In our house we go all out to celebrate Christmas, it is a big deal (well my dad is Father Christmas). It is an important family time for us, a chance to relax and enjoy being together, and we have many traditions some old, some newer and some that haven’t even been started yet.

Advent is always full of Carol concerts and nativities, I have done a few in my time and they still always manage to bring a tear or two to my eye, ok, ok, I lie I always cry like a baby, old traditions there.

We did have an advent calendar that we have dragged out for the last 16 years, but last year it finally fell apart, so I have had to purchase a new one this year, a new tradition. We always have an advent calendar that depicts the nativity scene with windows to open each day and an advent candle, meant to burn a day at a time but invariably we must run a few days at once to catch up.

This year is also the start of another new tradition, as the children are all getting older and growing, (they all have legs that go on for miles, it’s so unfair!) It makes it practically impossible for all 13 of us to sit round and have a Christmas meal. Last year we had to borrow tables and chairs and move all the other furniture out of the room to fit everyone around for a cosy Roast dinner, such a faff.

So, a little like the nativity story there is no room for us at the inn, therefore this year we are doing it all on our own just the 7 of us, I know still loads but as this is the first time ever it will be strange.

It will be nice not to have to drag the boys away from presents they have just opened, Hey, I don’t even have to change out of my PJs if I don’t feel like it, Bonus! I may even have to give in and let them watch a Christmas movie, on Christmas Day I know! That’s if I haven’t given them all food poisoning, erm not sure the turkey will even fit in the oven.

Our big family get together will be a boxing day get together, secret Santa and present exchanges, cold meats and bubble and squeak (my favourite), boxing day family time, maybe even a few board games thrown in, but not monopoly, please not monopoly.

As always, my children are encouraged to give at Christmas time, the reverse advent calendar, old toys to charity and buying a present for a needy child. They know that they won’t get everything they ask for, but it helps them understand what Christmas is all about and its true meaning.

I know I shall enjoy this Christmas as I always do and will embrace the changes and new traditions but most of all I intend to relax and enjoy the most fabulous time of the year.

With my hope that you will enjoy Christmas as much as I do. Claire x