I love Christmas. I love the excitement, the food, the music, the presents, the decoration, the games and the happiness I feel when I celebrate at this time of year. I also love the fact that for every single family there are separate and equally wonderful traditions for Christmas day. I like how some are similar, and some are completely different and unique to that family. And how each one means so much to the individuals. I love how rarely one changes a Christmas tradition, and that many have been carried out the whole of their lives. I love how the magic of Christmas changes through age, but never disappears. These are my family traditions that make Christmas for me, and are part of the magic I get excited for.
7. My gran's mince pies.
Now these are the absolute bomb. Having tried one of these beauties you'll never want to turn back. Nothing is quite a excellent as the squidgy, moist but not too moist pastry that literally makes your mouth water. It really is a unique recipe that has been passed down to my mum so that we get the pleasure of making them, and it wouldn't be Christmas without having at least one homemade mince pie.
I don't think there's been a Christmas since the film was made that we haven't watched it. It's one of those movies that never gets boring no matter how many times it's been viewed. My dad's a huge sucker for it, claiming every year that it is definitely one of his favourite films. Elf is a favourite for having the whole family in front of the TV, with the fire on, and feeling very Christmassy. It's a tradition I hope never dies.
5. Calling relatives to sing down the phone.
Every year we call, or we receive a call, with a verse and a chorus of 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' on Christmas day. Everyone in the house joins in and the family on the end of the line join in too, it's like our own private carol service. Except much shorter and we aren't quite as bored. And then we discuss what we got, thank each other for the presents we gave and tell the plans for the rest of the day. It's just a nice way of staying in contact with the relatives you couldn't spend the day with. And Christmas wouldn't be the same without mum telling me to say thank you to aunties for presents I have to search for frantically so I can remember what they actually gave me.
This is pronounced Charardes in my family because we are not Northern or American. Every Christmas evening there has to be at least several rounds of the game. With the family members most awful at it having the most goes because they're hilarious to watch, and we don't give them much choice. It's particularly brilliant when someone has to mime something impossible, and we all just laugh at them giving them no mercy. Because Christmas is a time for loving.
3. A tin of Roses or Quality Street.
Christmas is essentially a time for binge eating, an excuse to eat everything you absolutely love in enormous quantities. So after we've eaten the gigantic roast dinner, had second helpings of Christmas pudding and mince pies with brandy butter we convince ourselves that there is definitely plenty of room for chocolate. Every year the tin is bought and kept in the cupboard until Christmas day, or Christmas eve if we fail at waiting any longer, and is demolished in less than 24 hours. In my family, the concept of saving things for later rarely exists particularly with sweets and puddings. And so we often lie to ourselves at having 'just four' but in fact eating about ten and losing count because you're too absorbed in the process of eating them. By the time we come to the end of tin and only the unpopular chocolates are left we force ourselves to eat them, in favour of not wasting food. Obviously.
2. Doctor Who Christmas Special.
Christmas hasn't ever been the same since Doctor Who was reintroduced onto our screens. The most important reason for the Christmas Radio Times is to know when the Doctor Who special is on. In fact, one of the first questions asked on Christmas morning is always "when's Doctor Who on?" because without it we feel Christmas really wouldn't be the same. Even though, as much as I love the show, the Christmas specials are always ridiculous it's a tradition that's popular in the family, and everything stops just for an hour so we can watch it. And any family members that don't watch it normally are forced into it by majority rule. Again, Christmas is a time for loving.
1. Present Piles.
My sister and I feel that without the organisation of presents into piles for the people they're meant for would make the process of unwrapping them very messy. That and the fact that it's something to keep us entertained until the adults stop messing around and get down to business with the gifts. It also gives us the chance to see who has the biggest pile and whether the average size of the gifts are big or small. I'm honestly not the type of person who values Christmas simply for the presents, nor do I pull a tantrum if my sister's pile is bigger than mine, it's just been our tradition since we believed in Father Christmas. And I hope we still do it as adults, just for old times' sake.