One month and counting. Christmas is on the way …
The mince pies have been on sale in the shops for quite a while already. But last weekend I heard Fairytale of New York on the radio for the first time this year. And Sky’s Christmas film channel has been up since early in the month. I’m slowly ticking off the squares on my Christmas cliché bingo card.
Yesterday it was our school’s Christmas fair. Which meant a couple of hours of feeding the kids an endless supply of cash so they could play hook-a-duck or win bottles of ginger beer or queue to see Santa and receive a present from him.
This used to be my idea of hell on earth but I guess I’ve mellowed a bit with age. It’s also the last of three years in which all our children are at the same school, which makes events like this a proper family occasion for us. The kids have fun and lots of money is raised for the school – a win-win.
The fair also marks the unofficial start of Christmas for us, so all our little family traditions can now start to kick into gear. Later today I’ll be getting all our trees and decorations down from the loft to assess what we need to buy. Probably next weekend the kids will set up their own tree in the playroom and start making their own paper decorations to hang around the house. We’ll meet up with my parents in London for dim sum and a look at this year’s Christmas lights. I’ll pick up the festive edition of the Radio Times and go through it with a highlighter pen. And we’ll all sit down and watch Elf together.
Our little Christmas traditions are half the fun of the festive season. The other half is creating new ones together. Toby’s recent baking obsession has led him to start making his own mince pies. So, after a couple of successful test batches, Toby has now replaced Tesco as our official mince pie supplier.
For me, Christmas is a much better experience with kids than pre-children. I see it all through a different, less jaded lens. And every year we roll out old, comfortable traditions and create new ones. What’s not to like, really?
Do you have any particular family Christmas traditions of your own?