Monday, 1 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Happy December everyone!  The 1st of December to me is like a green light giving you permission to be excited about everything Christmasy.  In our house the countdown really is now on...

One of the things I like most about Christmas time and the run up to the big day is the traditions.  Everyone has them and I find it fascinating to find out what different families do.  It's the traditions for me that knit everyone together.  They are so comforting and make everything feel just that little bit more special at this time of year.

The family traditions that stick in my memory most from when I was a little girl are reading 'The night before Christmas' every Christmas Eve before bed and on Christmas morning my sister and I clambering onto my mum and dad's bed to open our stockings.  There was no peeking though at our main Santa presents in the living room until we'd had breakfast and got dressed. The anticipation made you feel like you might burst and its one tradition I love carrying on with our own family.

Now with my own little family its so exciting to start our own traditions and watch my four year old, Lucas get as excited as I used to. Its these little things that make such special childhood memories.

Although Lucas understood Christmas last year and was excited by it all, this year its on a completely different level.  He's been making his Christmas list and asking "how long til Santa' since October. I try to put myself in his shoes though.  When a four year old sees Christmas trees and lights popping up everywhere as soon as Halloweens' over it must be hard to understand why Christmas Day and Santa coming are taking so long.

One tradition we started with Lucas a couple of years ago, which was a hit is reindeer dust.  For those of you not familiar with this its a little oats and glitter (edible so safe for the birdies) mixture which you sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve and is meant to light the way to your house for Santa's reindeer.  Lucas loves this and gets so excited to go out in the garden in his new Christmas pajamas right before bedtime on Christmas Eve to scatter it ready for Rudolph and Co.  This year we picked up a little packet of this at Lucas's school nursery's Christmas fayre, so we're super organised for once!

Another tradition we started last year (actually my sister introduced us to it) was the Christmas Eve box.  One of my husband, Mark's family traditions growing up was getting to open one present on Christmas Eve, so this is almost our version of that tradition.  On Christmas Eve afternoon we sit around as a family and open the box which is full of goodies to create the perfect, cosy Christmas Eve.  Last year my sister had packed the box full of Christmas pajamas for us all, cookie mixture, a Christmas DVD  and a Christmas sticker/ activity book.

By mid afternoon all three of us were in our jammies, DVD on, tucking into the Christmas cookies which had made the house smell amazing!  Perfection!

This year will be Charlotte's first Christmas which makes it even more special.

One new tradition we have started this year is Lucas and Charlotte picking a new decoration each year for the tree.

We've started off this tradition with some super cute ones which Lucas chose for him and Charlotte. He picked a Christmas bird for himself and the little Rudolph for Charlotte.  He's now desperate for us to put the tree up so he can hang them on it.

I love the idea  that in years to come we will have a collection of ornaments they have chosen and perhaps even be something we can pass onto both of them when they start their own families.

The other tradition the McCluskie household is fully embracing this year is Elf on the Shelf .  I have to admit that I may be more excited about this than Lucas.  Ever since our Elf doll and book arrived a couple of weeks ago I have been addicted to Pinterest, looking for ideas (24 different, fun scenarios to come up with is quite tricky).  On Friday night we started the build up to our very own Elf arriving by reading Lucas the book.  Its such a lovely story and the illustrations are magical.  Lucas was completely captivated and so excited for our own Elf to make his first appearance.

This morning a brown paper package with  his name on it was waiting for him at the breakfast table.  As he sat down to open it and discovered the Elf inside clutching a letter from Santa his face just lit up!  Lucas has named our Elf, Smartie, who is currently sitting proudly on our kitchen shelf with Lucas awaiting what he'll do next.  Check out my Instagram for updates on our Elf's antics.

What Christmas traditions do you and your family have?


  1. I allways used to buy a small notebook for my Christmas shopping listing everything for my children and family. Once christmas was finished, I would then add presents recieved. Then the books were dated and put in the loft with the decorations.As my children grew through the years, they would love to read the books when they came down from the loft. My daughter has kept the tradition going, she is now doing it with her children. X Laurie

  2. I love that so many people do the Christmas Eve box. It wasn't something I had heard of until a few years ago and since then have always wanted to do it with my children. I'm so excited for this Christmas. I'm also looking forward to Alexander being a little older for the Elf of the Shelf. It just adds to the excitement and fun of Christmas. xo

    1. This is the first year we've done Elf on the Shelf as we wanted to wait until Lucas understood it and so far he is loving! He's so excited every morning to find Smartie, our elf to see what he's been up to :) x