1. What is your favourite Christmas memory?
Hmm, there's not one that really stands out above all the rest, but I really did love last Christmas, as all my family from across the world came together for the first time in ages and we had a truly amazing Christmas :)
|The clan on Christmas Eve 2012|
This answer is kinda like the one above. I've been blessed with so many special gifts that there isn't one that really stands out. I mostly just remember how each Christmas made me feel :)
3. What do you/your family do for Christmas?
My family has our big Christmas get-together on Christmas Eve. We alternate having dinner at my mom's house and my aunt's house. We have a HUGE dinner with my Ouma, aunts, uncles, cousins, partners... everyone! We all get presents for each other, and we spend the entire evening (from say 5/6pm til past midnight) alternating between eating and opening gifts! In the morning, we go to church (my family is Catholic) for the early mass. After church, we have breakfast and open a few more special presents. Lunch is always amazing, my mom is seriously talented! After lunch, we normally just relax, maybe splash around in the pool or read our Christmas books (always get some of these as gifts!).
4. How many days before Christmas does your decorating start?
We normally start with our full-on decorating at the beginning of Advent (that's 4 Sundays before Christmas).
|A peek at our Christmas tree this year :)|
Our Christmas menu deviates from the "traditional" because (a) SA Christmases take place in Summer and (b) I personally don't like gammon or turkey. We normally start our Christmas eve dinner with some refreshing cocktails and some canapes. Starters are normally seafood based - my favourite menu would have a prawn dish (this year is going to be a prawn, mango and chilli salad). For mains, I would choose roast chicken, chipolatas wrapped in bacon (oven roasted not pan fried), a big salad (I loved last years', which had rocket, blueberries, mango and beetroot) and Belgian-style croquettes (or alternately potatoes roasted in goose or duck fat). Obviously, towards the end, you don't want a hot or rich desert, so I'd choose to finish with some homemade ice-cream (my current fave is condensed milk, peanut brittle and cherry), a pavola ladened with summer berries and maybe a handful of Christmas cookies! (You can see my post on last year's Christmas Eve dinner over here).
|Christmas Eve 2012- Selected dishes from the main course|
Nope, not yet.
7. What traditions will you continue with your future family?
I love so many of the traditions of Christmas and would love to pass them down to my own family one day.I love the tradition of decorating the entire house, complete with a Nativity scene (using inherited figurines) and an Advent wreath (this contains four candles, one gets lighted each Sunday of Advent). I love spending the week before Christmas in the kitchen, doing the necessary baking with my mother (and hopefully one day with my own daughter). I love using traditional colours: gold for the newborn King, red for the blood that He would shed, green to represent the eternal life He brings. I love our tradition of having a huge Christmas Eve with the family, of watching dozens of presents being handed out, watching the family open them, of the little games and jokes that get played. I will continue the tradition of going to church early on Christmas day (I normally go to church with my family every Sunday morning normally as well). I love that for us Christmas isn't just one day: there's the four weeks of waiting (Advent), there's the Christmas celebrations themselves, and then there are the 12 days of Christmas, from 25 December to 5 January (ending with the feast of the Epiphany on 6 January). (Christmas decorations don't come down until then).
|Our little Nativity set|
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen! Plus Rudolph, of course ;)
(Only because I'm the nerd that has read "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (the "'twas the night before Christmas" poem) a million times!) (My friends have nicknamed me Google, does that invalidate my answer?)
9. It's 5am on Christmas morning: where will you be found?
Lying in bed, having been awoken by the morning sunlight, counting down exactly how long I get to still stay in bed before I have to get up, shower and go to Church (our mass starts at 7h45am, but I'll have to be there much earlier).
10. Did you ever sneak a peak at your Christmas presents?
Not that I can remember. But lately, I get to choose some of my presents, so there's no need to ;)
|Presents underneath the tree!|
All the pretty things! Things such as makeup, nail polish, perfume, pamper goodies, books (to make my brain pretty!) and jewelry. Oh! And world peace! ;)
12. What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas is a time when we come together with loved ones to celebrate life, to celebrate hope, to celebrate the gifts that we have been given.