When I was a child, Christmas followed a set ritual. It would always run according to my grandma’s exact schedule, no deviations welcome. As I grew up, I started getting bored spending every year in the same way and craved change, like a typical teenager. Nowadays my Christmases are still dictated by a family schedule albeit my boyfriend’s family. I’ve discovered that I don’t mind the schedule, but I would like to mark the season in my own way. For this purpose, I’ve started to incorporate small Christmas rituals that are sacred to my partner and myself, or just myself alone.
A couple of years ago, I started a pre-Christmas tradition of a St. Nicholas Day stocking. In Germany the St. Nicholas Day ritual of leaving a boot outside the door on the night before the 6th December and waking up to it being filled with little treats, such as chocolate coins, clementines and nuts, is widespread. I really like the idea of it, so I’ve tweaked it slightly and now I gift my boyfriend a stocking filled with little presents every 6th December. We don’t get Christmas presents for one another but this little stocking is a mini-celebration to give thanks before the gluttony of Christmas. I love coming up with new ideas for the stocking each year (most of them are for us to share and a few are for my boyfriend alone, so it’s not a completely one-sided effort). I always relish the excitement of a little secret.
If you’re interested in what I’ve put in this year’s St. Nicholas Day stocking, or would like to share your ideas, I’ll be posting about it next week!
Another ritual I’m starting this year, just for myself, is a Christmas puzzle. I’ve bought a set of two puzzles with a Christmas motif on eBay and am looking forward to sitting down by the fire on the 24th with a glass of port to mull over and generate some Christmas spirit.
This week’s likes:
Arranging Christmas get-togethers – Coming up with brilliant gift ideas – Unpacking goodies from my London trip last week – Finally finishing building work in our kitchen – A pie and a pint of our favourite beer in the pub – Bathroom ablutions by candlelight (our lights weren’t working)
Watch – Stand up guys (film)/ British Outlaws (a historical programme about pirates and highwaymen)/ Inside Llewyn Davies
Eat – Rye bread, boursin and red grapes/ Granola, soy yoghurt and banana/ Pea and ham soup/ Tomato and lentil soup/ Venison pie with mash and beer/ Pate toast
Listen – Radio, and the amplified pattering of rain against our uninsulated kitchen roof
Read – Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore is still going strong, but I’ve bought a stash of new books to immerse myself in at Christmas
This week’s blog posts:
Just in case you missed any of the blog posts from this week:
- I found some healthy microwave meals after our kitchen was out of commission this week
- I posted my Christmas wishlist for 2015
- I collected some links to inspire that included issues of identity, equality in trade, and amazing bookshops in Paris
What are your Christmas rituals and how did they become established? Are they equally important to everyone in your household?