Every Christmas people worldwide engage in traditions that make them feel connected to the Christmas spirit. I'm so excited about Christmas so much I've encouraged friends and family members to deck their halls with boughs of holly since November. Over the years I've developed several traditions and in the spirit of Christmas I'd LOVE to share them with you. I encourage you to share yours with me.
The childhood Christmas traditions- Christmas downunder in Australia
Irrespective of where we enjoyed Christmas there was always the Christmas light hunt. My sister and brother, Mel and Josh, would ask Mum and Dad just days before Christmas to drive about town and suss out all the lights. Our local newspaper on December 1 published all the houses in the neighbourhood who had decorated their house in lights, we loved seeing them all. We used to put one lot o 200 lights onour house that is of course until I said to Dad 'we need more lights' and I convinced him the price was totally reasonable and for a good cause. One year we had 15,000 lights on our house and decorating the roof in Merry Christmas became a way to bring joy and a bond as a family (I guess my art of persuasion was quite adept). We 'designed' the display and frequently kept the lights up way beyond Christmas because it brought joy to the locals faces. We often sat in the lounge room making bets about whether cars would stop or not and getting super excited about their long pauses at our drive way. We'd attend the local carols and on Christmas Eve my 'adopted' sister and her mother would come around. Trudi was a local who became part of our family when she was 11, her Dad has passed away when she was young from cancer and her mum Berbie we an extremely hard working Nurse. My sister had become such good friends with her and she was such a grateful, well mannered girl we asked Berbie if she could be an official, yet legally unofficial part of the family. Trudi has been like another sister for about 20 years now. Christmas Eve would be when our families came together and opened a present from each other and laughed about shared memories, it was always awesome. Christmas Day was always about Mum's chef like cooking and our Christmas routine.
- One present before a swim at the beach (the beauty of growing up on an island)
- Slow present giving
- Lunch with grandparents (when they moved to our area) & the present game
- Relative visits (if they were around)
- A nap from overfeeding usually while watching a DVD someone got as a gift for Christmas
- Finishing gifts by 6pm (it was always bliss to drag out the gifts)
- Left overs for dinner & a board game/pass out from food
Over the years things changed a little as nephews, nieces, boyfriends, girlriends, husbands, international trips overseas etc entered our lives. It is still a lovely time.
This year we had a little bit of the yester year times when my brother and his girlfriend visited from Canada and we played the present game (I will teach you his before Christmas!)
There are several overseas traditions, it really depends on where I ended up being when I was away from Australia for Christmas. I've been in Austria, Italy and the UK for the Christmas season before. Each time Christmas always involved:
- Ugly Christmas jumpers! This is seriously one of my FAVOURITE traditions, unfortunately Australia hasn't quite got the funny Christmas shirts yet and jumpers are way to hot for 30+ degree heat.
- Christmas markets with mulled wine and spiced cider (absolute devine flavour!), laughing with friends who were also away from family, checking out the lights around the city (mind you the UK and European houses do not decorate their homes like Australia does and I always missed that).
- Stunning food- all the best meets
- Checking out the Christmas lights with friends via a Double Decker bus (London).
- Iceskating! So many beautiful little rinks around including the iconic National Museum and Somerset House that are not to be missed. Bookings are essential around London, but it is something that has to be done at Christmas.
- Snow fights in Berlin- you can quickly converse with complete strangers over a few beers and have some laughs (as long as one of you speaks more German than the average guide book. Soon after you'll be playfully throwing snowballs and having a blast, one of my favourite things ever! The German people are extremely hospitable.
- Bon bons & fireworks- fireworks were a must because you are actually allowed to buy them in the UK where as in Australia they are illegal, so every man and there dog had fireworks.
- In the UK a sticky date pudding with the rum lit on fire- it looks so ridiculously beautiful and it tastes glorious.
- In Austria, Italy and the UK viewing the city lights and staying up late on Christmas eve and sleeping in on Christmas day.
- Having a slow and chilled Christmas day that wasn't rushed or hurried but always included a family skype call, a movie and snuggling in bed with Christmas treated before 9pm after catching an UBER because no one catches a Black cab on any other transport besides their feet on Christmas day.
What are your Christmas traditions? Share them with me, I love hearing what people do to celebrate this season.
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I hope you all have a fabulous lead up to Christmas.