Saturday, 17 December 2011
how things change....
One of the few things I remember about my childhood Christmases was the advent calendar. I shared one with my sister and it was the same one every year. We were instructed not to rip the doors off and had to close them up at the end of the festive season so that the calendar could be stored carefully away in the sideboard. It had a very traditional nativity scene with glowing halos, wise men and a starry starry night.
This year we have three advent calendars in the house. One (as pictured) with each little pocket stuffed with two identical chocolates from the Celebrations box bought by Grandma at the beginning of December. They have to have identical chocolates because although my children are well in the age range of communication and discernible speech, there would be dreadful morning rows if one had a Snickers and one a Milky Way to munch on before breakfast.
We then have two others, kindly provided by Granny, magnetised to the fridge and much enjoyed (still). This year these are of a more traditional ilk - one year we had a daily joke, no less. The little windows are opened with as much enthusiasm, usually just after the chocolate wrapper has been put in the bin. Once these calendars are finished with, I'll store them with the Christmas decorations, still not quite able to consign them to the recycling bin.
I heard on the radio a couple of days ago that Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year particularly between couples as they try to impose their own family traditions on the other. When chatting about this to The Worker, neither of us could remember a great deal of our early Christmases but both agreed that many of our traditions come from the above mentioned Granny. We have stockings every year for all of us (not just the kids) and there are table presents. We drink to absent friends at eleven (not one of Granny's), we have to have ham, egg and chips on Christmas Eve (J's tradition) and we still leave a 'cake' for Rudolph and a little sherry for Santa. Hardly ground-breaking stuff but I wonder whether our kids will insist that their partners adopt these rituals when they have homes of their own?
There are other traditions in our house, of course:
- I always forget to send several Christmas cards, usually the ones to people far, far away
- The Worker asks for wrapping paper at 10pm on Christmas Eve
- I lose several stocking presents throughout December, only to find them in January
- I forget to make a Christmas cake until 15th
- the bins are always full because I miss the last collection which is usually when The Worker is away
What are your traditions?