Mum-of-four Rebecca Reid is asking what Christmas really means to families…
Every family has their own Christmas traditions, but every now and then they get shaken up a little. Going right back (we are talking over a decade here) our usual festivities got shaken up as soon as the babies started coming along. Do you remember that first Christmas? When they were too small to do anything much apart from fall face first into gift boxes and slop handfuls of gravy-soaked mashed potato into their mouths? The first Christmas with your own child changes everything. From that moment on, your grown-up self suddenly re-discovers their inner Buddy the Elf and gets very, very, over excited about the holidays. Suddenly, all the magic is back and once again Christmas means so much more than just office parties, huge meals and drinking too much.
Becoming a parent is a time for making new traditions – your own family rituals. Many will come from your own childhood memories…. such as visiting loved ones on Christmas Eve before watching your favourite festive movie and arguing with siblings over a selection box. And as your family grows, more and more of your own special things start to fall into place. One of our favourite new-traditions is that all of the families visit my sister’s house on Christmas Eve for mulled wine, mince pies and the swapping of gifts which cost no more than £1. And that after the three days of Christmas have long been and gone, we stay in pyjamas all day long, play games, sit by the fire, eat as much as we want and don’t leave the house. These are our lock-in days and they are nearly more precious to us than the big day itself.
“After the three days of Christmas have long been and gone, we stay in pyjamas all day long, play games, sit by the fire, eat as much as we want and don’t leave the house.”
Then there are times when traditions change and grow. This year we have decided to make all our Christmas gifts either eco-friendly or homemade. I’ve been spending time doing paper marbling and laminating bookmarks, searching for cheap paper straws and making decorations. Have we enjoyed it? Absolutely! It’s brought a new joy to a long-standing tradition and it’s been really special spending so much time together making and creating.
Traditions mean a lot to my family, and others, at this time of year, but the one thing I have noticed is that every tradition is about people. Not presents, but chatter, food and fun. It’s always about creating a memory with family and friends and the joy they bring us. That is the essence of Christmas and if anything, I want that side of things to grow as we grow. Our families will expand, the kids will grow up and people will travel and move. But as long as on those few precious days of the year we can all manage to come together, to share in the love and joy of the season as a family, then I will always be one very happy mamma.
And you’re not one for traditions, then why not come up with something new and different that suits your family and creates something special that the kids will always look forward to? There is definitely something magical about that!
Merry Christmas x
Come on over to Rebecca’s Facebook Food Blog @freshfoodliving for lots of easy, healthy recipes for you and your family.