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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Our Christmas Traditions

Thanks for hopping over from The Mummy Balancing Act and welcome to my post for the fourth day of #12daysofparenting. We have many prizes to giveaway including today's sponsor, Bambini & Me, who are offering a sleep bag in either size 0-6m or 6-18 m. The winner will be able to select from the following patterns: Elephant in grey; Bunny in blue; and Bird in pink. 
 Full details of the giveaway can be found on the 12 Days of Parenting Facebook page, and all entries are to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Christmas is such a traditional time, but the more people I meet, the more traditions I find. It seems everyone has their own that they are super passionate about, and when I married the Hubby I discovered new traditions that would now have to be a part of my Christmas, and others that I was shocked had never been a part of his. Making our own little family has enabled us to combine our traditions, and invent our own. So, here you shall find a selection of the Christmas Traditions in our house.

Advent:
Jesse Tree http://laura-honeybee.blogspot.com/2015/12/our-christmas-traditions.htmlJesse Tree - instead of an Advent calendar, we have a Jesse Tree.  The Jesse Tree is a vehicle to tell the story of Jesus as pointed to throughout the Old Testament. Each day we take out a decoration to hang on our Jesse Tree. The first 16 decorations represent characters or events from the Bible; the final 8 are based on the 'O' Antiphons used during Vespers and mass at the end of Advent, and which are in the hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. We try to read the relevant story from the Bible, or watch a video of it, and discuss how Jesus is shown in that passage. Sometimes we do crafts or activities based on the theme for the day, though these tend to get neglected as we get to the busier end of Advent. I hope that this will be a tradition that continues for many years, getting us all deeper into the Bible and discovering more about the reason for Christmas. If you want to find out more about our Jesse Tree, you can find my previous posts here.

Christmas Books - this is a tradition I've discovered since becoming a parent. Each night of Advent we read a different Christmas related book. The last two years I have wrapped each book up to be opened by one of the children, but this year I changed my mind. Too much work, and too much of a waste of wrapping paper! It was great the year M was born, because B was still in the stage of finding life with a new sibling difficult, so having a present to open each night was a brilliant distraction. I bought a whole load of Christmas books from a charity shop, and we are slowly replacing some of the more boring ones with much more delightful books. My favourites so far are Jesus' Christmas Party and The Lion, The Unicorn and Me.

Candles - starting from the first Sunday of Advent we light Advent candles at every meal, adding a candle each Sunday. The girls love candles - lighting them, taking it in turns to blow them out - and they are a lovely way of symbolising Jesus, the Light of the World, coming at Christmas.

Advent Candle http://laura-honeybee.blogspot.com/2015/12/our-christmas-traditions.html

Gifts for Baby Jesus - this is a tradition I am trying to start this year, so far unsuccesfully! It being Jesus' birthday - and also a time when there will be a large number of new toys entering our house - I thought it would be a good idea to get the girls to select one of their toys to give to the Baby Jesus. B's not keen!

Christmas Eve:
Glazed Ham http://laura-honeybee.blogspot.com/2015/12/our-christmas-traditions.htmlHam - since getting married we have spent each Christmas at either my parents' or my in-laws', and so I started to cook a special meal on Christmas Eve in order that we could have a celebration as just us. For the past few years this has been a boiled glazed ham, hasselback potatoes and Christmas coleslaw, made with red cabbage, carrots, apple, pecans and dried cranberries. It's a meal that both girls eat, and one that doesn't take a lot of preparation - perfect for a relaxed Christmas Eve!


Christmas Eve Box - this is an idea I found on the Imagination Tree website. When the girls are having their early bath, the elves deliver a box containing new pyjamas, hot chocolate and marshmallows, The Night Before Christmas, and a Christmas film to watch together...

The Muppet Christmas Carol - I think it was at university that I first watched this film, though I can't be certain, and ever since then I have watched it on Christmas Eve. The Muppet Christmas Carol has to be my absolute favourite Christmas film, and it is just perfect for family Christmas Eve viewing. After all, There's only one more sleep til Chri-istmas!!

Christmas Day:
Slow Present Opening - ever since I was a little girl, opening presents on Christmas Day was a slow process. Slow, but deeply enjoyable, in my opinion. I'm one of four children, so with six of us opening presents one by one, present opening took a long time, but it meant that we were able to see what everyone had been given; appreciate each present we received before opening our next; and watch people open the presents we had bought for them. This is very different to how the Hubby's family opened presents when he was young, but he's come around to my way of thinking.

Queen's Speech - I always watch the Queen's speech. I'm very fond of her, and I love her faith. This is one of those traditions that can be a struggle, because the Hubby's family don't watch it. Thank goodness for iPlayer!

Bread sauce - another tradition that I thought was normal for everyone until I met the Hubby. He had never tasted bread sauce until he met me! Christmas dinner just isn't Christmas dinner for me without bread sauce, so every year I make a big batch of it, and take half to wherever we're spending the day. The other half stays in my fridge to enjoy over the next days.

Epiphany:
Three Kings -  the Three Kings from our Nativity set travel around the house during the days after Christmas and they finally arrive at the Nativity on 6th January. It's fun for the girls to try and find them each day.

Epiphany http://laura-honeybee.blogspot.com/2015/12/our-christmas-traditions.html
Celebration Meal - Christmas isn't over until Epiphany, and even then I try to stretch it out as long as possible. We have a special meal on 6th January, inspired by Eastern foods in honour of the Wise Men from the East. Sometimes we have a party. We have Christmas crackers again, so that we can all wear crowns. January is such a cold, dark month, so I think it's important to grasp as much joy and celebration as we can.


I'd love to hear about some of your Christmas traditions, and if you would like to read about others', then hop on over to Monkey & Mouse where you can also gain further entries into the grand prize draw. 
Full terms and conditions can be found on the Mummies Waiting website. UK residents only.

Enter the code word - Fairy- into the Rafflecopter below:


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