CHRISTMAS: It’s never too early to start making festive family traditions

Christmas traditions - starting early
Christmas traditions - starting early
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It’s never too early to start making precious Christmas memories.

There’s a reason this time of year is commonly associated with family fun. It’s a great excuse for us grown-ups to enjoy a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire with loved ones - and if you have little people in your family, it’s also a wonderful chance to go back to the beginning and introduce them to - and remind yourself of - the magic of Christmas.

There are Santa’s Grottos all across the region, as well as a host of opportunities to sit down for breakfast or lunch with the jolly old elf, so make sure you book your family’s place early.

And Christmas jumpers may be a cliche, but they’re a cliche for a reason so bag yours before the rush begins to make sure you get the sizes and designs you need. And with every high street and cut-price store getting in the festive spirit, there’s no reason this fun tradition should break the bank. And if you have really tiny people, now’s your chance to dress them up like little reindeers and elves before they’re old enough to protest!

Advent calendars are a wonderful way to count down the days until Santa’s arrival - and while the chocolate ones are delicious, don’t feel you have to go for the sugar-bearing ones. Little people will be just as excited with the calendars that have a different festive picture behind every window as they count down through the month. If you’re feeling creative, you could even make your own which you can fill with little gifts and treats year-after-year. Pinterest is spilling over with ideas to get you started.

It’s also good to start them thinking about others at Christmas, by joining in a local charity present-giving campaign or baking Christmas cookies for staff at your local hospice.

Christmas PJs that appear on your beds on Christmas Eve will push the Christmas spirit over the top and there’s nothing like capping the night off with a reading of The Night Before Christmas, before you put Santa’s mince pie and sherry on the fireplace. And don’t forget Rudolph’s carrot!