Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Past, Christmas Present & a Yule Future

Christmas Past
When I was very tiny, too small really to remember, Christmas day was spent at my Grandparents. My Moms side of the family was only small by the time we'd come along so it was Wowah (my Grandmother), Gramp (my Grandad), Nikki (My aunt) as well as my Mom, Dad & Marcus (My big bro). From the photos it looks a big tado - Lots of presents, the place fully decorated all christmassy, & knowing how Wowah liked to entertain the Christmas Dinner would have been a wonderful spread.
With my lil bro on his way we began staying home for Christmas day. I was always felt a bit miffed as we would have to have breakfast, get washed & dressed before being allowed into the lounge ..... which my parents would want to vaccum etc as well before opening the door. I understand now this was so they could have a bit more sleep, & so the place would be tidy for visitors.
A traditional Christmas Dinner was served at around 3, & if we felt hungry in the evenings we'd have pickles with left overs.
Christmas 2000, the first one without my Dad, we wanted Christmas to be totally different so Marcus, who'd moved out by then, thought it would be a good idea to have everyone round there for Christmas Dinner. After that he took it in turns going having Christmas dinner at his in laws & at my Moms, we did the same when I moved out, though the first Christmas in our new house we did invite my Mom & younger siblings over for Christmas Dinner. We'd get up, wake up Zack (if he wasnt awake already), exchange gifts & then get ready to go out, returning late evening.

When Kai was born we decided it wouldnt be fair to pick a parents house to spend his first Christmas at, or rather it wouldnt be fair on the grandparent(s) who'd miss out on it so we stayed at home. We did go out the following couple of years but decided that it was better on the kids if we had it at home, it meant they could play with all thier new toys rather than taking one with them.
Christmas Present
Christmas eve is spent relaxing in our new PJs, I always get the kids something to do such as a new board game or creative activity, & I prepare as much of the Christmas meal in advance as I can. To maintain the relaxed feeling I dont cook that day, we have crackers and cheeses for lunch (or as I grew up calling it "snacky"), and then the big treat of Pizza delivered for Tea. In the evenings we all settle down to watch a film after having a bath each with new toilettries, as the kids are too excited to sleep we allow them to each have a new dvd on in their rooms to watch in bed

Christmas day we wake up & slip on yet another set of new PJs (helps with everyone looking nice for photos ;-) the kids have a little present in their room, just incase they wake up early. One of them usually ventures into the others room.
I try to get downstairs first, initially to pop the Turkey in to cook & then to sneak into the lounge so I can get a photo of everyone walking into the room, with that curious "what have I got?" look on their faces. Presents are opened before I set about getting breakfast - croissants with a couple of pieces of chocolate melted inside.
The rest of my morning is usually spent cooking the Christmas Dinner & helping kids open the boxes to get to their toys ..... isnt it mad how much packaging they use & how annoying the plastic ties are.
Phone calls are made to family to thank them for presents & wish them a Merry Christmas.
Christmas Dinner starts with a sea food starter (Ryans opting out of his starter this year as he gets too full other wise :-) followed by a traditional Christmas Dinner. We then ususally have quite a bit of a break before having trifle or chocolate cake for pudding. If anyones hungry later they can help themselves to left overs.
The afternoon is spent playing, napping & watching TV.

A Yule Future
Even though we celebrate Christmas I'm not a Christian, I am Pagan & therefore my religious celebrations are held on the 21st of December - Yule.
Currently in the UK we are fairly well geared towards celebrating Christmas, almost everywhere is closed that day, there are decorations everywhere, its when the best programmes are on etc etc etc & it is a time of year I love. Its not something I want to see change, and think that there is a lot of hype that the PC police are slowly destroying it - personally thats all I think it is, hype, I see no proof of it.
Christmas to us is not the story of Christ, you will not find anylink to it in my celebrations or decorations, they are all pagan based, which is very easy to do but my post would be HUGE if I started to explain that. Christmas is family time, a time of fun, to exchange gifts & show our appreciation for our loved ones. Its a time of togetherness.


  1. Ah yes, the PC brigade. Christmas never has and never will be a time for religion in our house. I did dabble with learning a bit about Paganism the last couple of years... I love the idea of it more than any other but you know what? I've come to the conclusion I'm Agnostic. So Christmas to us is just like you said, family, togetherness, thankful for what we have and gratefuls too. Your Christmas/Yule sounds lovely K.

    As for the PC Brigade - Bah Humbug!

  2. What Carmen said! lol
    No religion here just family togetherness.
    Your Christmases all sound wonderful - past, present and future. :)
    Hugs xx
    p.s. don't get me started on the PC brigade!

  3. Sounds lovely K. A little tip for you to save the trouble on Christmas day - take the ties off as much as possible before the big day. In the past we've done it before and it means they can play with their new toy a lot quicker!

  4. A pagan here too, but much like you we still celebrate on Christmas day. However since my children have grown up and are now all in homes of their own we also do a solstice celebration. On Solstice morning Hubby and I get up early before the dawn and taking a hot flask of coffee and a couple of nibbles we drive to a high vantage point on the moors and watch the sun rise. On the evening of the solstice I host a family solstice meal - three courses, crackers candles etc. It suits our grown family as if they come along to my solstice meal it takes off any pressure to come to me on Christmas day and lets them either stay at home or go to their partners parents. Merry Yule xxx

  5. Lovely to read about your own traditions, and how you spend the winter days - and will be thinking of you on the 21st! :) Happy Yuletide, in advance ...

  6. Happy Yule K

    I enjoy Christmas for its religious element as well as sharing time with families. We have a small nativity that this year said 11 year old has put in his bedroom and we went to see the school play based on old testament and new testament last night to really bring it to life. However, I utterly agree that it is a time for family and friends and a time to take stock and hopefully chill out and relax, I'd love to hear about some of your pagan traditions DH is someone with no one religion but an interest in all so he's always been a fabulous balance in my life! I hope you have a beautiful Yule, the idea of getting up and watching the sunrise sounds utterly wonderful - much love!

  7. Sounds pretty cool to me K - chilled and cheerful :o)
    We make a big thing of Christmas Eve here - eating our turkey that evening - stockings for all and then on Xmas day it's champagne (well OK fizzy wine) and left-overs!



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