My Christmas story is made up of my most treasured traditions, and I want to share them with you today.
My Christmas cheese
My Christmas tradition starts on December 24th, at the Cambridge Cheese Company with my friends and mulled wine.
What started off as a school requirement in year 10, has now become part of my Christmas tradition. Aged 15, having just moved to a new country I found myself starting two weeks of work experience at a place my dad found. I wasn’t thrilled to be working in a smelly shop, while my friends were all walking around department stores. That smelly shop introduced me to one of my best friends. David (aka Teddy), a chubby multilingual foodie like myself. I ended up working at the shop for the next 10 years! Every Christmas I would come back from university, and work for a full week in the chaos that is the cheese before Christmas. The amount of Cambridge Gumburner Cheddar and Dragon Slayer people consume is unparalleled.
My cheese family grew, and are now a hugely important part of my Christmas story.
My single Christmas tree decoration
On the same day, I get to also go shopping with my dad for my single Christmas tree decoration.
It so happens that my Christmas decorations are slightly, I think the word my step-mum used (and she was being kind), eccentric. I don’t like themed Christmas trees, especially when they have a colour palette, like red & gold, or silver & green. My Christmas trees look like a 5 year old had a been let loose with fluffy decorations and glitter. I also tend to have reindeer delivering presents to the Nativity scene, and the Shepards are talking to Santa and helping him unload his cart. So, I have been banned from buying new decorations. Well, I get to choose one a year. My dad takes me to the local shop full of decorations and I get to pick one. Last year I tricked them! I got one that’s for sure, but it was a large Christmas mouse that stood high next to our TV set.
My Christmas run
On December 25th, the first thing that I do is run.
I briefly mentioned above that I am a foodie. Christmas is the one day in the year where I allow myself guilt free to overeat. We have cheese, salmon, canapés, roast, smoked meat, deserts in the form of cakes, ice cream and brownies. I can never control myself. So, I run. I am sporty all year round, but on Christmas day I make sure I wake up early so that I can complete my 5km run. I run from my village to the next, it only takes up 30 minutes of my time, and gives me a full day of indulgence.
This tradition I share with my dad and step-mum. Overall, we are a family of foodies. My step-mum goes out for her 5km dog walk at 6am every Christmas day, and my dad hits his rowing machine also for 5km. Between us we figure 15km of cardio is more than enough. My brother’s don’t participate, only because they can’t gain weight!
Could there be new Christmas traditions on the horizon?
For the past two years, my Christmas tradition expanded to accommodate one more person.
This will be the third year my boyfriend joins my family to share our traditions. I am lucky that he has accepted my traditions, and celebrates with me every year. However, next year will be a new type of Christmas for me, as we are planning on spending it in South America. It looks like I will be wearing a bikini and sunbathing, rather than sitting in front of a fire. I will certainly have to hold off the food at least a little.
Christmas for me will always be a special day, not because of religious connotations, rather because it’s a day for family, and tradition. Growing up in a multinational, multilingual family, where we speak 3 different languages and follow 3 different Christmas traditions, it’s nice to get together once in a while. Although, we don’t all get to be in one room for December 25th, I allow myself a double celebration. I am the kid that gets two Christmases.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? I can’t wait to hear your Christmas story.