Read­ers share their fave fes­tive tra­di­tions

What would Christ­mas be with­out chil­dren and the joy they find in the sea­son? We asked our Face­book friends and their kids to share the fes­tive tra­di­tions they cher­ish the most

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Com­piled by Fiona Ralph. Il­lus­tra­tions by Anieszka Banks.

We watch a movie to­gether on Christ­mas Eve and snuggle on the couch and get new PJs.

Thomas, 5 (sub­mit­ted by Amy Maxwell)

Wrap­ping presents for chil­dren who wouldn’t get to have any, and putting them un­der the giv­ing tree in our lo­cal cathe­dral to help them have a happy day. Lily, 8

(sub­mit­ted by Lozzie Bee) Our Christ­mas present tra­di­tion is one Mum and Dad have done for ev­ery Christ­mas we’ve had. Fam­ily mem­bers, start­ing with the el­dest, pick a present and give it to the per­son it’s for. One gift is opened at a time and peo­ple re­act, en­joy, chat and nib­ble at dif­fer­ent treats as we go around. It takes hours and ev­ery­one is 100 per­cent present while open­ing presents! Alexan­dra Far­row

Ev­ery year my daugh­ter Emma and I packed a Christ­mas box for less priv­i­leged chil­dren in the Pa­cific Is­lands. We’d spend a won­der­ful day shop­ping and think­ing what would be use­ful as well as de­light­ful. She loves this tra­di­tion so much she con­tin­ued it us­ing her own salary when she started work­ing.

Bar­bara Tay­lor Go­ing to Christ­mas car­ols on Christ­mas Eve and get­ting to come home and open a present un­der the tree. Ara­bella, 8 (sub­mit­ted by Stephanie Red­ding­ton) My seven-year-old daugh­ter loves Santa’s tra­di­tion of leav­ing sooty foot­prints across the din­ing room floor! Roanne Pam­plin

When we were kids, Mum would bake a gin­ger­bread house then us kids would all help dec­o­rate it. Last year I made one for our fam­ily and this year my al­most-three-yearold will be big enough to help dec­o­rate it, car­ry­ing on the tra­di­tion. Lyn­ley McNickle

We have a wooden Santa sleigh from Grandma with pull-out draw­ers. Start­ing on 1 De­cem­ber, my daugh­ter gets to open one drawer each day un­til Christ­mas Eve. I put tiny toys in each drawer or other lit­tle things and my daugh­ter thinks it’s mag­i­cal.

Jayne Wylie My chil­dren en­joy de­sign­ing and mak­ing a Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion each year with our laser en­graver. Bec Hamil­ton

My kids love putting up and dec­o­rat­ing the Christ­mas tree and mak­ing tra­di­tional Christ­mas cook­ies with their 90-yearold great­grand­mother.

Karla Wel­son

A few weeks be­fore Christ­mas my daugh­ter and I start sourc­ing beau­ti­ful wrap­ping pa­per, boxes and rib­bon for our present wrapa-thon. We spend the evening wrap­ping gifts with a Christ­mas movie play­ing in the back­ground. The movie and re­fresh­ments have changed over the years – it used to be

Elf and hot choco­late. Now it’s Love Ac­tu­ally and a glass of wine. It’s some­thing we both love to do ev­ery year, and I hope it will be some­thing she will never feel too old to do with her mother. Sharon Dea­con

Christ­mas break­fast is pof­fer­t­jes (Dutch pan­cakes) with blue­ber­ries we pick at the blue­berry farm and cus­tard. Yum! Isaac, 7 (sub­mit­ted by An­drea Lane)

I like to make some gin­ger­bread mans.

Sawyer, 4 (sub­mit­ted by Jus­tine Bur­rows Gil­lett)

I made my four chil­dren (Eli­jah, 13, Josiah, 12, Zachariah, 9, and Evan­ge­line, 5) their own Christ­mas stock­ing when they were born. On Christ­mas Eve we go shop­ping for a but­ton for them each to sew onto the back of their stock­ing to mark that Christ­mas. It’s amaz­ing how each but­ton holds a spe­cial mem­ory and re­minds them of some­thing that hap­pened that year. Kerry Ta­iala

I really like mak­ing choco­late fudge for my class­mates and hand-de­liv­er­ing it with a card on the week­end be­fore Christ­mas. Blake, 15 (sub­mit­ted by Deb­o­rah Wood) Hav­ing rein­deer meat­balls ev­ery Christ­mas Eve. Annabelle, 7 (sub­mit­ted by Chelsea Holmes)

Go­ing on the Great Christ­mas Tree Hunt on the farm with Dad 10 days be­fore Christ­mas… with strict spec­i­fi­ca­tions from Mum! Hugo, 5, and Bede, 3 (sub­mit­ted by Sarah Pater­son) My son turns 5 in De­cem­ber. Since he was 2 we have had an ad­vent house that plays mu­sic when you open the lit­tle doors. We hide a choco­late coin be­hind the door for each day. His sis­ter is 2 this Christ­mas, so we are look­ing for­ward to her join­ing in the fun. Becks Hunt

My 12-year-old’s favourite thing is mak­ing brioche early on Christ­mas morn­ing at the crack of dawn so it can rise. He’s got up with me since he was about 2.

Kirstie Mor­gan We have a cookie-mak­ing marathon a few days be­fore Christ­mas and make up boxes and tins to de­liver to the neigh­bours on Christ­mas Eve. There are al­ways at least 10 dif­fer­ent types of cook­ies in all shapes and sizes. This tra­di­tion has been go­ing for many gen­er­a­tions.

Au­dra Lyons O’Donoghue My kids, Sarah, Kate­lyn and Sam, have al­ways loved mak­ing gin­ger­bread men a few days be­fore Christ­mas. I make the dough and di­vide it up evenly with the lol­lies. They pick two colours for the ic­ing, which changes each year. We have had nieces and neph­ews join us over the years and they all love it still, even though ev­ery­one is grow­ing up.

Nicky Mather­son

I like that ev­ery year Santa leaves the present in the gar­den be­cause I don’t like him com­ing into the house.

Eli­jah, 10 (sub­mit­ted by Kelly Elvy)

My boys and I save the cof­fee jars all year, then the week be­fore Christ­mas we fill them with treats and tie rib­bons on them, and the boys take them to each of our neigh­bours to wish them a merry Christ­mas. We all love do­ing this and I love that my boys get to re­mem­ber that Christ­mas is about giv­ing.

Toni Fo­ley Go­ing to see all the Christ­mas lights with the whole fam­ily on Christ­mas Eve. Max, 7

(sub­mit­ted by Han­nah Furse) Ev­ery Christ­mas Day, af­ter open­ing the presents, we watch an an­i­mated DVD called

The First Noel. It’s a fun, quirky nar­ra­tion of the Christ­mas story us­ing ref­er­ences to many of the Christ­mas car­ols. Our kids, Paris and Mac, are now 15 but we have been watch­ing it since they were 2 years old.

Sharon Costar

I love eat­ing the stollen Mum makes for break­fast on Christ­mas morn­ing. It has yummy marzi­pan in the mid­dle. Tier­nan, 8 (sub­mit­ted by Megan Kingston-Burke) I just read this to my 11-year-old Noah and was really sur­prised by his an­swer: “I love the Christ­mas jelly you make.” I layer red, white and green jelly. Wow, it truly is the small things our chil­dren re­mem­ber.

Car­olyn Ack­er­mann

Ev­ery­one open­ing presents in py­ja­mas.

Lyle, 6 (sub­mit­ted by Jas­mine Des­saix)

We have Christ­mas Tree Day on the first Sun­day of De­cem­ber. It started with my mum, and con­tin­ues with my boys, Sam and Jesse. Months be­fore, we choose our yearly Christ­mas colour to­gether and a spe­cial theme to wrap the presents (brown pa­per and string, in­di­vid­u­ally made bags from left­over fab­ric, stick­ers, and fake flow­ers have all made an ap­pear­ance). We col­lect bits and pieces un­til De­cem­ber, and add them to our col­lec­tion. On the day, we spend hours as­sem­bling the var­i­ous trees, un­tan­gling lights, singing car­ols and eat­ing mince pies. There are usu­ally fights, sulk­ing, laughs and a unique tree ev­ery year.

Tiffiny Hodg­son For my nine-year-old son Ri­ley we share many won­der­ful tra­di­tions, in­clud­ing an early Christ­mas with one side of the fam­ily, Christ­mas in the Park, and 1st of De­cem­ber tree-hunt­ing. How­ever, I have been most sur­prised that he de­ci­sively an­nounced that the best part of Christ­mas is our tra­di­tional Box­ing Day spent at a lo­cal river with our clos­est fam­ily, with left­overs and toys!

Lynda Bright I’m start­ing a Twelve Days of Christ­mas book ad­vent – buy or bor­row from the li­brary 12 Christ­mas-themed books then wrap them and place them un­der the tree so one can be opened each evening for the first 12 days of De­cem­ber. By mid­way through De­cem­ber there will be plenty of Christ­mas sto­ries to read and re-read to set the scene for the big day! Daniella Carey


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