And so we find ourselves here again – it’s December, and we have no idea how we got here. Admittedly a lot has happened in a year – if you had told me last December I would be living in Hong Kong in six months, I would not have believed you. Yet here we are. Walter turned one and is now nearly two. Heike turned four and grew up into a little girl. I spent a lot of money on eye creams. Yet time has whizzed right past.
Obviously at this time of year the focus is on CHRISTMAS! I am a massive Christmas nerd/big child so I get really excited at this time of year. This year we are leaving for Germany on December 16 (two weeks!) so we aren’t investing in a tree, but I am still trying to make the house Christmas-y for the kids.
It’s a funny thing, being somewhere away from home at Christmas time. J has always talked about Australian Christmas never feeling like “real Christmas”, and I think Germans quite pride themselves on their festive traditions. But of course it’s real to us Aussies, and we do have traditions even though it might not feel like it to them.
To me Christmas starts on December 1st when the plastic tree gets dragged out of the attic and the Christmas lights get detangled ready to go up around the house. The chocolate advent calendar gets broken into of course. The hotter the weather, the better. Yesterday photos were popping up on my Facebook of people putting up their trees in shorts and singlets and I felt SO homesick.
Then the festivities continue throughout the month – loads of barbecues with a cold Sav Blanc and Christmas Crackers, way too much ham and trifles and pav’s galore. LOTS of laughter. A feeling of goodwill and a carefree buzz in the air.
Christmas Eve is all about more drinks with friends and close family and nine times out of ten you’re stuck in the Coles or Woolies car park at some point in the day. As it gets dark you get ready for Santa to come and turn on the Carols by Candlelight. You kiss your loved ones to bed with excitement in the pit of your tummy.
Christmas morning – Santa has been of course. Everyone sits down with a cuppa and the absolute best part of the day is watching the kids open their presents. It’s obligatory that this is done in pyjamas. You exchange gifts with the rest of the family and when the living room is covered in discarded wrapping paper and enough ham and egg rolls have been eaten you realise that, shit, it’s 10.30, you’re still in your PJs and everyone is arriving in an hour and a half for Christmas lunch. Luckily we are usually at my parents for Christmas and they are highly organised. I’m only ever trusted to make salads and desserts and that’s fine with me!
Christmas lunch – way too much food, way too much wine. There’s a slight disappointment that it’s over mixed with relief and contentment. And you still have boxing day, which is like Christmas day’s fun, uncomplicated younger sister.
Now we are a half German, had Australian family living in Hong Kong, so we have to make our own traditions. While we like to have a nice dinner on the 24th and exchange some gifts, we will always open presents from Santa in our jarmies on the 25th. And wherever we are there will always be a lot of love to go around!
Yesterday the kids and I had fun decorating our little apartment. Hong Kong is beautiful right now, Christmas flowers and lights everywhere. I will try to share some pictures with you as we explore!
How do you celebrate Christmas?