DISCUSSION: Christmas Trees and Santa Claus

I’m feeling like a five year old at the moment, all giddy with excitement about Christmas! This is probably because this year my son who is almost 3 (his birthday is two days after Christmas in fact), will really know what is happening.

So, excuse me while we have a really merry discussion this week. I don’t know where this is going just yet but I want to find out what your traditions are and whether you love or loathe the holiday season.

We have a rule in our house that we cannot put our Christmas tree up until at least November and so far it is still laying in the box. Despite my excitement I cannot seem to find the right time to put it up, I want my little family to do it together but it’s always such mayhem in our house. Do you have a Christmas tree and do you have it up yet? Real or fake?


Christmas gifting is something else I love, and the Beauty and Lace Gift Guide starts in October so I have been thinking about it for a while. I have almost all my gifts sorted but I know a lot of people who leave it until the last minute – are you organised and what bargains have you scored?

Which leads me to ask, what do you do on the big day? We have two Christmas meals this year, but my in laws who normally put on the whole fanfare of bon bons and a roast turkey have advised they are scaling it down with an Aussie barbie.

With a young family I am keen to start some traditions of our own, but I’m not feeling very creative and can’t come up with anything that feels special. Do you have family traditions? When I was younger I loved finding big footprints and half eaten hay bails on the front lawn.

And my final question is for those of you with children – how much do you spend on gifts and do you find that your children “expect” expensive presents from Santa?

This week we are giving away something a little different to compliment the Christmas theme. We have a VS Sassoon Mini Pro Style Envy we want to give to one lucky reader. Talk Christmas with me by commenting below for your chance to win.

The winner will  be contacted by email so make sure your address is current. Competition closes 15th November 2011 Midnight AEST. Check back next Wednesday for a new weekly discussion.

21 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: Christmas Trees and Santa Claus

  1. Oh I love Christmas.
    I plan all year for this event…lol
    When my eldest daughter was 3years old we moved away from my family and my husband had no family so we were very much on our own and so the first Christmas without family became a huge thing for me and I wanted to make it as special as possible for my daughter. We purchased a good quality 8ft fake tree that looks amazing and always gets comments. I wanted everything to be BIG.
    Over the years our family has grown and I now have 3 daughters and at Christmas time we have boyfriends starting to join in also.
    I learnt to be very organised as one year when my second daughter was 2 years old she ended up very sick in hospital at the end of November and was finally released on Christmas Eve. So there I was at the shops late christmas eve night to purchase all our food and every single gift for my kids. It was a nightmare and extreemly stressful. After getting home and wrapping santas presents for the kids i got to bed at some ungoldy hour of the morning and promised mysefl that something like this would never happen again.
    So I started straight away. I now buy all my wrapping paper, bon bon crackers, paper napkins, etc In the after Christmas sales.
    I purchase things through out the year when i come across bargains. I have a list that stays in my handbag where if i buy something for someone i write it down so i can always see at a glance what i have for who. I purchase gift cards during the year that i use once November hits to purchase gifts and ones for the supermarket that i use for food shopping the week of christmas.
    Yesterday i spent the morning wrapping gifts…im pretty much done.
    One thing I got that was a huge bargain was 3 Large bottles of Dove body moisturiser..so one each for my girls and i paid $1.66 each from my local Woolies because they were reorganising the store. I also got Miss 20 a bottle of Garnier cleanser for $2 something.

    As far as traditions. I have these Christmas candles that i burn each year. They sit on our dining table. They are huge solid white candles with green, red and silver christmas designs. For as long as my kids can remember we have always burnt these candles but last year after 27 years of burning the candles started to cave in and change shape. Up until now they have alwys burnt down on the inside but now the sides are caving in. My kids all said that they were sad that their kids would get to see the candles. Go figure…Ive seen plenty of candles out there but none the same as these ones. They will be fine for this year and nost likely 3 more years but then i think it will be new candle time.
    Miss 15 loves being with me in the kitchen so the week before christmas we make our Christmas Ice Cream. Its something we only have at Christmas and all thats involved is getting a tub of vanilla Ice Cream and chopping up things like soft jubes and various types of chocolate, etc and mixing it through. We have found that smartie chocolate blocks are brilliant.
    We get a huge pack of mini candy canes and tie red ribbon to them and then tie them to the tree. We visitors come during the month of December they can choose a candy cane to eat.
    Our Special Dining starts on Christmas Eve with Dinner and then Christmas morning we have a special Christmas breakfast which again is something i only do at christmas time. My girls love it…oddly its kinda like a McDonalds muffin. We have english muffins with cheese, egg, pattie and bacon. Thats Christmas breakfast. I said last year that i thought i would just do fresh fruits, etc and all my girls protested. So we have the muffins.
    By the time Christmas night arrives im exhausted but i love it and wouldnt have it any other way.
    Just last week i received a shock when my Doctor informed me that i need to go back into hospital for another surgery as they have discovered growths in my bladder. So im now waiting to hear from the hospital with a surgery date, etc. I dont know when this will be but as each day passes i keep thinking how we are getting closer to Christmas and Im so glad that im so organised.

  2. I love this time of year. We always have a real tree and get it about 3 weeks before Christmas day. I have most of my present shopping done with a few bits and bobs to get – I find it easier financially to buy stuff during the year when it’s on special and stash it away. I cook 6 Christmas cakes in August and decorate them in December and give 4 of them away (2 to the local food bank) and I bake mince pies, gingerbread and shortbread for everyone and anyone! It’s definitely my favourite time of the year.

  3. Well that’s certainly a lot of Christmassy questions!
    I work in an area where Christmas gets quite full on and chaotic and disorganised so I’m generally well and truly over Christmas by about now. Now that I have children I try to contain that and get into the spirit.

    We have a large fake tree that we get in and decorate as a family. Our tradiition is to try and leave it as late as possible. We have a 3yr old and an almost 7 year old so it’s a case of damage control because they love to play and touch – and hence pull said tree down on themselves. We also have a large dog who spends a lot of time inside and a full house so trying to find a safe spot to sit the tree is a challenge as well.

    I attempt to start my shopping early but it doesn’t always work. I have most of my gifts organised and I tend to do a big xmas layby at the toy sales – this year covers miss 8’s bday, christmas for pretty much all of the kids as well as my 2 nephews bdays. now the challenge will be to pick it all up (and hope they’ve found the missing bits)

    We generally do pressies at home in the morn, xmas lunch at my in-laws and then just come home and chill. if anyone’s around we have quiet drinks with friends xmas night.

    We really should do 4 xmas get togethers but unfortunately my family (both sides) are interstate and the in-laws are well spread too so we do one side a couple of days before or after and then just xmas lunch.

    no traditions of our own at this point, i do think it would be nice to have something constant that’s just ours but I too haven’t had the inspiration yet.

    unfortunately for me i don’t really keep track of cost that well. as i shop i try to just ensure my children are about even. they get a couple of stocking fillers from santa and the last couple of years a big combined present. but generally i like to take credit for the really good/expensive ones.

    the kids don’t seem to expect expensive gifts from santa as such but there is definitely a lot of expensive items on the wishlist.

    we started a tradition with miss 7 of getting a xmas bear with the year on it every year from santa… until we thought about the amount of room that would require.

  4. I have the biggest kid (cough, cough, hubby) in this house that just loves putting up the xmas tree on the fist day of December (without fail). There is only the two of us (oh and the dog) to really appreciate the tree throughout the weeks to Xmas and I must admit, it takes the two of us all morning of putting the fake tree up and decorating it. I have to say though, by the time it’s up, it looks lovely and very different every year.
    Our house during Xmas is also filled with all these stuffed toys that either jiggle, dance, sing, we usually buy one every year (yes, we go through alot of batteries, takes ages putting them in and out every year). We have musicial boxes that play tunes. Unfortunately, we do have a friend that hits every toy at the same time and it really is headache material then but hey, it’s Christmas 🙂
    I should start planning xmas pressy buying by about June, but this year, financially hasn’t been a good year but I love christmas, makes me feel like a kid again. (well sort of). I have kept a list in my bag of who to buy for and if I am lucky to see something that would be great as a gift…..I will buy it then. Thankfully, shopping expeditions although far from few this year, have given me the opportunity to see a few items to buy.
    When my kids were little we did have traditions like they were a part of helping putting all the decorations on the tree. That tree held so much love throughout the month. Every year, they were also given a few dollars to buy a decoration that they could add to the tree each year. When they got older (teens), they still enjoyed remembering the items they bought each year. Christmas eve they would write their own special letter to santa and then hang up their santa pillowslip onto our lounge chairs. They then left Santa a can of beer and some tim tams. They would also throw some carrots on the lawn for Rudolph. I just had to remember to take the letters, leave some cotton wool in the ring-pull of the can (poor Santa, lost some of his beard). Leave just a few crumbs of Tim Tam and remember to retrieve the carrots on the lawn (torch needed then, my kids really threw them).
    When my kids were little, they were allowed to ask for only one thing from Santa and Santa would always (TRY) and leave them their requested item and then other little things in their bag.
    My family is in another state, so I don’t get to see any of them @ Xmas so Xmas day, our lovely neighbours invite us in for their Xmas breakfast with her son, his wife and his little kids. It’s great because xmas is truely wonderful when there are littlies around.
    We get to see them open some presents and there are always squeals. The rest of xmas day, hubby and I just relax and watch videos. We then celebrate xmas with hubbys older children on Boxing Day but because they are all full from celebrating the day before, I now don’t do a grand spread as they aren’t hungry. Aside from that, it’s a good day, we eat, play games on the Wii and just lounge around. That is, they do, I work my butt off lol

  5. Well it’s Christ’s Birthday for one. Also because I love spending tim with family siting around the Christmas tree riping up presents. Plus this is the only tim I get to see my family for a while I usually only see my mom on the weekends

  6. I absolutely LOVE Christmas. I really think it is such a special time of the year. I always do my Christmas shopping in November (I actually went this morning and bought some toys that were on sale at Target). I don’t like crowds and am a pretty organised person so that’s why I plan ahead. I have 8 nieces and nephews to buy for, plus my own three daughters,plus some family friends. For my children, I try and buy them a combined gift (last year it was a trampoline; this year it will be a game for the Wii, and some books and craft items.)
    Every year, we have a Christmas lunch at my parents; the traditional roast pork, turkey, lamb, and roasted vegies with all the trimmings; and delicious desserts. It is a special time as we all come together and give thanks for all we have. My brother sadly passed away when he was just 12, so we really cherish each other. Mum usually has a bit of a cry too as she toasts the lunch. (Dear thing!) We pull the Christmas Crackers and everyone laughs at the lame jokes inside of them, except me, because I hardly ever get the jokes! 🙂
    We then go to my in-laws in the late afternoon. They are Greek and put on a beautiful lamb spit, served with mouth-watering salads. One of the adults dresses as Santa and hands out the gifts. It is a beautiful time.
    I always ensure I buy something from the World Vision Smiles catalogue, and also place items under the K Mart Wishing Tree. I do this with my children so they will never forget how fortunate they are for all they have; and for them to always consider others and be giving.
    Seeing the looks on my children’s faces as they realise the cookies and milk have been consumed by “Santa” is a truly magical moment, and one of the many reasons why I love Christmas!

  7. One year my eldest niece decorated a pine-cone with red and yellow cellophane and snowy white cotton balls as a table centre piece and it has taken pride of place every year since 1987. My youngest niece, in 1989 made one VERY long “chain” decoration” (as she called it) from strips of Christmas and other coloured paper strips which was taped up around 3 rooms of our house via doorways – no closing doors for about 3 weeks. It has been re-inforced a few times and some chains replaced. Books are the flavour of the year at the moment, oh and some pretty clothes. I bought some (then in larger sizes during the year) which are stored in a “special spot” away from littles eyes and fingers and could have been used earlier if necessary. Luckily I always start early as starting school next year means outlay for school uniforms – a rather expensive outlay. “Exclusive because of school embroidery” Summer, Winter and Sports Uniforms. Socks of speciifc style, colour, length (short for summer ok, but long for winter I am finding difficult to find in navy blue especially in cotton blend). Dora DVDs are popular too, lucky there is some new releases due this month. Last year there was quite a houseful .Miss 4y.o. had us highly amused as she sorted the presents and distributed them, opening hers as she found them. As she opened hers one by one, she said “thank you so much”, with a cheeky grin and sparkling eyses which make your heart melt. The expression in words is one none of her family. It took everybody by surprise and it was hard not to laugh. Up-to-date Photos are always favourites with Grandparents, anuties, uncles etc. I love nothing more than to receive a new photo of my “little” relatives, with thier parebnts of course.

  8. Having 4 kids, 1 lives with her Dad, so she is only here every 2nd weekend, we always like to leave putting the tree up until she is here, but just can’t seem to find the time on the weekend when she is here!
    Had her the weekend just gone…didn’t happen! We now don’t have her for another month as we have to go away in between, at this stage the tree will not make an arrival in our lounge room until the weekend they break up from school, around the 17th December…cutting it a bit close!
    Love seeing the kids get excited about Christmas, almost time to get out the advent calendars so they can count down the days, and have a good reason to eat chocolate first thing in the morning!
    Slowly getting the bookings for family events, thankfully most of them are the weekend before, and most of the grandparents are all going away, New Zealand, Perth and camping over christmas, so will be a nice quiet one just at home this year.
    Very much looking forward to it!

  9. Our Christmas tradition is to put up our tree (fake) on the first of December together as a family. Dad usually watches and instructs. On Christmas Eve, we have our own little Christmas at home, just our little family of 4, with crackers and we are forced to wear the paper hats until dinner ends. We have a nice meal, and pudding for dessert with custard and possibly chocolates whilst we watch the carols on tv. I love this before the big day of Christmas in which we have lunch at one parents and dinner at the other and vice versa the following year. I love spending time with all my family, having great food and a couple of glasses of wine, why not, it’s Christmas 🙂

  10. Christmas for me is so chaotic, it’s hard financially and physically, it’s like I cannot keep up these days. One thing I do love about Christmas Day is that my whole family come and stay Christmas Eve, we wake up early to have leg ham on toast/croissants and punch, then my daughter puts on her Santa cap and hands out all the pressies (she’s done this since she could stand) then we wait until every single person has unwrapped their present before the next is handed out. So it can take an hour or 2 but it’s a lot of fun. Then after lunch, we pull out the Wii and play Wii Sport til the night arrives. Many laughs!!!

  11. This year for the first time in at least 10 years our whole family to going to celebrate Christmas together as we converge in one location in Australia. My daughter who will celebrate her 9th birthday 2 days after Christmas with all of her cousins for the first time in her nine years. It also means that for the first time our daughter will have other children to squeal and unwrap gifts with as she is an only child. I cant wait to hear that joyful sound and wake up to a living room full of toys, wrapping paper and shouts of can you help me take this out of the box. I love Christmas and always have and am grateful that I have such an understanding husband who lets me have Christmas with all the trimmings

  12. I absolutely love Christmas. It’s always such a big deal with my family. There are rather a lot of us in the extended family, so when we all come together for Christmas it is like tent city in he backyard. There’s LOTS of catching up to do & laughter & food & fun. Very little sleep. It’s more than the presents, tree, carols, though we look forward to those. It’s the love. Christmas is family.

  13. Christmas is a bit of a happy/sad time for me- My only Daughter lives interstate & she is coming over this year so that’s the Happy :), the rest if my Family are all splintered my older Brother due to his Scientology religious beliefs that I do not share I only see once every few years when visiting my Mum who is now in aged high care as she has chronic heart disease ,my Dad has early on-set dementia so he is too abusive verbally to be around & my Older Sister left her husband of over 30years & is living ‘her way’ so it’s just Me & a visit to see Mum than see my Daughter for a while as she prefers to spend xmas with her best friends Family as they are a big family. So Christmas is not a happy time for me at all.

  14. I love christmas and the festivites, i love the decorations the colours the tinsel the sparkle and most of all, all the food!, We have pretty much always had a fake tree for a little while when i was little we aalso had a tree we would decorate in the garden, i love seeing all the christmas lights displays really makes it feel like sharing, My kids dont really expect expensive presents but ask for a few select things but then sort of expect to get those this year is a very minmal christmas with no incomes,We usually are out and about most of the day but this year we are changing that and having breakfas and lunch at home, and inviting family the house is going to be so full, we always have heaps of food lollies snacks, We used to leave our carrots for the reindeer and cookies and milk for santa always very happy when they were all eaten in the morning. Christmas really means alot to me family happiness sharing <3

  15. Hi,
    Christmas lovers – it’s a beaut Season. My pals and I never know we’ll be – most of my buddies don’t plan that far ahead and are into spontaneity. Me? I always get supplies in and make sure the cellar is well stocked. I send out and give Christmas cards and buy gifts for near and dear ones. Most of our celebrations take place before and after Christmas Day, also, as birthdays are plentiful around this time too!
    By the time the day rolls, in I’m quite prepared to sit quietly, but calls and visits happen – then I’m expecting a guest or two, or am out the door to visit someone. Presents? Well, edibles and use-ables are welcome, or as one pal and I discussed – candles, hand and face cloths, or $5 in a card will suffice. Now travel or trips – my fave – they have to be on the wing – I always hope they will happen and sometimes, they do! Oh! The lives of single gals can be unplanned, but can be rich in surprises. We keep busy, on the move and are rarely bored, boring or idle.
    Enjoy Christmas everyone and be grateful for all your blessings!

  16. Every year we put up our tree. To start we put the tinsel on, then the fairy lights, then on go the beautiful ornaments we have collected over the years. It is a tradition that my son and I treasure, since it is just us nowadays. We sing the Oh Xmas Tree song but make up our own silly lyrics.

  17. Crissy in my house growing up was always one of fun and excitement- we always bought a real tree and my fondest memory is the sweet smell of pine- it is the best smell of christmas!
    our family tradition was listening to a record : Patsy Kline christmas carols ( and now grown up and whenever we go to Dad’s we convince him to put it on after we’ve had far too many xmas drinkies…) we also put a glass of sherry out for santa and some carrots for the reindeer- something i will no doubt continue to do when i have kids.
    Unfortunately though now Christmas seems to have lost it’s true meaning- for me that is slowing down and spending quality time with the ones you love. My husband has a massive extended family and for us xmas is spent rushing from one house to the next eating WAY TOO MUCH christmas pudding and prawns on the barbie… and not slowing down at all as we bustle around.
    I can only hope and pray that once we start our own family we can take a massive step back and recreate the christmas i knew as a child …fingers crossed!!! 🙂

  18. We celebrate Christmas with a christmas tree and it’s not up yet.. we usually put it up on the first week of December. We go to Christmas service and meet friends, catch up for some quality time and have a big lunch/ dinner.

    When it comes to gifting.. yes I leave it to the last minute! I’m really bad haha.

    I hope everyone is enjoying the festive season and have a peaceful Christmas!


  19. I am married to Scrooge. He’s never bought anyone a birthday or Christmas gift ever. I on the other hand love Christmas and would love to have a big relaxed family meal with gifts. He says it’s a waste of time, money and only for retailers to sell more goods. This year I’ve worked hard at entering competitions and have won enough presents for everyone so he can’t grizzle at the cost and am going to enjoy myself ! I’m really looking forward to it.

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