As I will be spending this Christmas in Spain, I won’t be carrying out my usual traditions. However I really want to reminisce on some of the traditions I’ve had over the years, so I can fondly look back on my childhood and how traditions have adapted and changed as I’ve grown.
My earliest memories of Christmas Eve are from when I was about 4 or 5. My sister & I would get into our pj’s, get a bowl of milk, a can of beer, a plate of carrots and mince pies from the kitchen, and have our annual photo in front of the Christmas tree. After that we would take the food and drink into the porch (and shock, have another photo there) for Santa and his reindeer to collect when they came to our house.
Some years we would write a note too for Santa pre-thanking him for stopping by the house and telling him to help himself to the mince pies and beer, but to make sure the reindeer had the carrots and milk (ahh the innocence of being a child)!
I’m not really sure when that tradition faded out, probably when we had younger cousins and we started doing it for them, so the magic stayed but we were old enough to understand it wasn’t for us anymore and was time to pass the tradition down to them!
I vaguely remember for a few years a float would come up the road, with a bloke dressed as Santa and fake reindeer etc. etc., you catch my drift. Was dead tacky and weird but it was like the ice-cream van of Christmas Eve, we’d run outside to take a peep to get us all excited for Christmas Day.
In my teens, we would get new pyjamas on Christmas Eve and watch Christmas movies with the family, but sent to bed early so our parents could sort out all of the presents. I definitely pretended to be asleep, but stayed up talking to friends on Facebook to wish them all a Merry Christmas as close to midnight as possible!
A few years on, I started spending Christmas Eve with friends, going to the pub for a few drinks and a catch up. Every now and then I’d come home early to make sure I could still watch a Christmas movie with my mom!
Nowadays my Christmas Eve traditions jump back and forth. I get new Christmas themed bedding, I still get new pyjamas and I get a little present for Christmas Eve before bed time. I usually still go to the pub to see friends, this has solidified over the Christmas period though since I moved to Manchester, as I go back to Birmingham for just a couple of weeks so try and fit in as much pub time as possible to catch up with my friends.
This years’ will be mighty different. For one, I’ll be in Spain and it will be warm and sunny! But I think our plan is to go to the palace in Seville, have some food and go to midnight mass. I’m really excited to see how they celebrate it there and I’m intrigued by the culture of Christmas in different countries, so I think it will be really interesting to experience someone else’s Christmas Eve traditions!!
Do you have any Christmas traditions that you stick to each year?