On December 1st, we put up our Christmas decorations. To some that may seem early, but we mark the first day of Advent by doing so as well as opening the first window on our calendars, and we sit and watch a festive film together when we're done. This year the boys chose Elf which is a firm favourite in our house (and one they will still be quoting well into the new year). Putting it up on December 1st also sets the mood for the month, I don't want them to think Christmas is a chore for the Mister & I, not putting the tree up until the last minute and then taking it down as soon as we can. I want to make it as enjoyable as I can for them and if that means having a six foot tree and a few miles worth of garlands, paper chains and strings of plastic beads festooning the living room for a month then so be it. When they're all grown up and gone it will be a quieter affair, so for now we are going to enjoy it while it lasts.
Throughout December we try and fit in crafty things, whether it is making paper chains or tree decorations, baking Christmassy treats or making and gift wrapping presents and writing our cards, we make the effort to do something one or two times a week in the run up to Christmas day. I saw a graphic doing the rounds this week that says "Sometimes we're all too quick to count down the days that we forget to make the days count" which are my thoughts exactly.
pancakes and waffles with various toppings, and spend the day watching movies (Home Alone 1 & 2 are good ones, and my kids are huge Jim Carrey fans & absolutely love The Grinch) and getting the last few bits & pieces ready for the next day. In the afternoon we bake our chocolate candy cane cookies together and then decorate our home-made Gingerbread house with treats and goodies, so that we can break bits off to munch over the following few days! I set up the table with bowls full of sweets and icing and let them get on with it. It's not always the prettiest or neatest house but they have a great time making it and an even better time eating it and that's what is important.
Later that evening we enjoy a Mexican buffet dinner of chicken fajitas, quesadillas and tortillas with some delicious desserts, before heading upstairs to have baths & showers ready for bed time. During bathtime, we are visited by the Elves (and it cannot possibly be the Mister or myself, because we are both upstairs bathing the kids...) who leave a present for each of the children under the tree, as well as one that looks suspiciously like it could be a DVD... Previous years titles have included Inkheart, the Harry Potter boxset and Mr Popper's Penguins. This year it *might* be Arthur Christmas, I think I heard an Elf mention something about it...
After the movie, we set out mince pies and carrots for Father Christmas & his reindeer before everyone hangs up their stocking and settles down to sleep for the night, ready for the next morning when they will wake up (bright & early no doubt) to see what Father Christmas has left under the tree!
With less than a week to go, are you all ready for Christmas? What are your Christmas traditions?
Why not head over to the BritMums blog and link up your Christmas posts, too!