The Festive Season in Australia in the 21st Century, means sun, sand, beach and cricket! We are well into Summer when we celebrate Christmas and the New Year and it is the longest of the school holidays.
For many years, we ate the traditional Roast Turkey with all the trimmings followed by plum pudding with custard even in 30C+ degree heat. Fortunately, those days are gone and most Australians opt for a seafood platter or bbq. Many celebrate Christmas at the beach to get the cooler sea breezes.
I have to admit that although far from practical, I did love the traditional Christmas fare as it was what my mother always prepared. My husband and I did spend one Christmas in 2004 in London and although it was freezing cold it felt like a traditional Christmas you see on the greeting cards with the traditional roast meal, mulled wine and open fires.
My Christmas Traditions Growing Up
Growing up, I remember at the beginning of the school holidays in December, my mother would take down the large china bowl to make the Christmas Cakes and the Christmas Pudding. In those days, you could put money into the pudding so sixpences were usually mixed in for the lucky person to find (if they didn’t swallow it of course!).
We all had a stir for luck and she made the Pudding in a cloth which she boiled, then hung until Christmas Day ready for more boiling before we consumed it all!
Christmas Day would arrive and she would stand in the heat of the kitchen preparing a feast for our lunch. Roast turkey, pork, cold ham with roasted potatoes, pumpkin, peas and beans all with lashings of gravy. Followed by the plum pudding with warm custard. We all then fell into our beds for the traditional afternoon nap.
Boxing Days we would visit her brother and his wife and family. It was a family tradition and growing up we never missed one.
Starting New Christmas Traditions
Times have changed, my parents have passed away and I now have a blended family. My husband and I both have children from previous marriages and we have four grandchildren.
For a few years we would not see the children until Christmas night as my children’s father has a birthday on Christmas day and my husband’s children always had lunch with their mother’s family.
When grandchildren started to arrive I thought it was high time for us to make our own traditions! I did not want to have the situation where everyone arrived tired on Christmas night and no one wanted to eat.
I decided then that we would celebrate our family Christmas on the weekend before. That way everyone could attend, enjoy a leisurely catch up and also enjoy the food I had prepared.
We love this time. I send out the invitations in plenty of time (although they know when we always have it), then my husband and I talk about menus and have fun filling Santa Sacks for the grandchildren.
We don’t spend much money on the gifts, as children today get so much and they don’t always appreciate what they receive. Rather we look for little, funny toys that amuse them while they are with us. My husband wraps each gift individually and the excitement on the children’s faces as they dive into their sacks to see what surprises are in store is priceless.
He dons a Santa cap and with his white hair and beard we joke that he looks the part! It is also lovely for his parents to see their grandchildren and great grandchildren and spend time with them.
Christmas for me is all about family, love and goodwill to others – forget the commercial side. We usually catch up with neighbours for drinks and I always get together with my running pals ‘the Saturday Sisters’ for a Christmas get together a few weeks before.
I love making Christmas gifts from the kitchen and this year I’ve posted some of my favourite recipes which I would love you to check out. I think that people appreciate you taking the time to make something for them and know the love that has gone into the process.
Christmas Day morning we spend with Mike’s parents who live upstairs. Although, I had made our family Christmas day the week before, my daughter still has something on Christmas Day and we catch up with her father and his partner, my son and his partner and my son-in-law’s family. There is usually a crowd with lots of laughter and good cheer. It is extra special for her now as she is a mother and can appreciate all the wonders of Christmas through a child’s eyes.Christmas is a special time as we see the wonder in a child's eyes.Click To Tweet
Boxing Day for my husband and I is taking off to the Coast until after New Year. There is usually a mass exodus to the coast so sometimes the traffic is heavy with holidaymakers all with the same idea – taking a break.
Once there, we unpack for a week of relaxing at the beach enjoying the atmosphere, reading, taking long walks and enjoying time together after the hectic lead up to Christmas.
Boxing Day in Australia is not Boxing Day without the start of the Boxing Day Test! It is cricket season and us Aussies love our cricket. Televisions are tuned to the sports station or radios are tuned in so people can listen for the score and still enjoy the beach and their holidays.
At New Year we watch the fireworks (we go the kid’s fireworks at 9pm as we are usually in bed at midnight) ushering in another year and we make my goals and plans together. We make a delicious seafood platter of prawns, oysters, smoked salmon and have a glass or two of bubbles!
As I go to sleep at the end of the festive season I give thanks for the love I share with my darling husband, family and friends and also for the wonderful life I am blessed with.
May you and your family have a wonderful, safe and loving Festive Season and may the New Year bring peace and happiness.May the New Year bring you peace and happinessClick To Tweet
Do you have a special tradition? I loved to hear about it!
Let’s Keep Sizzling!