Top 5 Family Traditions at Christmas

I wasn’t sure if we had any real traditions at this time of the year until I got thinking…

I do enjoy Christmas, the holiday season and the summer weather but until I stopped to think about, I wasn’t sure if we had any real ridgy-didge family traditions.

Here are my top 5 family traditions

1. An Awkward Portrait

I would like to say having an Awkward Photo was a tradition but it was a one-off and it was for my birthday in actual fact – go figure!  We don’t do ugly Christmas jumpers here in Australia so this photo shoot was a fun way to pretend it was cold and snowy outside when in fact it was sunny and boiling hot.  I still laugh every time I see this photo, it’s one of my all time favourite shots.

Awkward portrait at Christmas
Awkward portrait

2. Santa photos and Christmas Dresses

In the old days I used to make all my daughters’ clothes and every year I’d make them a special Christmas dress for our parties, Santa photos and Christmas Day.  A few years ago, one of my daughters secretly made Christmas dresses for her sisters and they had a fun photo shoot recreating their younger days.  They then surprised me on Christmas Day wearing their dresses and presented me with the photos!  It made me laugh so much 🙂

3. Games

I used this photo for the Day 4 prompt on Instagram #25daycountdowntoahappychristmas – when our family gets together at Christmas we play lots of games.  Kubb is one of them and this particular year my daughters and I won against ‘the boys’ – did you know we’re quite a competitive family? I just love the joy in our faces in this photo!

Family tradition

4. Gingerbread Houses

A few years ago we started a new tradition of making a Gingerbread House.  It was a fundraiser for our local Interact Club and as a Rotarian I felt I should support the youth of our town.  What I didn’t realise was how much fun it would be to create and decorate my very own house.  And the joy it created in my family was well worth the effort.  Here are the before and after shots 🙂

And this year we’re doing it all again.  As we are host parents to Anna, our Hungarian Rotary Exchange Student, I have coerced her into being the main creator and decorator this year, so it will be fun to see her creation.

5. 11am toast to absent friends

But the main family tradition we have is to toast absent friends and family at 11am on Christmas morning.  We all stop what we’re doing and take a moment to think of those we are missing.  This year will be very hard as it will be our first Christmas without my father and my father-in-law, sadly we lost them both this year.  My eldest daughter and her partner are unable to be with us from the UK, she had two unexpected flights home for funerals during the year, but also happily lots of visits from family, so they will definitely be in our thoughts.

Christmas for us, as you can probably see, is all about family and usually it’s lots of fun.  It doesn’t always go according to plan but we try hard to make it work.  This year will be extra fun as we have our new granddaughter to brighten our days – no pressure Emilia!

Christmas greetings from our family to yours
From us to you

What’s your favourite tradition at this time of the year? Feel free to leave me a comment and share your favourite tradition.

I always love hearing from you!

Deb x

This week Terri’s prompt for the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge is all about Traditions.

All my Sunday Stills posts are here

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31 Replies to “Top 5 Family Traditions at Christmas”

  1. Love this post Deb. That awkward photo is a scream! One of my favourite Christmas traditions is watching the cricket with my Dad. Just the Big Bash these days but it’s always a fond memory and something I look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh the cricket Desley…the sounds of summer. It’s on TV as we speak! Great memories to have with your dad. We’re going to a Big Bash game in Canberra just before Christmas and I’m looking forward to the atmosphere. I always get a real buzz looking at that awkward photo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post, sad for you to have lost both fathers though, great idea to stop at a given time to remember. We have a cheers to those not with us when we sit down to lunch. Our weird Christmas tradition is when we open presents around the tree, the whole family, including dog are there and the unwrapped present paper gets thrown onto the poor dog who is just innocently laying on his mat. By the end of the presents he is usually covered, poor thing. But he puts up with us and always gets a present too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s lovely Sue, I think I was included in one of your posts last year about what we do at Christmas! I am very excited about Emilia’s first Christmas with us all 🙂 and you’re right she will fill our hearts with joy.


  3. How fun! Here are some of my favorite traditions:

    1. Mimosas during gift opening.
    2. Pigging out on snacks all day on Christmas day.
    3. Pancakes with Santa.
    4. Dropping reindeer feed on the boat Christmas eve. Then my daughter hears Santa landing on the boat. Then she hears bells in the distance.
    5. Making more ornaments for our tree! We did not have room to bring our ornaments from Michigan, when we moved 5 years ago, so all of our ornaments are home made.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your Christmas traditions sound much like ours for the most part, Debby. Love that awkward photo! Too funny to see summer clothing in the pics, although we spend warm Christmas days in San Diego. Now that we have little ones again, the appeal of opening presents is fun to experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can just imagine the joy of seeing little ones open their presents, it brings it alive again for us doesn’t it? Emilia won’t know much for a few years but we’ll have fun with her this year. I too love that Awkward photo – it really was so much fun! Thanks for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your traditions and I may adopt one, toasting those who cannot be there this year. What a sweet way to remember not only those who passed but those who are in another state or country and couldn’t join us. And I just love learning new words from you you. Ridgy-didge and Kubb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear Jennifer. We find the toast at a set time puts us in touch spiritually if not physically, with everyone else in the family doing the same thing at the same time around the world 🙂 Yes the ridgy-didge word is a true Australianism. Kubb is a Swedish word and a fun game, especially after a few drinks 🙂 Enjoy!


  6. Deb, I hate to out you in such a public space, but I know Christmas isn’t your favourite time of year. You put so much stress on yourself, particularly when you have a home Christmas, that I’m not sure you enjoy yourself much at all. My advice is to leave everything up to Sarah and Ben this year and just relax. Don’t feel responsible for anything or anyone – apart from giving Emilia as many cuddles as possible.
    One tradition which I don’t think you ever adopted (but really should!) is ambrosia. I know you don’t like it, which I find so hard to understand, but I think you should give it another go! It’s a way of introducing Emilia to Nan Pittaway and keeping that tradition alive.
    My only tradition (apart from the ambrosia) seems to be having Christmas wherever it’s going to rain (or snow) the most! I hope there’s no snow in Tassie this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m reformed now Sharon, didn’t you know that?? I deliberately didn’t talk about cooking or food (apart from gingerbread houses, which don’t constitute food as such) because they’re the sorts of things that stress me out. And trying to make sure everyone else is happy….I’m looking forward to anyone else doing those mundane things like cooking, shopping for food and deciding what we’re eating and I’ll be the one cuddling Emilia.

      I am not going to adopt ambrosia – never ever!!!! I can’t believe you like it so much but I do understand the Nan Pittaway connection. I prefer to remember her in other ways, her gentle spirit, her soft skin and her lovely smile. I think they live on in all of us to some extent.

      Hopefully the weather will be good for you this year but I’d take some warm clothes just in case! You seem to take the weather with you.

      Thanks for the public outing. I tried to pick traditions I actually enjoy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Deb – I like your Christmas traditions. Like you, I had to think of what mine were. Most of mine are pretty standard (Gathering the family together, decorating the tree, displaying Christmas Cards, etc.). We go to Mass on Christmas Eve, open our stockings/presents on Christmas Morning and do a full Turkey dinner on Christmas Day. Along with hanging our own stockings, we also hang the stockings of family members who have passed on, including furry family members.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, even though my family did not celebrate Christmas growing up (in India), we had neighbors who did, and we always waited for a care package from their house during the winter break. And now after having lived almost ten years in US, we have picked up a few traditions of our own, baking and decorating cookies, making snowflakes from paper, and making pizza from scratch among a few. Your blog post made me smile. I like the awkward portrait (that’s a keeper) and the gingerbread house decoration, will definitely try those out. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful traditions! I especially like the 11am one. I recently lost my father and have been debating how we can incorporate his memory into our Christmas traditions. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Top 5 Family Traditions at Christmas — Deb’s World – SEO

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