Forget the 12 days of Christmas, these are my 12 ways of Christmas…
I do love Christmas! Even though it’s too damn hot most years here in the Southern hemisphere, I love the pageantry, the catch-ups with friends and family and of course, the traditions.
Now as a ‘grown up’ and head of my own Christmas traditions, I’ve settled into comfortably running my own show, my traditions include :
Bauble picking with my son.
Since he was small, we have made it an event to go to a big department store and pick a new bauble for the tree each year.
The end goal is a tree full of memories for him when he is big enough to take his baubles and decorate his own tree. There have been some hilarious choices over the years, but they are all his.
Not many trees boast a pink glitter macaroon but ours does and it makes me smile each year when we rediscover it.
Crying at ‘Love Actually’
Generally watched in the days leading into Christmas. I am still so devastated for Emma Thompson in this flick…you know the scene! Tears flow every single year!
Ugh – how could he?
Department store window decorations
Those elaborate displays in the city department stores are magnificent, and always remind me of being a kid myself. The look of wonder on little faces is always pure magic.
Although it’s hot in these Antipodean regions at Christmas, there is still plenty of frozen Winter scenes on display, even if we are standing in sundresses and shorts to witness.
Gift-wrapping Christmas Eve…
Gift-wrapping at our place happens Christmas Eve. It is always done singing along to my very favourite ‘carol’ – Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.
This is not your typical kind of Christmas song. Instead it’s a rollicking chaotic poem set to music. It’s a tale of lost dreams and a painful longing for home and the familiar.
I absolutely adore this song, best sung joyously full tilt and out of tune while enjoying a beverage.
Started by my partner in crime husband a while back. This has now become a Christmas tradition.
We kick start this with gift-wrapping and Pogues singing (see above). It’s a great chance to spend time together, chatting and knocking back the frothy fizz poured into our favourite champagne glasses.
Baileys coffees Christmas morning
No Christmas morning is complete without a huge slug of Baileys in your coffee.
The bleary eyed tumble down the stairs with an excited child is magical, but it’s usually bloody early and a slug of Baileys makes the early morning worth it. Another with breakfast makes for a very chilled out morning!
A Christmas day swim.
It’s normally baking hot, so by the time we’ve opened gifts and had a lovely breakfast, it’s time for a pre-lunch swim. Historically this has been at the beach, but the older my son gets, the more he just wants to swim at home – suits me, another Baileys coffee please!
The free for all that is Christmas dinner…
My extended family normally gets together to eat Christmas dinner. Over the years this has included ‘orphan’ friends, but now also includes orphan friends with children and partners, parents in law and anyone at a loose end. Everybody chips in and brings delicious bites so no one has the workload to bear.
Too noisy, too hot, too many people, a late night …exactly how it should be – food, fun and family!
‘Bad’ movies after Christmas dinner
Watching a terrible Christmas movie, or at least one we have seen a thousand times before to finish off Christmas Day is a must.
Bursting at the seams from dinner, we throw ourselves down on the couch, pick the cheesiest Christmas movie we can find and chill. Die Hard on Christmas Day for the win! Needless to say, a sneaky couch snooze is also mandatory!
Leftovers on Boxing Day!
I love the day after Christmas. The hard work has been done; the leftovers have been distributed and there is nothing more to do than simply chill-out and enjoy the food!
Is anything more delightful than finding a piece of cheesecake in the fridge when you thought it had all been eaten the day before? I don’t think so.
Boxing Day sales
I never actually need anything, and nowadays everything is on sale all the time, but I love the thrill of the chase. I hit the shops armed with a water bottle and Birkenstocks for wheels so I can walk for miles. My credit card tired but not defeated, after Christmas present shopping.
Obviously this is a solo mission; my boys don’t have the stamina required for this business!
That quiet period between Christmas and New Year …
The lull between Christmas and New Year is just simple bliss for me. The frantic rush to ‘do’ Christmas has passed and this one week is for really chilling out!
Catching up with friends, hanging out with family with nothing more to do than swim, eat, read and relax.
Hell yes to more of that!
Tracy is a media professional working in television. An enthusiastic explorer of the inter webs, she's held many different roles and has worked on documentary, reality and lifestyle television shows across almost two decades in the industry. Tracy also writes.