What are your Christmas traditions?

Posted Friday 27th December 2013   By Ericka Waller

Growing up, my parents were not massive Christmas fans. We didn’t put a tree up because my mum worried about the dog and the dropped pine needles. My dad would pin a small string of ancient fairy lights round the arch in our living room instead.

When he switched them on, after the pre-light speech ( “I now declare the Newton Christmas OPEN!”) they wouldn’t work. After taking them down the year before, they would be slung, tangled-up, into their cardboard box, then flung back in the loft.

We would have to tighten each coloured bulb, while The Fairytale of New York blared loudly in our ears on repeat.

“What do you mean, not Christmassy enough?” Dad would ask, before marching me up and down the room to Jona Lewis demanding we ‘Stop the Cavalry’.

Under duress he would hang up the cards, cursing quietly when his giant thumbs could not get purchase on the tiny red and green pegs, while I sang Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly, until my brothers gave me a dead arm to shut me up.

On Christmas Eve the Round Table Santa drove along our road on a (badly) disguised milk float and I would run out in my dressing gown to see him wave.

“See you down the pub later Rog,” my dad would shout after him, before ushering me back indoors.

I had so many ideas about how I’d do Christmas when I had my own family. How my house would look like a grotto and we would decorate the massive tree together as a family over hot chocolate and traditional Christmas carols. How we’d go to Church and light candles. How we’d hang our stockings up by the fire and lay out food for Santa.

Will I be doing any of those things?  Well let’s see. I did put a tree up but the dog ate all the decorations so I took it down. None of the kids like hot chocolate. Thing-One is scared of church because of the ‘noisy piano’. We can’t hang up stockings because we don’t have a fire and any food left outside for Santa and the reindeer would be eaten by the chickens.

So how am I making it Christmassy? Well I’ve pinned up some fairy lights I found in the loft and The Pougues are on Spotify.

I’ll call my dad up after I post this and we will laugh about the lights and the tiny pegs and when I hang up I’ll march my children up and down the living room to Jonah Lewis.

Merry Christmas all!