On Saturday we had our friends round for dinner, they are engaged and are getting married next year. It made me think about how our Christmas celebrations have changed over the last few years. Before I got married Christmas looked something like this:

Christmas Eve – hang out at home – maybe exchange presents with friends. In the evening we’d go to the Candlelight service at chapel. If this was at 6:30 then we’d go to the service then come home for tea and watch TV or just hang out as a family. If the service was at 11:30pm then we’d hang out then go to church. The 11:30pm version was timed so that we’d finish and it would be like 5 past midnight so we could wish everyone a happy Christmas before going home to bed. The church I used to attend didn’t have a Christmas Day service. Even when I moved church I would go back to my parent’s church for the Candlelight service and then miss the Christmas Day service at my new church.

Christmas Day – Start around 7 or 8 – me and my bro would try and creep past Mum and Dad’s room to see if the other one was awake – something about strength in numbers I think lol. We’d open our stocking presents and then hang out or pretend to go back to sleep if it was really too early lol.

About 9ish we’d get up and then as a family we’d open our presents. We would be allowed to go downstairs but we weren’t allowed to go into the living room to open presents until Dad had come downstairs and been in and switched the lights on and things like that. On several occasions he’d come back out of the living room with a deadly serious look on his face and tell us that there were no presents! I think this was as we got into our teens (Can you imagine telling a 5 yo that there are no presents!)

While I opened my presents my Mum would write a list of what I got and who I got it from so that it would be a little easier to write thank you cards. My Dad would do the same with my brother. When we’d done ours it would be Mum and Dads turn while we wrote the list. We’d then open family presents together (and someone would be nominated to write the list in between)

Following present opening we’d hang out whether it was playing computer games against each other or watching DVDs. After opening presents my Mum would have put the turkey in the oven and things like that so that by lunchtime we’d be sat round the table having lunch together.

When I was younger it was a family thing to watch the Queens Speech but as I’ve got older I think we stopped watching it or me and my brother would find something else to do while my Dad watched the speech.

When I got married it kinda changed, trying to fit in going to see additional family member is always a little crazy. I still go to the Carol Service at my parents church and this year and last year I’ve sung at the carol service. Then on the Sunday before Christmas we have the Children’s Nativity and the Christingle – this year is slightly different as all the young people (and some of the adults) are involved in one production this Sunday. It’s called Christmas in Context – so it’s not just the Christmas story.

Christmas Day is then spent at home just me and Chris. It was easier than upsetting one side of the family by going to see the other side on Christmas Day. One year we popped in for tea at our friends house. I think it was our first married Christmas and by that point we were driving each other a little crazy hehe.

Growing up we used to spend Boxing Day at my Grandparents house. Now I’m married it either goes that on Boxing Day we go to see Chris’s Auntie K or we go to my Grandparents and then go to see Auntie K on another day (or the other way round – yeah I know complicated hehe.)

How do you spend your Christmas?

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