Most Christmas traditions we pick up either from the Christmases of our childhood or by osmosis from the world around. When you get married, it gets a little interesting with the “but our family always did this…” conversations. A final little centre table present instead of crackers is one we got from my wife’s family.
Starting a new Christmas tradition is always fun. Last year we decided to go for a Rosace a l’orange rather than a Christmas pudding – lighter than a Christmas pud, the citrus cuts through the fat of the slow-roast duck and goose we did for the main course. This turned out so well, we did it again in 2016 (all of it, slow-roast birds included) and are looking forward to doing it again from now on. If you’ve not tried it, this is a gorgeous, light, creamy, pudding made using Mary Berry’s recipe here. The tricky part is getting the oranges to candy successfully – took 3 goes first time, 2 this last time, so I’m getting better! And ignore the order the instructions are presented in, you want to get the oranges on first so you know they work!
This year we went for something new. 7 of us, 7 days, each day one person gets to chose:
- 1 movie for the family to watch together
- 1 thing for us to bake/cook
- 1 game for us to play
For the most part, this worked out well. It was thrown off-track by Eldest either working or disappearing up to Yorkshire to visit her boyfriend, but this was Year 1 of the New Tradition.
Some things were to everyone’s taste – Youngest wanted to make chocolate brownies, watch The Force Awakens, and play Carcassonne. Not bad at all!
Middle Boy wanted us all to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Which is unmitigated rubbish (and yet on a par with every other TMNT movie they’ve ever made). Eldest Boy wanted to make Koeksisters, which we never quite got round to.
Over the week, we watched most of the movies – and then had a catch-up day where we had a Labyrinth/Stardust double feature – baked most of the bakes and played a few, but not all, of the games.
But we did it. And the kids were excited to plan it – they drew it up, helped each other choose what to bake, what to play, stuck the whole thing on the fridge (where it promptly got covered in crossings out and rewritings as minds were changed).
Going to do it again next year, definitely. Might even do a version of it over the summer holidays – they’re long enough to be able to drop a few special days in here and there…