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Christmas Eve is my favourite part of Christmas. I love the anticipation – how exciting it is, to be waiting for Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve traditions are a big part of Christmas for me
When I was a kid, we used to do the same thing every Christmas Eve – we’d open one small present, watch a Christmas film (usually Santa Claus The Movie – my favourite) and have gammon rolls with a hot chocolate.
Now that I’m older, my Christmas Eve traditions have changed a bit, but they’re still very important to me.
Every year, for the last 13 years, we’ve had a Christmas Eve buffet dinner with my in laws. My mother in law does all the hard work and the rest of the family stuff our faces. Then I tend to fall asleep on the sofa while the rest of them play card games. Perfect!
Christmas Eve changed again when the twins arrived
We still go to see the in laws, but when then twins were born, I wanted to start our own Christmas Eve traditions. I loved Christmas Eve so much growing up (and I still do) and I want the twins to feel the same way. So this is how we spend our Christmas Eve.
I’ve mentioned a few times before how much I love Santa, so he has to be part of our Christmas Eve traditions. We take the twins to see Santa in the morning on Christmas Eve and we always go to the same place. We save the grotto at Notcutts Garden Centre for Christmas Eve, purely because it’s not too far out of our way, so it doesn’t take up the whole day. It’s a lovely little grotto, too.
Christmas Eve buffet
After seeing Santa, we go to see my in laws. We used to have our Christmas Eve buffet in the evening, but now we have it around lunch time. Eating a bit earlier means we can get the twins home in time for some more traditions and an early bedtime!
After we eat, we exchange gifts and the twins play with their toys. This way, Mr Becca’s parents get to see the twins opening their presents, even if they’re not spending Christmas Day with us (they are this year) and it spreads the presents out a bit for the twins – they get so many on Christmas Day!
Christmas Eve Box
Rather than giving the twins one of their presents on Christmas Eve, like my parents used to do for us, they have a Christmas Eve Box.
Inside the box, they have new PJs, a Christmas DVD, a Christmas book, a small gift, something cuddly and some christmas treats. This year, we have family Christmas PJs! We’ll watch the DVD (I think they’re still a bit too little for Santa Claus the Movie, but I’ll watch that after they go to bed), read the book, drink hot chocolate and have a snack before they go to bed. Their gifts this year are Christmas puzzles, so we’ll probably play with those before bed, too.
Treats for Santa
A new Christmas Eve tradition that we’re starting this year, is leaving treats for Santa and Rudolph. We haven’t done this before, because the twins wouldn’t have understood last year. This year, they’re much more into it, so we’ve got a special personalised treat tray, magic reindeer food (mostly bird seed, don’t tell the twins) and a magic key to hang on the door so Santa can get in (no chinmey here). We’re going to bake cookies for Santa (I don’t like mince pies), leave a carrot for Rudolph and I’m making a special bottle for Santa’s milk!
Christmas Dinner prep
Once the twins are in bed, I prep the turkey. Now, I’m no master chef, but I do cook a pretty good Christmas turkey. I’m afraid I can’t take all the credit. My delicious turkey is mostly thanks to Gordon Ramsey. Every Christmas Eve, I complain about sticking my hands under the skin to cover the turkey breast in butter and I swear I’m going to prep the turkey differently the following year. And then every Christmas Day, I’m reminded of why my Christmas with Gordon cookbook is pulled out every year.
If you’ve read the rest of my Christmas posts, you’ll know I’m a firm believer in wrapping as you go, to save time at Christmas. And I’ve done that this year, so after the turkey is prepped, I won’t be doing a mad rush to get everything wrapped. Instead, I’ll be relaxing, watching Santa Claus the Movie, drinking hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and eating a gammon roll. Because some childhood traditions are worth keeping!