Christmas Traditions: Mine and Jane Austen's

Christmas decorationsI love Christmas traditions. When my husband and I married, back in the Dark Ages I think, we got to decide what holiday traditions we wanted to establish for our family. One of our favorites is that he always makes Christmas breakfast. He does something different each year and usually keeps it a secret from our boys until that morning. Now, he doesn’t cook much so some years the results have been interesting, but that’s part of the fun of it all.

Neither of our families did Christmas stocking, but we decided to.  We open the stockings before breakfast. The boys never know what will appear in their stockings. It is my job to come up with fun and creative little gifts for them.  This is one of those places where having boys makes things much more interesting.  Girls are so much easier in this regard, nail polish, lipstick, hair accessories, fun jewelry, all things which easily fit in a Christmas stocking.  Boy stuff however, especially teen-aged boy stuff is entirely a different matter! So I have to get pretty creative. They tell me they look forward to seeing what I come up with each year. No pressure on mom at all!

Every year we make something together, ornaments when the boys were smaller, Christmas candies and other goodies, now that they boys are bigger. One of our favorite quick candy recipes is for

Rocky road candyRocky Road Candy

  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 bag mini mashmallows
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup ‘button’ candy like M&M’s or Reeses Pieces

Melt the chocolate chips. I like to use the microwave, just a minute or a minute and a half usually. Mix the remaining ingredients. Pour melted chocolate over the mixture and stir until evenly covered.  Turn out on to waxed paper and allow to set. Cut in serving sized pieces.

Our Christmas dinner is often very unique. Our favorite thing to do is make a variety of finger foods and have a game night with favorite family games or a movie night with new movie gifts. So while everyone else at the grocery is looking for turkeys, I’m heading for Little Smokies for pigs in blankets. Unusual, yes, but its one of those things the guys look forward to and will always remember.

Merry ChristmasChristmas traditions have been around a long time and Jane Austen and her family would have likely have enjoyed a number of them like Christmas pudding, sugar plums, mince pies, and playing parlour games during the twelve nights of Christmas festivities.

Although these videos are titled, ‘Victorian’ these are traditions that were present in Jane Austen’s day as well and are a great way to share some of our favorite author’s Christmas traditions.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

How to make a Christmas pudding

How to make a sugar plums

How to make mince pies

Parlour games to play

How to make Wassail

How to make a mistletoe ball

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