Traditions are near and dear to me.
Perhaps it partly has to do with being adopted, and grasping onto special memories that really made me feel like we were finally ‘home’ when we moved in with our parents.
Or, maybe I am just more of a soppy person.
Having family in the States, and have had the opportunity to have a couple of white Christmases with a huge family that filled up the room.
Going on tours of the towns seeing all of the over the top light displays while the snow flakes fall to the ground.
Attending Church services with the most amazing Christmas plays, Christmas carolers stopping by your home, and food – so much delicious food!
Visiting shopping malls with Christmas music, and sales and decorations everywhere!!!
A house overflowing with family – all having driven in and flown in from different states around America – all to be in the same place for Christmas.
All of the kids sleeping on mattresses around the tree on the night of Christmas eve, watching Christmas movies with popcorn, hot cocoa and cookies.
The memories leave me wishing to be my five year old self again, back in this moment.
But, the part that stands out the most to me is FAMILY.
The years that we weren’t in the States, our Christmas was small, intimate and quieter.
They were still just as special, just different.
We would attend the Carols by Candle light service at our Church at the seaside, in short sleeves, because we aint got no white Christmas here in South Africa.
Christmas morning would mean unwrapping gifts from Father Christmas and our parents.
And then we would rush off to Church for the Christmas Day service.
We would then return home or to whichever family members home and have a Christmas lunch.
When we were younger, we would alternate different family members homes. And then it became just a handful of us as everyone immigrated or after some of the older folks passed away.
And then, my very own sweet family grew by one.
And, the meaning of Christmas changed oh so much for me.
There was a new spark that was added to Christmas. This year has been amazing to start really teaching Olly some of the Christmas stories. He just adores them.
He attempts to sing along to Christmas carols, and we write down his Christmas wish list for Santa together.
Christmas comes up daily from the day he sees the first Christmas decorations in the malls.
It has become exciting all over again.
Amazing what a little soul can do.
As you can see, traditions are something very close to my heart.
Each year on Christmas we bake Christmas cookies together. It is something I did with my mom, and something I really wanted to do with Olly.
The Christmas music plays throughout our home, and the smell of freshly baked cookies makes its way through our home.
Cinnamon, and peanut butter cookies come out tray by tray as if we are trying to break a world record.
The home turns into a mess. Colourful icing, sprinkles and flour everywhere.
Faces are filled with batter and fingers filled with sticky cookie dough.
The sink filled with mixing bowls and baking utensils.
Trays of imperfect cookies cover the counter.
It really is a happy day. And one that will always be a special memory to me. And I hope one that Olly has as a happy memory of Christmas Day as he grows older.
I know for many, Christmas isn’t a happy time of the year. And I do sometimes feel selfish for loving it as much as I do.
It reminds me of happy times with so many people who are no longer here with us.
It reminds me of times spent with family and friends who live thousands and thousands of miles away.
But mostly, it is a reminder of how many amazing memories are yet to be made with this family I get to call my very own.
So, here’s to the countdown to Christmas. I must be honest by saying that I’m not sure how we are already here!
BUT, it certainly is the most magical time of the year for me.
A huge thank you to the incredibly talented Carina at https://www.crieneimages.com/ for these magical photos of Olly and myself in the (early) spirit of Christmas.
I also have to add – the beautiful and fun products available for Christmas these days is just amazing. It really is a fun time to shop for Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and bits and bobs for Christmas. The featured products were sourced from the following places:
Typo, Woolworths, Clicks and Hirsch’s Homestore to name a few. And, Olly was dressed by Dandylion Kids.
I love to hear about other families Christmas traditions. If you have one of your own, please do let me know in the comment tab below. And, keep an eye out for the exciting Christmas giveaways I have coming up weekly!