10 families’ real festive traditions to inspire you this Christmas

From where you hang your stocking to what you leave out for Santa, it seems we’re pretty passionate about our Christmas traditions. We asked our guests to tell us their most important festive family custom, and this is what they said


Pet presents

“Our pets have always had a Christmas stocking filled with presents – you have to include pets at Christmas too! Our dog Benji can’t wait to open his stocking, he peeks in it every day but never takes anything until we give it to him on Christmas day.”
Julie Norton

Surrounded by family

“These days I like to have all our family around at Christmas, but in the past we used to take it in turns to stay at each other’s houses. The kids loved crashing on the floor and we would all help decorate the table. Presents were left under the tree and the children would pass them around on the day.”
Lorraine Rickards

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

“Coming to Winter Wonderland is our tradition! We started coming in 2011 when our little one was almost one year old and we return every year during winter Wonderland to go and see Santa. This year will be our eldest’s fifth visit and the youngest’s second. We’re already booked for 2016 too!”
Kirsty Roberts

Breakfast of champions

“After opening our gifts we put on our Christmas jumpers and head to Sports Café for a full cooked breakfast.”
Janine Brown

Noël Nostalgia

“We love to snuggle on the sofa and watch old family videos from Christmas past. We still laugh out loud at the children’s school plays – it’s a fab tradition.”
Jo Calvert

Topping the tree

“Ours is my dad picking up the kids to place the fairy on top of the tree.”
Dan New

Christmas Eve boxes…

“My Granny started my family Christmas tradition. She used to give us one extra present on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve – now I do the same for my children. This year I’m going to make a Christmas Eve box with pyjamas, a film, a book and some sweets. Also, this will be the first year we come to Winter Wonderland so hopefully that will be the start of a new family tradition as well.”
Christina Seth Long

More Christmas Eve boxes

“We give the children a Christmas Eve box which included Christmas pyjamas for that night, a decoration for the tree, a Christmas story book, a book or a game and usually some sweet goodies or a hot chocolate. The children love it!”
Janey Schreiber

Here we come a quarrelling

“Our tradition when we put the tree up for me and my husband to argue over how to put the lights and decorations on it – every year we have the same argument!”
Ann Mason

Oh, Christmas tree

“We always put our tree up together when we get it back from the forest. It’s much more fun and then we chill out with a mince pie.”
Christine Boulton

What are your own festive family traditions? Let us know if the comments below.

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Maddy Potts

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Maddy Potts

As Marketing Executive at Center Parcs, I’m lucky enough to hear all the amazing stories that come from our guests, our Villages and the wider travel industry. I’ll blog about the best ones, bring you some fantastic competitions and update you on all the exciting new activities and goings on at Center Parcs.