Whilst I’m not religious, I've always loved Christmas and with it the traditions that everyone has. There’s something nostalgic and special about seeing adults act like children when surrounded by snow, the UK’s inability to deal with the winter weather conditions and the insistence that me and Mr Nomad still getting excited to open our stockings. I thought I’d share a few of my Christmas traditions with you, and would love to know what your traditions are!
I’m definitely not one to watch a tonne of TV around Christmas (and I've noticed since moving to Australia there is a severe lack of Christmas related programmes!), but I have a few childhood favourites that I love to watch every year. I still have the VHS of all these but unfortunately don’t have a video player anymore so I've found links to ones on Youtube instead if you’re interested in watching them!
Father Christmas- my favourite of all of my Christmas programmes. It’s really funny, and honestly who doesn't like Raymond Briggs?
Old Bear- there was something so comforting about old bear. I think I loved this programme too as one of my nicknames as a child was little bear. There was actually three episodes I loved; The Dolls House Christmas, Jolly Snow and The Winter Picnic.
Wallace and Gromit- the wrong trousers (sorry can't find a link!). Believe it or not this actually used to scare me when I was younger but I still loved it! All the Wallace and Gromit films are great though, especially A Close Shave.
Taleof Gloucester- A massive classic, and one which I've come to appreciate even more as I've grown up. It's quite a sad story, but has a heartwarming ending.
The Snowman- another Raymond Briggs and probably his most famous, it always has me on the verge of tears when the snowman melted leaving his carrot nose, hat and scarf on the floor.
2. The Wreath
I’ve always loved putting the Christmas wreath up on the front door. My mum used to really enjoy doing this and putting up decorations on the banister which made me automatically love it- seeing my mum getting festive made me even more excited for Christmas, so this was something we did together. The one we used to have was wooden and plaited, and we used to decorate it with ivy leaves from the hedge outside and apple decorations with a robin to finish it off. It was always nice to come home and see this on the front door.
3. Getting up early
This is the one day of the year that I still don’t mind getting up early on. Me and my sister used to get up around 5am and had to watch TV and wait for my mum and dad to get up (there was an agreed time- normally around 9am) before we could open our stockings downstairs. This gave both my mum and dad a chance to wake up and have breakfast before we opened them- although we were encouraged to bring them cups of tea in bed to lure them downstairs! I remember me and my sister daring each other to open the door to the dining room (where the stockings were), but neither of us would as we wanted it to be a surprise and knew my mum might hear us if we did. The build up to this was excruciating, and I remember us watching all sorts of TV programmes we hated as there was nothing else on at that time- notably The Hoobs (awful show!). Time used to feel like it would go so slow, and by the time we were actually allowed to open our stockings we were really tired!
4. Sledging and snow days
Living in the North of England had its benefits growing up- the snow meant there was quite a few days we didn’t have to go to school due to it causing havoc with our under-prepared transport systems and the heating (although my secondary school were particularly stingy on snow days!). The anticipation of listening to your school being named on the local radio station was unbearable, and the feeling when your school name got read out and we knew we could go sledging all day instead of being at school was amazing.
Every family seems to have things they always got for Christmas. I know many of my friends used to get oranges in their stocking from father Christmas. For us- we always got flannels and soap (!?). Somehow Christmas couldn't be the same if we didn't get them every year though. Also, our stockings were actual skin colour tights rather than the modern stockings you see these days. Did anyone else have stockings made of tights?