Make Christmas even more magical with 10 traditions old and new
When it comes to tradition, it’s lovely to echo previous generations but it can also be really special to create your own, new, rituals.
Here, I share my favourite traditions for a really magical Christmas.
1 Take an evening drive to see the festive lights in your locality. Towns and villages often adorn the streets with lights and some people really go to town with their own houses. Pretty or gaudy, it’s always great fun. If you have little children it’s especially exciting to don dressing gowns and venture out after dark.
2 Decorate with what you have. There’s no need to spend a fortune on shop-bought creations, making your own (and re-discovering funny little child-made decs from years gone by) is so special. We love to create simple paper chains and I adorn a very cheap wreath with fir cones and conkers collected in autumn, and with orange slices dried in the oven. A simple ribbon finishes the look and the result looks much more expensive that it actually is!
3 Help others. A gift that means a lot to someone is your time. Make a voucher for an evening of babysitting for a young family, or a home-cooked meal for an elderly neighbour. Think about what may make a difference to someone you know.
4 Only use cash to pay for Christmas. Don’t get into debt; set up a monthly standing order to go into a savings account and use only this money for food and presents.
5 Recycle the previous year’s Christmas cards. Make into tags by cutting out with pinking shears, punching with a hole and threading with ribbon.
6 Hang stockings on Christmas Eve and fill with inexpensive treats. Until very recently my parents still gave me stocking! But now my own children use the same threadbare reindeer sock. Opening these tiny gifts, collected throughout the year, is my favourite part of the big day.
7 Dress up! Put on your favourite dress, wear some glamorous jewellery and do your hair.
8 Eat what you love! Just because it’s ‘traditional’, you don’t HAVE to eat it. After all, Christmas is about enjoying yourself. If you’re not keen on Christmas pudding like us then swap for Gingerbread Latte Trifle from the 2017 Dairy Diary (see below), it’s divine.
9 Enjoy time together. Play board games or do crafts together, and swap stories, this family time is precious.
10 Write proper thank you notes and send them in the post. It’s so much nicer than a text.
Gingerbread Latte Trifle
Calories 353 per portion
Fat 40g (25g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
- Espresso ground coffee 2 tbsp
- Trifle sponges 8 (approx. 200g/7oz), each cut into 3
- Custard 500g carton
- Double cream 300ml pot
- Gingerbread syrup 1 tbsp
- Dark chocolate with ginger 50g (2oz), finely chopped
- Spoon coffee into a cafetière and add 250ml (9fl oz) hot, not boiling, water. Stir and leave to brew for 3 minutes. Plunge, then leave to cool.
- Place sponges in the base of six trifle bowls. Spoon over coffee then top with custard.
- Whisk cream with gingerbread syrup until softly whipped. Spoon on top of custard then sprinkle with chocolate. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
The Dairy Diary is still available to purchase –
and makes the perfect gift!
Click here to find out more.