Thursday, 29 November 2012

Christmas Traditions

My international group of quilting friends, the Global Piecers, are currently discussing Christmas traditions in their various families and countries.

As Advent begins, I thought I would share some of the things that Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without for me.  The Advent calendar and Advent candle is one of course, counting down to Christmas Day.

I love getting all the decorations out and remembering where they came from, when DS or DD made them, or remembering DH's mum or thinking of my parents when we hang decorations that were theirs.  I love this so much that I don't understand how people can get everything new each year, maybe in a completely different colour scheme but I think that a lot of people do (judging by the trollies full of glitter and bling in the shops).  We do buy one decoration each year, always an angel and often from a different country or a new place in England that we visit.  Al brought an angel home from NZ with him last month, a beautiful glass one.
I then hang all the angels together on branches of willow and dogwood that I "weave" through the stair rail.  I add small lights and the whole thing has been christened "Lothlorien" (from LOTR) by the children.

There are food traditions too.  I suppose our longest standing tradition was started by my parents many years ago and continued by my sister and I and now by our children.  We always have a Christmas breakfast of smoked salmon with lemon, scrambled eggs and brown bread and butter, with orange juice, champagne or a mixture of the two according to preference.

One year when my sister and I were still at home my mother decided to have a buffet rather than a cooked meal on Christmas Eve and she lit the house with candles.  It was magical and really heightened the anticipation and wonder of Christmas Eve.  This hasn't become an event that happens every year but sometimes, when enough of us are together, we will have a Christmas Eve Candlelit Buffet.  This year will be one of those years and I'm excited about it already.

I love thinking of us all around the world, thank you so much Teresa for starting this thread on our Global Piecers' group site.


  1. Our excitement and anticipation are palpable Lis and you have some lovely customs. I have amalgamated ours and Mum's Christmas decorations and we still have a few original glass baubles. I've also, like you, bought a new decoration for the tree in places we've visited. Your angel is very pretty.

  2. The Advent calendar went into the post last week for my daughter and her kids to enjoy.
    We have a very tiny table tree so I only hang the ornaments that have some personal meaning ... a gift from a "secret sister" in college, hand-made ornaments made by my sister or the kids, and also reminders of places and people from the past.

  3. To me Christmas traditions and decorations are very important. Maybe because I have moved to a country far from my childhood's way of celebrating this season. However, I have also adopted Japanese traditions and now have a mix of:
    Swedish: Christmas ham, cured and roasted, pickled herring, rice porridge, mulled wine, saffron buns and ginger snaps.
    Japanese: fried chicken and/or sushi, cream cake (often with fresh strawberries which are grown in greenhouses in winter here).
    Swedish: Advent calendar fixed to the window so the light shines through the opened panes, four advent candles, one lit for each Sunday, electric advent star in the window.
    I used to have a live fir tree growing in a pot on the balcony that I took in each year to decorate. Now I use thin strings stretched across the room (like a washing line) from which I hang my collection of tree ornaments. The oldest is something I made in nursery school and the newest a card embroidery bought this year at Festival of Quilts. I add at least one new ornament each year and also have friends who supply me with new items.


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x