YEP, I SAID THE C-WORD. IT’S THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN, WHICH MEANS IT’S OFFICIALLY THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS!
Halfway through the shoot we realised we hadn’t put the blinds back up after painting the room. So I’m pretty sure our new neighbours thought we had a photographer, lighting and styling team to shoot our family Christmas card… in September! They think we are THOSE people!
I’ve got to say though, it was pretty magical having a perfect nine foot Christmas tree in our front room. After giving it some thought, I realised we have loads of Christmas eve traditions that have snuck their way into our little family over the years. Here’s how we do it…
The first thing we do, a few weeks before christmas is magically grow our christmas tree. We have a ‘magic pine cone’… The story goes, that Tom met a mysterious old man on the side of the road selling magic pine cones, he told us to plant it in our christmas tree holder and sprinkle it with glitter, then overnight a Christmas tree will magically appear. Every year, without fail, it appears (with a little help from the neighbours storing a tree we’ve bought the day before). The kids truly believe it and we’ll keep doing it for as long as we can.
Each year since we got married we have bought one really fancy bauble, so our tree now has 10 fancy baubles (and lots of cheap ones). We write the year on the bottom of them, sometimes they represent what we did that year so there are ones with the kid’s footprints for the years they were born. We even have one from when we went to Tokyo.
We’re on the other side of the world to the rest of our family, so the most important thing to do is call them on Christmas eve as they open their presents. We call them on Christmas morning too, and catch them just as they trundle off the sofa and into bed.
The kids get one present to open – which is always pyjamas. A few years ago they got matching polar bear onesies which was pretty adorable, last year they got matching bat pyjamas from The Bright Company which had bat wings. This year we’ve got cosy M&S PJs.
Then we set up our ‘back-to-front Santa’ box which we put next to the kid’s stockings. This is a box of toys that they don’t want anymore. ‘santa’ takes them away and gives them to some other children who don’t have any toys… via the shed for a couple of weeks until we remember to take them to the charity shop!
Right before bed, we read “The Night Before Christmas”. The kids’ godmother in Australia gave us a copy that has her voice recorded reading it, so it’s like she’s here with us.