16 Dec
Our Christmas last year was a relatively minimal affair.  We didn’t do much beyond eat a supermarket mince pie before the 23rd.  Instead, this time last year we were meeting penguins and flying in helicopters.  Both amazing, but not especially festive.  Christmas Day itself, was spent with kind and lovely friends; we ate turkey and pavlova, played in our new paddling pool and watched the Queen’s speech.  The children didn’t get many presents, but they seemed pretty pleased all the same.  There was no frantic shopping, no overwhelming number of commitments or piles of new stuff to find a home for.  One might almost say it was relaxing.
This year is different.  We’re knee deep in piano recitals, nativity plays, carol concerts and parties.  We’ve food to buy, awkward parcels to wrap, rooms to decorate with greenery and sausage rolls to make.  Definitely not relaxing.
As I sit here, damply typing after a sleety dog walk, the sunny days spent on Opunake beach seem very appealing.  But.  There’s nothing quite like listening to a small child singing carols in a candle lit church.  Or a trip to the panto in a real theatre in a festively bedecked West End.  Or walking home carrying a ginormous tree along with similarly burdened neighbours.
I’m not sure what we’ve brought back from our Kiwi Christmas other than happy memories, some jandal* tree decorations and a recipe for pavlova.  It doesn’t currently feel as if we’ve held onto the simplicity that I so valued last year.  But it’s good to be home.
*if you can’t remember what a jandal is, then I’ve failed in my attempts to educate you in the multifarious ways of referring to flip flops in faraway places.

9 Responses to “Tradition”

  1. The Mad House 16/12/2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I think Christmas is all about traditions and this year we have simplified things, but you are right there is nothing like carols sung by children in a church. I think our traditions are so tied up in our place that being somewhere else much make it easier to not be so traditional

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 19/12/2011 at 5:35 pm #

      You’re right. If you’re somewhere entirely different, it’s much easier to do different things.

  2. Chris Mosler 16/12/2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Have you really got jandals on your tree? Christmas here is so mad but it is those simple bits which make it work…the carols, the kids in tea towels, chestnuts, oranges…it’s all about senses for me.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 19/12/2011 at 5:37 pm #

      I do have jandals on my tree. And a campervan. Senses very important, don’t forget fires and the smell of pine trees..

  3. Paula 16/12/2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Of course I remember what a jandal is! There’s nothing quite like Christmas at home is there? Our tree is currently looking what can only be described as ‘free form’ and there is an avalanche of christmas cards every time someone shuts the living room door. I’m not changing a thing.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 19/12/2011 at 5:54 pm #

      I’m glad I have taught you something.

  4. Lisa 16/12/2011 at 8:06 pm #

    Beautiful photo! I could do without the frantic shopping and other preparations too but look forward to the Christmas concerts, decorating the tree and going to the theatre for the annual panto (which we are doing tomorrow). Happy Holidays!!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 19/12/2011 at 5:55 pm #

      And Happy Christmas to you too!

  5. Jazzy @ bigtraveladventure 20/12/2011 at 5:56 am #

    Enjoy the bliss while you can, you never know you might change your mind and go on the road again.
    Happy holidays

    P.S. You might be surprisedI did remember jandals ;).

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