The Christmas adverts have been showcased, advent calendars litter the supermarkets and the decorations are starting to appear so I hope you are ready for a little Christmas blog content!
Creating new Christmas traditions wasn’t something I had thought about until recently. As a child you follow the rules and traditions that you have probably followed for much of your life – and those are the things that make the festive season so special to each individual person.
As you move through life, find a partner and start ‘sharing’ your festive season you begin to realise just how special these childhood traditions are to you. After all, Christmas isn’t Christmas until you’ve eaten your mum’s home-made cranberry sauce, watched Home Alone, decorated the tree, played charades or [insert your own individual Christmas marker!].
But as we reach the point in life when you start to create your own family, you begin to realise that you can combine your favourite ‘old’ traditions with your own ‘new’ Christmas traditions tailor made by you for your family and friends to uphold year after year.
These new traditions can take hold very quickly and feel all the more special as they are unique to you.
Here are a six ways I have or will be creating new
Add a new Christmas decoration each year
Each year I add a new decoration to my stock. It started when we visited the Christmas markets in Salzburg and Vienna and I bought the most beautiful decoration. Every year since I have added one that I can recall the time and place where it was bought/made and when I unwrap them each year to display them it makes me feel all the lovely Christmassy feels!
This year it is this beautiful Harrods snow globe that I hope my nephews, Godchildren and maybe one day my own children will love to turn upside down and watch the snow fall over London.
There is something very special about building up a collection of decorations that you can look back on and pinpoint the time of life they represent.
2. Send a pre-Christmas gift to someone you love
Christmas has become overly commercial and whilst this is great in many ways – being able to buy loved ones thoughtful gifts and receive them in turn is quite lovely although the pressure isn’t always – sometimes the best delight of receiving a gift is when it is unexpected.
A new tradition that I will be implementing this year is to send early gifts to the family that I won’t be with at Christmas – in effect, a little pre-Christmas gift for them to enjoy in the run up to Christmas or on Christmas day itself.
I won’t be seeing my mum over the festive period so I will be sending her her own special Christmas decoration that she can hang on her tree during the festive period.
3. Make a date with friends from afar
Ever since I moved to the Midlands from Cardiff, I have travelled back for a girls meal out in December. Getting everyone together at anything that is not a wedding or new baby can be all but impossible, but often Christmas is the exception. It is simply a chance to catch up, be together and maintain friendships when ordinarily miles and a hectic day-to-day life that can make keeping in touch tricky.
It is these nights out that we remember and look back on.
In addition, since I moved to Birmingham we have arranged a Christmas eve meal with Will’s (and now also my) friends who live from afar and come back here to see their families at Christmas.
This has often been a curry, although most recently we deviated and everyone exclaimed that the curry was missed. It really doesn’t take long for something to become an unbreakable tradition!
Try to keep it informal and easy – everyone has enough to plan at this time of year so an easy meal out or informal lunch can be much less stressful than hosting a party yourself.
4. Gift within a theme every year
On a recent Let’s Discuss podcast, Monica and Ella interviewed the incredibly inspiring founder of Not On The High Street Holly Tucker MBE. Holly shared a number of brilliant tips for gifting and one was gift with a theme.
This immediately struck me as G.E.N.I.U.S!
Choosing something for a loved one out of ALL of the options is hard. But if you have a theme for all your gifts, it can become much easier to hone in on an idea.
I have decided my theme this year is food, and so will be thinking of food related gifts for my friends and family.
A gift voucher for a favourite restaurant for our in-Laws, tickets for the Chocolate Factory for friends with children and a Harrods Christmas hamper for my Dad. Tailored thoughtful gift ideas that honestly took seconds to come up with but that will be perfect for the recipients.
I hope that this will become a new Christmas tradition for me and I would love to think that one day my friends and family might look forward to seeing what the theme will be each year.
5. Gift an everyday needed item
A few years ago I implemented a new Christmas tradition for Will and I to gift each other a new pair of PJs on Christmas eve. We then wear them that night and on Christmas morning to make breakfast, open presents and prepare the meal for our family later in the day.
I started it because I desperately needed new PJs but I must admit it has become one of my favourite parts of Christmas!
This year I have my eye on these!
6. Take the pressure off present buying
If present buying gets too much, don’t be afraid of creating a new tradition of limiting the number of gifts you buy or to decide to simply not buy gifts at all.
For my girls meet up, we do a secret santa type gift where we each only buy for one other. We pull a name out of a hat and buy and receive one thoughtful and tailored gift. It is much easier and less expensive, whilst still maintaining the thrill of present buying and receiving.
What are your must-have Christmas traditions and do you have any
new Christmas traditions that you have or would like to introduce?
This post as created in collaboration with Harrods but as always, all thoughts
and opinions are my own.
Photography by Marlene Lee.