City Country Life // Christmas Traditions

Hey friends,

Welcome to another edition of City Country Life, this time we’re talking Christmas Traditions.  City Country Life is a series run by me and the adorable Becca from Keeping up with the Joneses.  We love where we live and between us we cover topics of interest with Becca giving the ‘City’ slant and me putting forward the ‘Country’ perspective.

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Don’t you think our City Country Life logo looks like a bauble? I do.  I feel like we should have added snow on the top of it to make it more festive.

I just want to start this Christmas Traditions post by saying a big thank you to my Mum, Julie.  The originator of the traditions.  I love the traditions that my parents gave me, Tom and Rosie growing up.  Mum has always ‘done’ Christmas for us and made it look so effortless.  From stockings to the Christmas meal and making turkey soup from the leftover turkey, although that’s one tradition that seems to have moved on to cold ham and meats, cheeses and crackers.

My Mum always seemed to be in the kitchen on the big day.  If it was our year to go to the farm Mum was the one who packed us all up for a perfect Christmas getaway.   If you’re the organiser in your home you’ll know how much work this took year after year.

Thanks Mum, I love you.

Growing up my favourite Christmas memories are of big, family affairs at my Grandparents farm in Wiltshire.


Copyright Michael Prior

The huge Edwardian farmhouse would be filled to the brim with festive cheer, family and fun.  Always noisy and warm.  Open fires, wellies by the door, a big tree in the large hall.  A kids table because there were so many of us.

Food, lots of food.

Nuts in bowls with a nut cracker.  Empty shells.

Quality Streets were the chocolate of choice.

Always a book voucher.

My other grandparents lived in Wiltshire too so we saw all of my grandparents at the same time.  At their house I remember, yummy salmon sandwiches and gifts of perfume. The jingle of my Grandma’s charm bracelet.

Now those days have gone, I can still look back and feel those happy, nostalgic feelings of opening presents with my lovely cousins, grandparents and aunties and uncles.  Musical recitals, walks across the fields, feeding the animals and my Grandma serving massive roast dinners to the masses after my Grampy had said Grace.

Now that I have a family of my own, I want to recreate those warm and lovely feelings of those Christmasses past while bringing our own flavour to the festive cheer at this time of year.

We seem to have gravitated towards seeing Father Christmas on a Santa Express, we’ve done Longleat, Cranmore and Yeovil Railway Centre over the years.  Master H and Little Miss love trains so a train ride AND a present is a win that has become a tradition.

As has the gift of new Christmas themed pyjamas to be opened on Christmas Eve as an extra early present.

Me and Jon always watch The Holiday.  We wrap the gifts together as he is so good at it. We always have a festive drink while wrapping, because why not!  Jon will have Bailey’s, he loves Bailey’s.  A little sparkle in the prosecco for me.

This year we will add in the tradition of Christmas by the wood burner.  Warm, cosy toes and a twinkly Christmas tree.

We always watch Christmas themed programmes on the Food Channel and anything by Kirstie Allsopp in the run up to the big day, there’s something very comforting about watching other people create mouth watering and beautiful creations which are a feast for the eyes.

I detailed our typical Christmas day in my last City County Life // Christmas Style.

More than anything I pray I’ll be able to savour the important things about the day.  Jesus’ birth celebrated.  Precious time spent with family and showing our amazing kids just how much we love them.  Not with the gifts necessarily, but with the love they feel from the traditions we create as a family.

What are your Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear them.

Lizzie xo

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Lizzie Somerset



8 thoughts on “City Country Life // Christmas Traditions”

  1. Love this post so much-you always write so beautifully, capturing a mood or experience. Your childhood Christmases sound just like mine and the farmhouse was stunning. Gorgeous post, wishing you a fabulous Christmas and hope to see you soon x

  2. Your childhood Christmases sound wonderful and I love that you have bought traditions with you. thin these are so important for the kids. Have an amazing festive season lizzie. Mich x

  3. Growing up Christmas was more about church than anything else – my Dad was church warden for a long time and my brother and I were both servers so we usually had some sort of role to play in services over Christmas. One year I played my cello at 5 different services in two days! We usually went to the crib service, always midnight mass and then church on Christmas morning. You’d think it was a drag but actually just added to the excitement of it all because it was different to the usual Sunday service. I will always remember being up at the altar with my bro trying not to laugh as he sang the ‘wrong’ words to carols i.e. Star of wonder, star of light, Mary caught her pants alight…

    We still haven’t really settled into an Edinburgh Church – I used to attend every Sunday but have since moved across the city which makes things a bit trickier. This year, I hope to take the kids to a christingle service in the very least!

  4. Beautifully written Lizzie, It’s really easy to get caught up in the consumer frenzy that christmas has become but It’s so important to remember what Christmas is really all about!
    You’re right, the logo does look like a Bauble!! I think we should add some snow for sure 🙂

  5. Thanks Vicki, I loved the big family gatherings the most, so much love and fun. Mismatched chairs, all of it was wonderful. Happy Christmas to you, Peter, Oliver and Alexander xo

  6. My Dad used to help at church too putting out the chairs and packing them away! Our church is non denominational and historically don’t do a Christmas Day service so we always join in with the local Church of England service which is always lovely. Do you still play cello? I played clarinet and trumpet growing up but kind of grew out of it and wish I’d kept it up. Happy Christmas Laura, City Country Life will be back in the New Year! xo

  7. I’m still hankering after a CCL Christmas party with cocktails! Thanks for your lovely comment, I love the City traditions you have too, that Swarovski tree is so beautiful! We’d never have something like that down here. We are looking forward to the Festival of Light at Longleat at the weekend though. Much love and Happy Christmas lovely xo

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