Advent Calendar Day 5 + 5 in 5 | Christmas Traditions

I've bent the rules slightly today ... the full prompt for the Advent Calendar is 'a chrimbly family tradition - something only your own family do' but I don't think any of my traditions are particularly unique, just special to me, and I didn't actually stick to the five minutes for the 5 in 5 but .... I have ended up with five photos of my own Christmas traditions.

In the last few days of November I unpack the 'December box' where the Christmas mugs, books and snuggle blankets are packed away. The blankets and mugs are used throughout December right up until Twelfth Night when they are packed away until the next year. The Christmas books are ones that have a Christmas theme (letters, poems, short stories) and which I make some time to read from on most days leading up to the big day. Last year I also bought a Christmas novel which I didn't get round to reading so that's next in the to-read pile for this year.

The Advent Calendar is also found and preparations for my December Christmas can start. Each drawer contains two slips of paper; one detailing a Christmas themed activity (drive round and see the lights, take part in a Christmas quiz, decorate the tree (always Christmas Eve), attend a carol service, etc.) and a number relating to one of the gifts I've bought for myself throughout the year, some big, some small but always things I wouldn't routinely buy myself.

Carol playing forms a major part of my Christmas celebrations. By the time we reach December we (the youth band) have been practicing for a couple of month and December is 'show time' - out and about in town centres and supermarkets, freezing to death but having a lot of fun. I get a new scarf and fingerless mitts most year, this year's is visible in the top left hand corner of the photo and was a birthday gift from Julie.

At some stage in December I will settle down for an afternoon to watch one of the '50 Greatest Christmas Hits' type show on TV. This is a must every year and used to drive my late partner mad! 

On Christmas Day I'll have the radio on to listen to the Nation's Favourite Christmas Carol.

This is a new to me tradition for this year, based on the Icelandic tradition of Jolobokaflod but I already know it'll be a keeper.  This means 'Christmas Book Flood' and is when the people of Iceland share in their wonderful holiday ritual of giving books to one another on Christmas Eve. They then spend the night reading.

I still have to choose my book but I have bought new pyjamas and dressing gown, which I'll change in to as soon as I get back from my final concert. I haven't yet decided on the eats for Christmas Eve but it'll be buffet/finger food so I'll break my self-imposed rule and will eat in the living room. Usually the tree would be decorated by my great nieces earlier in the day and I'd put out the rest of the Christmas decorations but that's unlikely to happen this year because of the work going on around the house.

(you can see my new curtains in the background!)

Finally, this is a tradition carried over from childhood - the Christmas jigsaw, which can't be started until Christmas Day and is usually 1000 pieces as this size fits nicely on the dining room table. Visitors to the house over the Christmas period help add pieces to the puzzle and those who are sharing meals with me are used to the bumpy table - I just cover it with a cloth at meal times!

Joining with Julie @ My Scavenger Hunt Scrapbook for the Advent Calendar and Sandie @ Itchifingers for 5 in 5.


  1. Lovely happy post. Think I will pinch some of these traditions!

  2. Lovely traditions. I like the looks of your dressing gown for Christmas Eve, very fluffy & cozy.

  3. What lovely Christmas traditions! :)

  4. Thank you all for your lovely comments.

  5. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas! I love some of your ideas Eileen and might well embrace some of these for myself. I have Christmas books and china but don't have a ritual for getting them out, I love how you have created this special time of year. Thank you for including 5in5 and for uplifting my day with the lovely atmosphere and ideas you have created.

    1. Thanks Sandie. I'm glad I made the effort in the past five years to reinvent Christmas for myself after losing my partner as I could feel myself getting excited by just writing about these little traditions.


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