Family Christmas Traditions

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Memories of childhood were dreams that stayed with you after you awoke. 

Julian Barnes 

What are your Christmas family traditions? What are your Christmas memories from childhood? Memories are so special and precious. They sometimes come to you in a blink of an eye, a smell, a song or hymn. You may not have thought about it for years. Or you may remember it every year and love those memories. Christmas is SO magical for children isn't it? The sheer excitement and twinkle in their eyes when they know it's almost the season. I have always been a bit of a child around this time of year, I never grew out of it. Ask Daddy Patronus. After almost a decade of knowing me he is finally coming round to the excitement it brings. The scent of cinnamon and star anise, the twinkling of fairy lights, the tune of a Christmas hymn, the sight of a Christmas jumper, smell of baked cookies, the icy clouds of winter breath and gloved hands around mugs of mulled wine. Christmas is where memories happen and traditions are born. 

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Since having kids it has taken us a little while to think about what sort of Christmas traditions we might like to start for them. This year we have seen the birth of the Christmas Eve Box. I don't know about you, but this seems completely ludicrous to me. Why give your kids an entire box worth of stuff when that night Santa will be busy filling stockings and you will be quietly filling in the bottom of the Christmas tree with wrapped presents. So, clearly there would be no Christmas Eve box in our house. However, I did sort of like the framework of the idea. So I adapted it. This year we introduced the 'Advent Box'. On the 1st December, to usher in the festive season, the girls will receive their 'Advent Box' which is filled with items they can use throughout the month of December. Things that I would have bought for them throughout them month regardless of whether we had a box or not. 

In it they found each a Christmas jumper, a pair of Christmas jammies, a chocolate advent calendar, Christmas chocolate, a Christmas book, Christmas DVD and some Christmas bedding. In probable all honesty, this box is partially for my own build up of festive excitement. 1st December was always when I have allowed myself to crack on the Christmas music and venture into the Christmas boxes. If I have this excitement then it only seems fair that everyone else join in the fun. Right?!

The making of the box

This took me a little while to formulate. I looked around online for the type if crate I wanted. I didn't want one with a lid as this restricts the size of books you included. I finally stumbled on the one shown on eBay and I was pretty happy with it. As a general style, I like a homey one, especially around Christmas. So that includes, exposed woods, pinecones, poinsettias, classical, red, green and gold colours. With that in mind I wanted it to be natural coloured so I didn't bother doing anything to the crate. I just used black gouache paint for the writing and found a couple of eBay shops that made MDF cut outs. I wanted some Biblical input into it so one side has a little MDF nativity scene and a quote.

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On each side I found the most BEAUTIFUL MDF cut outs of names. They look like an initial on an illuminated manuscript. So each of the girls names are on either side. Additionally I had some little Christmas tree buttons and pom pom trimming which I had been keeping for the perfect thing and this was it. I painted the trees green and with my glue gun stuck them on. I made a pom pom trim around the inside of the crate and glued it on so they hung over. 

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What is so great about this box is that throughout the month of December it has sat in our living room overflowing  with Christmas books and DVDs. 

So. What are your traditions?

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From our Family to yours

MERRY CHRISTMAS!