I remember my Christmasses past in traditions. Holidays matter to small children, and they mattered to me: whatever had happened that year, I knew that Christmas Eve would find me sliding across the sofa in new satin pyjamas, static sparking merrily from my shiny backside, and that Christmas Day would bring bulging Santa sacks, strawberry Roses chocolates, pork in the oven, my beloved and ancient Nanna nodding in the tasselled armchair.

Now we make our own Christmas, I cling to our traditions more than ever. I like it, deciding that from now on we’ll have a Christmas Eve box. From now on our early festive breakfast will fill the whole house with the smell of rising bread. I like ‘from now on’ altogether.

In my better moments, I try to think of the work I do as world-building – because I put together the scaffolding they set their days on. Because when you step backwards into a steaming turd that somehow rolled down a leg and evaded your notice you can tell yourself, removing your sock and retching quietly, that there’s something sacred in doing their dirty work. And holiday traditions are the part of the scaffolding they’ll remember, I hope. If I’m going to build worlds and call it my work, let me build one with stars in the sky.

Anyway, all this is to say that the Christmas Tree video is a little more trouble than it’s worth, and also totally essential. In the weeks before we put up the tree, I play through all the videos from previous years and mourn their babyhoods in the maudlin way parents are addicted to. I watch myself, too, and remember where I was. It’s evidence of the world we built, and it’s silly, but it matters.

This year I will remember that if you want a baby to be interested in her first Christmas Tree, for heaven’s sake don’t decorate it after her bedtime. And that boys everywhere will one day grow large enough to deliberately fart in their siblings’ faces and find it funny. Oh, yes. Here we are.

All our old tree videos are here. Two pregnancies, three rooms, probably about twenty broken ornaments. 

Post Author: racheljeffcoat

One Reply to “What we talk about when we talk about Christmas”

  1. I love that thought, that we are laying the ground work of their future traditions.
    I also love making up new traditions that have little logic or reason, but are done because it was really fun the first time.
    Such as tree decorating in our house is always done with the Muppets Christmas Carol on it the background, which only me and Mrs. Amazing sing along too. The three terrors seem to not notice it is even on. Yet something tells me that in the future, in at least one of their homes, at Christmas time, they will decorating the tree, Muppets on, singing along, whilst their children ignore it too. Because it’s tradition! Bliss!

    P.S. Your littlest is adorable!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



  •  Eleven months  At 9mo she wouldnt even rollhellip
  • How do you love exercise? Because I do not lovehellip
  • Weve done anniversaries here birthdays here New Years Eves wherehellip
  • Each of them managed to give themselves a head bumphellip
  • Magenta as hell and not gonna take it anymore thesehellip
  • Twenty minutes I said once we got in from Fridayhellip
  • This cots held all three of our babies I amhellip
  • Well we have a broken boiler on a freezing dayhellip
  • I forgot to brush my teeth gag but we DIDhellip
%d bloggers like this: