The Christmas tradition exchange

Emily O'Brien
December 23, 2022
The Christmas tradition exchange

Christmas is just around the corner, and most of us will be preparing gifts to exchange with loved ones. This year, why not also exchange some traditions with those around you? We all have our own way of doing Christmas, with little traditions that have been passed down through generations. They're a way of making memories with those you love and spreading festive cheer.  We asked three DeskLodgers to share a few their Christmas traditions - maybe you'll be inspired to try something new this Christmas season and encourage others to do the same!

Maiko from Consortia

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?

Christmas is the biggest holiday in the Philippines – in fact, we start celebrating at the start of the “ber months” which is SeptemBER, so a lonnggggg preparation ahead. My favourite Christmas tradition from when I was a kid is “Simbang Gabi”, which is a series of nine dawn masses on the days leading up to Christmas. It begins on 16th Dec and ends at midnight on the 24th Dec, when a midnight mass is held. After each mass, you get to meet up with friends and relatives and enjoy some Christmas snacks near the church. We also have Giant Lantern festivals, one of the main reasons why we prepare so early, and my home city (San Fernando Pampanga) is really big on this. It’s basically our Christmas Filipino version of Hot air balloon festival when they light each one up (minus the flying of course haha).I never really got to do these traditions again when I moved to England apart from the odd Christmas visit every now and again, but I still celebrate Christmas with my family at home which involves karaoke, games and lots of Filipino food!

Daryl from Tickbox Marketing

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?

Since moving to Bristol in 2010, I’ve always kicked off the Christmas season by visiting Westonbirt Aboretum for the Enchanted Christmas display. Walking around with a hot chocolate and seeing the trees all lit up is absolutely magical.

And now I have two young kids, the Christmas season generally has a different feel to it. Watching them decorate the tree (or pull off the baubles!) with Christmas music on and helping with the lights outside. My kids love seeing everyone’s houses sparkling and flashing so on Christmas Eve we dress up warm and walk around our neighbourhood to look at everyone else’s lights. Our neighbourhood get really into it so there’s always plenty of impressive displays to see and of course the kids think it’s the most magical thing ever. When we get back to the house we sprinkle some “reindeer food” on the front lawn and get settled in with new pjs and hot drinks.On Christmas Day, my wife and I get to do something for us whilst grandparents watch the kids. We head to parkrun for an early morning frosty 5km. Whilst it’s a bit of a challenge getting up early when all you want is to snuggle in the warmth of your bed, it’s actually a great way to start the day; seeing friends and getting a burst of fresh air. We usually hang around for a bit of a chat and then of course it’s home for a nice warm drink and to begin the festivities. We try to dress up in our Sunday best and spend the rest of the day eating, drinking, playing games, doing jigsaw puzzles and watching the kids enjoy (and usually fight over) any gifts they’ve received.Christmas isn’t just a day in our house though. It’s a whole season. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of life so it’s a chance for us to dedicate proper quality time together as a family - and each doing something we love but together.

Claire from Picocom

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?

My most favourite Christmas traditions are singing along with Christmas carols whilst Christmassyfying my cottage and drinking Glühwein spiked with Amaretto; watching The Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day with my wonderful family.

What a variety of traditions our DeskLodgers have! We hope that everyone enjoys a break over the Christmas period to rest and recharge ready for the new year.