Everyone has their own Family Christmas traditions. These are the things we do as a family or with special friends that make our Christmas holiday or Festive season special.
In an effort to share the different and unique ways we all celebrate this special time of the year, I have asked a few of my blogging friends to share with us their own unique family Christmas traditions.
Nadia from The Non-Adventures Of A Stay-At-Home-Mom
Christmas in our home has changed a lot in the past two years. We used to spend Christmas Eve at my in-laws because we would all go to midnight Mass then come home for snacks and present opening until about 2am. The next morning would be a HUGE brunch after which we would roll our stuffed selves into the car and head over to my folks place for more food and presents. Sadly, my father-in-law passed away two years ago. The holidays are really tough because we feel his absence more than usual.
Living apart from family
It’s not so easy to split the holiday anymore because my folks are in Durban and we are in Joburg. Our plan now is to alternate for the holidays. Although, what I would really like is to have our own family tradition of a relaxed Christmas at home. Instead of rushing around visiting. However, holidays are a time for family and my girls need to see their grandparents. So, for now, ‘province hopping’ it will be.
I love Christmas. I love the commercialism and the magicalness (let’s pretend that’s a word) of fake trees, tinsel and fairy lights. The excess of food and gifts and Boney M really feeds a part of my soul that is rooted in my childhood. I can’t wait to make it magical for my girls.
Awww … so sweet. I think that as our children get older it becomes more important to us to give them the ideal magical Christmas. Thanks, Nadia. x
Melissa Javan from Mel’s Post Box:
I live in Johannesburg with my husband and our almost-two-year-old daughter. Her birthday is on 21 December. I have a brother who lives in Cape Town (where I grew up) and parents who live in the Northern Cape. So, I grew up with traditions. My parents would one year have Christmas lunch with my dad side of the family and the following year with my mom’s side of the family. With my dad’s side of the family, we would have Secret Santa’s.
When I started dating my husband, things changed from the first year. I spend Christmas with him and a few days before Christmas I spend with my family. My mom still made us have “Christmas lunch” when I was there.
I don’t have in-laws because my husband’s parents died when he was very young. So, this year we’ll spend a few weeks before Christmas with my parents in the Northern Cape. On Christmas Day we will be with friends in Johannesburg.
I cannot decide beforehand where Christmas will be because my husband is an entrepreneur (a musician and composer). He might have work during the festive time. As a mother, I believe having a village is key. This includes blood relatives and friends and whoever you meet in your area. So I don’t mind not spending Christmas with relatives.
I have been ‘on the move’ since I was 19. I have always tried to spend Christmas with some family. However, we are now scattered all over the world so it’s not always possible. Being able to spend the holidays with special friends is just as special when those friends are your surrogate family or tribe. Thanks, Melissa.
Jeanette from Whisky Of The Week
December for us is family time and many years ago, we decided to spend the whole month celebrating. December always starts off with a cocktail. Over weekends and public holidays in December we experiment with different cocktails. It is the perfect weather to sit outside late in the afternoon, braai and spend time with friends. With cocktails! We don’t celebrate Christmas, however, we celebrate the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas.
At the beginning of December, we gather the family and have a whole lot of fun. Parcels are wrapped and each parcel has a small poem attached. We feast on traditional Dutch Sinterklaas snacks and have a fun-filled afternoon and evening opening presents, reading poems and making memories.
On the evening of the 24th, my husband cooks me Hoisin Duck and we spend the afternoon and evening, just the three of us. We dress up for dinner and lay a special table with craft made by the little one.
The 25th is a day for family day and is usually accompanied by lots of food. My husband John is a wonderful cook and he always make lamb, gammon, ribs and malva pudding. We spend the next three days eating leftovers.
Cocktails & Food – where’s my invite? I love this idea of celebrating for the whole month and all the different traditions. It’s very special. Thanks for sharing with us!
Christmas Traditions with Jeanne-Riette from Mamma Chef Jozi.
For us, Christmas really is the most special time of the year! We do have a Scrooge or two in the family, but we also have the all-out, Jingle Bells people who absolutely live for Christmas and everything that goes with it and they ensure that everyone has the best time.
Christmas Eve is spent with my parents. My stepmom really does go all out. She might actually be the real Mrs Claus! Their home is always covered in lights and decorations, they always win the estate’s decoration competition! There’s at least two giant Christmas trees in the house and everyone’s invited – the more the merrier!
We all spend the day together, relax, laugh, eat, take photos with props and everyone is very merry. We have two different Secret Santa games which are always a great source of entertainment! As the kids are still little, we can’t wait until midnight to open gifts but we do it around 7.00 or 8.00 in the evening (or when the kids literally can’t wait any longer!).
Incorporating everyone’s different Christmas styles
Christmas Day is spent with my husband’s family and it’s a very large Portuguese family gathering. There is amazing food, pool time, soccer on the lawn and more opening of gifts for the children. They really do get spoilt a lot!
At the end of the day, we roll ourselves home and pack for the holiday. It has also become a tradition that we drive down to the South Coast on Boxing Day. The boys are allowed to choose one or two of their new toys to take along and we leave very early in the morning. We normally arrive at the beach before 11 am. This is really great because we still have most of the day available to spend on the beach, swimming and of course more eating!
We really do try to instil in the boys that Christmas is not about the gifts but about being together, sharing love and laughter and making memories.
I love these three separate ways you celebrate as a family, and of course, instilling the message of giving at Christmas time is so important. Thanks for sharing xx
I have had so many submissions, everyone wanting to share their own Christmas and Festive traditions that I can’t fit them all in one post so if you would also like to take part, I am happy to keep sharing a collection of traditions over the next few days as it’s definitely getting me more in the Christmas spirit!
Please email me your submission to [email protected]
Merry Christmas everyone! xx
Update: You can check out the following two posts in the series here: