The first of the Christmas traditions

Every family has their own traditions and habits over Christmas and every year it makes a popular topic of conversation in the run up to Christmas, what you eat, where you go and what time you open presents are just a few of the many things discussed. I have been with Aaron many years now and mostly our Christmases were similar and they kind of merged into one but the Christmas after we got married we discovered a bit of a compatibility issue!

Just to set the scene (Sorry Aaron, you knew this blog post was coming didn't you!) Aaron hates Christmas.... well, he likes Christmas Day but he says that Christmas should be just that, one day. I on the other hand think of Christmas as a season!  I love the run up to Christmas as much, if not more than the day itself, I love shopping, cooking, wrapping presents, writing cards, carols... the whole thing and it drives him nuts. 

That year we had been having our annual conversation where I try and convert him and get annoyed when he doesn't get all excited and was debating when to put the tree up. He said he didn't care when it went up until we had kids but when we had a child it would be not going up  before Christmas Eve once they had gone to bed....... 

I was actually lost for words and that doesn't happen very often!  I may have even laughed at the very thought of it. The decorating of the tree was always an event in itself for me, and as a child marked the start of Christmas. I immediately came up with a whole list of reason why that was NOT going to happen, if for no other reason it would be the last thing I'd want to be doing on Christmas Eve, especially if I had kids!

His argument was that it is magical for kids to come down on Christmas morning to see the room transformed into a Christmas 'wonderland'  Growing up that is how his family did it, - Aaron and his brother and sister would go off the bed on Christmas Eve to wake up to a stocking on the bed and tree, decorations and a pile of presents downstairs.  I can see where that would be exciting, but to me surely the presents alone are exciting, I don't remember being anything other than excited on Christmas morning despite having had the tree up for a couple of weeks. I can understand that he would want to recreate what he had as a child but this is just wrong :)

He was adamant, but so was I. I told him there was no way that would ever happen, and because I wanted them first I told him they would get done when he was out and then he would have to explain to our child if he was going to take them all down again to put them up two weeks later :)

Since then, we tend to have the discussion every year, especially this year as he said Leo is at the age to really appreciate it Christmas morning, he was shot down in flames by my parents and I and once again (as he always will) has lost the battle.  My parents and friends will be putting their's up  before this time so wouldn't Leo think it a bit odd that we are the only people without any?

So, it has been decided (by my Dad and I, who declare ourselves in charge of such things) that next weekend is the time for them to go up. I'm being very good I think as I'm very excited about Christmas this year so could quite easily be persuaded to put them up now!  As much as I love it though I don't like them up too early, and I agree that we should have no decorations or anything Christmassy before 1st December (I may have sneakily played Fairytale Of New York last week but no-one was in so it doesn't count!)

I haven't edited that photo - he actually was wearing a black Santa hat with 'Bah Hunbug written on it!



  1. We have the 'alternative Christmas pudding' and the Boxing Day lunch he always had as a child, and we will be doing the small stocking for Leo on the bed and presents under tree (I had all presents at end of bed in pillow case)    apart from that our traditions are pretty much the same - his just start later  :)

  2. I must admit my first proper Christmas in my own home ( I was a single parent and living in a hostel until my daughter was nearly 3. Another long story ) I did the decorating when she'd gone to bed on Christmas Eve. It was just the best , seeing her little face, totally mesmerised by the lights and tinsel.

    Maybe you could compromise and put some decorations but leave the tree to Christmas Eve and do it with the kids before bedtime?

  3. Yay, so glad you won.  We put out decorations up next weekend too but that is because they are at the Christmas tree festival at the local Church at the moment.

    Mich x

  4. It's so difficult merging traditions. I hope you also do a few of Aaron's family things so he doesn't feel totally side-stepped. 

  5. Maybe I could, but I'm not going to!   lol  Leo will help with the decorating anyway just earlier - we have music and drinks and mince pies so it's a special time for him.

  6. Oh my, my tree has been up since the 1st, Emmy help with the decorating (22months old) we drive around or walk around looking at the lights and have been to see Santa (before he got busy) I'm not a huge Christmas fan ad my birthday is on 21st so I usually get excited after that, however children does change this all.

    Sorry to say but I'm glad you lost your battle Aaron, lol.

  7. It is totally " a season" you are right.. I would divorce my husband if he only wanted the tree up on Christmas

    Happy Christmas to you x

  8. Christmas EVE! Is he having a bloody laugh? Noooo!

  9. That may have been mentioned ;)

  10. Does your husband watch football for a whole which case you have him on the back foot, if he doesn;t well he will just have to fall in line..lo x

  11. No, but he plays pool so I lose him for a lot of the winter each year... hang on, he's not even in for a lot of the time while the tree is up!

  12. How it happened ... from a slightly different perspective

    Hi Em, I've only just spotted this post but I just wanted add a slight explanatory note to the apparent oddity that is my baby brother!
    I grew up in the same house as Aaron and I have to say that Christmas was just about the most exciting thing that ever happened to us. It is true that as very small children our Christmas would appear overnight from the 24th to the 25th and we would come downstairs on Christmas morning almost sick with excitement as in OUR house ACTUAL MAGIC seemed to have happened!!
    As a child I just knew that was how Christmas should happen and never thought more of it; as an adult I can appreciate that as we had so little money in the mid - late 70s that mum added the 'magic' to make our few decorations and meagre presents seem like the most exciting things ever and to avoid comparisons with the households of better off friends. I love her for that and as a mum now myself understand it completely.
    As we got older, things became slightly easier financially, Christmas became generally more commercial and we wanted a more festive feel to the house a bit earlier. So through the 80s and onwards we would put decorations up around the house on the day we broke up from school but, by choice, we always kept putting the tree up until Christmas Eve.
    I have to say I love Christmas but to me it will always remain a cosy period of a few weeks over the end of the year. With my kids I maintain the idea of putting all the decorations up, including the tree, on the evening of the day they break up from school. They hang their stockings at the ends of their beds Christmas Eve and I put the presents under the tree once they are all in bed.
    I'm not sure why Aaron has become such a humbug about Christmas because we all loved our celebrations as kids. And whilst the focus was not on decorations our preparations included a lot of making and baking for the big day. Ask him about recording a tape of Christmas songs for Dad to play in his car, making fudge and peppermint creams with mum and eating so much green butter icing from the stacked star Christmas tree cake that he was very nearly sick! ;-)
    Hope this helps with negotiating your Christmas compromises. x
    Happy Christmas everyone!
    Big Sis Bek

  13. Glad you won that argument!! That's the last thing you would have time for on Christmas eve!


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