Saturday, 13 December 2014

Xmas Traditions Old and New

Thank you for all the comments on my last post, it is interesting to hear how we all cope with Xmas.  Our chilled Xmas has taken years to achieve.  I spent many years rushing down to my parents house on Xmas Day to cook the Xmas Dinner  for everyone including my brother and his family.  My mum had Alzheimers so we wanted to keep everything familiar. After we lost mum I continued to do it for my dad as he wanted to have the traditional Xmas at their house as they had always done.   Now both my parents are gone I have created new Xmas traditions more suited to us.  I like to keep it as simple as possible and be able enjoy it as well, I really don't want to be stuck in the kitchen all day. We don't want to eat huge amounts of food just because it is Xmas.  We have a nice Xmas breakfast usually croissants and fresh orange juice, and simple light lunch, (everyones been stuffing their faces on chocolate anyway) and don't eat the Xmas meal until the evening.  Even that isn't totally traditional as myself and our sons are vegetarian and there are just two meat eaters on the day so not worth cooking a turkey for, so more likely to be a small chicken which doesn't take long to cook and won't be wasted.  That leaves us time to go for a walk on the beach while it is still light and work up an appetite.  I try to do everything before Xmas Eve so we can have a nice lunch and drink in the city before everyone arrives. We really enjoy that day so it has become a new Xmas Eve tradition.   There are usually 5 of us on Xmas Day and then 12 on Boxing Day so that will be a buffet. There will be four generations, 2 dogs and a cat.   Most of them stay over so there are bodies sleeping everywhere!  If I had my way it would be even simpler with pasties on the beach on Xmas Day but I haven't been able to persuade my family to adopt that new tradition yet!

Every year my dad would plant some hyacinths in a pot for each of us to take home, they would blossom over the xmas period and fill our homes with their beautiful smell.  It is such a lovely simple tradition that I have tried to keep it up, though I'm not always organised enough to get it done.  Here are this years ready to be given out.

Our other newish Xmas tradition is the Secret Santa draw.  We have four children plus their partners so it can be very expensive for them to buy each other presents, so they decided a few years ago to have a Secret Santa with a set amount of money to be spent on the presents.  The bearded one is responsible for the draw and takes his duties very seriously.  All the names are put in a hat and drawn out.  Texts are then sent to everyone telling them who they will be buying for and of course they all have to keep it secret.  It is all good fun as they try to work out who bought the presents.  We still buy them all presents but they include locally bought and made products, fair trade and environmentally friendly gifts.  A  new Xmas tradition I like to keep up.

So that is our Xmas with some new and old traditions.  It has been interesting reading about other bloggers Xmas traditions.  I wonder what the Xmas traditions of the future will be.

Chickpea xx


  1. What a lovely Christmas. Good to hear you have managed to create new traditions after losing your parents. The secret Santa is a great idea as is the Hyacinth pots x

  2. I love the sack cloth tied around the plant pots.

    I wonder how many people really do eat turkey at Christmas? We eat chicken most weekends so poultry is not of interest for us... we are having salmon as a treat

  3. We have friends who came from Cornwall but now live in France, their Christmas meal is Cornish Pasties, eaten as a picnic on the long walk they always have on this day. Sounds good to me.

  4. Now that's a beautiful, simple Christmas... too many people are caught up in the race to accumulate more stuff they don't need.

    On a funny note, I asked a friend's eight year-old son what he wanted for Christmas, and his answer was "Nine thousand dollars." When I asked him if he wanted more, say ten thousand, he insisted, "No, no more than nine thousand."

    Sadly, his mother insisted that he would get no such thing. Can't fault him for trying.

  5. we have a very simplistic christmas I suppose I better start putting some thought into it, no big dinners we ususally have a lobster with garlic mayo while sat in front of the fire.

  6. Christmas eve we walk up to the carols on the green,home to new Pj's, dinner and a christmas movie, no 1 son loves teh movie elf and has declared that dinner on the 24th for him at least is candy spaghetti !

  7. We have our grandsons on Christmas Eve, and on the way home we drive past the best decorated houses. Christmas day will have 5 this year, a simple family time. On boxing day, we regroup for a morning walk along the beach and then back home for soup and fresh baked rolls. I make the soup from the leftover veg and anything else which might enhance the flavor.

  8. Pasties on the beach on Christmas Day sounds like bliss to me!

  9. I'm all for traditions, old and new.


  10. It's nice to start our own traditions as well as incorporate the ones of the past. We also have a lovely breakfast and then that keeps us going until the big turkey dinner in the evening (that way I am not in the kitchen ALL day!). We have a buffet the next day as well as an 'open house', so anyone we know can pop by - sometimes to escape their own houses!! :-)

  11. I love your hyacinth pots, we are quite traditional in we do the same thing every year more or less. We start on Christmas Eve, have a buffet style tea and a tipple,We get up early Christmas Day ,we have eggs benedict and bucks fizz for breakfast,then we open all the pressies, the dinner is no starter just roast turkey and all the trimmings and good old christmas pudding, after lunch we all have a christmas scratch card, tea is christmas cake and a nice cuppa.

  12. Thank you Saver :)

    I can't claim credit for the sack cloth, it does look good, I will be doing it myself next year.

    I know of several people who have pasties on the beach on xmas day, I think it's a great idea.

    Kids are so funny, wonder why nine thousand.

    I think more people are wanting a simple xmas these days Dawn.

    That sounds lovely knittynutter and Marlene,

    One day I may get to do it Annie

    There is something comforting in them Jean

    Hi Chel and welcome, the open house sounds wonderful

    Sounds like a great day Simple Living

  13. simple traditions are the best I think, I love the fact you are carrying on the hyacinth one. We have a special Christmas breakfast, I think that is my favourite part of Christmas.

  14. An interesting read, Chickpea. I've worked hard to simplify Christmas here too and like you get most of the prep done well in advance so the time isn't stressful. The Secret Santa is a great idea- we do simple, local or handmade for our brothers and sisters, we're a large family and with all the nephews, nieces, cousins, grannies, grandpas and our children and each other and the dogs it can get a little crazy present-wise so we try to keep it down to earth.

  15. It sounds like you have been making some great new traditions and keeping the best of the old ones with your hyacinths. Pasties on the beach on boxing day sounds like the most wonderful idea to me!! xx


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