Monday, 25 November 2013

Win! A Premium Whisky Advent or Ginvent Calendar!


Deck the halls with boughs of holly, falalalalala... sorry, we can't remember the rest, we're quite drunk. It's all Maverick Drinks' fault. They've got us tipsy on tiny drams, all in the name of Christmas.



As a result of our tipsy generosity, we're giving away the best advent calendar prize this year. One of you lucky folk will win your choice of either a Craft Ginvent calendar or a Premium Whisky Advent calendar. Each calendar has 24 windows hiding different 3cl drams of your favourite tipple for you to try (not at 8am before you go to work, drinky). We promise we haven't opened a single window and stolen any of the booze.

We've only got one calendar to give away but we've also got some gin and whisky taster sets to share with you. Five lucky runners up will get to choose between an Origins gin tasting set, or a Regions of Scotland whisky tasting set. We haven't stolen any of these either. Honest.

To enter this brilliant competition, just do one (or all - bonus chances!) of the following:
  • Leave a comment below telling us a Christmas tradition story. Tell us about anything you do in the run up to Christmas to get you in the festive spirit. (If your comment just says "wow" or "Great prize! LOL!" it won't count. Shoo with your lazy competition entering.)
  • Like or comment on our competition entry on Facebook. Which will probably be live about five minutes after this post has gone up. Give us a minute, we can't do everything at one.
  • Tweet your entry! Just tweet "I want to win a @drinksbythedram boozy advent calendar with @domesticsluts! http://tinyurl.com/o3hq9qb" (Don't retweet someone else's tweet, lazybones. There's no guarantee we'll see it.)
We'll draw a winner at random, using the digital equivalent of picking a name out of a hat and then (providing you're over the legal drinking age), Master of Malt will get your prize out to you by December 1st so you can get enjoying your drams.

Good luck, everyone!

*LET'S ANNOUNCE SOME WINNERS!*

Main prize winner - Lia Buddle via Twitter.

Kate Swinscoe won a tasting kit! After leaving this comment:
The tree goes up no earlier than 12 days before. I like to do it on my own with a vat of mulled wine, some mince pies and A Muppet's Christmas Carol on the tele. (The greatest Christmas film of all time).

Vicki Senior via Facebook, won a tasting set.

Joolsteare via Twitter won a tasting set.

Diane Whale via Facebook won a Tasting set.

Charlie Cohen won a tasting kit after leaving this comment:
Every year we go out with our parents (we're all around 30 now) to do the Christmas Eve shop. It involves going to a big shopping centre and running around in a blind panic because inevitably my dad hasn't bought my mum anything. Then we return home to watch Mickey's Christmas Carol and watch my dad cry at how sick Tiny Tim is. Honestly, the man's got problems.

We've got in touch with those of you on Twitter and Facebook! Please email us by noon on November 28th to claim your prize!

The small print: You must be 18+ to enter - we will check before sending out your prize. The winning entry will be chosen at random and the competition will close at noon, 27 November and you must claim your calendar prize by noon on 28 November otherwise we'll pass your prize onto someone else.  If you leave an anon comment, your entry won't count and if you enter more than once, we'll discount all of your entries and tell you off. You must be based in the UK to enter, sorry lovely overseas readers. Oh, and do drink responsibly. Christmas is ages away yet.

195 comments:

  1. We always start the countdown on the first weekend of December with getting in all the Christmas Shopping and making Mulled wine and decorating the flat. We also have an advent calendar that only has pictures on it, so we enjoy the crazy and sometimes unrelated pictures! Mulled wine and Festive silliness all the way.

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  2. Ooh - yes please :-)

    Probably my favourite Christmas family must (and one I'll miss this year due to being 'grown-up' and not going home) is my mum's 'stealing the holly' tradition. Every Christmas Eve, once it's got dark and she's opened the cream sherry, my mum goes out to gather holly for last minute decorations.

    It dates back over 35 years to when she actually used to nip out to nick holly from other people's gardens, so it had to be dark or she might get caught! Since then, she's planted her own holly trees, but still sneaks out furtively to 'steal' her greenery from the front garden of our family home.

    It might seem daft to outsiders (such as my partner), but for me it's as much part of Christmas as paper hats and food coma around 5pm...

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  3. As a kid, our Christmas tradition was sharing the swimming pool with a couple large watermelons until they were completely chilled and also having a watermelon pip-spitting contest. (such are the joys of a summer Christmas.) but now, as a adult in the frozen UK, I always make orange and cranberry muffins for Christmas morning breakfast.

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  4. Our family tradition, which I'm pleased to say has continued into adulthood, is a Christmas Eve pressie of new PJs. Originally designed to trick us into a sleepy frame of mind, now a lovely, gin addled, post pub treat!

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  5. We always start by putting up the tree while watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. It wasn't a tradition when I was little, but me and my boyfriend wanted to start our own traditions and this is my favourite by far.

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  6. Christmas Eve is the time to sit down and watch It's a Wonderful Life

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  7. Gin and Christmas, two of my favourite things. I'm a Scrooge until 1 December when I start to feel approx. 4% more festive every day until Christmas day. We're off to my parents' this year and I know that the first thing I'll be asked to do when we get there is to put the angel on the top of the tree. I made said angel when I was three and she's showing every one of her 27 years, poor thing.

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  8. On 1st December every year I kick off the holiday season with a ceremonial (by which I mean boozey and food-y) viewing of 'A Muppet's Christmas Carol'.
    This normally involves job lots of Lidl Christmas snacks (which I always over-purchase) and and a selection of me and my most persuadable friends singing along with gusto and Michael Caine finds his heart.

    It's pretty much my favourite thing ever.

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  10. When I was little my mother used to make our advent calenders... the little doors were always hand painted fascinating little goblins peeping out of christmas trees, or secret doors in big old houses. I found it a huge let down when I realised that normal advent calenders were just cheap chocolates... I'm not quite the artist that my mother is, so for my children I have refillable fairly quaint calenders that I do a mad panic to fill with oddities, usually on the 30th November.

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  11. Our family traditions have evolved with the fluctuation of generations from Grandparents always coming over to letting my kids decorate the tree, but the one lingering tradition has been cooking the turkey the night before with bacon on its back then having late night bacon butties on Christmas eve. Absolutely lush!

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  12. We celebrate St. Nicholas Day twice in our house. The first celebration is on Dec. 6; we threaten the kids with the appearance of Krampus, but leave gold (chocolate) coins in their shoes. The second is on Dec. 19 (Eastern Orthodox calendar); no Krampus, but the kids get one of their Christmas presents early, and (if I remember), I make a traditional Serbian dish called koljivo, which is wheat (bulgur), sugar, nuts, and vanilla made into a paste. Everyone who enters the door during the day must eat a spoonful (unless, of course, they have wheat or nut allergies).

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  13. Mariah & Mince pies on the 1st whilst putting up the tree, reading as many festive recipe magazines as one can cram in to December free time, get excited about said recipes, speak to my mum, decide on more-or-less the same thing we had the year previous, take a firm stance that I will make lots of different desserts, realise on 24th December I have taken on too much, rope my brother in to helping, get drunk on Baileys with the brother and then pass out watching super hero movies. Can't wait!!!!

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  14. As mine is a family of vegetarians we celebrate Christmas by cooking a feast of non-traditional food, often curry or Middle Eastern dishes with some Ottolenghi recipes thrown in. My sister co-ordinates all the dishes and my Dad keeps us supplied with Cava as we cook.

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  15. My Christmas spirit never kicks in until I've watched Home Alone. The soundtrack alone makes me want to put on a paper crown and eat Quality Street until I feel sick.

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  16. My boyfriend insists on bucks fizz to start christmas day, i always insist on liquer coffee to start christmas day...we have happily joined in with each others traditions and now get nicely tipsy before 9am on christMAs morning :-) MMM I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

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  17. One of my family's traditions is that we will all sing "O Tannenbaum" when we go in to the living room on Christmas Eve - the only time my tone deaf parents will ever voluntarily sing! I also still go for a walk beforehand with my dad just to make sure that Santa has a chance to come and bring the presents.

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  18. When my Mum was growing up, their house was never allowed to put up any decorations until after her little brother's birthday on the 23rd and that habit carried on throughout my childhood. Mum and Dad still end up with me decorating when I get down to theirs for Christmas, but I've totally broken with that tradition in my own place up North.... If I'm away for Christmas itself I'm jolly well going to enjoy the decorations for a while before I go! Now.... how busy am I this weekend...?

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  19. My favourite Christmas tradition is simple and enjoyed mainly by me. I like to distract my Mum and sneak an extra couple of glugs of brandy into the brandy sauce without anyone noticing. Last year I went a little overboard hopefully this year will be more successful.

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  20. not quite sure where this stems from, but my Grandad used to roast almonds on Chrimbo morning, so now we do too - in a pan, on the aga. Not advisable to do this after eating a whole selection pack before 6am (FACT).

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  21. As a family we're going to be starting a new tradition and introducing the naughty elves December 1st through to 25th :-) growing up always new pjs, tree decorating watching grease and dirty dancing..not v.christmassy lol, but perfect :-P

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  22. I always make a VAT of mulled cider on Christmas Eve - I always intend on gently heating it for ages, adding in carefully chosen spices and fruit, yet inevitably I will forget about it until the last minute then spend five minutes chucking rum, cider, whatever's in the spice rack and fruit into a pot (apart from the pomegranate seeds. Always use pomegranate, it's the secret ingredient). Then hoping for the best.

    However, it's always turned out AMAZING and, crucially, never gives me a hangover (perfect when you've got an excitable 3 year old visiting on Christmas morning).

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  23. This year I started a new tradition of putting little Christmas jumpers on my cats and taking photos to send to family and friends.

    The doctors say there's a good chance my eye will grow back.

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  24. Me and my sisters make my gran and grandad an advent box with a small present every day for them and the. A bigger one to open on Xmas day. We started this because my gran always opened her presents before Xmas a ruined the surprise. Natalie

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  25. My husband decided to be born at home and interrupt Christmas Dinner so here we celebrate Christmas in the morning and his birthday in the afternoon. When we put up the Christmas tree we always put a tacky Christmas CD on and drink mulled wine from festive mugs. Who says we don't have class?

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  26. I'm not sure whether it is a "run up to Christmas" tradition, but every Christmas morning at about 11am I go down to the beach for the town Christmas swim dressed up in something festive and accompanied by my family (and several hundred other people) who stand and watch while telling me (and several hundred other people) that I'm crazy. Then they make sure there is a big fluffy towel and a tot of whisky ready for when I get out. If that doesn't count (wow what do you actually have to do to impress people!) then our run up to Christmas tradition is to set up the advent calendar crown with holly and ponsettia and then we light a candle each Sunday

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  27. We're not allowed to start Christmas until 15th December, because my Dad's birthday is on the 14th, and his birthday is officially not Christmas. However, as soon as the 15th hits, I'm at my parents' house getting the tree sorted with every single bit of tinsel and baubles that I can fit on it so that it looks like a child has done it (I'm 25!). Sometimes, branches of the tree fight back and fling baubles at the ceiling because they've had enough. I also like to tie the chocolate tree decorations securely to the middle of the tree so that only I know where they are :)

    I also make the Christmas cake these days which involves a lot of sherry. Some sherry makes it into the cake but most makes it into me, yay!

    I always get new jim jams for Christmas eve too, I don't want Santa to see me in scummy old ones.

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  28. Our childhood christmas tradition was being allowed to open a small something on Christmas eve in our pjs just after dinner in front of the fire - a small gift which would prepare us for all the wonderful things on Christmas day! Oh and those sugared jellied sweets - they remind me so much of Christmas!

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  29. Every year I buy a new tree decoration for each of my two little boys so that when they leave home they will have their own set of decorations to take with them. I have also started a gin collection so that I can get over the shock of them leaving by getting nice and toasted. Believe me, this prize will go a long way to bolstering the blow! Yeah right, like it will last until then! :)

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  30. Our family is a bit shit at Christmas. On my side it was stressful family angst and a Christmas Eve dinner (Swiss influence) of dreadful vegetarian food, leaving a very, very boring Christmas Day with nothing to do. My husband's family pretty much ignore it, except for the traditional South African service of two of each animal, roasted over fire. We're trying to come up with some traditions of our own!

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  31. What a warming way to countdown to Christmas - cant wait for my xmas eve tradition of weeping to Its a Wonderful Life, whilst stuffing my face with a lasagne - snuggled under a duvet!

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  32. Very appropriately, our Christmas tradition is whisky themed. My mother was cooking Christmas dinner and getting overly stressed - considering it was only for the two of us! Luckily I had just unwrapped a whisky bottle, and the tradition of a cooking-de-stress-dram was born.

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  33. Every year (for about the past seven) my husband and I begin watching the Box of Delights. This usually starts on the last but one weekend of November; then it's one episode per week. The programme was a massive favourite of each of ours when we were kids so for us it really makes Christmas special - from our favourite lines, in jokes and slightly scary ambience.
    We've even started to spread this tradition across our friendship group.

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  34. Bit boring to most im sure but i like to make a Christmas cake with my daughter every year to give to my dad. I use my nans family recipe so hopefully it tastes just as good as the ones she use to make every year

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  35. Christmas for me really starts when I get the presents for the cats - for them, and for their daddy from them. And then I have to hide catnip somewhere where kitty noses won't sniff it out, and write a Christmas card from the kittehs. Yes, I know it's immature and silly, but it puts me in the mood! Along with mulled cider / wine and /or some lovely gin.

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  36. My favourite Christmas tradition has to be the midnight Tesco shop around the 23rd. My mum's been doing it for years now to avoid the queues, but it's only the past 6 years or so that I've dragged my sorry self out of bed at stupid o'clock to go with her. It's the best thing to get me into the Christmas spirit; sometimes the sleep-deprived night shift workers are even dancing in the aisles to the power-cheese too outrageous to play during the day. But even after all these years, we still haven't learnt that there are definitely no Chocolate Oranges even after the shelves have been replenished, and also that the alcohol counter is closed until 6am. So we wait around til 6, shoving more and more unnecessary but delicious things into our already strained trolley until we can finally get the booze, and then leave, stuffing croissants down our necks in the car on the way home. If I'm lucky, when we get home, Mum will even help me unpack the mountains of shopping before she passes out on the sofa from exhaustion.

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  37. I love to decorate our tree on the 1st of December with my little girl. She loves to spend hours hang all the old decorations, lots with stories behind them of when I first met her Dad. Then I completely re do it once she's gone to bed ;0)

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  38. As children our Christmas tradition was always writing a Christmas play,. We'd practise it in the weeks running up to Christmas, and perform it with costumes and props on the day. Once year the entire play was in rhyme (I was very proud of myself too, even if I did confuse pheasants and peasants in one line). The play would always incorporate the giving out of the presents, and it was a wonderful part of Christmas.

    Nowadays, all grown up and all, the tradition seems to have become more about making homemade sloe gin that my mother pours by the full wineglass, and spending the entire festive period delicately sloshed. Equally fun, oddly enough...

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  39. Going to Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall on 23rd December - so beautiful and moves even the staunchest of Scrooges to sing along at the top of their (flat and tone-deaf) voices from the cheap seats.

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  40. Our Christmas day tradition is sparkling wine for breakfast, then a walk along the river to meet friends halfway between our house and theirs. Mince pies and other fresh baked goodies, damson or sloe gin, hot chocolate or mulled wine in the conveniently open pub, and then back home for a lunch that's closer to high tea.

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  41. Even after nearly five years together, I still can't get my head around my boyfriend's family 'tradition' of not opening presents until after Christmas dinner is finished and cleaned away. Some years we haven't actually finished opening presents until 11pm. It's just not right :(

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  42. Something that though was completely normal until i was in my teens was eating a birthday cake for breakfast on Christmas morning. My family were religious and thought that early morning cake was a nice way to celebrate Jesus' birthday.
    It turns out M&S chocolate cake at 8am isn't normal....haha but its a lovely family tradition

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  43. We have so many traditions with my English family and my boyfriend's half Czech one, that to fit it all in we need to start them half way through December! The best one is trying to balance around 5 decorations per branch of the 6ft tree they have every year and attaching Catherine wheel sparklers to the obviously flammable tree whilst we drink Becherovka - there's been no actual flames so far, but then there's always this year!

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  44. I need to make new Christmas traditions this year, as I've got a very new British boyfriend (I live in the Netherlands) and will be spending my first Christmas in England this year! So all my incessant decorating and dessert-making will not be very useful this year... I think Whisky will be an excellent new tradition though, as it's something me and the boy both like!

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  45. The presents don't get finally laid out til Christmas Morning. Before then, there might be some around the tree-- a few from friends that have dropped by-- but not the main ones.

    My dad goes down on the morning, puts out the remaining presents, puts the light on, and puts on "Ihr Kinderlein, kommet", then we all go in. His family are German/Finnish, so if they were in England, on Christmas Eve, we go to theirs, have a big meal and my Opa would do the same thing (the decorations, the music, the presents), and then we'd do the same thing on Christmas dad at ours.

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  46. In my house christmas starts early by watching a different christmas film every weekend starting with Nightmare before Christmas at halloween and then loads more up until Its a Wonderful Life on Chriatmas eve.

    My favourite tradition howver ia queuing up outside the butchers on christmas eve to pick up the turkey and ttimmings for Christmas Day :D

    Good luck everyone!

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  47. I have two Christmas traditions: one is making Christmas chutney with my gang of festive friends, drinking 'thimbles' of sherry to 'keep us going' through all the arduous chopping and stirring. The other is to wear my pyjamas until at least 3pm on Christmas Day, in Jesus' honour.

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  48. The Christmas traditions that I tend to come back to each year are mostly baking related, my go-to Christmas baked-good being spiced star biscuits and mince pies (although I must admit, I always cheat and buy the mincemeat ready made!).

    Other than that, I'd have to say eating Quality Street before anything else on Christmas day (and, if I'm honest, probably Christmas Eve, and Boxing Day and New Year's day...).

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  49. This probably speaks volumes about me, but nevermind! Even though my brothers are almost grown up now, I still buy them a selection box every year along with their main presents. However, because I am a weak-willed glutton, there hasn't been a year where I haven't 'accidentally' broken into one in a desperate search for chocolate when the cupboards are bare. Cue a last-minute rush to Tesco for a replacement. I stupidly confessed to doing this a few years ago, and now my family winding me up about it is as much of a tradition as the selection box snaffling itself...

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  50. I get my Phil Spector Christmas Album ceremonially returned to me on 1st December every year, after which it's downhill all the way until the ceremonial Christmas Food Shopping Expedition, which takes place on our wedding anniversary (also Spouse's birthday, I'm not daft) on 22nd December. There may well be other 'traditions' but after 22nd December, all bets are off until I sober up for the New Year and the Phil Spector album is confiscated for another 11 months.

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  51. Putting the Christmas tree and decorations up is the main seasonal tradition at our house - even if we're not spending the holiday at home, like this year, we still get it all assembled and set up. It's tradition! :)

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  52. Our christmas tradition is to cram the extended family (which has grown over the years to include the neighbours, old friends, new friends, and people we met in the pub) into my mum's tiny flat (known as the Tardis) on Christmas Eve for a 'let's try to wear out the kids' party. It usually ends up with the adults exhausted and the kids hyperactive, fuelled by sweets, crackers and dancing to christmas songs until past 10pm, but it's really good fun and we never learn from experience...

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  53. Me and my mates hold a Richard Curtis day - we watch at least 2 of his ridiculously festive-twee-slightly-cringe-inducing-films, drink too much and end up in a posh part of London swilling cocktails and mulled wine. The PERFECT start to the festive period.

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  54. My fave Christmas tradition is a relatively new one - 'The annual Corr Christmas Quiz and grudge match'! Everyone who comes to Christmas dinner at our house writes a round of the quiz, and we all take turns as quiz master, and as such the teams constantly change - it's super ace fun!!

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  55. Last Christmas I made the whole dinner. EVERYTHING. From those tiny, gorgeous devils on horseback to the pudding to the chutneys for the cheese board.

    Guess what happened? I came down with something immediately after finishing my plate and consequently spent the next two days losing my dinner and watching my siblings suckle on the cheeses, the cakes, the after eights and all the the leftovers.

    CHRISTMAS HORROR.

    Moral of the story: Please give me the whisky calendar so when the time comes this year, my body is steeled and ready for anything.

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  56. Im not usually a church goer but every year I take my eldest niece to midnight mass. Its a beautiful ancient local church and we have a lovely evening singing carols. I deliver her back home and pack her off to bed and sit drinking mulled wine and eating roasted chestnuts gossiping with my sister until the wee hours. We have a big family so Christmas is crazy round ma and pa Smiths house and we know its our only chance to have a proper catch up. Love Christmas!!

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  57. CHRISTMAS MUSIC! It's all about the Sufjan Stevens in our house. His (7 or 8 or 9) CD Christmas album sets come out at the end of November and are playing fairly continuously in the kitchen, car, and computer (only punctuated by the occasional Bing Crosby, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Swingin' and Soulful Christmas albums). I'm sure the music would all go down even better with a bit o' whisky.

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  58. We have many traditions, but my favourite has to be opening one small present on Christmas eve and then settling down with a mulled wine or one of Dad's nuclear Christmas cocktails to watch the Snowman and then Muppet's Christmas Carol. Can't beat it!

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  59. My Christmas tradition is the baking of the Christmas Cake. I always bake it around mid October (having soaked all the fruit in booze overnight first) and then prick it all over and feed it lots and lots of brandy, rum, sherry, port & ginger wine at least 3 times a week until Christmas...by which point it is thoroughly saturated and gooey and completely and totally lethal. Thought you'd appreciate that one, Sluts! xxx

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  60. I have been lusting after one of these Ginvent calendars for months but unfortunately thought I would not be able to indulge as I was expecting my first child in the middle of advent. However he made an early appearance a week ago today! Which now means ( with the help of my breast pump) I may be able to have a small tipple this Christmas.

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  61. Christmas day is always the same at our house. Glass of champagne and smoked salmon bagels for breakfast (I think we read somewhere that it was posh) then presents, then lunch, then the Queens Speech then nap time. Inevitably there will be a film on in the evening that we have all seen several million times before and therefore is acceptable viewing. Wouldn't change if for the world.

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  62. Our family chirstmas tradition is waking up on christmas morning and having to all go down the stairs together before bursting into the front room and opening our stockings! Then it's off to the kitchen for bucks fizz and bacon sandwiches, mmm perfection! Missed out on this particular tradition last year as my mum is a nurse and was working christmas day, hopefully this year we will be back on track.

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  63. Our family tradition is to take the dog for a walk at about 3 pm so when we get back in we can all say "drat, we missed the queen's speech"
    I'm not sure if it happens on purpose, but it happens every year....

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  64. Christmas starts on the first weekend in December when we go pick our tree! And for the first time we actually have a garden so I'll be picking a real one in a pot that we can hopefully grow and use each year!
    Christmas is really here when we sit down with a class of mulled wine, a mince pie or two and cheesy christmas music playing or a bad christmas film on, then we wrap up the family presents together. It starts off well and gets a little messier as we start on the second batch of mulled wine!
    30 Sleeps until Christmas today! Wahoo!!!

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  65. The day before Christmas I normally clean the house and hubby likes to bake the ham joint and put on the mulled wine to get us in the christmas spirit. Last year while hubby had left the kitchen I decided to lean over the hob to have a sniff at the mulled wine simmering away. Unfortunately, as I leaned over the dirty old rag that I was cleaning with fell out of my top (as I always tuck it into the top if my t shirt) straight into the mulled wine! Took me ages to fish the thing out as it was hot! Anyway to this day hubby doesn't know that the added ingredient was Mr Pledge!
    Sheree violet

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  66. each year all my family gets together for 'christmas tree weekend' where we put up the tree. each family member gets to bring one new decoration and then we vote on the winner. After doing it for 10+ years the winners have to be fairly extraordinary these days, recent winning ornaments have been an elvis bulldog, a back to the future delorian and a king kong all the way from the empire state building.

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  67. Our Christmas traditions have previously centered around Christmas Eve. My parents owned a shop and in the afternoon when it quietened down we'd open various Christmas nibbles and a bottle of Port. By 3pm town would be dead so we'd lock up and head home. After tea we'd go round to a family friend that we've been visiting on Christmas Eve since we were kids and spend the evening there until well past midnight.

    This year however things have changed, my parents have retired and we've been invited to visit my Sister's young family for Christmas. I guess it will be time to start new traditions.

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  68. I get the girls I work with chocolate advent calendars for a countdown to Christmas - I have to make sure that I give them each their calendar on or after the 1st of December as one year all the chocolates in one of the calendars were eaten in one sitting in November...! Ahhh well, they all enjoy the calendars in one way or another :)
    They don't sound quite as exciting or flash as the advent calendars in your post though - maybe this year I should invest in one for me too!

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  69. Sticking on a CD of Christmas carols and decorating the Christmas tree seems to have become my Christmas tradition, then writing Christmas cards by the light of the fairy-lights. It's mine and my husband's first Christmas in our new house and our families think we should have it to ourselves, so we get to dream up brand new traditions for ourselves this year.

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  70. The child friendly service at tea-time on Christmas Eve followed by a nip of a good malt whisky and ending the evening with Midnight Mass.

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  71. On the first weekend of December I have my own tradition of making a gingerbread house (usually from scratch but sometimes from a kit if i'm feeling lazy), whilst watching Love Actually and enjoying my first glass of port of the year. It usually ends badly; too much port and film distraction is not good for high quality gingerbread house making, but i'm too impatient to do the baking first (and i bet it's not nearly as fun!)

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  72. It's been a rocky year for my mom (that's who I would be giving this to if I won) as she's gone through a divorce. The plus side is that she has a new partner and we have had great fun deciding on family traditions to keep, and which new ones to make!

    One tradition that we are keeping is the all important Boxing Day bubble and squeak. My mom cooks up a enormous vat of the stuff and then dishes it out with ketchup and leftover turkey :) The second part of this tradition is that you can invite anyone on Boxing Day - so anyway potential boyfriends are dragged along to meet the rents, as well as all my waif and stray friends that don't have a place to go at Christmas. My Mom has managed to make bubble and squeak stretch to up to 14 people before - good ol' Mom :)

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  73. My sister and I still open our stocking on our parents bed on Christmas morning (probably slightly worrying as we are both in our twenties and thirties and both married) - i love a good stocking. We also make sure we watch the Queen's speech on Christmas Day, The Queen is a bit of a legend! She'd love that invent calendar, as would I!

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  74. Quite recent Christmas tradition has been to watch all the best Christmas film starting with the Holiday with my housemates... this starts in about mid-November!

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  75. Dousing the pudding with brandy ....and setting it alight....hopefully not having to call the fire brigade!

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  76. My sister and I always watch the Muppet Christmas Carol - first we had the video and these days the DVD. It wouldn't be a proper Christmas without us watching it at some point! Despite the fact only my mum and dad actually like Christmas pudding we also have the annual setting it on fire with brandy. We're really a bunch of pyromaniacs, so we do enjoy that - especially when we completely misjudge how much brandy we should use and end up wondering if the fire is every going to go out...

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  77. Other than the ritual fighting over the grandchildren every christmas my favourite tradition is making old fashioned sweets a few weeks before christmas to give everyone. This year it's clotted cream fudge and peanut brittle! That and the bottles of home made sloe gin!!! Yum yum!

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  78. Jackie Lovegrove Walter25 November 2013 at 17:42

    Making the family Christmas pudding with a recipe that dates back to my mothers family from the late 19th Century, Its had some tweaks since then but its a family favourite - so much so that we make extra so we can have one for Easter and one during the Summer. It also has a secret ingredient and nobody outside of the family knows what it is - even my dad was never let in on the secret.

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  79. My husband would LOVE this. He has a tradition every new Christmas eve of a whiskey tasting session with his brother and dad and they think they know a thing or too....this would be the best surprise ever for him ;)

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  80. "The Whoops That Ruined Christmas" was the moment I stopped believing in Father Christmas. My Mum's side are renowned for their clumsiness, a trait that I have unfortunately inherited. The sound that accompanies most family gatherings is of one or all of us "whoops!"ing as we drop something/break something/crash in to something.
    At the age of 10, I was beginning to have my suspicions that Father Christmas may not be real (or that if he was, it was my Grandpa, a theory that has been shared by my cousins). As I lay in bed, delirious with excitement from awaiting the magical sound of sleigh bells and reindeer hooves on the roof, I heard a shuffle outside my bedroom door. Excited, I hid under the covers so as to appear asleep. As the door opened, my heart fluttered with excitement, could this really be Father Christmas?!
    Alas, as the light of the hallway flooded my bedroom, I heard a loud crash and a loud "whoops!". I couldn't believe it. It was my Mum (tipsy after a few too many mulled wines) tripping up over something that had been left by the door! As I listened to the rustling at the end of the bed, I stayed under the covers, praying with all of my heart that she was just checking up on us... the rumours couldn't be true! Father Christmas couldn't just be our parents!
    After the door closed, and the room was silent, I peeked out to the end of the bed where my stocking was. It was full! Father Christmas had been my Mum all along! The "whoops!" had given it away!
    I couldn't sleep that night, my heart was broken. But in the morning, I rejoiced in opening my stocking anyway, letting slip to my sister that Father Christmas had "whoopsed" and then desperately trying to cover up what I had said!
    My family Christmas tradition is now to keep the truth hidden from the youngest in the family, with the non believers pulling out all of the stops for the believers! Sooty footprints by the fireplace, teeth marks in Rudolph's half eaten carrot (he probably has a lot of carrots to eat) crumbs from Father Christmas's mince pie and even the occasional letter, all to keep the magic alive!

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    Replies
    1. p.s. I should mention that the whisky/gin from the last day on the calendar would make an excellent treat for Father Christmas!

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  81. We're building our Christmas traditions as a family and they include choosing a 'real' Christmas tree together and opening a Christmas Eve box which contains everything we need to make that night special - new PJs for the children, a Christmas story book to read together, a Christmas film to watch on DVD and some yummy snacks to share.

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  82. We make clove-studded oranges, which you can dry on the radiator & which last & perfume the house all year...in the same way as sugar skulls on the Day of the Dead (my birthday), it brings my girls & I together around the kitchen table to invent patterns, designs, and spend hours chatting, listening to music, drinking mulled wine (me) & eating chocolate (them). Special times.

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  83. I've skipped off to sunny climes the last few years, but I'm excited to be having the whole family to my new gaff this year. I always get a little bit too over-enthused about Christmas decorations (even when living in a skanky flat in Streatham) and have made a bit of a tradition of buying something whenever I go on holiday. This year was a hipster bird from a shop in Portland, last year was a starfish painted to look like Father Christmas. And at the top of the tree? A cheeky Kiwi with a Christmas hat!

    (Would love the gin please!)

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  84. Every year my mum makes literally hundreds of boozy chocolate truffles to give out to people at Christmas. The list of people they are given to has grown and grown (people request them!) so it is quite a mission rolling them all but Christmas wouldn't quite be the same without them.We've tried many flavours over the years, from milk chocolate and rum, white chocolate and armaretto to dark chocolate and chilli vodka and milk chocolate with salted caramel vodka.

    This year is my first year living away from home (the other side of the country) and I am going to miss out on the truffle rolling action!

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  85. As soon as I arrive at my parents for Christmas the day before Christmas day, I am ususally pretty shot at from all the christmas parties. the first thing my parents do it light the candles, put a glass of wine in my hand and some good TV for me to recover for the evening and the night., I think just being home and knowing I will sleep well that night and that I am home, warm and cozy usually sorts me right out and I wake up on Christmas eve raring to go to get fully in to Christmas. If it wasn't for this, I think christmas would be over before it had even started for me so thank you Mum and Dad for looking after me so well!

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  86. Midnight service and carol singing followed by mulled wine is the best way to start Christmas day

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  87. I really want to win this advent calender but don't have many Christmas traditions, one thing we did last year though, which I loved was have a live skype of putting the tree up. My boyfriend is living in our flat but I am working away at the moment. I was going back to ours for Christmas so didn't put a tree up in my flat but wanted to share the fun so he put the tree up in our flat while I had Christmas carols and a glass of Baileys in my flat and directed him over skype.

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  88. My pre-Christmas routine for this year goes as thus:
    1. Buy my own presents for my family from my boyfriend.
    2. Choose the gifts for my boyfriend that my parents and brother will get.
    3. Receive calls from brother asking for help with christmas shopping for Mum and Dad.
    4. Receive call from Mum asking for help to pick something for my brother.
    5. Receive sheepish call from Dad asking me to help him pick a gift for Mum. 6. Mum straight up asking me what I want.
    7. Brother wanting a selection of things I might want.
    8. Brother's new girlfriend asking me what my brother would want.
    9. Mum complaining about having to cook christmas dinner, again.
    10. Dad complaining about why we have to get a real tree, again.
    11. Mum complaining about Dad complaining about the tree, insisting we should finally get a fake tree.
    12. Mum threatening to refuse to cook.
    13. Dad insisting he wants nothing from any of us.
    14. Mum sternly telling us that we WILL get Dad a present.
    15. Boyfriend (Jewish) wondering what the hell is happening, yet again, and does he need to do anything (No dear, I took care of our gifts).
    16. Worrying about leaving the cats alone for four days over Christmas.
    17. Arranging care for the cats.
    18. Struggling to complete university assignments.
    19. Inevitable travel issues on Christmas Eve down to Essex with disgruntled boyfriend.
    20. Sleep.

    Already up to 14... oh God.

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  89. Being American, our family tradition, which will be happening without me this year, is to put up our Christmas tree together the day after Thanksgiving, while eating leftover Turkey sandwiches and listening to some Christmas music!

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  90. Pork sandwiches on Christmas eve with doorstep bread, gravy, stuffing and caramelised red onion chutney *mouth waters*

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  91. We go to the Edinburgh Christmas market and just walk around drinking mulled wine listening to the screams from people on the rides! We've also found from experience it's best to get the ice skating out if the way BEFORE the wine ;) also for the past 5 years I've made Nigella's Rudolph pie on Xmas eve, eat it while watching a Xmas film (usually scrooged!)

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  92. When the children were tiny we started the tradition of having our first full Christmas meal by candlelight on Christmas Eve. We carry the table into the lounge and have the Christmas tree lights on as well. We started this so I could completely enjoy Christmas morning without worrying about the turkey, etc. We still do this and it's wonderful as there is still such a wonderful sense of anticipation. We have another full Christmas meal with all the trimmings on Christmas Day as well.

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  93. A fairly recent tradition as my (now) husband and I have only had a few Christmases together but we always decorate our Christmas tree while watching Elf, this is our first married Christmas and we are having the family to ours so a time to start new traditions too x

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  94. My Christmas starts on stir up Sunday when I make the Christmas cake. I like to wrap a few gifts each week and think up cryptic clues for the label. Another tradition we have is choosing a new wooden ornament for the tree each year.

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  95. We don't start thinking about Christmas until 25 November which is when my son was born. He is 20 today!! We by at least 4 new charity baubles for the tree each year. It started off as a twiglet but will be about 7ft this year. I look forward to being able to share the prize with him when he comes back from uni....I will get it going!! x

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  96. Every year we go out with our parents (we're all around 30 now) to do the Christmas Eve shop. It involves going to a big shopping centre and running around in a blind panic because inevitably my dad hasn't bought my mum anything. Then we return home to watch Mickey's Christmas Carol and watch my dad cry at how sick Tiny Tim is. Honestly, the man's got problems.

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  97. My family's traditions at Christmas all seem to revolve around food but I'll tell you about my least favourite one. Each year in the summer my Dad freezes a bag of green beans from his own garden for us all to 'enjoy' with the Christmas meal. He's an excellent cook but only he eats those beans because none of the rest of us want to get a string one.

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  98. Me and the kids always go to our local woods and decorate one of the trees so that it cheers up dog walkers, etc when they come across it on a cold walk.

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  99. Since having my own place the Christmas tradition has been listening Sufjan Stevens christmas album while putting up the tree, then drinking mulled cider as we make paper chains and watching them get worse and worse as we drink more mulled stuff!

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  100. One of the big traditions for me when I was young was to prepare for all the exciting FILMS and TELLY that was to be on at Christmas! DVDs weren't around, and videos were much pricier (it seemed), so recording films off the TV was the next best thing - and Christmas had the BEST films. A Christmas Day Premiere was an event that would be excitedly talked about amongst friends, family and the tabloids.

    It would begin with the ceremonious arrival of the bumper-edition TV Times, upon which I would quickly circle everything that MUST BE RECORDED. A schedule could then be drawn up and dad off to WH Smiths to buy the videos required. Family members would need to be instructed how and when to operate the VHS so that nothing would be missed.

    Now, years later, the arrival of cheap DVDs, Sky, Netflix and LoveFilm have made all of this completely redundant. This has lead me to be able to allocate yet more time to the scoffing of mince pies + cheese, another Christmas tradition. Happy days.

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  101. My nieces and nephews lives in a houses without chimneys. My eldest nephew gave my middle nephew a gold key on the eve of his third Christmas and told him how he should hang it on the tree outside so Santa could get in! My favourite new tradition!

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  102. Our new(ish) Christmas tradition is to go out around the end of November to pick out one new sparkly decoration for our tree. And then I spend the next 3 weeks trying to convince my wonderfully patient man that we should put up the tree early. I used to be a 14 days before kinda gal but I love being cosy in our flat with the twinkling lights of the decorations while the typical Scottish winter whips around the city :)

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  103. As soon as Halloween is over, I get the decorations up. Christmas tunes can come on then too! First weekend in December the Christmas films will come out (Muppet Christmas Carol to being with). Christmas Eve, I read the Christmas stories - first the Jolly Christmas Postman.

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  104. Favourite christmas tradition is bacon butties and Bucks Fizz on christmas morning :)

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  105. My birthday is the 19th December, and I don't like to get too Christmassy before that. So on the 20th, I watch Home Alone, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Santa Claus the Movie and stuff myself with mince pies. Usually does the trick.

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  106. We always help my parents prepare the veg on Xmas eve, then share a nice glass of mulled wine. I love preparing Santa's plate and the hubby loves the extra big glass of whiskey he says Santa needs!

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  107. The tree goes up no earlier than 12 days before. I like to do it on my own with a vat of mulled wine, some mince pies and A Muppet's Christmas Carol on the tele. (The greatest Christmas film of all time).

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  108. Home from work on Christmas Eve to have pâté on toast on WHITE bread and some homemade sausage rolls (not by me I hasten to add... )

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  109. Well it all starts on the day before Christmas Eve. Members of our family take turns every year to host Christmas and prepare the main dinner on the day. Last year there were seven of us in my 2-bedroomed flat! I gave up my bed for my mum. My nephew and I slept on the floor in the sitting room while my sister had the sofa. My youngest son Chris had his room to himself. He refused to share. My older son who had travelled from Devon slept in the dining room with my brother who made up a bed underneath the dining table. He made a point of telling me he'd tightened up the table leg bolts. "I could've been killed been last night" he said.
    On Christmas Eve there's always the last minute shopping for presents and alcohol. Chris likes to hand out the presents and read the gift tags. No doubt we'll be watching Doctor Who and Eastenders!
    This year it won't be much different - it will be in my mum's small flat.

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  110. We break out the blackberry gin from the autumn pickings! Blackberry gin is always opened on Christmas Eve by our family, and is usually gone very quickly. We then use the blackberries for boozy crumble on Boxing Day

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  111. We always give the kids a hamper from Mrs Claus on Christmas eve - it has their pjs for Christmas eve and a Christmas book and dvd. We are doing elf on the shelf this year so hopefully that will become a tradition too!

    I have tweeted as @ashlallan too

    Ashleigh

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  112. From 1st December until new year we have a mince pie with our afternoon cuppa.

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  113. We watch Sound of Music on every Christmas Eve without a fail. I know it isn't a traditional Christmas movie but the singing along puts everyone in a great mood.

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  114. As a kid, my fave thing was leaving the carrot out on Christmas eve for Rudolf, then finding what's left of it on Christmas day :o) Not forgetting the empty glass of port and crumbs from the mince pie that Santa had enjoyed snacking on (I'm guessing my dad enjoyed the port and pie a lot more than the carrot ;-).
    No I'm all grown up, it has to me the Christmas day breakfast! :-) Bucks Fizz and a fry up with the family! Perfect way to start a day of eating, drinking and being merry.

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  115. to get me in the mood for crimbo i always have to watch mickeys Christmas carol as this is my fav Xmas movie and tells the story of Christmas perfectly and its morals a timeless classic

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  116. My favourit family Christmas traditionis having chocolate fingers and milky coffee on Christmas mornig as we open our presents. I used to do it with my parents (hot chocolate instead of coffee though) and now carry it on with my husband and children. It's great :)

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  117. since having kids our xmas tradition is to wrap the presents whilest getting in the xmas mood with whiskey and mince pies. Then on xmas day we get to see the rubbish results of our drunken wrapping and try to decipher the writing on the gift tags. Roll on Xmas !!!

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  118. We always put a Xmas CD on in the car and drive around looking for 'Xmas houses'. We have one around here which is spectacular! Once we have seen that and heard some seasonal songs we are really in the zone ;)

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  119. I love Christmas! Its Magical to me its all about the snow, tinsel,
    Holly, mistletoe, glistening lights ,the smell of fresh pine, baubles,
    flickering candles, and hoping to catch Santa getting stuck down the Chimney.
    Listening to the salvation Army's brass band playing festive tunes at the end of the street,
    wearing of paper hats so we all look like kings and Reading the cheesy motto's/jokes
    once we have pulled the Christmas crackers around the festive table,
    eating the Traditional Christmas dinner and toasting the occasion,feeling full and content.
    Christmas carols blaring from the CD player, and then watching the Queens Christmas speech.
    Curling up and watching Traditional films on the sofa,
    the log fire glowing and the children laughing and playing, everybody having a wonderful time
    and being Merry, Family and friends popping round for a mince pie and a tipple.
    giving and receiving.
    And most of all, helping people less fortunate than ourselves.

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  120. On the second Saturday in December all the girls in the family (usually six or seven of us) gather together to make the Christmas wreaths and table decorations. We all bring holly and ivy and any greenery we can get our hands on. We share ribbons, baubles, candles, lights and whatever we fancy. We play carols, drink mulled wine, eat mince pies and catch up on all the family news and gossip. All in all, we have a wonderful time, and feel that Christmas is really on the way.

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  121. Ooft, good prize! My favourite Christmas tradition is my Dad's. My sister and I always spend Christmas Day at our mum's and Boxing Day with our Dad. Every year he arranges a surprise day out for everyone. Nobody knows what it is until the day, we just get told what to wear. Past days out have been to a local ice hockey game, throwing flour bombs at rafters and a very flamboyant murder mystery party. We try and guess what it is weeks in advance but never get it right!

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  122. As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is done, we decorate the Christmas tree! There's something about having the family together for a beautiful dinner and then having them all help with the tree while they're in town that makes the experience that much more magical.

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  123. We have lots of Christmas traditions in my family, but I think my favourite is watching all my favourite films on Christmas Eve as I wrap presents - it's always Muppet Christmas Carol, It's A Wonderful Life and Bernard and the Genie, plus Nightmare Before Christmas if I've got a lot of stuff to wrap. It just gets me really in the Christmas mood.

    I also love getting dressed up for Christmas Day, including the whole process of buying a new outfit, putting Christmas music on my iPod on the 1st December, the Christmas Eve buffet at my parents' house, and the fact that my sisters and I still have stockings (complete with an apple, an orange and a pound coin at the bottom!).

    Finally, the tradition I've started as my own is buying or making at least one new decoration for the Christmas tree. This year it's the handmade glass Tardis from one of the Doctor Who posts earlier this week, because I am a massive nerd.

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  124. We have two Christmas-types. One where I go to my son's and we have a Skype link to my other sons house and we watch and see us all opening presents. May not be an old tradition, but don't you think technology is wonderful that we can do this.
    Then..as it will be this year...my son is a Submariner and won't be with us. One year he could get a computer and Skype with us from Bahrain. This year he will be somewhere under the sea.... his little boy Kris will miss his Daddy desperately....and I do too.....
    But we will smile on for the children.

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  125. My favorite Christmas tradition is to make Christmas presents for my whole family the night before. Suddenly my husband busts out his creativity and we crazy paint cloth bags or decorate cups. By midnight the last ones look a bit insane, but it gives us an excuse to sneak off to have time together while his family of 11 gather.

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  126. On the 23rd we make an ecxuse to get our daughter out of the house so that the other can get the present wrapped in peace and put around the tree.Daughter knows whats going on and she knows that we know she knows.And we know all of that !! it's all part of the game.

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  127. Pork and stuffing sandwiches for Christmas Eve supper to fuel daddy to stay up till the small hours assembling complicated toys!

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  128. On Christmas Eve, we always bring the mattress into the living room and me, hubby and son sleep in front of the tv watching Christmas movies and eating snacks.

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  129. My favourite Christmas tradition is, as with the best, one that has gathered pace and detail over the years. Each Christmas Eve before midnight mass we head to my godmother's for dinner. We start off with canapes (the year that my brother plucked what he thought was pate on bread from a plate and at the last minute realised was an anchovy, turned green, and sat awkwardly holding it for the next 20 minutes until we moved to the dinner table and he could dispose of it, whilst I giggled silently to myself is still memorable), and then move onto vast quantities of something suitably warming, usually involving mashed potato. The two fathers are dumped down at one end of the table where they hog all the red wine and insist on reading the cracker jokes painfully slowly. They then turn their attention to constructing the largest party popper cannonballs they can make, usually involving firing grapes across the table. Then the oddest part of the evening begins, when we move into the sitting room to watch the totally bizarre film best described as "niche", The Prisoner of Zenda. As far as I can tell, no one other than the two said fathers particularly likes this film. However we sit through it pre-emptively quoting the lines we know back to front and becoming increasingly hysterical. The pinnacle of this tradition came last year with the instruction to dress up as a character from the film. Easily done as it features lots of attractive ball dresses and white tie etc.... so the moment that my usually straitlaced godmother opened the door dressed as a chicken is one I'll never forget. We roll into mass, sing loudly and badly through the hymns whilst trying to make eachother get the giggles and then head home, ready for the following morning and a stiff hendricks and tonic whilst knocking up lunch that despite annual claims that it will be ready by 1 is never, ever, on the table before 3. Which is just the way I like it.

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  130. I'm starting a new tradition this year. Have been getting into the Christmas spirit today by buying a cheese bomb to take to my mother-in-law's as a contribution to the Christmas festivities. A cheese bomb is very, very mature cheddar, matured in the shape of an orb, covered in black wax with a sticky out bit at the top so it looks exactly like a cartoon bomb: something the coyote might chuck at road runner. Very difficult to resist the temptation to lob it across the room, but it's tasty enough to cherish for the cheeseboard.

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  131. My Christmas Eve tradition is baking biscuits for Santa with my Kiddies, followed by watching Muppets Christmas Carol on DVD. After putting kids to bed, hubby and myself crack open the bailey's and enjoy the peace and quiet :)

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  132. Our little girl is 2 this year, so let new family traditions begin! We plan to pop our decorations up on the 1st (might as well enjoy them for as long as possible!) and she gets a chimney advent calendar with a little something inside each day. This is actually my old calendar from when I was little. :) Then Santa will come and leave footprints in the snow on Xmas day through the house and the reindeer might leave a few reindeer poo (just raisins!) I might add more as we go along but very excited!

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  133. Our traditional advent calendar is a fabric one I have had for many years - it allows choccies of choice to be out in each pocket but now, many years & 2 children later, it's a struggle to get 3 chocolates in each one (luckily hubby doesn't take part!)

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  134. I gave birth on Christmas Day 2000 so we generally 're-live' the birthing story over our Christmas Dinner ;)

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  135. So, more for reasons of impending senility than anything else, my pre-Christmas ritual tends to involve:

    a) Thinking about "A Charlie Brown Christmas", and remembering how festive it felt when I was a kid.
    b) Considering buying it on DVD, then changing my mind because it probably hasn't aged well.
    c) Recalling that Charles Schulz is dead, and feeling mildly sad about it.
    d) Listening to some Vince Guaraldi (the jazz bloke who did the music for the aforementioned film) and cheering up.
    e) Drinking some whisky and feeling entirely jolly.

    Is that good enough?

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  136. Christmas morning without fail my Mum 'makes' us drink bucks fizz and eat croissants, thus the day of drinking and eating more that is humanly possible commences!

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  137. i always put the star on top of the tree! always!

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  138. We like to enjoy a mince pie and mulled wine whilst we decorate the tree.

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  139. GIN-GLE BELLS!

    Me and my brothers used to always read Enid Blyton's Christmas Story in the run up to Christmas and then on Christmas Eve we would watch the Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas together-there is nothing like a wonderful cartoon about a hungover Santa tottering around Scotland to get you rolling in the aisles!

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  140. Every year my mother used to buy us new jammies and white hot chocolate and we'd get to open this on Christmas eve. I have carried this tradition on with my daughter however when she goes to bed I like to add something *special* to my hot chocolate. Yummy!

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  141. Getting annoyed with the tree lights and myself for the tree not looking how I envisaged. Leaving the wrapping until Christmas Eve - and then doing it while necking a bottle of Baileys and so the wrapping gets worse by the minute, until I think f...orget it, all the while getting annoyed at The Fella for letting me do EVERYTHING - except going to work to pay for it all

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  142. I love christmas eve, we watch Santa coming on Norad and its great to see my sons excitement build as he gets nearer. We always leave out mince pies and Christmas cake

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  143. My Christmas eve tradition is going out and getting white girl wasted on prosecco with my best friend, crawling home and eating a takeaway in our pyjamas to then wake up and nurse each others hangovers with a greasy breakfast and presents before we head off to our mums for more gluttony. X

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  144. My christmas tradition is wearing my 3D snowman christmas jumper on the last day of school. Telling kids of whilst wearing it is hilarious! x

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  145. First weekend in December decorate, second weekend after a late afternoon stroll around the park with torches, new Christmas Pj's on then snuggle down with hot chocolate to watch 'It's a wonderful life' & 'Little Women' the 1949 version. And my daughter may be 19 yrs but she will still expect me to read 'Twas the night before Christmas' before she goes to bed on Christmas eve! Huge smiles just thinking about it all.

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  146. First Christmas with my husband so looking forward to starting lots of new traditions. A whisky a day would be an excellent start!

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  147. Christmas eve we always make sausage rolls all different sizes and flavours as soon as we hit December our children start asking when we will be making the sausage rolls even my 24 yr old step daughter who is married and has her own family comes home so she doesn't miss out.

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  148. The weekend before we put the tree up we have a drive somewhere nice and buy a new decoration, so we have decorations that are a reminder of places we've visited.

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  149. My Children have new PJ's every year and we leave carrots out for reindeers and a beer for Santa! We always spend Christmas day over my parent's house and have to play at least one board game!

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  150. My Baby and I have just set up home together, so we're in the process of forging some new traditions all our own! For the last few years, we have made a point of having some down time on a Saturday afternoon, watching those awful-yet-good Channel 5 Christmas films, and either making tree decorations together or wrapping presents, or just cosying up together. I can't wait to see what other traditions we start off this year! It's exciting!
    P xx

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  151. Every year the tree goes up first week of December while we sing along with Michael Caine and Kermit. It's just not Christmas in our house without muppet Christmas carol!

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  152. Every year I watch The Santa Claus movie with Dudley Moore. One year it wasn't on TVso I ended up going out and hunting down the DVD just so I could watch it in time for Christmas Day :D

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  153. I always make a crib using a cardboard box, papier mache & fake snow

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  154. Maria Jane Knight26 November 2013 at 10:04

    Our Christmas tradition is to make paper chains on the 23rd December and hang them rom the ceiling...its a traditional my nan did with my mum, my mum with me and my brother and now me and my brother both continue making them with our children.

    @mariajkknight

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  155. Decorating the tree very slowly, whilst sipping a tipple or two and watching It's a Wonderful Life. Though sometimes the next morning I need to correct my handiwork!! x

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  156. We have santa come on Christmas eve to deliver PJs. Then our DD doesn't worry that he might not come or that he forgets where she lives. So sad to see a child worried at christmastime (she is adopted so maybe in her head he might not come one year) but some PJs that magically appear at bedtime seems to make everything better.

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  157. Okay, so this year freaked me out a little, because I pretty much always start thinking about Christmas from the beginning of October, I take a new note pad, write everyone's names in it and start making notes of things they like, then doing an online search, and making notes of the items and prices to I can organise what to get and budget. This year I was thinking about my wedding at the beginning of October, so I didn't start making lists until November, and the breaking of this little ritual sent me into blind panic for a bout two weeks. It's okay, I'm on top of it all now, with only two or so presents to sort. It may sound a little obsessive, but spending time thinking about what others would really like to receive really makes me feel all festive and warm. This year hubby and I are having newly weds Christmas at home together, so I want to revive the tradition of us having a gift bag to open after Christmas dinner, as I alway did as a kid, it is a little extra surprise and also means we won't spend any money on crackers... it seems a little sad not to have them, but we buy them every year, end up with the same things inside that just end up getting thrown away, and that just seems wasteful... I may create a decorate your own hat activity though, and another year I might go as far as making my own. My mother-in-law does it every year and they are wonderful. If I win, I give the calendar to hubby, he does like a good whisky. :)

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  158. I'm probably a bit odd, but I love making the Christmas Meal. It seems so special, cooking for those I love and trying tp produce the very best meal of the year.

    The children love helping to decorate the Christmas tree - it may not look as fancy as some, but every piece has been put on with love - and some of the decorations are as old as the children.

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  159. My favorite tradition is getting the whole extended family together on Christmas eve and getting to catch up on all the gossip for the year! @cricrinapoli1

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  160. My own 'tradition' that I've started doing is for when I'm wrapping the Christmas presents to help me get in the mood: I like to have some time by myself, light some Christmassy candles & put the lights on the tree. In the background I either have a good old Christmas film or some Christmas music playing & I like to have a small glass of usually Baileys or ginger wine (although I wouldn't mind whisky!) :) I find this makes wrapping the presents a lot more enjoyable for me! :)

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  161. Activating the PJs, putting on a Christmas film (maybe Elf or Miracle on 34th Street, but most likely Love Actually), pouring a big glass of vino, laying out all the presents in piles for each person, then wrapping them up in brown paper and red string. Magic.

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  162. My son was born in Holland and spent his first 9 years there. He's not sure he still believes in Santa, so this will be the last year we carry on this Dutch tradition. I'll be sad to stop it, since it's such a lovely way to ease into Christmas. The festivities start in mid-November when Saint Nicholas arrives in Holland. After his arrival, every night before bed, we put out a carrot for his horse in a shoe. We sing a Saint Nicholas song asking him to fill the shoe with something lovely. And then in the morning, there's usually a sweetie or two, or a small toy to discover when my son gets out of bed. :-) Once we've celebrated the saint's birthday on December 5th, we start on an advent calendar. Our is a wooden one with teeny tiny drawers, just big enough for a chocolate. :-)

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  163. I make a vat of Christmas Gingerbread on the 1st of December every year without fail and bring parcels to everyone I see over Christmas. Cheers everyone up no end and my house smells amazing!

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  164. i don't know if this counts as a tradition but we always used to buy a decoration whenever we went away and that is something I've continued - it's so lovely unwrapping them all one by one and remembering where you bought them before finding the perfect spot on the tree...

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  165. our christmas tradition is that on christmas Eve we start our day by going last minute christmas shopping, we aim to be home by about 11.30ish..we then put on christmas hits Cd , and beging baking, mince pies for visitors (we dont like them), lemon curd tarts for me and my daughter, and coconut buns for my hubby. Once the baking is done we get cosy on the sofa and watch a christmas dvd (usually Elf) , and we dig out the tin of chocolates, Ruby has orange juice and i have wine :-) . its just a totally chilled afternoon :-)

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  166. My christmas tradition is on christmas eve. We exchange presents at work in the morning and judge our christmas jumper competition. Finish at 2-ish and meet my mum and step-dad for a wander to our local pub where they do mulled cider in jam jars and you can sit by the open fires. Then its a wobbly tipsy walk up the hill back to our house for pjs, Muppets Christmas Carol, White Christmas and Elf.


    Can't wait!

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  167. It's Christmas tradition in our house that my husband starts the mince pie eating sometime in October and works his way through as many brands and types as he can until around about the middle of January. He keeps a score sheet and judges each pie for taste, structural integrity and over all 'pie-ness'. He also insists on playing the CD of him singing in Kings Rochester Cathedral Choir as a kid for pretty much the whole of December.

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  168. Our family Christmas tradition arose from a change in local customs, but all's well that ends well as it was 20+ years ago and our family tradition is now well bedded in.

    Our local church is in the middle of town, and we had a real problem with drunks turning up to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, the incredibly scary/ violent/ urinating type, not just loud tiddly people. So they changed to a "First Eucharist of Christmas" straight after the 6.30 kids carol service.

    Mum always cooks the turkey in the evening of Christmas Eve, so she doesn't have to get up at ridiculous o'clock on Christmas morning. And, now that the church service had changed, we were getting home just as the turkey was ready to come out of the oven...
    So, after the first Eucharist of Christmas, we have the first straight-out-of-the-oven hot turkey sandwiches of Christmas (and now we're grown up, some warming red wine). And a jolly delicious tradition it is too!

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  169. When we were all in different countries the telephone calls on Xmas morning became a tradition. Now that we have given up work and returned home to UK it remains a tradition that we must always follow.

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  170. I have followed in my late Mother's habit of preparing the vegetables for Christmas dinner on Christamas Eve, once done we prepare Santa and Rudolph's treats and then sit and watch Midnight Mass with a glass of wine (the one that comes after all the ones that help the veg prep!). One year my Dad regarded the clergyman with the censer quizically and exclaimed 'do you think that chap knows that his habdbag's on fire?' ....and one of us has had to say it every year since!

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  171. Our Christmas tradition is not a great one. After opening our presents on Christmas morning and having a lovely cooked breakfast our mum would make me and my brother and sister help clean the house before grandparents arrived. Even to this day if we're at my parents' house on Christmas morning we're expected to run a hoover round the place. I've fought the idea of housework on Christmas day annually but there's no escaping it. I'm now 35 and even when in my own home I still clean up the mess of wrapping paper and do a quick dust before relaxing with a mince pie and a dram!

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  172. Our Christmas traditions all centre on Christmas eve, with baking and cooking all day before we sit down for our big dinner in the evening. Christmas day itself is a day for sitting on your arse, admiring your new shoes with a glass of wine in hand - not a time to be cooking! After our dinner on Christmas Eve, we all sit down and watch A Muppets Christmas Carol and relish the fact that when we sing 'its only one more sleep til Christmas' it really is.

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  173. The very first Christmas tradition of the year for me is to do with the prep. When the shadows start to lengthen and the leaves start falling from the trees. This is the time I curse having an apple tree and a pear tree in my garden, windfalls needing to be cleared all the time, etc. At some point (in between palming dubious looking bits of fruit off on neighbours/family/friends/anyone who wants them) I will take a bit of time and make the ever unpopular Apple, Pear & Walnut chutney. Label it up in a kilner jar and stash it in the back of the cupboard to be bought out at Christmas.
    Fast forward to Boxing day cold cuts - how utterly smug I feel every year bringing the chutney out.saying 'this is one I made in the autumn with fruits from our garden!' then watch everyone's faces drop! 'Ugh homemade chutney!'
    Only my 10 yearr old son eats it, but tradition says that I will make it every year :-)

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  174. Always leave a mince pie and a drop of whisky for Santa - and of course a carrot for Rudolph. We also make footprints out of flour - just to prove that Santa has been :-)

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  175. We always sit down with the kids to read 'a night before Christmas' on Christmas eve before bed, with the vague hope of settling them down and them going to sleep quickly. It doesn't usually work.

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  176. My favourite Christmas tradition is helping out with the Children's Christmas Party in the little village I grew up in. I remember going to the party as a child and how magical it felt when Santa arrived, so now that I'm all grown up and moved away, I love going back to help run the party and see the wonder on all the kids faces!

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  177. On christmas Eve we have an all day party for up to 60 family and friends- it is the highlight of the year

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  178. our christmas tradition is doing the countdown from the start of the month and then christmas day all the kids aunties and grandparents come to see them

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  179. I make the children up 'treat boxes' with new pjs, fun socks, a small toy or gift and snacks for our annual Christmas/Disney/Pixar movie marathon on Christmas Eve. I always bake on Xmas Eve too and am usually up until 3am on Christmas morning.... Oops! I get up early ( after only a few hours sleep) to put the turkey in the oven and we have a continental breakfast and hubby and I have a glass of buck fizz.....

    Ohhh I'm feeling all festive now! Thanks for this!

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  180. Our Christmas is 2 dinners. One at my parents at midday then one at the inlaws at 8ish. I always eat far too much at the first one and never hold back on the chocolate.

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  181. My favourite family Christmas tradition is the drinking of my nana's sloe gin.

    Every year when I was growing up, my nana would give my mum a bottle of her home made slow gin and once everyone was tipsy me and my brother would be permitted a tiny taste. These days the bottle comes wrapped up in my stocking (My nana still makes me a stocking - I'm 24) and its my job to ensure everyone is kept topped up.

    Neither me or my mother - both fruit gin enthusiasts - ever make the sloe gin as it could never be as good as my nana's.

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  182. We always put up the Christmas tree on the first weekend in December and the whole family helps to decorate it.

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  183. Getting a new fuzzy jumper or Christmas pyjamas!

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  184. I like the new pj and muppet ideas and may start them up. We always listen to Handel's Messiah on the old record player and sit by the fire with a bacon sandwich. That sets us up for the day and relieves any pressure to rush. the day unfolds with port Chritsmas dinner and presents in no particular order and ends on the sofa with a good film

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  185. Aside from the ritual frantic-making-of-presents-and-not-getting-enough-sleep I am getting to make new traditions with my children. We get to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol as many times as possible (I get a funny look from my husband if he catches us watching it at other times of year) and I am collecting Christmas stories so that we have a different one every night courtesy of our handmade advent calender.

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  186. Our Christmas traditions start with a breakfast of brioche, blueberry jam and champagne. It has to be blueberry and there has to be bubbles! As the kids got a bit older and less patient though, we ended up adapting our traditions to keep them occupied and so the marshamallow snowman making began. It started innocently enough, white marshmallows, matchmaker twigs and a few sweeties for decoration….but then the competition started. Now we battle to come up with the most politically incorrect confectionary based snowman: it’s a whole lot of fun! Foam banana anyone?!

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  187. I make my own presents for my family and my partner's. I bake Danish biscuits and make lots of chutneys which I put in recycled jars, then put it all in a basket with some ribbon and tissue paper. Always goes down a treat.

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  188. I spend Christmas on my own coming from a non-Christian background but that is no reason NOT to have traditions - mine mainly include remaining in my pyjamas all day, copious amounts of champagne and MGM musicals. It really is THE best time of the year.

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  189. I would probably have to say that my Christmas tradition is to complain about Christmas from September onward and how it's just a cynical capitalist corporate profit-making machine that has lost all meaning... only to secretly still feel like a kid when the tree goes up and everyone is together eating lots of wonderful food!

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  190. We kick off the Christmas season with the arrival of the Admin Fairy (we don't have the heart to tell our son it's actually the Advent Fairy), and every year she leaves the Advent calendar and a card detailing good behaviour. When we get to this stage the excitement is already almost too much to bear, so the fact that for the next 24 days there is a little treat is beyond amazing. On Christmas Eve she leaves a parcel before bedtime, managing to time it exactly to bath time and 'magically' managing to escape detection every year, so that when he comes downstairs new PJ's and a Christmas story book are waiting to send him off to dreamland before the Big Guy arrives.

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  191. Chutney making, Christmas cocktail drinking and Christmas crafting. All three tend to make a huge mess but get me in the festive spirit (helped of course by copious amounts of festive spirits)

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  192. Every christmas eve at work (an independent cinema) we have a family show - with mince pies, drinks, and a christmas sing-along with the organ. I bring my 3 year old in to work and she helps me sell raffle tickets - we then go in and watch the show with my parents and grandparents :) It's a lovely traditional that has been going on 4 years and hopefully many more to come!

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  193. My new family tradition for xmas is to fly back home to France, meet my family that I did not see for more than 6months, and getting ready for a gigantic dinner on the 24th, and spend overnight together until Santa is coming !

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  194. We love Christmas and have many of our own traditions.

    It all starts with our cloth Advent calendar on 1 December (not long now!!!!) - we have 12 days each and the pockets can be filled with anything as long as it fits in the tight space.

    We hand-make our cards with a glass or two of sherry, whilst listening to Carols.

    On Christmas Eve, we take time out and go and see a film at our local cinema.

    On Christmas day, we have tea with our stockings. And then it’s time for freshly baked Christmas Morning Muffins and fizz whilst we open our presents, listening to The Nutcracker.

    We take our time over our Christmas lunch and can often be seen dancing to silly tunes by Midnight!

    Our old home (being dark most of the year) comes alive at Christmas with decorations, lights and scented candles. Such a magical time… I can’t wait!

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