Being Present at Christmas

Christmas is my favourite time of year. I know a million other people feel the same and there is nothing new to someone loving Christmas but I can’t be a blogger and not write about what makes me incredible happy when the festive songs start playing in the shopping centers. When I was a kid, growing up in the 80’s wasn’t a piece of cake, not that I noticed. Our parents always made Christmas incredibly special. It was and still is, a time of family, love, happiness and joy. We are the inevitable cliché of Christmas and I love it! Christmas Eve, however, has always been my favourite part of the the festive season. With the build up, the excitement, the day before atmosphere, the prep for the big day, it was always a busy and happily chaotic day. It was, and still is, almost like a mini celebration, a mini Christmas Day without the presents. But presents aren’t always needed. What is important is to be present yourself. To be present, in the moment, with family and friends at Christmas.

Family Traditions

For as long as I can remember, Christmas Eve has been a bigger celebration in our family than Christmas day. When babies came along, our Christmas Eve tradition became more and more cemented every year, and it has of course evolved with each new addition to the family tree. Every year, this most special of days, is spent in our parents house. My sister, her husband and their four awesome kids roll up in their family wagon, and myself, B and A drive up behind them, almost all arriving at the Grandparents house at the same time. You can imagine how exciting that moment is!

Inevitable chaos ensues the moment my parents open the door, with hugs, coats and hats flying around amongst shiny wrapping paper as the youngest kids start handing out presents, eager to see whats inside. There is plenty of noise, tons of laughter, and a mountain of love.

Immediately, I feel that surge of Christmas in my heart, and I realise that this is what this time of year is all about. Family. Best Friends. Being there in the moment, with the ones I love the most.

Being Present with Family at Christmas

It’s not about the presents or the food, as glorious as it is (for the last few years, my Dad has threatened not to make a Christmas ham, but I won’t have any of that. It’s not Christmas without a glazed ham that I can hack at throughout the day. Everything else can go, the ham must stay!) Christmas is about being with family and creating memories and traditions that last forever.


Being with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews and my husband and daughter on Christmas Eve, is a celebration of us as a family. Knowing that our traditions are as strong as our support of each other at any time of the year.

Singing Christmas songs, watching the kids perform their party pieces, begging my sister to sing. Traditions are a celebration of family. Wanting to be with the same people on such a special night is important to me. Being close to them, being happy with them, is the best Christmas present I could ever wish for.

Our brother is far away in Australia, and it stings when we’re all together and he’s a million miles away celebrating, hopefully happily, with his friends. But he’s always with us in heart and the day we’re all celebrating Christmas Eve together, will be the best one yet.

Next year, fingers crossed, there will be a new addition, a six month old, causing extra havoc and chaos on Christmas Eve in my parents house. A sixth grandchild for the best grandparents in the world.

I love family traditions, and I’m excited to start expanding on our own family traditions with the little ones. Since A turned three, she has fully grasped the concept of Santa Claus so this year will be very exciting on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for our little family.

What Christmas traditions are important in your family? Let me know in the comments, so I can add them to our ever growing list of family traditions :)

Since it’s now December, and it’s officially acceptable to be about all things tinsel and sparkle, I must apologise for the number of Christmas related posts that are due to come up on Over Heaven’s Hill, but if you know me, you know that you can’t run away from me when it comes to Christmas 🙂 I love Christmas so much that I’ve added a sprinkling of snow to my blog 🙂

Remember to check out my Christmas Gift Guide Series of amazing Irish Etsy stores with beautiful handmade and handcrafted gifts for all the family. 

One Messy Mama

5 thoughts on “Being Present at Christmas

  • December 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    What a beautiful Christmas Blog. Definitely brought up many memories in me. So sad your brother is so far away at this time of the year. Enjoy your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations.Thank you for sharing .

    • December 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Christmas Eve really is my favourite day of the year. Last year we were all too sick to truly enjoy it, so this year is going to be so amazing! I can’t wait 🙂

  • December 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Isnt it amazing to experience the holidays with your children. It is like a whole new holiday! An expensive one…but a great one.

    Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging

    • December 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Having children has totally changed Christmas for me, or rather, brought me back to my childhood days 🙂 I love Christmas so much! Despite the expense haha

  • December 30, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Since we immigrated I have missed the PRESENCE of Christmas. The family laughing, cooking, eating, enjoying the sunshine (South Africa), playing our yearly game of cards. Its those things that remind us what Christmas is all about! Loved this! Keep that Ham cooking! 🙂 #globalblogging


Leave a Reply

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

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.