they each decorated with Christmas stickers and sparkly bits n pieces. Then each morning, a small 'treat' miraculously appears in the box alongside a small figure to add to the nativity scene. It culminates in baby Jesus 'arriving' on Christmas day.

Come Christmas Eve, we, that is, me, my husband and our children's have our own Christmas meal with all the trimmings. The following two days are such a whirl that we think its important to take time out just for us, to remember what this is all about...

I've worked hard over the years to create these traditions. I truly believe that these are the things that keep families together. Shared experience, shared expectations. We all know what part we are all to play in these things and we enjoy the roles because they are all important and help us to value each other.

I have a fantastic relationship with my siblings and its because my mum has always made sure that we do things together. Every year, as close to the 1st December as we can make it, we all meet up at mums house and we put up the Christmas decorations. We've done it for as long as I can remember and it is so much fun. For me it marks the beginning of the Christmas season, time for family. Now I take my husband and children and they have fitted seamlessly into this family tradition and they enjoy it as much as I do.

We have loads of other little things throughout the year that we as a family 'do' and they are part of the glue that keeps us together. I think all family units create traditions, whether intentionally or accidental, some brilliant and others... not so much. The tradition where a family member insists on cooking the main meal when they. really. shouldn't. be. in. a. kitchen... at all...

What traditions have your family created?

(I wonder if they'll notice the Christmas tree Decs are a little less... wonky... by the morning)
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