Our Family’s Christmas Traditions

So yesterday was exactly 1 month to Christmas! Can you believe it??? How are your preparations going? Are you a planner or a procrastinator? I am quite pleased with myself – have done a fair amount of shopping so far. Mostly for the adults, fortunately in our family we do a version of “Secret Santa” for the adults and each draw a name out of the hat and buy for that person (well I end up buying presents from me and my husband… obviously!) We still buy for all the kids and cousins etc but try to keep that small so that the costs don’t mount up.

I still like the idea of teaching my kids about giving at Christmas and I recently read about an idea where the kids in your own family buy for each other – a useful present such as a new lunchbox or toothbrush or box of character plasters – I thought this was a great way to teach your kids about giving and thinking about what their siblings would like as well as the value of money!

How do you do Christmas Presents in your family? Some families buy for everyone, others buy for no one and rather donate the money to charity… I find it interesting to get a sneak peek into the homes and traditions other families have.

Other Christmas traditions we have are to decorate the Christmas tree as a family while listening to carols… Boney M might even make an appearance! Over the years we have collected decorations from every city we have visited on holiday which makes for a fun time remembering special places! Some people buy a new decoration for each child every year and I started doing this but I will soon be running out of space on our tree if I continue this so we have one or two that belong to them – personalised baubles or special ones they have made at school. Maybe I’ll change this to a new Christmas book every year?


I also try to do one crafty thing a year, last year was a set of Nativity finger puppets and just yesterday I started this years’ craft – an advent calendar. It’s half done but once I’m finished (before the 1st next week!! yikes) I will post some pics. I have always bought one in the past as we had them as children and loved the “countdown” and this is one we will be able to reuse – Going Green for Christmas! I might also try to make an advent ring seeing as I was walking past someone cutting back an evergreen hedge and scooped some up – the smell was enough to tempt me!

We always try to attend a Christmas Carols Service – preferable outdoors in a beautiful setting. The ones held at Kirstenbosch are world-renowned but with small kids and the masses of people we prefer to find a more intimate option – many churches organise services in equally beautiful settings such as Little Stream, Green Point Park or The Range.

And lastly we recently started a new tradition for our family…. Last year was our first visit to Uncle Paul’s Christmas Party at Groot Constantia and we are all equally excited for our turn this year. The tractor ride, the hay fights, the marching band, the picnic, the FUN. We can’t wait!

So what are you Christmas traditions. Please share! I love to get new ideas….

images: Kathryn Rossiter (taken at Kamers vol Geskenke)

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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