Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive!
It is around this time of year that I get filled with nostalgia & start reminiscing about the Christmas & New Year Traditions of my family & childhood. Today we can get so caught up in the gift buying shopping frenzy that we forget to appreciate the things we loved about Christmas when we were young, or before we had as many responsibilities as we do today.
I have so many fond memories of Christmas & there is so much more to enjoy than an extravagant lunch & what's wrapped under the tree. I thought I'd share a few of my favourites with you:
1. The Myer Christmas Window is a tradition I loved so dearly. My Grandma Jessie and I would catch the train to Melbourne, have a high tea lunch, go shopping & then spend some time admiring the Myer Christmas Window which was full of over the top & whimsical Christmas make-believe & imagination.
2. Carols in the Park & playing Christmas Albums. There is something about Christmas carols that warms up my soul & bring waves of emotion as I am flooded with nostalgia. I do love having a Christmas album playing in the background while I am cooking, wrapping presents & writing my Christmas cards. I must thank Spotify for making every Christmas song that was ever written accessible as I can really immerse myself in the festive melodies all month long!
3. The humble chocolate Advent Calendar is still the perfect countdown to Christmas. The excitement & anticipation for the 1st day of December and every day after from a simple chocolate window is so delightfully wholesome.
4. Decorating the Christmas tree sometimes seems like a big job, but once you get started you really do realise it is such a fun & special tradition to do with loved ones. I definitely don't get caught up in colour coordinating & perfection styling, it doesn't matter if the tree is lopsided or the decorations are from the '80s. I love a mismatched tree with plenty of colourful tinsel, flashing lights & whatever decorations I pull out of the box. Afterwards, I love flopping on the couch for the evening and just enjoying the glow of the tree with my Christmas tunes playing in the background.
5. Wandering through the local neighbourhood Christmas light display to amaze over the effort & dedication that individuals put into decorating their homes for the enjoyment of others. There is 1 particular house I visit nearby where the dear owner John is up a ladder setting up his display from early October. He creates a magical wonderland for our community, a sparkling fantasyland where everyone no matter their age really gets to feel like a kid again.
6. Baking Christmas pudding, rum balls or gingerbread from scratch. I love putting on my favourite apron (while Christmas Carols play), pulling out my trusty old measuring cups & gathering my spices that have been hiding in the back of the pantry all year. Just thinking about baking I am imagining the smell of cinnamon, sugar and spice taking over the house. The current weather we are experiencing is at least very inspiring for baking, which is what I think I will be doing this weekend.
7. Attending a neighbourhood, street Christmas party or having a drink with your neighbour. Christmas is really a great time to connect with the people around us. Why not knock on your neighbour's door and share a glass of wine or a cuppa. I am already looking forward to next week when the local fire brigade tour the streets with Santa & we perch up a camping chair and join our neighbours and their kids as Santa greets us all from the fire truck.
8. Donating to charity, gifting a toy or food hamper to a family in need. I remember every Christmas taking dry food items to school for hampers & my mum buying extra gifts when we were shopping to wrap up and donate to children who would not receive any gifts. We would pick the tags off the tree at the shopping centre which gave the age of the child and we would browse Big W and other stores for board games or fun toys that they would open on Christmas Day. Thinking about this memory has reminded me that Christmas isn't a perfect time of year for everyone & if we are in a position to be generous we should take the opportunity to think of others.
9. To wrap up my favourite Christmas memories it would have to be watching an old Christmas movie on Christmas eve with some Christmas cookies, chocolate & probably a yummy drink like a gin & soda with a sprig of fresh mint & squeeze of lime. Thanks to the world of streaming services we really do have every Christmas movie ever made at our fingertips, so this year I might even watch something new!
I hope this inspires you to keep these special Christmas traditions alive & to enjoy this wonderful time of year!