Christmas traditions are one constant I look forward to year after year.
These are in no particular order.
1. Real Christmas Tree
Ever since I can remember, we have always had a real Christmas tree, and I can’t imagine my Christmas with an artificial one. We will always get our tree on 1st of December (or weekend closest to it). You can get real trees in supermarkets, garden centres, farm shops, but we go to Elveden Estate. Elveden always puts on an amazing Christmas display (even this year with Covid). We usually leave early in the morning for Elveden and stop about 20 minutes from Elveden at a Waffle & Pancake shop to have breakfast. On the way we also pick up my mum for her to get her tree as well. Out of all our Christmas traditions- this one is the most important one to me.
2. Wreaths & Garlands
Coming originally from Latvia I have to have an Advent wreath with 4 advent candles. To decorate the house, I also make one wreath for our front door. And to top it off- I make garland for our banister. If you want to see how I made mine this year – here is the link. This is our first year in our new house, so I am just trying to figure out what to put where and how many decorations to use. Will definitely use more decorations next year. All made from real tree branches.
What would be December without a smell of gingerbreads? It’s not just gingerbreads that I love baking leading up to Christmas, it’s all different bakes. Doesn’t even have to be ‘Christmas’ bakes as such, but being in the kitchen and making yummy things to munch on or making them as presents, while Christmas tunes are playing- is just the best feeling. You can get the rest of your family involved as well, which will make it into one of your favourite Christmas traditions. Check out my Christmas bakes – gingerbreads & orange biscuits.
4. Christmas Eve
In Latvia, and most of continental Europe, Christmas Eve is the most important part of the whole festive period. So we always make sure we go and spend Christmas Eve with my mum. Mum makes sure there is plenty of food, drink, music. After we’ve had our meal we’ll open presents and once the food has settled completely- we will all go for a walk and see all the Christmas lights. Every other year we also attend midnight mass at our local church. I am not a religious person, but somehow that feels fitting.
5. Christmas Day
When we used to do Christmas stockings- we would open our stockings first thing in the morning, but now we just open few presents first thing. We make sure a Christmas movie is on in the background and we are wearing our Christmas PJ’s for this. After this we usually get ready, all dressed up and we will start making our Christmas dinner. We will have Christmas movies on throughout the day and at 3pm Queens speech. We will open a few more presents throughout the morning, but leaving the majority for after dinner. After dinner and all presents have been opened- we will go for a walk again, not just to get out of the house, but also to see all the Christmas lights.
6. Christmas Dinner
Well… what is there not to like about Christmas dinner?! We always have turkey, honey roasted potatoes, carrots & parsnips. Runner beans & Brussel sprouts on the side. Yorkshire puddings filled with gravy made from the turkey juices. Pigs in blankets and roasted chestnuts. Making Christmas dinner, setting the table, serving it all up- that is one of my favourite things I am looking forwards to on Christmas Day.
7. Christmas Lights & Candles
Having Christmas lights on will create that Christmas mood. Lighting a candle will add the finishing touches to make it feel and smell cosy. Personally, I start lighting candles in late September, so I have them on the go, but I do like to stock up on all the Christmas scented ones for December. My favourite ones are with Christmas Fir scent.
8. Christmas Movies
I am sure you already have this on your list already, but can we just take a moment to appreciate how Christmas movies puts us in the Christmas mood! We make sure we watch 2-3 a week in December, to make sure we go through them all. Some I don’t mind seeing a couple or three times!
9. Meeting Friends & Family
All through December we make sure we see all our friends & family (or as much as possible). Sometimes we will have family over for Christmas Day or evening. Most years we will have someone visiting us on Boxing Day. After the food & gifts, we always play games, talk, have a cheeky eggnog and have a merry good time.
10. Shopping in Meadow Hall, Sheffield
Since the first Christmas James & I were dating, we have been going to Meadow Hall to do our Christmas shopping every year. And to be fair, we always find the majority of presents there. I know this is a bit of a random one, but I love it. I love shopping for Christmas- the lights, the songs, the happy feeling I get when buying presents I know people will love. The late night drive back, the hot chocolate stop at services. The unpacking when we get back. It’s just magical.
11. Christmas Drinks
Yes, yes, yes, I know I said 10 Christmas Traditions, but I couldn’t do a list without mentioning my two favourite Christmas drinks. Mulled wine & eggnog. Two different drinks, but I love them.
What are your Christmas traditions you love doing year after year? Are any of ours that you would love to add to your list?
Let me know in the comments down below.
Happy & Merry!!