I don’t tend to remark on the major holidays here on this blog. I don’t know why.
I found Christmas a magical time when I was growing up. My parents did not have a lot of spare money, so the only time you got new things was on your birthday and at Christmas. Mum would always give us a stocking, half filled with the stationary for the next years schooling, we would get a couple presents, and we would have a big roast meal with pudding and extra sweets on the table.
I’ve tried to re-create some of that special feeling for my kids – but I don’t think I’ve managed to. They have and are given so much stuff that really, presents don’t have anywhere near as much meaning, and they are constantly going out for tea or to parties, so a Christmas meal is just one more. Still – we have adjusted and adapted over the years into our own routine to try and get it right.
My daughter is 9 and rather shrewd, and had remarked this year on the school playground chatter about what really goes on at Christmas. You can only shrug and remark that Santa only comes to those who believe. She decided to ignore the other kids this year and let herself get excited, but it may have been the last opportunity for me to have succeeded in creating a similar magical time for her.
This is our Tree on Christmas EVE as my wife watched the Carols with the kids. It is more than 20 years old and still looks a treat. It is a reminder that sometimes spending a bit more money for quality can save you in the long run.
My wife volunteered herself and our Son (13) and Daughter to help out at their church for their Christmas Lunch. She hoped to remind them Christmas wasn’t just all about presents. They helped usher and feed 180 odd people who were suffering hard times or finding themselves alone. I don’t involve myself with church, so I had some quiet time and got to play EVE and blog about it on Christmas Day.
Afterwards the four of us sat down together to eat an early Christmas Tea. Instead of the roast, we have cold meats and salads, followed by pudding. It is more in line with the temperatures and what the kids prefer.
Temperature plays a big part in Christmas here. Today it got to 39.8 degrees Celsius. We were meant to be visiting my parents – but for days they have had and will continue to have similar temperatures, and they don’t have air-conditioning in the rooms we are meant to sleep in. We will have to wait for the weather to turn. My wife and I combat the heat as best we can – such as tonight we had milkshakes. (We’ll ignore the fact the house is air-conditioned and quite comfortable.)
In whatever way and conditions you go through this festive time of year, I hope you manage to find your own magic.