* * * * *Let's start with December 1st. Most people get generic advent calendars, maybe with One Direction or the Avengers on. As I can recall, I've never had one of those. For as long as I can remember - which, I found out, was just after my first Christmas - I have had an advent village that consists of 22 houses, a church, a Christmas tree and little villagers. The village board itself is marked with the numbers 1 - 24, which are inside little boxes. With each day, you add another house to its place (my favourite house is number 9, the Post Office ;)) and take a sweet from one of those multi-pack bags you can get; this year, we found one that has sweets that I actually like (there's usually that odd chocolate that I don't like, but there isn't this year!).
|In pride of place in the dining room|
* * * * *Then, the tree. We usually try and get the tree up before my dad's birthday (this Wednesday, if you wanna know). We get it on a Sunday from a local seller who sells them in his own backyard, literally. On the same Sunday, we'll troop through my room a few times going up to the loft, and then coming back down with boxes of decorations in hand. Our Christmas tree is always quite mismatched. We have red and gold baubles that are as old as mum and dad's marriage, a bauble comemorating my first Christmas, Winnie the Pooh plushies, a really heavy Bob the Builder, a peacock. I think the only thing that actually coordinates are the lights that are always multi-coloured. But I love our hodge-podge tree! We'll have Christmas music playing whilst we decorate, if we've found the CDs. I'll end up doing all the other things, like setting up the decorations in the dining room, as well as putting decorations on the tree. To top our tree, we have a golden angel, who usually has a light up her bum.
* * * * *Onto Christmas Eve. Mum finishes work around 1:30, and we used to get bacon butties from a van, but now there's a McDonald's across the road we'll get something from there. I'll spend the afternoon wrapping the presents for my family so they're ready for Christmas Day. Then we'll go to the Crib Service at my grandparent's church, with my entire maternal family in attendance. When we were younger, me and my cousins would have McDonald's instead of having a dinner with the rest of the family, then watch a DVD, but now we're older, we eat as a family (there's 12 or so of us). My cousins and I, once we get kicked off the table so the 'adults' can gossip, will stick a DVD or something on and usually start messing on with the balloons we get from church (they say 'Happy Birthday Jesus). We'll stay there until 10 o'clock or something, get handed our presents from the cousins on our way out the door, and go home. At home, the prep for Christmas dinner begins. I'm not part of the prep stage, so I'll just get ready for bed. Then, I'll set out the drink and food for Santa and carrot for Rudolph (my parents take turns, the dog probably gets the carrot, now I think about it). We then chuck some reindeer food around the garden - for those not in the know, reindeer food is basically oats mixed with glitter that you sprinkle outside your house, so the glitter and oats attract the reindeer to your house.
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On Christmas Day, I'm the first to wake up, always. I have to wait for my mum to be presentable (shower, put makeup on, turn the oven on, make a cup of tea, and return) before I go into mum and dad's room to open stockings. After the stockings, we go downstairs to open the rest of the presents. We each get a different section of the living room to our presents. It's bacon sandwiches for breakfast on Christmas, whilst we tidy all the presents into piles. The grandparents usually visit with presents, and basically it's presents, and family for the rest of the day.
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Christmas dinner is like a military operation. We have starters, either patè, prawn cocktail or orange juice for my sister who doesn't do either of those. Then Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, and I mean all the trimmings; I seriously don't know how we fit it all onto the table. Every year, we try and set our Christmas pudding on fire and actually getting a good picture of it, but we don't usually manage. I myself don't like Christmas pudding, so I always have vienetta instead. 'Table presents' are then handed out by my mum. I don't know exactly what defines them as table presents, but I just like doing it. We end up sitting in the living room for ages messing on with presents whilst my dad falls asleep somewhere! I watch the Doctor Who Christmas episode on my laptop, then go to sleep.
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Boxing Day, my family usually throws a house party in our house, so we have to put y parent's presents upstairs and prep everything for the buffet. Family come around throughout the day, and it's just a nice time with family and everything.
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That's my Christmas traditions for you! Merry Christmas everyone :)