Whilst this year I have started making new traditions at Christmas but tradition has always been a big part of my families festive season since I was born. Now times have changed and the family has changed and some traditions have fallen by the wayside.
Here's a few traditions I miss about Christmas as a kid;
1. Drive to see the Christmas lights. On a Tuesday night some time before Christmas my parents would take us to see the lights after we'd been to my grandparents house. We'd always have 2 cars because we'd have gone from school and Dad would've come from work so Gareth and I would go in one car each and we'd drive through Bridgend and Cowbridge and see the trees and the lights and it was flippin magical.
2. Swapping cards on Christmas Eve. Me, my brother and my parents always used to sit down on Christmas Eve just after tea and swap all our Christmas cards and put them up on the shelves. We only stopped doing this last year because my brother is with his family on Christmas Eve but it still doesn't feel quite the same.
3. Putting out snacks for Santa. Look away now kids, spoiler alert. When we were finally told about Father Christmas we stopped putting out snacks on Christmas Eve. We used to put out Guinness and a mince pie and milk and peanuts (yes, I do have a nut allergy) but it kinda lost it's magic when we found out they used to pour the drinks out and eat a single bite of the mince pie.
4. Singing the Christmas Eve song. Every year going up the stairs to bed my Dad would sing a song that starts 'Christmas Eve is here, as we go off to bed' and I literally don't know anymore words. 22 years he's been singing that song to us and me, my Mum and my brother still don't know the rest. Now it's just my Mum and Dad at home so the song isn't sung and that breaks my heart a little bit.
5. Opening the door on Christmas morning. Every Christmas morning we'd wake up at about 6/6.30am and all wait at the top of the stairs until we were bundled up in dressing gowns and then sneak downstairs together (checking if Santa had eaten the food we left obvs). We'd all wait and then my Dad would open the living room door and switch on the light and there would be all our presents waiting. It was such a cute surprise even if we did have an inkling we had something but now I drive home and my brother won't even be with us on Christmas day. Although one year we forgot to turn off the burglar alarm so our excitement was rudely interrupted so not all bad.
6. Going to Cardiff to spend our Christmas money. After Christmas before my Dad went back to work and we went back to school, somewhere between Boxing Day and New Years we'd always get taken to Cardiff to spend our Christmas money and buy lots of new toys (as if we needed any more). We used to park in Sophia Gardens and walk along the park across the bridge and out in front of the castle and look at all the animal gargoyles along the castle wall and then go to the Entertainer and spend all the $$$$$.
So now I've thoroughly depressed myself and vowed that next Christmas I'll start trying to bring some of these back, what Christmas traditions did you used to do? Any you miss?