Festive Season

5 traditions for my Festive Season

November 30, 2017


5 traditions for my Festive SeasonI love this time of year!  I love everything about Christmas and New Year celebrations and nothing gives me more pleasure than planning and preparing for this time of year.

I’m linking up with Lesley from Once Upon A Time – Happily Ever After and other bloggers who are all sharing their 5 favourite traditions and fun things to do during the Festive period.

5 traditions for my Festive Season

1. Preparing the Tree

The first part of Festive fun for me is putting up the Christmas Tree and decorations plus making goodies to give as gifts to my friends and neighbours.  When my children were little I would buy them a special ornament for them to put on the tree each year and I have continued this with my darling grandson who now has 3!  My daughter still has decorations that my Mother used to have when I was growing up and they are also put on her tree. For Mike’s grandchildren I have a special ornament that they can put on our tree when they visit.

2. Our combined Family Get-together

Having a blended family can bring it’s share of problems – so many people to see on the one day of the year!  When our children found partners and then our first grandchild arrived,  I decided to make our combined family Christmas get-together a week before Christmas.  I was fed up with being last on the list of visits for Christmas day when every one had eaten too much and were tired.  Problem solved!  We now have our get together a week before which enables everyone to come along and enjoy themselves.

On Christmas Day, Mike, my MIL and I spend the day with my daughter and her family plus her in-laws and her Dad.  It is another busy and happy day but no rushing around!

3. Santa Sacks for the Grandchildren

5 traditions for my Festive Season

Mike and I have four grandchildren between us and they all have three sets of grandparents!  They are overloaded with gifts!  Back when Lexie, our first grandchild was born, we decided to open a savings account and deposit money each birthday and Christmas.  We have done this for each of the grandchildren.

Now for Christmas we fill Santa Sacks with little inexpensive items which Mike wraps individually.  I love the looks on their faces when they open their sacks and there looks like 100s of gifts!  It is amazing how much fun a $1 bubble blower from K-Mart can bring.

4. Our Personal Christmas Eve Tradition

Since Mike and I became a couple almost 25 years ago, we have always maintained Christmas Eve as ‘our time’ to celebrate.  Having two children each in the early years we would spend Christmas day with them so decided introduce our Christmas Eve Tradition.

We open champagne (although Mike prefers a scotch and soda) and share our gifts.  These days neither of us want for anything but we still give a little something to each other to open.

We make a delicious meal to share, play Christmas music and just enjoy each other’s company.

5. Our New’s Year Tradition

Each New Year is a time to celebrate and give thanks for life. Our tradition for New Year’s Eve celebrations is to be at the Gold Coast, near the ocean and enjoying a beautiful Seafood Platter with Champagne.

New Year's Eve Traditions


We shop early in the day, relax for the afternoon then enjoy a walk along the beach. We toast the end of the year with a glass of champagne and pre-dinner platter of cheese and olives, followed by the main course of fresh king prawns, oysters, smoked salmon and mussels.

After dinner, we take another walk to watch the early ‘fireworks’ or we watch them from our balcony. No waiting up until midnight for us!

This is our special time together and we treasure it. We reflect on our year and dream and plan and look forward to the coming year.


Do you have any Festive Traditions that you cherish?  I’d love you to share it with us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to read some of the other posts that have been linked up at the end here.

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  • Reply Lynn ~ Encore Voyage November 30, 2017 at 04:48

    Nice post. Made me stop to consider what my own five favorite traditions might be. BTW, tried to click over to Once Upon a Time – Happily Ever After, and the link didn’t connect. Thought you might want to know. ~ Lynn

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2017 at 05:43

      Hi Lynn! Thanks for stopping by and also advising about the link not working. It is good to take a moment and think about the special things we do in our life. traditions are important for families to feel the connection. have a beautiful day. Xx

  • Reply Debbie November 30, 2017 at 06:21

    I enjoyed reading about your traditions at Christmas Sue, it’s great how you’ve worked it all out with families and manage to have special time together as well. It does tend to get a bit hectic at times but you’ve got it sorted.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2017 at 08:55

      Yes I got fed up with having to be the last place everyone visited on Christmas Day when they were all tired and full of food! This way we can relax and enjoy everyone, especially the grandchildren with their Santa Sacks.

  • Reply Jo Tracey November 30, 2017 at 08:45

    I love your traditions. We’re creating a whole new set this year – weird but also exciting. We’re also having Christmas lunch in our house for the first time in the 28 years we’ve been together. Mooloolaba prawns will be the centre of that.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2017 at 08:53

      Thanks Jo and I’ll be round for lunch to enjoy those prawns with you! It is lovely to have traditions but sometimes life means we have to create new ones. I’m sure it will be a wonderful and enjoyable day for you and look forward to the photos. x

  • Reply Donna December 1, 2017 at 03:56

    Thank you for sharing these traditions with us, Sue. I have definitely needed this gentle nudge to get into the holiday spirit! 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 07:02

      I seem to be in the spirit a little earlier this year Donna but I don’t mind because I love this time of year! Have a great weekend and HO!HO!HO! XX

  • Reply Christie Hawkes December 1, 2017 at 08:24

    What lovely traditions. I really enjoy reading how others celebrate the holidays. We spend Christmas Eve at my mother’s home with all of my siblings and their children and grandchildren. The group has gotten quite large, and it’s noisy and chaotic, but so fun. Christmas morning our children and grandchildren come over to open gifts, and then we have an open house for the extended friends and family throughout the afternoon, sometimes lasting into the evening. Because people come at their convenience, we get to visit in smaller groups. For the last two years, my husband and I have traveled to Mexico shortly after Christmas and celebrated the new year on the beach with friends. Just talking about it has gotten me all excited. Happy holidays Sue!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 07:01

      I can feel your excitement Christie and you seem to have a well-rounded holiday season. Lots of fun with family and friends. It is such a beautiful time of year and I love that we through blogging we can learn how others celebrate and enjoy time with loved ones. Happy Holidays to you Christie and it has been such a pleasure connecting with you this year. xx

  • Reply em December 2, 2017 at 03:30

    Your lovely holidays seem like the perfect compromise between festive and relaxing!

    Doses of both are perfect.

    Love your Santa sacks! Even though our kids are grown we still do stockings with the silly stuff…and they still love all those do dads.

    Those lobsters…yummmmm

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 06:56

      Yes they are Em. It is good to have some rest in between all the festivities. I love getting the Santa Sacks ready and I think it is lovely you still do stockings. We are pretty lucky with our seafood in Australia and that is always a treat at this time of year. Have a beautiful weekend and thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Leslie Clingan December 2, 2017 at 03:44

    I am so thankful that Jamie suggested this little post. It might be my favorite one of the bucket list series so far. So interesting to read everyone’s traditions and plans for the holidays.

    Felt so bad when I realized PC and I really don’t have our own holiday traditions. But Paul is not a fan at all of this time of year. So it is a strain more than a delight for him. He would rather hibernate through and have me wake him sometime in early spring.

    Love that you and Mike have your own celebration on Christmas Eve. And what a great idea to have your family get together a week early. My parents always lived more than a thousand miles from their parents so we never had big family festivities and I didn’t know my cousins, aunts and uncles well. Kind of sad. I think I have mentioned how I admire you relationship with family, your MIL and even cousins.

    Thank you for joining in for this little holiday link up. Your traditions are rich and full of love. Just like YOU.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 06:55

      Hi Leslie! Yes, I thought it was a great idea and only 5 is short and sweet. As we have a blended family, Mike and I have always tried to have our ‘own time’ and so Christmas Eve was the perfect time during the Festive season to do this. We also spend New Year’s Eve together just the two of us and that is a lovely tradition for us. My parents died over 30 years ago so we didn’t haven’t had big celebrations on my side since then. Unfortunately, I’m not close to my sister who lives in Sydney and my brother lived in Thailand and passed away 2 years ago. So it has always been Mike’s Mum & Dad that we visit. We just incorporated them and all our children and as time went on our children’s partners and grandchildren. Having it on a separate day means everyone can relax and not worry about having to look at the time to race off to the next visit. Thanks for organising and maybe we could do an Annual Holiday link up like this. Your words are so lovely and I appreciate them greatly my friend. Have a beautiful weekend xx

  • Reply Jamie Moore December 2, 2017 at 03:59

    Shrimp! That’s a tradition I can get behind!

  • Reply Laurie Stone December 2, 2017 at 04:32

    Love your Christmas eve tradition. Sounds very romantic and lovely.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 06:16

      It is Laurie, and it is nice to have a some quiet time together in the midst of all the other celebrations we are involved in. x

  • Reply Linda Hobden December 2, 2017 at 07:35

    We love big combined family meals at christmas time – from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day about 20 of us gather together each day to enjoy the festive fun – parents, children, grandparents & great great granny too!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 11:29

      Oh that sounds fabulous Linda and isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Growing up we always had Boxing Day at my uncles with all the cousins and it is something I look back on with fond memories. Lucky you having a great, great granny. xx

  • Reply Tamara / My Retirement Project December 2, 2017 at 10:07

    I really love the idea of number four, Sue, since my husband and I are in the same situation. This year we will be with our older daughter and her boyfriend on Christmas Eve, but in the future I will keep your lovely tradition of finding something special to do with my husband in mind.

    Your idea on what to do with your grandchildren is adorable as well. We just have one at this point, so it’s very tempting to deluge her with gifts, but already I see the wisdom in showering her with experiences instead. During her visit here last week she repeatedly made references to our trip to an aquarium to celebrate her 3rd birthday a month back. So clearly experiences make an impression even at her tender young age. And college is of course, forever, so what a lovely tradition to start with all of your grandchildren.

    These bucket lists continue to be some of my favorite reads!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 11:28

      Hello Tamara and thank you for your lovely comments. I do love my traditions which have developed. To me it is all about making memories and experiences with my family. I make a special birthday cake each year for the grandchildren and they always are excited as to what I will be making them. My grandson and I have a wonderful relationship and he has taught me to take a step back, breathe and enjoy the moment. My husband and I make Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve ‘our time’ and that is pretty special too. Thank you for stopping by and yes, I love these bucket lists as well. xx

  • Reply Natalie December 2, 2017 at 10:30

    Your 5 traditions are lovely, Sue, as they allow special time for various family members and relationships, and spread out beyond just one day.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 2, 2017 at 11:23

      Yes it is much easier this way Natalie. I was fed up with being the last on the visiting list on Christmas Day when everyone was tired and full of food! It is much more relaxed and enjoyable and I don’t mind that it isn’t on Christmas Day at least I can enjoy all the family and see the grandchildren happy and enjoying themselves.

  • Reply Roseann Hampton December 2, 2017 at 12:33

    I also bought an ornament for my children every year since they were born. They now have quite a collection to use on their own trees! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger’s Pit Stop! Roseann from http://www.thisautoimmunelife.com

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 3, 2017 at 17:22

      It is a lovely tradition, Roseann isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a lovely week. x

  • Reply Katie December 2, 2017 at 23:08

    How cute are those santa sacks!! Makes me miss my own Grandparents who had a huge sack for all of our gifts when we were little!! Have a very Happy holiday Sue!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 3, 2017 at 17:22

      Yes they are cute Katie and the grandchildren love them. Happy Holidays to you Katie, thank you for stopping by to comment and have a beautiful day x

  • Reply Clearissa Coward December 5, 2017 at 01:53

    What nice traditions. My husband and I usually spend New Year’s Eve in church and then at home with champagne and watching the ball fall on TV. Christmas is day is family time. I generally cook and the kids come to us to open their gifts. But like you, Christmas Eve is just for us. Loved your article.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2017 at 09:42

      It is nice just to have some special couple time isn’t it, Clearissa? The rest of the season is so busy! Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by to comment. x

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt December 5, 2017 at 05:20

    Love your Christmas traditions, Sue. Your quiet Christmas Eve sounds delightful! We drive 500 miles south to San Diego every to where most of our families live and spend a wonderful time. Karaoke on Christmas eve and painting party on Christmas day with all the kids are our newer traditions!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2017 at 09:42

      Oh your newer traditions sound like such fun Terri and everyone would be happy. I love the idea of a painting party! Have a great week and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski December 12, 2017 at 04:20

    That seafood platter looks amazing! My family is all spread out and no grandchildren yet. I love it when we can travel during the holidays.My favorite was visiting the Christmas Markets on the Danube.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 12, 2017 at 09:08

      We are so lucky in Australia, Rebecca to have delicious seafood and this platter is so quick to make. It is really a good way to celebrate with a glass of bubbly. The Christmas Markets on the Danube would have been a magical experience. Have fabulous week and thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Jennifer December 16, 2017 at 03:15

    Our locations keep changing, but Chris and I have a constant with a fancy Christmas breakfast. New Year’s Eve we’ve always been the stay at home type. Don’t even bother waiting until midnight but we have made it a tradition to open our yearly gratitude jar and read the different things we’ve been grateful for throughout the year. Then we start the jar again on New Year’s Day.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 16, 2017 at 05:37

      A lovely tradition, Jennifer. We don’t bother waiting until midnight either. I think your idea of the gratitude jar is a perfect way to reflect on your year and welcome in the new one. Merry Christmas and have a fabulous 2018!

      • Reply Jennifer December 16, 2017 at 12:10

        Merry Christmas to you Sue. I hope your New Year is wonderful.

        • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2017 at 11:03

          And to you Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by to comment it is always a pleasure to hear from you xx

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