I ended up answering a e-group email and as I started writing it all came back. So I figured it was worth posting here as well.
We must be weird – because somehow Christmas has never gotten as complicated and I’m still trying to work out if we are missing something – but we are happy with what we do …..
Incidentally for one one side of the family tree Christmas is a big deal, for the other side Christmas is a family get together and very very relaxed. We are somewhere in between, lots of tradition, not too much stress.
Oh and our main emphasis is that Christmas is a birthday party and Santa doesn’t visit us.. Also it’s a little hotter and therefore laid back because after all you can only do so much on a midsummer’s day.
We do one present for each of the kids, and one for each member of my husband’s family and my mum.
Our kids do presents for each other with a $5 limit – it makes them think about what and why. Lately they have tended to thing outside the square and make something themselves – especially those that are
inclined that way.)
We also do Christmas vouchers (Vouchers for the kids that let them have dessert after dinner, lollipops where we go through the supermarket, stay up one hours, a day off school etc.) Fun stuff that make the year a little more fun. I think this is the favorite thing they look for on Christmas morning.
My husband makes a large batch of Russian Fudge, and we give it away in wrapped in cellophane to close friends and anyone that surprises us. Yep he makes enough that we get to enjoy it as well.
I send out personal handwritten Christmas cards to friends out of town, or email people I only catch up with once a year – that’s my main stress.
We run a sweet filled, verse filled advent calendar – that sometimes includes things we should do to prepare for Christmas.
Our Christmas decorations consist of a small live tree – which I need to replace this year as the last one needed to be planted out – we add one decoration each year a symbol celebrating what God has done in the year in our family. We record it in a tiny notebook that also sits on the tree and read it as we decorate the tree. It’s a very special time. It gets decorated when we get the urge, and taken down - yep when the tree looks like it needs to be outside again.
Christmas eve is either Church services, and / or driving round looking at everyone else’s Christmas lights, the lights idea is new to our part of the world so only a few people decorate their houses.
On the day
Breakfast when we get to it is Christmas mince pies. Thats the fruit filled type.
At mid-day ish we have a simple Roast Turkey meal, and plum pudding, started with something special in the way of nibbles, but not over the top. If we don’t have a church service, my husband gets out his guitar and plays and we sing. If we come across another family at a loose end, they are welcome to join us – normally then I kinda make it a bit more pot luck.
And the evening meal – well being pragmatic as always – its leftovers for anyone who is still hungry, from memory it may be that that is when we get round to finishing off the main meal and having dessert. And we cut Jesus' birthday cake. (The traditional English rich fruit cake with Royal icing.)
The afternoon – well we relax and the kids play, traditionally as Kiwi culture we should play cricket, but the kids aren’t old enough yet. I suspect this year it might be that we make it.