• Helen McNutt

A Family Christmas Tradition

Around about this time of year I start panicking about Christmas traditions.

In that we don’t have any.

Although every time I open a glossy magazine I’m assailed by other people’s gorgeous/sweet/highly personalised takes on Christmas, we have never quite managed to nail it. Last year, for example, Raffy ate the decorative gingerbread hearts by December 10th. Andrew complained about the evergreen display on the stairs marking the paintwork, and Bear got a vomiting bug. I organised the school Christmas fair, so by the time December 25th finally rolled around I could barely speak.  And indeed refused to do so, during Christmas dinner. Ho, ho, ho!

Yesterday though I had a Christmas tradition brainwave. Or at least a sort of remembering of something I once read in a glossy magazine. We will go, as a family, to a lovely shop, and each choose a Christmas decoration. The whole experience will be special and magical, handed down through successive generations of Martins for all eternity…

I was very excited to share this idea with Bear. He thought about it carefully then asked if we could do it online instead. It will be quicker, and we won’t have to get into the car, he said.

It wasn’t until I was retelling this highly disappointing tale to Andrew that I remembered we do have our own Christmas tradition after all. Every year, a few days after Christmas (it gets earlier every time) when I’m away from the house, Andrew and the boys secretly bring in the secateurs, chop down the Christmas tree, chuck it out the window, and burn it in the garden.

And that is our family Christmas tradition.