In our home, the excitement of Christmas really begins when we all go to our local farm to pick out a Christmas tree. This particular farm always brings interesting animals to keep the kids busy while mom and dad compare trees.

Over the years we have seen llamas, a large pig with its new litter of babies, lambs, donkeys, horses, etc. One year, the “guest of honour” was the very (huge) ox that had appeared in the last Harry Potter movie.

The weather is always cold (at least for England) with the icy wind whistling through the barn containing the traditional decorations, wreaths of holly, bunches of mistletoe, willow baskets, fresh free-range eggs and huge sacks of potatoes, all for sale.

Once a tree has been chosen, students specially hired for the Christmas holidays prepare it for transport and help tie it to the roof rack.

Every December since the kids were born we buy our Christmas tree on this farm and spend time with the animals so it has now become a family tradition – the kids are now in their teens and one is almost a teen but they wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else.

Christmas is a time of tradition and family. Each family can create traditions and memories like these that the children will remember when they grow up and perhaps have children of their own.

Another tradition in our home refers to Christmas decorations, especially those on the tree. I know many people have immaculate color coordinated decorations with nothing out of place. Our Christmas tree, however, is not like that!

From the time each of our children started nursery at the age of three, they have brought home lovingly handcrafted decorations such as angels, snowmen, stars, etc. with which we decorate the tree. I always discreetly labeled each decoration with the child’s name and age and carefully put them away on the 12th night, ready to take next Christmas.

My kids like to do things around the house, we would take out the glass paints, rubber stamp stencils and make more decorations. My 13 year old daughter is now adept at using my embroidery machine to embroider Christmas motifs onto fabric and then turn them into beautiful quilted shapes to hang on the tree.

Everything the kids (and I) have done over the last 15 years is hanging on the tree. The decoration doesn’t look professional at all, but each item means something to us and brings back a lot of memories. You can see the progression in the skills and each piece is appreciated and commented on. Things don’t have to be perfect to be treasured and loved.

If you want to make future memories with your children but need some ideas, visit

Best Christmas Craft Ideas for free instructions and ideas on easy projects suitable for both adults and children.

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