Just the other day one of my friends was telling me about a lovely activity her family has fallen into and it sounds very much like it's becoming a special tradition in her home. She and her grown up children head on out to a Canadian Christmas tree farm, choose the trees they want and chop them down then and there themselves. My friend takes along home-baked cookies and hot chocolate to keep the workers happy and bring a whole lot of extra Christmas cheer. If she's lucky they'll also have a sprinkling of snow to make everything sparkle before heading home and setting up the trees with treasured decorations.
Our Christmas often involves hanging things - baubles and fake snow flakes mostly (there's no such thing as real snow here in December, unless you count the piled up hail we had in an unseasonal thunderstorm a decade or so ago). We also love to bring out family heirlooms made in the 60s and 70s, advent calendars with pictures not chocolates (increasingly rare in Australia) and reading 'The Night Before Christmas'. The tree now has to go on a table to prevent Melon (jack russell dog) from admiring the decorations a bit too closely!
In Australia, with a December blaring sun, we either embrace the heat, fire up the barbie and bring out the salads or stick our heads in the sand, turn on the oven and get ready to bake (in more ways than one) - while sticking up plastic snowflakes on the window. Here in my house we do a bit of both and one tradition we've created fits in regardless of whether we pretend it's snowing or accept the searing sun and surprise, surprise it has to do with hats! Crazy Christmas hats (without which FishPetals Do Fly may never have flown at all!).
Christmas hats made from pipe cleaners, tech junk, laminated junk mail, tulle, satin, chicken wire, foam, baubles, you name it!
It was many Christmases ago that I decided flimsy paper crowns from the crackers had had their day and instead I would make each family member their own Christmas Crown - not of gold and silver but of ribbon, pompoms , pipe cleaners, perspex. As the family expanded new hats were made and eventually old hats replaced and over the years there's been a snow cone of chicken wire for my farmer brother-in-law, a wreath of computer parts for my geek brother-in-law, a golden leafed cap for my gardener mum, and fabric fish turban for my fisherman husband. Our Christmas Crowns, that get brought out just before lunch on Christmas day and are worn for only an hour or two, have become one of our family traditions.
My crown is tulle, pipe cleaners & trinkets. Isobel's is a swimming cap adorned with plastic leaves & coloured dragon flies and - yes - she has to be plugged in!
I'd love to hear about your traditions and what makes your day special. I hope you all have a safe and happy December whether you celebrate Christmas or not.
Killing Santa - a developing tradition.
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