Festive Traditions

Today is an important day, the first Sunday of December, which means one thing in my household.

Today is the day when we go to our local garden centre, find the perfect tree and deck the halls with decorations that are probably older than me. It’s always a chaotic day, but a fun one. We normally potter about around the shop, laughing at some of the more interesting decorations for sale. Although we often tend to find something cute and bring that home, even though we promised we wouldn’t add to the sizable collection.

Then we pull out names for our Secret Santa. You see, we tend to have a lot of folk over for Christmas so, we have a special Christmas Eve dinner, complete with a small Secret Santa. Oh, and mum always gets all of us new pyjamas. Not sure when that tradition started, but I’m not complaining.

This year, I am feeling festive. I have mentioned it before, but normally it isn’t until the week of the big day that the spirit of the holidays finally shows up. My mum was delighted to hear that, considering that I was alright with her blasting Christmas tunes in the car. Yet I still refuse to watch those cheesy films they play on Christmas 24, no matter how festive I’m feeling, I still hate those films.

Christmas is a big deal in our family, as it is one of the few times in the year we get to see most of my family. We live all over the joint, some even living across the border, meaning that it is rare we get to see certain folk outside of this time of year. 

My family, particularly on my dad’s side, is rather bookish. All but guaranteeing that you will receive at least one book and a couple of Waterstones gift cards. I am certainly not complaining about that. 

I keep suggesting that we do our own take on Jolabokaflod or “Christmas Book Flood”. A sweet tradition that involves giving family members a new book, then you all read your newly gifted books with mugs of hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds delightful. My family agrees that it sounds fun, but Christmas Eve does tend to be a rather busy day and night for us, thanks to all the prepping for the chaotic following day.

I have a few seasonal reading traditions of my own. Well, two.

I mentioned the first one in my last post, but I read at least one collection of short Christmas crime stories. I’m not usually a crime reader, I’ve gone off it for the most part. However, I always get a kick out of festive ones. Not sure why, maybe it’s because some of them are funny, and they tend to be a bit more creative?

The other is that I tend to reread one or more of my favourite books at this time of year. Books like The Night Circus and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m probably going to reread The Starless Sea this year. I find reading beloved books to be rather calming. I know what is going to happen so there isn’t any stress. It’s like visiting an old friend for the holidays, only said friend lives in the pages of a well-read novel.

I hope you are feeling festive too. If not, there is still plenty of time to get into the spirit of the season. However you celebrate with your family, with traditions or not, I hope you have a wonderful time!

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