Welcome back to the Christmas Series! Today’s post is one from the lovely Holly also know as Little Pickle’s Mom and her Boxing Day tradition. I’ve got to say, I’m seriously considering changing what we do on Boxing Day to do something like this. It sounds right up my street (and actually not to far from us… Bloggers Boxing Day?!)
So here it is…
Boxing Day is by far my favourite bit about Christmas!
In fact, I’d much rather just have Boxing Day and forgo Christmas Day altogether as for me, what our family does on Boxing Day far more embodies the spirit of Christmas than frenzied present unwrapping and a plate full of turkey.
For generations now, my Dad’s side of the family (or, however many of them are able to make it – over the years we’ve had several families move further away which makes their attendance much harder) get together and go for a walk up the Clent hills. We all arrive more or less at the same time, usually adorned with various new hats, scarves and gloves received as presents that year, each family opening the boot of the car to begin putting on wellies and walking boots before starting the walk up the hill. It’s best when the weather is beautifully cold and crisp, although we’ve been known to go up in all weathers!
One particular year it was very snowy and icy and only my husband and I and my Mum and Dad braved it. We’re the stalwarts – we’ll always go up whatever the conditions.
The walk itself is not particularly arduous (I say as a somewhat fit 20-something) but with all ages attempting the climb, there’s usually lots of rests to allow the slower ones to catch up and, of course, we all have a good chinwag. Once at the top, the view is gorgeous. On a clear day, you really can see for miles.
There’s a set of standing stones at the top (a bit like a very poor man’s Stonehenge), and it’s where my parents got engaged about thirty years ago! Everyone gets out their hipflasks, filled with whiskey, flavoured vodka or some new-fangled fancy liquor and the adults enjoy a little tipple whilst chocolate and sweets are offered around those driving or not of drinking age!
Before we know it, we’re heading back down, hurrying towards the pub at the bottom (which is always CHOCKER full) to wrestle our way to the bar to order some hot meat sandwiches.
Sometimes, someone will invite the rest over to their home afterwards for a festive buffet and some party games and, boy, do my family know how to do party games!
Scattergories is always a favourite (where you have to come up with an original answer compared to everyone else for words in a category beginning with a certain letter e.g. a country, river, boys name beginning with R), or the game where you have 60 seconds to rip a dinner plate-sized piece of newspaper into the longest length possible.
Sometimes it gets quite competitive and the tale always gets told of the time my Dad’s cousin wouldn’t speak to him for YEARS because he was a bit boisterous during a game where if you cut a deck of cards to show a picture card, you get to try and eat as much of a block of chocolate (using a knife and fork, whilst wearing a hat, scarf and gloves) until the next person cuts a picture card!
Can you see why it’s my favourite day?!
As if all of that wasn’t enough… in 2013, my now husband made Boxing Day even more special by asking me to be his wife. So now the walk up Clent reminds me not just how lucky I am to have such a special family, but how incredibly grateful I am to be building my own little family with my best friend and absolute beaut of a man: Little Pickle’s Dad. Ahh, perfect.
Little Pickle’s Mom
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