Oh Christmas Tree!
I like to make putting our Christmas tree up on December 1st a family affair. Everyone has to be home and we blast Christmas carols and decorate our tree with a mixture of ornaments that we have gathered over the years.
We also make new ones every year and the kids really enjoy painting and decorating new things for our tree and for the house. We often end up with a Christmas wreath on every door!
My mum also started the tradition of taking them shopping so they can choose something special to place on the tree that means something to them that year. They are always so excited to show me and there are usually a few arguments over where to put them on the tree.
It's lucky I don't have my heart set on a colour coordinated perfectly styled Christmas tree!
Decorating gingerbread houses is another activity I always look forward to. We used to buy one already done but the kids seem to prefer to assemble and smother it with lollies themselves. It usually sits on our bench for about a week until it is totally demolished (mostly by Matt).
Traditions are so important but I also think changing things around can be a good thing. When someone is suddenly missing from the family it can feel wrong to do the same thing with them not there.
We were all missing my Dad last year, so we celebrated Christmas away and it was the change we all needed.
This year we are trying something different again and it helps to keep it exciting and new. We are enjoying memories of past years but also making some wonderful new ones.