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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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