Christmas is traditionally a time of joy for many and yet it can be incredibly challenging time for others. Over the years I’ve had both a magical and difficult relationship with Christmas! But it’s also a time to embrace tradition and new traditions too. It’s those traditions that have, in the past, given me a point of focus each Christmas – traditions that have been handed down the generations in our family. But I also feel there is always space to try something new too!
As children, it didn’t matter how tough times were, Mum always made Christmas magical. We loved opening our stockings on Christmas morning, spending the day playing with our toys and gathering with family around a big table for Christmas dinner. As teenagers, we all got weekend jobs which meant that we often worked over part of the Christmas holidays or I sometimes volunteered at a local shelter. And when we came home, Mum always made us feel as if Christmas Day was just beginning for us!
Fast forward a few years and we’d all left home. Instead of returning home, we’d rent a rustic house somewhere and gather with family and friends for a week of festive fun. Or we’d go home to France to be nearer to our friends and neighbours there. Wherever we were – it was always magical. Then, nearly a decade ago, Mum passed away suddenly closely followed by my wonderful mother-in-law and several cousins and friends. That first Christmas without Mum was challenging. My lovely uncle tried to make it as peaceful as possible but I will admit – all I wanted to do was bury myself under a duvet until it was all over. Since then we’ve often gone away for Christmas with friends on the beach or to our home in France with family. I can’t remember the last time we put up our own Christmas tree.
After the year we’ve all had, somewhere in the midst of lockdown I feel like we turned a corner regarding our relationship with Christmas. For the first time in many years, I’m really excited about Christmas. We’ll be home for once and are very much looking forward to gathering with our family bubble.
Like many, I’ve felt the need to bring in a little Christmas tree early. A couple of weeks ago we put up our tree and it’s brightened many a grey day since then – we love it! And for the first time, I made a fresh wreath which is hanging on our front door. With each activity I feel the spirit of Christmas returning.
There are, of course, many Christmas traditions we enjoy. Some are well known and other are just between our family such as making Grannie-Mum’s retro 1970’s Boxing Day salad to go with jacket spuds and cold turkey. I also love to light the fire, make hot chocolate and spend an afternoon watching the BBC’s wonderful 1980s version of The Box of Delights.
And there are new traditions too. I have to say I’m still working on this one! One thing we are doing is gathering with our family bubble on Christmas Eve for a big buffet and games evening. I had suggested a Harry Potter Movie Marathon in Christmas PJ’s but that wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea!
Weddings are similar to the celebration of Christmas! There are traditions you can follow if you wish which often inform what happens when. If you want to follow traditional norms for your wedding you can. That said, increasingly couples come to me for support because they’re looking for a ceremony that breaks with tradition and gives them the opportunity to make their own traditions – something that reflects who they really are and celebrates their uniqueness!
I’d love to hear what your Christmas AND Wedding traditions are – old and new! Hit me up with your ideas!
Share the love