Friday 11 December 2020

12 Christmas Traditions

12 Festive Traditions

I'm a big kid when it comes to Christmas, and I unashamedly squeeze every last bit of joy out of the season that I can. Here are 12 of my Christmas traditions that bring a huge smile to my face:

1. The Christmas Shop

This has nothing to do with buying millions of gifts and lugging them home on the bus, or filling a basket with potatoes and sprouts and Quality Street. This is a shop dedicated to Christmas decorations. It's filled with Christmas trees and baubles and fairies and Santas. There are singing snowmen and mechanical elves and lit-up woodland creatures.

Christmas Shop

It's AMAZING, and it's within walking distance of where I live. I go every year, usually when it opens in September to avoid the crowds (and because I just can't wait). It was especially important to go early this year because I didn't want to miss out if we went into lockdown again.

Christmas decorations

Until this point, I'd only been to our local Asda, chemist and post office, plus three shoe shops for school uniform shopping since March, so it was nice to do something 'normal' (as normal as wearing a mask and sanitising your hands before you shop can be).

Singing Snowman in Mask

2. Oldham Reindeer Parade

Rain or shine (or snow, or once even thunder), Oldham puts on a lovely festive parade in the town centre every November (apart from Covid-ridden 2020).

Oldham Reindeer Parade

There's usually a mix of bands, festive characters, characters from the local panto, and over the past few years there's been a theme, including Christmas movies, The 12 Days of Christmas, and a Feast of Fun. Plus, the stars of the show - Santa and his real reindeer.

Oldham Reindeer Parade

If you want to see more photos from the parades over the years, I've set up a Pinterest board here

3. Festive Socks

Christmas socks with snowman design

  I love a pair of festive socks, and I have A LOT of them. My aim was to have a different pair to wear every day from the 1st December until Christmas Day... and I've surpassed that. I must stop buying festive socks. But I probably won't. 

4. Festive Mugs

I don't have as many festive mugs as I do socks, but I'm building up quite a collection. They usually come out on 1st December, replacing the (boring) regular mugs in the cupboard, but this year they came out a month early on 1st November. 2020 has been a bit shit and we've missed out on the Reindeer Parade and panto so I wanted a bit more festive cheer this year.

Festive Mugs

5. Elf on the Shelf

Yes, I'm one of those people who posts their Elf on the Shelf photos on social media every December. Am I sorry some people find him 'creepy'? NOPE. Am I going to stop posting my pics? HELL NO.

Elf on the Shelf

Our elf is called Loki and he's been visiting our home since 2014. He even came to Florida with us a couple of years ago when we spent Christmas there (and he caused a bit of a fuss at airport security that had my bag thoroughly searched - twice - and swabbed because his head was showing as glass when scanned. Still, at least they stopped at the bag with their gloved hands...)

Elf on the Shelf

6. Giant Marshmallows

Manchester Christmas Markets Giant Marshmallows

We usually buy the giant marshmallows from Manchester's Christmas market (the cherry ones are my favourite) but like panto and the Reindeer Parade, this tradition has been put on hold this year. We'll have to buy a box of Tunnock's Teacakes and pretend...

7.  Panto

Panto - Jack and the Beanstalk

He's behind you!

We usually go to see panto at our local theatre, either in November or December. It's a lot of fun that all the family can enjoy, and we're really going to miss it this year.

Panto - Dick Whittington

8. Festive Jumpers

I love a festive jumper. The cheesier the better! I have a few (but not as many as my collection of festive socks).

Festive snowman jumper

9. The Bumper TV Guide

Christmas TV Guide: TV Choice 2019

This is one of the things I look forward to the most during the run-up to Christmas!

Do you ring or highlight?

I ring the programs I want to watch, and I love sitting down to carry out the task.

Christmas TV Guide: What's On TV 2018

10. A Christmas Walk

This isn't a walk looking at pretty countryside views or wandering through the woods. This is a walk through our local area, looking at the Christmas lights and decorations in the windows and gardens of the houses. Wrap up warm and take a travel mug of hot chocolate and it's lovely and cosy.

Luna likes to come with us too, but she isn't fond of the festive costumes...

Dog snowman costume

11. Christmas Eve Pizza

This is a bit of an odd one, but we always have a takeaway pizza on Christmas Eve. I don't know why, or remember when it started, but I'm not going to fight against it.

12. Christmas Eve Reading

This started with The Night Before Christmas when my oldest daughter was a baby, and it's grown to include Carol Ann Duffy's Another Night Before Christmas and Santa is Coming to Oldham.

Christmas Eve books

My girls no longer have bedtime stories (they're 17 and 12) but we still like to read these books together on Christmas Eve.

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Let us know in the comments below :)

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