It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
There’s nothing quite like Christmas day. You know the drill. The fluffy duvet is promptly left behind, and the well-stuffed stockings are attacked, just before the breakfast, lunch and dinner is. No matter what your family traditions are, there’s something comforting about the way the glorious day unfolds. To get you in the festive spirit, team Sassy is sharing some of our favourite family traditions, complete with tree shopping, house decorating and unwrapping present protocols.
My hubby and I grew up with different Christmas traditions, so we decided to create some of our own after our kids were born. We kick off the festivities on the first of December by putting up the tree and all the decorations (which includes the cutest Fisher Price Nativity Set). Next, we move onto, arguably the most exciting part of the evening, opening our Advent calendars! Aiden is obsessed with his Star Wars Lego calendar and Everly with her Playmobil Farmhouse one, while I indulge in the chocolate one from The Peninsula Hotel. One of our favourite things to do is open one present on Christmas Eve before going to bed and then opening the rest on Christmas morning in our pyjamas. After all the holiday parties with friends and family, it’s really nice to have a quiet morning just for the four of us.
My fave Christmas tradition has got to be our Christmas morning breakfast spread. Obviously the main event of the turkey is yet to come later in the day, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t indulging ourselves as soon as we wake up! After the stockings have been opened (and a few chocolates eaten) my mum, sister and I set about popping open the champagne and overloading the table with eggs, salmon, berries and anything else we can rustle up!
When I was growing up we always went to my aunt’s house for Christmas Eve. We would do a loose version of the Italian “Seven Fishes” (more like four fishes!) for dinner and always get to open up the gifts from my Aunt’s family and vice-versa. As a child it helped ease the torturous wait for gifts. Of course, that was never enough for me and my brother so we usually were also able to negotiate opening one tiny gift from our parents before bed!
My favourite Christmas Tradition growing up was when my family on my mom’s side would get together in early December and go to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree for that year. There would be about 20 of us and we would all be bundled up as it’s quite chilly where I’m from at Christmas time! We would split up in search of the perfect tree for our family’s home. This included comparing trees side-by-side whilst pleading the case of our favourite tree to the rest of our immediate family (and a lot of hot cocoa drinking). Once our trees were selected we would put them on top of our cars and head back to one of our homes for a cosy family evening filled with plenty of food and drinks!
We’re not big on Christmas in my house, but one thing we do each year is put up and decorate the Christmas tree (obviously so we have somewhere for the presents!). In the first week of December, my mum and I put trendy carols on and sing as we blow the dust off the ornaments and get in a tangle with the Christmas lights. It’s always a hoot!
When we lived in the States, our tradition would be to all climb in the car and head out in the freezing December weather to pick out a Christmas tree. While my husband’s fingers grew numb as he tied the tree to the top of the car, the kids and I would shiver inside and ask him to hurry so we could go home and decorate it. This year, as it’s our first in Hong Kong, we head over to JHC to pick out a Charlie Brown-style fake tree and will prop it up in the only empty four square inches in our flat. We turned on Christmas music (to my husband’s chagrin) as we decorated. Decorating is never complete without hot chocolate and a family game – and it’s a long-standing tradition that my husband and I mercilessly beat our kids.
Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year, and my family is big on traditions. We get started nice and early, with all the cousins, uncles and aunts sitting round the tree singing along to our favourite songs and carols. With the champagne popped by 11am, the whole clan sips their way through the day. By the time we’re onto “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, my grandma has mistakenly replaced “three French hens” with “three French men” and my cousin is doing dramatic lunges in sync to “fiiiiive gold rings”. We wrap up carols by stuffing ourselves with a homemade cheese dip and plenty of red wine (another solid Shroff family tradition). We then move on to the main event: the turkey, the ham, the pecan pies, the brandy butter – and the unwrapping of presents, of course!