Fantasy vs Reality, anyone? Christmas - the time we enjoy those lovely snuggly family traditions - ones that have often been passed down from generation to generation - as well as some new ones.


But, alas, real life doesn't always reflect the the picture-perfect festive scenes we see at the cinema. Do yours ever end up a bit like this?

1. Stockings above the fireplace

They're the epitome of Christmas. Pop those stockings above the fireplace ready for Santa to fill them up on Christmas night. Except they NEVER look like they do on the Christmas cards.

There's always a wonky one and one that keeps falling down no matter how much string/tape/Blu Tack you use. Agggh!

2. Wrapping the pressies on Christmas Eve

It should be such a lovely, relaxed occasion. The kids are asleep and you're wrapping the final presents in front of Downton with a glass of Prosecco, right?

More like this

Errr, yeah, right - until you realise you totally underestimated how much wrapping paper you needed. AND sellotape. You have to make do with "homemade" wrap aka newspaper, tinfoil and glue. Oh - and your hands are killing you when you've finished (aka 'Chrimble Claw'). Joy.

3. Elf on the Shelf

Now, this is one tradition we're kinda wishing we'd never started. End of. Next year - wait until 20 December. We'd all got stuck on where next to sit Elfie WAY too soon this year...

4. Watching out for Santa's sleigh

For the last few years the International Space Station (ISS) passing over has made looking out for Santa and his reindeer a total thing! Unless you miss it. Or you're looking in the wrong direction when it goes past.

Then you find yourself frantically looking for anything that could possibly resemble a sleigh to show your little one who you've bundled out in the cold for a sneaky glimpse of Father Christmas himself.

If you're lucky you might just spot a low flying plane - double points if you get one with a red flashy light. You can say it's Rudolph's nose. Yay!

5. Buck's Fizz for breakfast

Aww, they always do this in the movies! And it's just lovely. What other day of the year can you enjoy a warm mix of OJ and fizz before you've even had breakfast?

The only problem? A couple of these, some red wine with lunch and one or two evening Bailey's can leave you feeling more than a little groggy the next day, and let's face it - the kids REALLY won't let you have a lie-in...

6. Playing Christmas games

Since time began, it seems, human beings have insisted that on one day of the year the whole family will get together to play a whole load of games they never play any other time of the year and they WILL enjoy it.

Whether it's Kerplunk, Hungry Hippos, Jenga or a good old-fashioned dose of charades - like it or not, everybody's in....cue the arguments.

7. Going for a Christmas Day walk

We agree it would be lovely if Christmas were EVER a lovely sunny, crisp cold snowy day where, as long as we wrapped up warm, we could have fun in the sun and throw snowballs.

But it's usually kind of damp and drizzly and gets dark by 4pm and inevitably someone's toe starts hurting half way through because they INSISTED on wearing their new Christmas shoes...

8. Saving your pressies till after lunch

We're not sure who came up with this idea - you know, the one where you get your stocking pressies in the morning and wait until after lunch for the 'under the tree' numbers. Want to try it with a 4-year old? Hmmm, don't bother.

9. Taking a Christmas photo

Now our American cousins have this down - they go to a studio, get professional pics done and sent out as their holiday cards way before Christmas. But, try as we might, over here it seems we're still mastering getting the perfect Chrimbo pic down.

Even though it's all digital and filters these days, you can bet your life someone won't be looking at the camera or the angle will be all wrong. Barely worth Facebooking. Never mind - we'll try again next year...

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Tara BreathnachContent Editor and Social Media Producer

Tara is mum to 1 daughter, Bodhi Rae, and has worked as Content Editor and Social Media Producer at MadeForMums since 2015