Friday, 22 December 2017

Christmas traditions - what are yours?





I sometimes wonder how each family's Christmas traditions get forged over time.  In my own family the traditions have been pretty constant since childhood with one big exception.

As you know Christmas falls in summer here.  But despite that we used to have a roast goose or duck for Christmas lunch.  Followed by Christmas Pudding.  Completely unsuited to the weather.  I can remember my mother being very stressed by having to pluck the bird.  One year I remember she tried to singe the feather off and her tea towel caught fire.

Many years ago we lost our mother in between Christmas and New Year.  That Christmas she was in the hospital, too ill to come home.  And we just couldn't get enthused about doing the normal festive meal.  So we just had cold ham and salad followed by fresh fruit salad.  And we enjoyed the coolness and simplicity so much that this is the sort of meal we have for Christmas every year since then.

In the mornings we used to have a Christmas stocking each which contained an orange in the toe, some chocolate coins and unshelled nuts.  There were also little presents. After a bit of googling I have discovered that the orange is traditionally meant to represent gold.  It refers to the story of St Nicholas tossing bags or balls of gold to children at Christmas.

I can't explain the nuts – we used to shell them with a hammer later in the day.

We also eat mince pies – does everyone do this – these are pastry shells with fruit mince.  Historically mince pies were filled with meat – often lamb.  So just how this got turned into the fruit mix, I'm not sure.

Last, but not least, Christmas Crackers.  Why we enjoy putting on silly paper hats, I don't know but we do.  The best bit about the crackers are the completely lame jokes in them.  They are so lame they are hilarious.  I imagine there are some people specially employed to select them.

Some goodies:

Why was the snowman looking through the carrots?
He was picking his nose!

Why are Christmas trees bad knitters?
They keep losing their needles!

Why did the pony have to gargle?
Because it was a little horse!

What Christmas  traditions are special to your family?

2 comments:

  1. I love this post of yours and hearing about your traditions! It’s not Summer in Texas but I’m sitting outside in the gazebo and it has been warm today! Too warm for December. I yearn for cold and quilts and fireplaces. Maybe soon.
    We, my children and I, have long celebrated on Christmas Eve. That tradition continues. We gather and usually roll Sugarplums together before having a big dinner and then opening gifts. Christmas morning has become a celebration where we....my siblings and I and our children who can come if they are not involved in their own families.....gather at my sister’s home in Fort Worth, Texas and have Christmas breakfast together. Then we do a Chinese Christmas Tree which is a lot of fun! Then we disperse to go to our Children’s homes or wherever.....
    Christmas is a magical time and it’s amazing the different ways we all celebrate!

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  2. That’s a good post, hearing about your traditions. Awful about losing your mom though and I think durning holiday times it just seems much worse. We had a goose only once. When I was growing up near Philadelphia we usually had snow so as kids we hoped to get out sledding or using saucers on the snow packed hills. Mom would prepare a massive meal with turkey, homemade breads and lots of veggies. Mince pies are still my favorite and I can’t get them in Florida, but they always had fruit as you mentioned.
    Now we grill fish and if this weather keeps up, we can eat outside on Christmas. Loved your jokes ! I wish we had crackers and party hats, maybe I should start a new tradition for my granddaughter.

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Your comments are most welcome. Cheers