Christmas Eve would be spent delivering presents to family & friends, calling in on people, eating mince pies & listening to Christmas songs.
When we got home, Mum would lay the table and make it all pretty ready for Christmas lunch. She would make place name settings, fold the paper napkins into crowns and get out the best crystal & silver. My job was always chief cutlery polisher!
Christmas Eve dinner was always a treat as we were allowed it on our lap trays due to the table being laid for the next day - something that we weren't normally allowed to do!
My brother & I would go to bed early in the hope that it would mean Father Christmas would come sooner. (obviously not before we left a mince pie, carrot & sherry for
When we woke up on Christmas morning our stockings would be filled by our bed and every year my brother & I would either go in his bed or mine & open them with excitement. This was a condition our parents set us - we could get up when we liked as long as we opened our stockings together before waking them up!! Mum some how always managed to find the best things to put in stockings, definately one of my favourite parts to Christmas!
Once we had opened our stocking presents, we would go downstairs to find that Dad had switched on all of the Christmas lights and put on the cheesy Christmas CD and was in the process of pouring "Bucks Fizz" (or orange juice for us kids!).
We would then take it in turns to open our present sacks (these were the presents from Father Christmas). If we both had something that looked a very similar size & shape we would race to open it first so we could tell the other one what it was! haha..
After opening the presents from Father Christmas we would usually have breakfast before all sitting around the Christmas tree and opening the presents to & from each other, and also from our extended family.
When we had got dressed, Dad and us would go out to visit my Great Nan in her home whilst Mum prepared Christmas dinner. We all wore Santa hats and Dad would dress up as Father Christmas - something all the old people loved!
Another family tradition we had was a Frosty The Snowman that sat on the table on Christmas Day. Inside him were gifts that my Dad would go out & by for me, my brother & my mum. I loved this.. Sadly though Frosty passed away a few years later so we had to change the tradition to making our own crackers or "table presents" instead.
Usually in the afternoon grandparents, Aunts, Uncles & cousins would come round to our house for a buffet tea after a lovely long wintery walk with our dog Sadie.
Just when we thought that the day was over and we were bathed and wearing our new pyjamas, we'd go to bed & find another little present on our pillows! Quite often this was a book, or a CD - perhaps a secret incentive to go to bed from our presents?!
Since my parents divorced & we have got older Christmas has differed - our first Christmas without Dad there we thought we'd do something different so instead we enjoyed Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day we had a big fry up!
Last year Matt & I had only lived in our first house for 6 days so we decided we wanted to spend Christmas there on our own - again very different. We spoiled ourselves and enjoyed lots of champagne & beef wellington!
This year we are spending the time split between my Mums & Matts Mums, but we are introducing something that will hopefully become a new tradition of going for a long walk wrapped up & calling into a pub on Christmas Eve afternoon.
I don't have many photos to hand, but below are a couple I do have. Look at the dodgy haircuts & decor!
My brother & I - no idea what year unfortunately!
My cousins, brother, Nan & Uncle (and me in the pink!)
My grandad, eldest cousin & me!