Christmas – Family Traditions

It’s great. This year Twisty is far more interested in this sparkly thing called “Christmas”. Every where we go we see “spark-er-ly” trees and lights and, thanks to some Christmas card crafts, he is now very clear about what a reindeer is and what a santa is. “Santa Christmas”, as he’s currently known to us, arrived during the Christmas Pageant and has been in his Magic Cave ever since. We took Twisty to see him on Saturday and it was great fun. To be honest, he was probably more impressed with the horses on the carousel but he had a lot of fun!

Merry Christmas – Riding the Horsies at the Magic Cave from Selena Woodward on Vimeo.

Riding the Family Room Frog

Riding the horse from the pageant

Christmas is a funny time when you’re an expat. I don’t’ mean because it’s hot here and we’re used to rain (yes rain, not snow… never snow) on Christmas Day. When you’re thinking about what Christmas is going to mean to your own little family you, naturally, think back to your own Christmas experiences. I remember my Nan and Granddad being at our house ever year, singing Christmas Carols into fake plastic microphones, the family ‘concert’ at my other Nan’s house – which was an ingenious way to keep all of us kids in another room ‘practicing’ our performance for as long as possible. The pay off was they then had to listen to us singing and dancing. I remember Andrew and Natalie’s speciality being “Somewhere Out There”. I remember eating Nan’s Christmas cake – usually with rock hard icing…. LOADS OF SUGAR! I remember the highly important role that Dad played as ‘present distributor’ and how important it seemed to mum that everyone watch everyone else open each present. Probably so that we could appreciate the gifts and take a moment to cheer and say thank you, I guess. I also remember the stresses around cooking Christmas dinner and the teasing that would happen when, inevitably, something would go wrong in the kitchen. Whether you believe in the Christian message or not, Christmas is a time for drinks with friends and work colleagues, for giving gifts and revealing in the network of love and support that is your family. For letting all of the things that are happening outside of that family unit slip away so you can relax

Riding the frog in the family room!

Riding the frog in the family room!

Today at MOPS the theme was Christmas and considering what traditions you wanted to create. Which ones you wanted to lose (from your childhood) and what you wanted your kids to remember. As an expat it was interesting to hear about the tradition of the ‘giant water fight after Christmas dinner’. We laughed about how they thought that Christmas in England was romantic and snowy whilst I know that the Brits are convinced that all Aussies spend Christmas on the beach. Both are highly unlikely. The big theme was always getting together with friends and family. To share and enjoy each other’s company. THAT’s the part that makes being an Expat at Christmas strange. I don’t get to do that any more. I do get to Skype all night though 😉 and it will be great to have Michelle with us this year.

On the subject of family traditions, we won’t be able to invite all the cousins, aunties and uncles over for boxing day but we can choose to make some new traditions for our little family.  I’ve decided to start one involving books. I’ve ordered 20 odd books that I am going to wrap and put under the Christmas tree. Every night (From December 1st until Christmas Day) Twisty is going to be heading to the tree to choose a, beautifully wrapped, book for his bed time. I’ve tried to select stories of varying age groups and stages. I want to get these books out every year for as long as possible. Maybe I’ll even get the chance to share them with some grandchildren some day. Who knows. That’s going to be a brand new tradition for this generation of Woodwards.

I’ve continued my Nan’s tradition of baking and icing a cake. I’ve even decided to make my own Christmas Puddings this year. I do love cake 🙂 I know that on Christmas day no one in this house is allowed to open a present from under the tree until we’ve had breakfast. We can, however, help ourselves to the stocking (well pillow case) that we’ll find at the foot of the bed. I also know that, at about 5pm my dining table will be covered with left overs for any visitors that might pop around. This year, maybe we’ll get some new ones? We might not be able to share our day with all of our relatives in person but I’m pretty sure that, most of what I have just written, will seem very familiar. Christmas traditions… Traditions make memories. I wonder which one Tristan will keep hold of?

How about you?
Which Christmas Traditions make Christmas, “Christmas” in your family?

1 Comment

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  1. Mum 4 years ago

    I enjoyed reading that and it is nice to start you own traditions.

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