Today is day two of the 2009 Virtual Advent Tour, and my turn to post! I'm going to talk to you a little about the family traditions we have in my family.
Ever since I was young, around the age of two, my parents tried to make Christmas Eve as special as Christmas Day - not just for me, but for them as well. Christmas Eve wasn't the best of days for my Mum when she was a child, so she wanted us to do something as a family to make it a happy day. My Dad used to be a courier, delivering parcels around the UK, but mainly London, so he knew (and still does) the area well, and knew which streets went all out when it came to decorating them with Christmas lights. That was our first tradition; Dad would take me and Mum out to the centre of London, driving around looking at the Christmas lights. I loved it, they were always so amazing! There was this one building my Dad delivered to that really spent some money at Christmas to decorate the outside of it - a different design every year. I remember one year it looked like a Christmas present, with a big bow. Seeing the lights each year was always so magical. When my brother came along, and was old enough, he came with us too.
Then when my brother and I were both old enough to go to the cinema without getting bored or disturbing other people, a new tradition started. As well as seeing the Chrsitmas lights, we would go to the cinema beforehand to watch a Christmas movie. The first one we saw according to Mum was Miracle on 34th Street - still one of my favourites! We don't go to see the Christmas lights anymore, as they have got more commercial and are used to advertise shops, which isn't so great, but we still try to go to the cinema. It's not always possible though, if we go to visit family for Christmas, we're travelling on Christmas Eve, and by the time we arrive, it's too late to get seats. But still, Christmas Eve is always great - especially getting the glass of milk and mince pie for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph ready, and seeing that they're gone the next day ;)
We have two other traditions in my family that we can only really uphold if we stay at home and have people round to us for Christmas. When at home the TV, the computers, the Xbox/Playstation (whatever computery thingy my brother now has in his room), gameboy DS, etc, are banned. Our recorders are set to tape all the great Christmas TV, and we spend the whole day as a family playing games - board or otherwise. My Mum tries to buy a new board game every year for us to play. Some of the games we play are Pictionary (I LOVE IT!), Taboo (also awesome!), Whodunnit? (Cluedo with cards), Uno, Charades, Monopoly (which I can't stand), and other nifty little games like Rummikub and Name That Tune. We are a very close family generally, but this is the one day where it's garunteed we'll all hang out together all day.
The other tradition, which is more of an agreement so everyone is happy, is not to open the Christmas presents until after we've eaten our big Christmas roast. I hated this rule as a child, having to wait hours before I could see what I'd been given, but I understand it now. Mum and Dad will be busy cooking the dinner; they don't have time to sit and relax and enjoy they're pressies, and seeing us open ours, while making sure the dinner is ready. And now, as an adult, I like this rule as well as understand it. I get more time to get ready (I am a girl, after all), and then I can help out with the food, get the table ready, etc. I enjoy it, as mad as I may sound. It's the family Christmassy feel.
While talking about food, I saw a programme the other day that was talking about some spicy food one could make for Christmas, and got all confused. Surely everyone has a roast on Christmas day? It turns out I'm wrong. So for us, we have a big roast - a very big roast. We have the potatoes, the veg, stuffing, yorkshire puddings, and then all the different meat; the turkey, of course, chicken, beef, pork, boiled bacon, pigs in blankets - the works. I'm seriously fussy, so I only have the potatoes and some chicken and beef, but everyone generally eats til they're bursting! Dad normally has a starter too of prawn cocktail, and then there is ice-cream and fruit for dessert for everyone, and Christmas pudding sometimes for Mum - no-one else likes it.
So what do you eat on Christmas day?