I love traditions. And when I moved out of home I felt like I was losing a little bit of my childhood because I could no longer have the Christmas traditions from when I was little.
Of course, Christmas is also complicated by the need to accommodate two families. Ashley and I have to spend time with his family over Christmas too, so from the beginning we faced the challenge of some many families - how to celebrate Christmas twice without getting completely over it.
My solution was to create a new tradition. And to extend Christmas out, which frankly just makes me love it more. And I love it because I feel like I am recapturing some of that child-like Christmas magic. We have officially added Christmas Eve to become part of Christmas proper.
For the last decade (or more), every year, on Christmas Eve we go to my parents house. Some years we get there in the morning and spend the day sorting out the cooking and the table decorations and finalising things for the lunch my Mum hosts the next day. Some years we get there at 6 o'clock just in time to eat. Often I am there frantically baking the desert I need to have ready for Ashley's family the next day. My sister, and I, and our partners and my Mum and Dad.
We have a meal, drink lots of wine, usually play some kind of board game. And then we put on our pajamas and tuck ourselves into bed. And while we are sleeping, Santa and his reindeer land on our roof and he sneaks into our living room to leave us kids some lovely surprises.
My mother always said that Santa would stop coming when... When we no longer believe (but I insist that I still definitely believe!). When we are teenagers. When we turn 18. When we move out of home. When we get married. When...
One year she tried to tell me Santa wasn't coming. I pretended not to hear her. She repeated herself. I simply replied that he would be. "No, Erin. No more Santa" "Yes, Mum. Santa's still coming". And I decided that if Mum wasn't going to be Santa's helper anymore, then I would be.
Helping Santa has become one of my favourite parts of Christmas. Better, even, than opening the proper presents. It doesn't hurt that since I started helping, Santa always knows what I like, so I get good swag :-)
This year has been a difficult year for Ashley and I, and we seriously thought about not doing Christmas, or of doing it in a very limited way. But when it got right down to it, we need these traditions. We need the love and joy they represent. And so this Christmas, as we sit here with my family and play Uno and Trivial Pursuit and drink wine and watch Shrek The Halls and White Christmas, my wish is that wherever you are, that love and joy surround all of us.
Have a very Merry Christmas. Thank you all for spending this year with me. Blogging about my sewing, while it might not sound like much, has been a huge blessing in my life this past year. Your comments and stories and sewing days... You all have made this year a better year, than it would have been without you.
I have to confess this is not my puppy. This is one of his friends from our local beagle group. But I couldn't resist sharing these beautiful photos. E xx