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On the 16th of December ….sharing Christmas traditions

One of the loveliest things about Christmas is continuing some of the traditions from your own childhood, and starting some new ones with your kids.
Christmas Eve

~(This is a RARE photo of me on my blog, I prefer to be behind the camera!)

A walk on Christmas Eve to view the lights and decorations in the neighbourhood. Then back home, kids into pyjamas, and  then drinking hot chocolate by the fire while watching a Christmas movie. We then read some Christmas stories, including The Three Trees and Twas the Night before Christmas.

Leaving some snacks for Santa and his reindeer – glass of port, mince pie, shortbread and a carrot.


Christmas Day
All presents are left by Santa, and his helpers, downstairs by the fireplace – both the stockings and the Santa sacks.
Before breakfast Santa gifts are opened, and we TRY to take turns opening gifts, so we all get to see what everyone has received.
After breakfast, the kids get their gifts from us.
We used to manage to get to church on Christmas morning even when we had 2 kids, but we have admitted defeat to the 9am service and instead stay home.
Turkey goes in the oven around now.
Mid morning our sociable neighbours invite everyone round for mulled wine and mince pies. The kids all get to see what their friends have got, and it is a lovely chance to catch up.
Late morning back home, and I get started in the kitchen.
Which ever family are joining us for dinner usually arrive about 2pm, and there is another present opening frenzy.
Dinner is usually served about 3pm.

And no Christmas Dinner is complete without crackers

One tradition we have NOT kept on is watching the Queens Speech at 3 oclock on Christmas Day! My childhood memory was having to keep quiet for my Granny so she could hear the Queen.

I will post about our Christmas Dinner Menu another day.

After dinner the kids get to open any remaining gifts, and usually the men of the family do the dishes, and I curl up on the sofa, usually with some toy to assemble or instructions to decifer.
Boxing Day
 This is the name for the day after Christmas Day, and it is usually a day to relax, see more family members, and eat Christmas Dinner leftovers.

I think I nearly enjoy my meal on Boxing Day as it is much more relaxed, and is so easy to prepare.

I will share more of our traditions here in Northern Ireland over the next few days, as Christmas approaches and would love it if you could return and join me.

So, what are some of YOUR Christmas traditions?

I am sharing these traditions as part of

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  1. I love hearing about this and thank you for explaining “Boxing Day.” 🙂 Your relationship with your neighbors sounds fantastic – I wish we had that here. Everyone keeps to themselves here. Our Christmas traditions include making sugar cookies, apple cider, etc. On Christmas Eve we attend a church service, usually a candlelight service, then come home and we each unwrap one Christmas gift, usually always a new set of pajamas or robe. In the morning, we get up, make our coffee or tea but do not let the kids out of their rooms until we are ready with cameras rolling. Then we unwrap and savor each moment. Then…relax the day away. Have a lovely evening meal, then the next day is post Christmas sales – usually more shopping madness similar to Black Friday here. Yours sounds much more peaceful and community-friendly!

  2. Hi there! I LOVED reading about your traditions!! I’m always fascinated by how people in other parts of the world live. I think it’s so cool that Santa gets a glass of port at your house. Americans do plain old milk and cookies, so he must come to see us for dessert. 😉

    Loved the picture of the table with the cat in the window. Cute. 🙂

    I think it’s really neat that you all visit your neighbors on Christmas Day. Most neighborhoods in America aren’t that sociable. We go, go, go, and don’t know may of our neighbors. 🙁

    Thank you so much for linking up with me. 🙂

  3. Your house sounds like a storybook place to be on Christmas!

    Well, for the past years we go home to my in-laws. There is not a set form we follow but generally have had the big dinner on Christmas Day and the present opening on Christmas morning. Its more just a social gathering, though Mom puts in tons and tons AND TONS of prep for months ahead.

    I really am enjoying your daily posts!


  4. I enjoyed reading about your traditions..On Christmas Eve we read the Christmas Story with each family member reading a verse..each has a Bible so have different translations…We do this after our meal of heavy appetizers and before opening gifts, then we have dessert.
    Honey Bear and I always walk around the neighborhood some night during the holidays.
    Mama Bear

  5. I loved reading about your traditions. It’s great that you are able to close to home all day. I’m trying to come up with a menu for Christmas Eve, so I’ll look forward to reading your Christmas Day menu post.

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