Christmas Eve is an important day for us – maybe even slightly more important than the big day itself! There are no expectations, there’s no stress and lots of excitement for Christmas Morning. It’s important, then, that such a big day has a set of traditional all for itself. Alice and I have taken bits and pieces out of both of our family traditions (and come up with a few of our own) to make Christmas Eve a special day. Here’s how the day usually goes:
The kids (until now only Etta – so excited to pluralise kid!!) come running in screaming “SANTAAAA”. We then have to calmly explain (through the use and bribery of the advent calendar) that Santa presents aren’t until tomorrow morning. We then start the day with a completely inappropriately sugary American-style festive pancake stack, complete with crispy bacon and black coffee.
This is where the panic kicks in for Alice – are the presents good enough? Are there enough of them? Is everything equal and will all be equally happy? A mad dash to the shops starts with Alice throwing completely unnecessary bits and bobs into shopping bags. I actually love this moment, it happens pretty much every year and while Alice tears around the shops, I have spent the last few years taking Etta to watch carols, have a hot drink and enjoy being out on the streets of London. When Alice is suitably satiated, we all head to Selfridges for a salt beef sandwich before heading home.
Once home, Alice and I – probably with the help of Etta this year – start preparing the food for tomorrow. A big family breakfast of smoked salmon and eggs followed by a lunch of turkey with all the trimmings, puddings, cakes, sweets and hot chocolate for afters – there is a lot of ‘prep’ that goes into a Stanton family Christmas.
When the chores are done and Christmas is prepped, we get ourselves and the kids into PJs move the TV into our bedroom and watch a Christmas movie snuggled up in bed. This year we’re thinking Paddington! Eventually the kids will fall asleep and Alice and I will pop them in their own beds, ready and eagerly waiting Santa’s arrival.
I can’t wait for Christmas this year, last year was a tough one – Alice, Ezra and I spent Christmas day in hospital and Etta spent it with Alice’s parents. The hospital tried to make it festive but it was so hard to smile through the Christmas wishes. We’re going to go all out this year and make it a real Christmas to remember. Doing the shoot for Christmas PJs with M&S was really special – it gave us a glimpse of the Christmas we have coming for us; the PJs we will snuggle up in and the books we will read to the kids. Alice and I can’t wait!
Take a look at the whole range here – Pyjama time