My Favourite Christmas Traditions

I’ll admit it, I am a massive sucker for Christmas traditions. My boyfriend thinks I’m mad and a little bit boring for sticking to the same thing year after year, but it’s like a familiar old sweater – it’s comforting.

A fairly recent addition to our family’s festive repertoire is visiting the European Christmas markets in Manchester. For the last few years, about a week before Christmas, I go to town with my mum and at least one sister to get lunch, shop, pick Christmas tree decorations and – most importantly – warm up with some lovely Gluwhein! 

I love seeing Manchester all lit up at night and there was SNOW! Albeit very wet, sleety snow. But it still helped to add to the atmosphere.

My favourite stall in St Anne’s Square – the original German market in Manchester and the quietest, which makes it the best – is the nutcracker stall . When I was little, my mum used to take me to the ballet to see The Nutcracker every winter, so when I see the stall it always makes me think of her.  

I got this little fella (the monkey doesn’t look happy about it!)

Here’s some other Christmas traditions I love…

Christmas films

In that order. Back to back.

You probably know the first three, but if you haven’t heard of the last one, All I Want for Christmas is an excellent yet totally cheesy made for TV movie starring a five-year-old Thora Birch (her of Ghostworld fame), so cute! It’s about two kids trying to get their parents back together on Christmas Eve (hence the title) and little Thora asks Santa but her older brother is a cynical teenager and doesn’t believe in Santa. You can probably guess the end, but I won’t spoil it for you.

It used to be on television every year when we were growing up, but then it just stopped and you couldn’t find it anywhere. You couldn’t even buy it on Amazon (though you can now, £3 – bargain!) so, when I worked in a record shop at Christmas four years ago, I got them to order it in for me specially.

Christmas Eve

Is always spent with friends, usually in the same little local pub. I always get home about 11 and sit under the tree doing last minute present wrapping. Then me and my mum watch midnight mass from Westminster Cathedral. Despite the fact that I’m 27, we still put out a mince pie and a glass of sherry, which my dad heartily enjoys (I always wondered when I was little why he suggested putting a packet of crisps out for the reindeer rather than a carrot). 

Having said that, this year I am breaking with tradition and spending the evening at my sister’s. It’s the first year my niece (who’s three) really understands what’s going on. Words can’t describe how excited she is. But I do think she may actually burst sometime soon!

Christmas morning

I have always got up super-early on Christmas morning. I was always the same as a kid, anything exciting and I wanted to make the most of every single minute. I’d get up at 6am – I may afford myself a bit more of a lie-in now I’m older and knackered – go down to see the tree, watch cartoons and spend at least an hour lazing in the bath.

Boxing Day

My mum always has all the family round on Boxing Day and it is actually my favourite day of the festive period. Yes, it’s even better than Christmas! Probably in no small part down to the fact that  she does the best buffet.

When we were kids, we used to put on little shows for our family, using the floor length curtains as some sort of stage door. And we used to rope our shy cousins into performing too (sorry). We did the nativity, one year we were supermodels (I was five!) and one year Fi dressed up as a Christmas pudding. She was always destined to be a performer…

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and new year, observing old or making new traditions with their loved ones. What are your family’s Christmas traditions? I’d love to know.

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3 Responses to My Favourite Christmas Traditions

  1. Matt Laxton says:

    My wife and I both have our own traditions, but now that we have our own children we’re really enjoying creating new traditions for them. We have a beautiful Christmas book called The Magical World of Father Christmas that explains how everything at the north pole works, and we read a new page each day in the run up to Christmas. Except on Christmas Eve of course, when we switch to The Night Before Christmas.

    Now that I live in the south, one of my favourite things is coming back home for Christmas. Somehow it doesn’t feel right anywhere else. Hannah and the boys are already in Romiley as I write and I’m still at work, but I’ll be coming up on the train tonight and joining them. Then the celebrations can begin properly!

    My main point in writing here was to wish all the Meakins and former Meakins a very happy Christmas. I enjoy the blog (it’s one of the things that helps me feel like I’m still in touch with home), and I hope the new year brings success and prosperity for your business. That way when we eventually move back up north for good I can come and shop in person!

    • Lucy says:

      Hi Matt,

      Sorry for the late reply. It’s so lovely to hear from you and to read about your Christmas traditions. Nice to know someone is reading the blog too!

      Best wishes for the new year to you, your family and for your own business, from all the Meakins.

  2. Matt Laxton says:

    Grr… Unclosed hyperlink tag… The book’s called “Santa Claus: The Magical World of Father Christmas”