Christmas is coming...

...and I started thinking about the whole deal - presents, travel, eating, family, traditions. Here's a handful of things the Williams family did/does at Christmas time, because, well, we've always done them (and most we never do at any other time of the year):

As kids, Christmas Eve was spent watching Carols by Candlelight on TV. At some stage during the night, Mum and Dad would herd us into the car and we'd all go looking for Santa. Often there'd be a "sighting" as we all looked around desperately for a flash of red. Later on, right before bedtime, us kids left out a piece of shortbread and a can of Coke for Santa and his reindeers. By morning time, if any of us remembered to look, the shortbread and Coke would be gone and replaced with crumbs on the plate. But, no matter how late we stayed up on Christmas Eve, we never saw Santa...but the presents were always delivered!

On Christmas morning, we kids weren't allowed to open our presents until everyone was awake AND it was past 7:00AM. That meant that at 7:00 o'clock on the dot, these of us who were awake would run in and jump on those who were not. As kids, we had a special pillow-cover each which was a sack for all our presents under the tree. When we were all around the tree, and ready to go, unwrapping presents was a big free-for-all, grabbing from our sack as fast as we could - no handing out presents and unwrapping them one by one!

After the commotion of presents unwrapping, Christmas morning is still breakfast at my Mum and Dad's house, and it's usually chicken and champagne. Most often, 99% of the time, we go to church on Christmas morning.

The main event on Christmas Day itself is lunch with my Mum's family, which stretches into dinner - nowadays, we don't see Dad's family at Christmas. Dessert after the huge Christmas lunch is Christmas Pudding with pennies and thripence in it, which takes 6 weeks to prepare, and is eaten with custard and icecream. For afters, my Gran makes rum balls, my Mum makes shortbread, and my Aunty D makes mince pies. Yum!

Boxing Day is basically a day to play with presents and recover from over-eating - when we were kids, I don't remember ever going anywhere on Boxing day (good for a relax!)

What sort of customs does your family celebrate?

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