Wonderful Weekends: Family Traditions

One thing I really love about Christmas time is our family traditions. Doing something together every year, knowing that my family has done the same thing for generations, is really grounding for me.

This weekend we all got together to make our Christmas puddings. The recipe has been passed down through my dad’s family, so I’ll honour it as a family secret, but we make it the traditional way, similar to described here. We use calico cloths instead of steamers and the puddings get boiled for 6 hours.

There is much tradition in the stirring of the pudding – 7 times towards the heart, a taste, a wish & a swig of sherry. Even the kids get in on the stirring action – not so much the sherry.

Back when I was younger, my maternal grandma also used to make her own Christmas pudding with similar ceremony.  Come to think of it, at Christmas time in my family there is always much stirring and swigging happening (and not just on pudding day).

Another treasured tradition in my family is making Christmas cake. My mum & dad make one to their recipe and my pop makes one to his (which is gloriously rich and also makes a fabulous wedding cake). Once again without giving away any family secrets, here’s a good compromise between our two family recipes. I have it on good authority that my pop’s recipe requires no less than 10 eggs!! No wonder it’s rich.

When baking their Christmas cakes, my family use traditional wooden boxes instead of tins.  After fourteen years of participating in my family’s traditions, The Man is keen to take up the mantle as well and has been pestering my dad for a cake box for some time.  This weekend on Pudding Day, he got a pleasant surprise.

He’s very much looking forward to testing it out. The question will be – who’s recipe will he use??

What’s your most treasured family tradition? Do you make your own Christmas cake or puddings?

Linking up with Life, Love & Hiccups for Wonderful Weekends.