Saturday, November 7, 2009

My meaning of christmas

I will say this right now. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I adore it, I revel in it and I think about it constantly. Christmas has always had a magical feeling for me. I love everything about it. I think part of it is that it appeals to my love of traditions. Christmas is a perfect time to establish traditions that can be followed.

My love of Christmas definitely starts from when i was a child. I think my parents did a fantastic job of creating the magic of Christmas.

It starts with the decorating of the tree. This is the definite signal of Christmas beginning. We would always buy a fresh tree, with us kids and Dad heading out to find the perfect one. We liked ours tall and full. We would allow for only one open spot in the tree.. that side could be turned to the back. As a matter a fact one year the tree farm made the mistake of mentioning that i did not have to take a pre cut tree, i was welcome to walk around the many hectares and choose one to be cut down. This was said to my Father's dismay as he was then dragged around for an hour while i went from tree to tree assessing it for height and fullness. I just so happened to find the one i wanted at the far corner of the farm. He He He. It was the best tree EVER!

We then would take said tree home, cut the end off and let it sit in water for a few hours. Later we would then fill a bucket with sand, and insert the tree. Then out would come the decorations. Mum would always start the pudding while we were tree decorating, so the smell of fruit mince and pine always invoke the 'scent of Christmas'. Each of us kids all had a special decoration to put up, a wooden Santa with a musical instrument (which coincidentally were the exact same special ornament that my husband and his siblings had, complete with the name written across the butt!).

Next would come the Christmas eve ritual of setting out the goodies for Santa after we got home from church (where i would sing loudly and off key to the Christmas carols at the end). Dad would always hover around leaving suggestions about what Santa did and did not want, usually a beer and Cherry Ripe Slice or Rocky Road. Just happened to be Dad's favourites. Ha!

As we headed off to bed we would take our mega large Santa sacks (lovingly illustrated my our mother) and lay them out on our bed. This was the really magical part that got me every time! It would be empty as i went to bed, and magically full and overflowing the next morning when i woke! As we dragged our sacks downstairs laden with goodies we would pass the empty beer bottle and one remaining piece of slice, complete with a bite mark in it.

After present sharing we would have a brekkie of a fruit platter and head off to our Nanna and Grandpa's. Here we would gather with our Aunties, Uncles and Cousins, swimming in the pool all day and only getting out for our huge Christmas spread of cold and hot meats, salad, trifle and Mum's afore mentioned pudding.

Boxing day we would head down to my Grandma and Grandfather's place in Vincentia, where we would spend a week with my other side of family, and going to the beach down the street.

Sigh... with all this is it any wonder that i adore Christmas?

Now I have my own home I too mark Christmas with the decorating of tree and house. I hope that once I have children I can also do some baking on this day, filling the house with the smells of Christmas. Except we have a large fake tree, as my Husbands clean freakness won't allow for nettles of tree falling on the floor. He He.

My tree is as below, a blend of silver, gold and copper/ burnt orange. I do have a few rules with Christmas decorating.
1) NO TINSEL as i think it drowns the tree - but i do use thin tinsel threads.
I do not associate Christmas with one speck of snow, so snow themed items are totally vetoed.

These pictures really don't do the tree justice. You can't see the sparkle!

Now that I am an adult Christmas has altered a bit. No more Santa sack. Sniff Sniff. Although now i have my own two families to celebrate with. Christmas can be a bit of a juggling act trying to fit in families, luckily the stars seemed to have aligned and my plans fit with that of my in laws. We do Christmas day with one side one year, and boxing with the other, then swap the next year. We only really see my brother and his family every second year on boxing day as they don't do anything Christmas day outside their little family, which is their own tradition.

This year i am hosting my own family's do. I am really excited about this, and am already thinking about decorating ideas and bookmarking magazines with food ideas. I am thinking less of a buffet and more of a simple 3 course meal, as we will all be having celebrations the day before.

For Mike's side we recently worked out the food, which will be a mainly cold spread, with cold meat (Pork, Turkey and Glazed Ham), Salads (Potato, Mango and Avocado, Garden and coleslaw) and desserts (Cookies and cream, Ice cream, Trifle and Pudding). I think i may need to stop eating a week in advance to make room for it all!

I really love watching my nieces and nephews, as in many ways Christmas is about kids. I love their excitement and squeals. This is what i look forward to when we have our own children to share Christmas with. Like my Mum I will save through the year so I can fill their magical Santa sacks. I want to have a bake day where we prepare and bag little goodies that we give out to family and friends. I want to have special decorations that get put on the tree for each child. I want to make Christmas eve a little special with a light Christmas dinner and listening to carols, maybe playing a few games.

I hope that i can also recreate the magic of Christmas, that my own children will sniff the air as i do when they detect the 'scent of Christmas', with and smile at the thought of whatever memories that smell invokes for them.


rinniez said...

wow great post! isnt christmas ust the best =) this blogthis challenge is awesome everyones posts are getting me sooooooo excited.

DarNonymous said...

It sounds so warm & fun. Love family traditions, definately captured the Xmas spirit & got me in the jingle bell mood!

Skipper said...

Your celebrations sounds wonderful! And I love your tree!! :)

Little Sooti said...

Thats sounds so lovely..Tree looks lovely, cant wait to decorate my own this year!! :-)

Legal Alien said...

Your tree looks so lovely. The description of your celebrations is beautiful. Great post!