Increasingly I see new 'traditions' and it's got me thinking. I am a traditional sort of gal, I like my tree real, I like it decorated in reds and golds with small lights which are white and not flashing. I like proper family feast days to mark this time of year. It is the most wonderful time of the year. And a time to wallow in the old traditions.
But traditions, traditions don't come from a one year event, I am not even sure traditions can be introduced with fore thought, traditions in my view grow from year to year. They are those small little things which happen every year which become tradition without you even realising.
Our family traditions used to be my little sister bringing her stocking into my room to open. I don't know how it started but it did some how and that was how it was. We also always used to get the tree the first weekend of the school holidays. And have the same decorations year on year slowly added to.
The Christmas Eve boxes I've seen over on Pinterest and the bloggers sphere is the one new tradition which I am semi tempeted to do but then catch myself. Check myself and think what I actually belive and feel about the contents and what we would do on Christmas Eve as family Morkus. And also why I would be doing it, doing it because it was special to us or doing it because every one else was doing it?
The boxes contain usually new Christmas pjs, a film, a special plate for Father Christmas, snacks or hot chocolate making things and it is all beautifully presented on Christmas Eve. An extra present for Christmas one day early.
At first I thought, lovely any excuse for new Pjs and a family film is also always nice. But then I thought of me, of us as a family.
I hate buying things for one wearing, and having Christmas pjs which you get on Christmas Eve and wear for a few days once a year seems a bit indulgent. So we all have Christmas pjs but we all are wearing them now. We will all wear them on Christmas Eve and yes these Pjs come from the present budget for us all. So yes we have new pjs but they are in use from December the 1st!
Christmas films should in no way be contained to Christmas Eve, we've spent many a cold afternoon after playing outside in with a Christmas film since December, and correct me if I am wrong but don't we all settle down on Christmas day for a film at some point? Be it in that post feast slump or in the wee small hours because the smalls have woken up so excited and early. So why is a film on Christmas Eve special? Also as a family we often watch films together so an evening in with one is pretty normal. So no Christmas Eve film, not special enough.
For me the best tradition for Christmas eve is that mince pie and drink for Father Christmas, the carrot for Rudolf. What I remember most vividly from Christmases past is waking up to find a bite out of the carrot and footprints outside, now the carefully administered use of an apple corer and flour dusted boots makes me just as happy as I felt that morning seeing them both. It's is vivid and burned into my mind, I can't wait to be the parent to do that for our children, for L, for her siblings. That is the magic of Christmas and that is one tradition we will be carrying on as Family Morkus.
We also like to visit our local church on Christmas Eve, a lovely evening service with the lighting of the lamps which stay lit until the end of midnight mass. Midnight mass was my usual favourite but the introduction of a child to the mix has made this service slightly more problematic. So we go together with family to the service and sing hymes and listen to readings. And stop amid the consumer chaos to think back to be thankful.
And who knows what other traditions we will add to the mix as our years unfold, this is the first year we, J and I have cooked and hosted so hopefully we will find some new traditions to add and as L grows, as our family grows, we will find our own traditions and it will be glorious and they will be lasting and all ours.