Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Christmas Past...

Whilst I've been cutting my fabric, I've been thinking about how we prepare for our family Christmas.

I look forward to Christmas – I know what to expect, all the comfortable traditions that have grown up through the family evolving over the years.

The first sign of Christmas for us is always the Advent calendar. We have none of that modern nonsense of chocolates in the Advent calendar, just a cardboard door to open each day of December up to Christmas Eve, and a little seasonal picture inside, thank you.

As it is now increasingly difficult to buy an Advent calendar without Sindy/Disney/Bob the Builder all complete with chocolates, I now have an Advent candle - which is not without its drawbacks. I have the attention span of a gnat, and keeping an eye on the candle whilst thinking festive thoughts such that it only burns down one day per day is not always successful.

So many people now put the Christmas tree and decorations up anytime from the beginning of December onwards, but we stick to the tradition of buying and putting the tree up the weekend before Christmas. The downside, of course, is that by the time I get to the store, the only trees left are the wonky trees, the ones with no needles on, or those big enough to grace the Albert Hall.

The tree is dressed with decorations accumulated over the years – the concession to modernity is that if the Christmas lights haven’t survived the year in storage, they are chucked out and a replacement set bought rather than being repaired by my Dad or being taken to the electrical shop for fixing – both of whom are sadly long gone.

We have always gone to the service of Nine Carols and Lessons, when you really know that Christmas is here! The difference now is that the service is held the Sunday before, not on Christmas Eve, and – horror – this year the new Vicar at the parish church only had seven lessons. I think we will be going to the neighbouring parish church next year.

And now, the tradition of putting the presents under the tree early evening on Christmas Eve happens at my house, not at the family home we grew up in. This is accompanied by plenty of laughter, sherry and mince pies, with all the accumulated presents being examined closely with the labels read out and much speculation as to what might be contained therein before being put in the washing basket under the tree ready for the next morning...

How does your run up to Christmas go?


  1. I like reading about your traditions; they seem very traditional and fun. Thank you for the enjoyable quilting time, Hazel. You have done a wonderful day of hosting. I'll be making Tiffin for sure.

  2. What wonderful memories and traditions you have Hazel. Thank you for sharing your story and for hosting the kick off for the Christmas Quilt Along.

  3. We always had a live tree until the kids pulled it down once too often - then a small artificial table topper was used. Now I just decorate my mantel - no tree.

  4. Oh, silly me - thank you for being such a lovely hostess for this month. Being the first you have set the pattern for us for the remander of the quilt alongs. Just a super job. I am now off to hand quilt.

  5. Hazel, your traditions are wonderful. Ours used to be to go to Midnight Mass...then they changed it last year to 6:00...it's not quite the same! Our relatives now drop over after mass instead of before...a new tradition!

  6. What lovely traditional memories Hazel. This year was the first year we put the tree up early. In the past it never went up until the Saturday before Christmas, but we got round the wonky tree thing by buying early and keeping it in its pot outside for a couple of weeks.

    Thank you so much for inviting us all to yours, and being such a great hostess. I have really enjoyed it and am planning to make Tiffin very soon.


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