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Thursday, 8 December 2016

CHRISTMAS | Christmas traditions

I've been thinking a lot about what Christmas means to me lately.

It's only really recently that I've been getting into the spirit - only within the last couple of weeks or so have I seen houses decorated or listened to Christmas songs on the radio, which is a stark contrast from just a few years ago when I'd be in the Christmas spirit the day after Bonfire night.

However, since losing my mum last year, Christmas has taken on a different reason to me and my family entirely.

It's bittersweet, really, because she loved Christmas - and I mean absolutely adored it. I'll always remember the days I'd come home from school and find the house transformed into a winter wonderland all of a sudden, or the times we'd drive into Milton Keynes as a family to see the Christmas display.

Without mum around though, it seems for the most part, Christmas has lost it's meaning. We no longer give presents, or eat Christmas dinner. Many of those old traditions are long gone, although we do celebrate the day in our own personal way.

I thought it would be nice to share some of my favourite personal Christmas traditions though because even though we don't really enforce these traditions anymore (bar one or two), I hope one day, when the time is right, we will reintroduce them again.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Christmas Traditions | Christmas

I absolutely love this movie thanks to my dad, and it's actually a tradition we still do, if even by accident as it's always on around Christmastime. It's one of those films I don't think I would enjoy if not for my dad, I can't say that it's the type of movie I would have settled on when flicking through channels if not for him. It makes me cry every single time, and one tradition was/is to watch it every year during the season. In the past, we've also made a point of watching Scrooged and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation too!

As a family, we'd always go for a slow drive around the estate to oogle at all the house lights and impressive displays in our area. Not as many people make an effort anymore, but the few that do still do go all out. My dad and I went out to dinner last night and on the way home we actually spoke about this tradition, as we drove past a few of the houses decorated.

I don't know if this is a tradition as such, but I'd love the feeling of my parents coming home with a big Christmas shop. There would always be a few evenings throughout winter when no one fancied a proper dinner, so they'd put on a little spread of mini sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, cheese and biscuits, pringles etc and we'd snack on them throughout the evening - with a snowball too, of course!

This tradition is probably the most bittersweet really, because my mum was an expert at decorating Christmas trees. Every year, the task would be left to her, and if anyone tried to help, we'd get told off. It got to the point where Dad would get the tree down from the attic for her and then we'd go and spend the day at the pub to leave her to it! She was very particular about how the tree should look and when I was old enough, I was allowed to decorate my own mini tree for my room - which she'd then redecorate to her own standard when I was at school anyway! I do miss this tradition the most, but I know even if I did try and decorate my own tree again, it would never be up to her standard!

I'll admit, this is probably my own personal tradition! I always like to have a new pair of pyjamas for Christmas but, in recent years since growing up, I've also enjoyed the idea of Christmas bedding too. I think nothing beats that feeling of snuggling up in bed in Christmas pyjamas and cosy Christmas bedding, ready for the big day. I think that's the final touch for getting ready for Christmas. In past years, Boux Avenue and Tesco (yes, Tesco!) have been my go-to shops for cute Christmas pyjamas, whereas Primark and Yorkshire Linen always have lovely ranges of Christmas bedding.

So although I won't be recreating these traditions anytime soon, it's nice to reminisce on them and remember them fondly, especially for when we will be in a place where we are ready to embrace that special feeling at Christmas once more.

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Let me know!

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*Please note this is a collaborative post, but is one that is close to my heart and a post I wanted to write anyway.


  1. Aaah it must be so different for you. But whilst reading your post, surely your mum would have wanted you all to continue her traditions.

    Get the tree out and decorate with her favourite colours and ornaments. Another thing is.....have a buffet dinner every Sunday or pick a day in the week. Get your hams and pickles or even curries. Remember her either celebrations of what she loved doing the most. Xxx

    1. Thank you, this comment is really lovely.

      I think we are going to do a tree now and perhaps will start having Sunday roast dinners again in the new year :) xxx


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