#WhitworthAdvent: A Festive Family Tradition

Since I was around 2 years old, I have had a Christmas sack. This Christmas sack is special because it turned into my favourite family tradition.  

In 1997 my mum bought two plain white pillowcases. With fabric pens she drew our names on the pillowcases and below our names she drew a Robin on mine and a Star on my sister’s. Since then, these have been the sacks we put out on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill with presents. 

Now every Christmas Eve we sit around the dining table and draw on the back of these pillowcases. My first drawing, when I was 2, was done by my dad- who I insisted should draw around his hand! More recently I have included milestones, such as; graduating university, moving in with my partner and starting to drive, as well as fun memories like holidays and gigs.

I have no idea where my parents got the idea to start this tradition or at what point it even became a tradition, but I am so glad they did because every year we are given time to reflect on what we have done throughout the year, as well as years past. The ups and downs and all the silly things that my dad likes to remind us of which inevitably don’t make it onto the sack (sorry dad!).

I will always be grateful to my parents for keeping up this tradition. I can imagine in our moody teen years they were met with resistance but now as adults, my sister and I look forward to revisiting our sacks each year – and yes, Santa does still fill them with presents!  

If you want to start your own Christmas sack all you need is: 

  • A white pillowcase.
  • Fabric pens.
  • An iron to seal your designs.


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