Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

December 8, 2009

Add some Christmas sparkle

A few weeks ago, I asked members of British Mummy Bloggers and Irish Mum Bloggers to share their family Christmas traditions. As usual, you came up trumps and shared such lovely traditions that I thought I should share them with you. I do some of these and I still put chocolate money and a satsuma in the bottom of the boys stockings as my parents did for me, but the mince pie and a glass of sherry for Santa is now a mince pie and a glass of whiskey (when in Ireland….!).

Christmas Traditions
  • Sprinkle reindeer food (that’s oats and glitter to you and me) on the driveway or garden.
  • Leave a special key out for Santa so he can get into the house (if you don’t have a chimney!).
  • Christmas Elves leave new PJs for the children on the doorstep on Christmas Eve.
  • Leave the tree undecorated for a while until the "Christmas Fairy" decides to decorate it. Each morning the children come downstairs with a sense of anticipation.
  • Watch a classic Christmas movie whilst stringing popcorn for the tree.
  • Make some edible Christmas decorations every year which the children can decorate, such as gingerbread stars.
  • Put spikes of cloves into oranges and leave them all over the house.
  • Leave a note for Santa on Christmas Eve which asks him a couple of questions. Make a potato printer in the shape of a reindeer hoof-print and using mud, stamp a print onto a reply note for the children to find on Christmas morning.
  • Leave some of Santa’s beard (cotton wool) on the edge of the glass of drink you have left out for him.
  • A French tradition is to leave slippers under the tree (rather than stockings) which are filled by Santa with chocolates and oranges.
  • Keep an eye on Santa's journey on the Norad Santa Tracker.
  • Walk past bedroom windows with sleigh bells.
  • Let the children open one present each from under the tree on Christmas Eve.
  • For a magical Christmas Eve movie, try ‘The Polar Express’ and for a magical Christmas Eve story, try ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’.
  • If you put stockings on the end of the beds, let the children open those presents upstairs, perhaps all piled into your bed. Then go downstairs to open their Santa presents.
  • To try to prevent Christmas morning "present fever" by letting each child take it in turns to open a present. The present opening takes longer, but everyone can watch the present being opened, and also gives you chance to keep a list of what everyone has been given, for thank you letters.
  • Have a present ‘intermission’. Refill your glass of bubbly (!) while the children have some space between presents to play with the toys already opened.
  • Leave some presents until after lunch, or for when other family members arrive.
Christmas with children is SO exciting! They will hopefully remember these magical moments - they certainly won’t remember how crunchy your roast potatoes were! So, I for one am going to step back from the organising and cooking this year and try to bring the magic of Christmas alive for the boys. One day they will discover the truth about Santa (I am actually in denial about this fact!). I, for one, want to make the most of these years of believing.

Merry Christmas!

Thank you to the following British Mummy Bloggers and Irish Mum Bloggers for sharing all their fab traditions with me: 20something mum, The Mad House, Violet Posy, Potty Mummy, Expat Mum, Cafe Bebe, Mum's Survival Guide, Perfectly Happy Mum, A Modern Mother, Fab Mums, The Rubbish Diet, Crystal Jigsaw, Muummmeeee, Jayne Howarth, Coding Mama, If I Could Escape, Fashionable Mama, Bernice Burnside.



  1. These are lovely! I must have missed the original post so I'm so glad to see you post these!


  2. Love the idea of a present-intermission...with bubbly, of course.

  3. I love the ideas of sprinkling oats & glitter around & adding a muddy reindeer print on the letter. Lovely suggestions!

  4. Shame - I must have been a non-blogger when you posted a few weeks ago as I would have added one of our traditions - but this list is so sweet! Some super ones!

  5. Definitely going to lay glitter and porridge for Rudolf. It's amazing how quickly tradtions can start - last year Daisy and I made a Xmas tree cookie for Santa on Chrsitmas eve - it's all she cna tlak about this year so I guess that will become a tradition now. am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited!! great list.

  6. Thats great... we do some of those... but (being married to a Brit)I think the Irish way of opening pressies which is something akin to the first day of the January sales is more to my liking. Great craic and choas for about half an hour and then we can all have breakfast!!!

    Also I have to admit that I giggled at the one about the Christmas Fairy decorating the tree.... is that so that Mom can make the tree perfect? Or am I being too cynical? Personally I love a real tree which we all go out to get. We have a row in the local Christmas Tree place about which one is best. Finally we make a choice and it is borne home atop the car and then hubby never manages to get it to stand up straight. There is then the stress of the lights - which I usually have put away in a big ball and himself gets all hot and bothered trying to untangle them Finally we all decorate the crooked tree in a lopsided manner. Perfect, wobbly, unperfect and unbalanced Christmas Tree and the only fairy is the one hanging by her wings sideways from the top.

  7. Nice list! I love this time of year, espcially when you focus on the good bits, like these traditions....

  8. reindeer food? how cute! This is a great list, Mum.

  9. reading these made me feel really festive!!! I am on a mission to be magical-christmas-supermummy this year ;-)

  10. Hunger's MotherDecember 9, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    I do want the children to have a lovely and magical Christmas but Ive got to a stage where I really relish my Christmas dinner- so please keep those potatoes crunchy; and dont step too far back from the organisation of the "feeding frenzy", its of paramount importance to us old folk!
    So, with hubby's help (of course)get stuck in to producing a culinary delight for the older and not so old members of the family. WE REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO IT. I KNOW YOU WILL COME UP TRUMPS....REALLY I DO.

  11. Awww, those all put a great big smile on my face reading them! Or maybe it's just the big glass of vino! Hehe! Anyway, thanks for getting me even more in the mood for Christmas! Can't wait!!

  12. ooh thats made me feel all Christmassy. Love some of the ideas, the foot print and the pj elves are great. We have christmas eve pj's but like the thought of the elves leaving them.

    Lovely post

  13. Term papers

    Wish You a Very Happy Mary Christmas.

    it's great to see fresh, creative ideas that have never been done before.

    Happy New Year, hope u had enjoy the whole occasion.

    Term papers


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