All this month, we’ve been on a mission to find out how people around the UK experience Christmas.
So before we clock off for the festive season ourselves, we asked five brilliant bloggers what happens in their house at this time of year.
Here are their Christmas stories – you might even get some inspiration along the way…
Amy from She Cooks, She Eats
“In the last few years, my nan has absolutely stopped caring about getting decent presents for people so will quite often just re-gift stuff she won at her Club’s Christmas raffle – without checking to see what it is first.
It’s become quite a tradition of ours to, totally without her knowledge, all pay particular attention when people are opening presents from her just to see what they’ll be.
One year, my brother got hair minimising cream. Another time I opened the paper to find a large square of blue fabric. Last year, my boyfriend Garry got tea towels patterned with horrible fluffy kittens with massive eyes.”
Follow her @jimsyjampots.
Becky from English Mum
“Well, apart from the enormous traditional family argument we have on tree-decorating day when we all separate into factions (tinsel lovers vs tinsel haters, just red and green on the tree vs every single bauble we’ve ever owned, etc) and have an enormous decorating shouting match, our other Christmas tradition is, of course, Boxing Day pie!
Every year, we invite friends and family round and I cook the biggest turkey and ham pie you’ve ever seen with all the leftovers from our enormous turkey and coca cola baked ham.”
Becky blogs about food, delicious recipes, travel and family life at English Mum.
You’ll find her tweeting (and posting occasional puppy pictures) on Twitter @EnglishMum.
Steph from Little Observationist
“Christmas when we were kids was traditional: Wake up early to presents at the bottoms of our beds, tip toe downstairs to dig through the goodies in our stockings, make Mom and Dad breakfast to get them out of bed so we could open the presents around the tree, strung with cranberries and popcorn.
There would be snow. Family would come over for dinner with Christmas crackers around an elaborately decorated table with my dad’s Christmas music in the background. Cookies followed.
Since I moved to London 6 years ago, if I don’t go back to New York, it has varied. One year, an orphan Christmas with others who weren’t with family or didn’t celebrate the holiday. One year my friends and I walked from Southfields to Trafalgar Square to see an empty city. Last year Scotland. This year will be my first warm Christmas in Spain.”
Catch her on Twitter: @LLOStephskimo
Laura Porter from About London
“For Christmas each year we visit the Harrods Grotto as that’s the real Father Christmas and all the others are his helpers. We also go ice skating at one of the London ice rinks, although I still can’t skate and cling to
the side while my daughter zooms off into the middle with little flair but no fear.
I always spend an evening seeing the Christmas lights in the West End and am taking my daughter on a bus tour this year so she can see them too (it’s usually too late and too cold for her to join me for the stroll).
At home, there aren’t many traditions as I much prefer going out and seeing London looking all sparkly. We also have chocolate coins that ‘fall down the chimney’ each night in December as Father Christmas flies around checking on all the children.
I think the whole fun is dashing downstairs and ripping at the wrapping paper. I never did understand families who wait until after Christmas lunch and then do one present at a time. Sure, it makes the unwrapping last longer but it takes away all the fun. I like to open everything, squeal with delight and start playing games together immediately.”
“We have lots of traditions here but these are my favourite…firstly we always make our own Xmas Eve jarmies (above).
And secondly we always make Christmas pudding to enjoy on Christmas Eve.”Deborah runs the popular Facebook page Family Days. Tried & Tested, where she posts everything her and her family get up to and provides ideas for brilliant family days out (and in).
Thank you to all the bloggers who contributed their stories: Merry Christmas from everyone at Red Letter Days.
Images: Till Westermayer via Flickr, and bloggers' own