Sunday, December 9, 2012


I have taken this directly from my friend, Pauleen's blog ... I am a little past the start of Advent, but here I am... revised and republished..
You can read her answers here...

 To be involved, please copy the questions as below and add your own answers, then follow up by leaving a comment on Pauleen's blog, so she can collate the answers in a short while. It will be great to read of others Christmas traditions, what a beautiful way to unite us all at this time.
Thank you Cassmob (Pauleen).

It's the start of the Advent season today and I thought it would be fun if we shared our different experiences of Christmas and how we celebrate it around the world. By doing this through a geneameme we'll be able to compare our responses and see whether we do things very differently or if there's lots of similarities.
For this meme, it doesn't matter whether you're religiously inclined or not, just tell us how important this season is to your family.
It would be great if you joined in from around the world– the more the merrier (and it's the season to be merry!).  I've tried not to be Australia-centric so please pull me up if any of these are unclear…we should all be able to "have a go".

1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?
1.We always get together for Christmas lunch rather than a dinner, and follow the way that our family has always done with mainly hot food, no matter what the weather. 
2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?
2. We used to when we were small, but not now...

3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?
3. Of course, I still do :-) Our children and grandchildren believed, sad to say the grandchildren have decided they don't now, so that has left a great big gap in Santa's life...      but Santa has given me his private email, so I can pass on Christmas wishes

4.  Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood?
4. No, it would spoil everyone's Christmas.

5.   What's your favourite Christmas music?
5. I love all kinds, from traditional to pop. There is something really special to me about Chris Rea's Driving Home For Christmas... I can't help thinking about all who will be making their way home at this time.

6. What's your favourite Christmas carol?
6. Adeste De Fideles

7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read? 
7. Not really... I am usually a bit otherwise occupied, but my husband loves "White Christmas" and "Joyeux Noel". I tend to listen while I work.

8.  Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?
8. We used to always do individual gifts, but it's now a mixture, always gifts for the children and our own kids and parents, then  Secret Santa for the rest. There are now 16 of us for Christmas lunch, at least... The group is smaller, back to individual gifts

9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?
9. We take it in turns around the family, though as we don't have air con, we will be back at our daughter and family's place to make it easier for our elderly parents. It's mainly indoors, though they do have a pool. Our parents are no longer with us, we're the oldies mother in law passed in 2013, my father, in 2014, each aged 91. Still sadly missed.

10.  What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?
10. Roast turkey and vegetables, cold meats and salads...

11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?
11. Many of them, from gingerbread to kourabiethes (Greek shortbread), the Christmas cake and pudding .. plus. How this has changed, just a pudding this year, unless I get very enthusiastic and find a few extra hours over the next couple of days..

12.  Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?
12. It certainly does, with my recipe, that I have been using since I was a girl and decided that I would change the way it was done. Not many eat Christmas pudding now, but I still make at least one. There was a time when I'd make at least a dozen, the same with Chrismas cakes... and many batches of kourabiethes and gingerbread men..

13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?
13. See answer 11...  the grandchildren always come to bake the gingerbread men, as did their mother and uncle before them, with various cousins in between. That too, has changed, they are in their late to mid teens now..

14.  Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?
14. Yes, often puddings, cakes, etc. sometimes things like passionfruit butter and sauces. I have made everything from Santa Sacks to stockings, from Christmas wreaths to garlands...

15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?
15. Always.

16.  Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?
16.  We don't have as many people these years, and while we have always had decorations, many of them now are electronic, or bought, whereas it used to be all fresh flowers and leaves, Christmas bells made from milk bottle aluminium tops, chinese lanterns from old cards and crepe paper streamers and home made cardboard stars.

17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?
17. A mixture, but many live away now, so not as much celebrating these days. We still keep up with various family members and friends when we can, sometime over the Christmas/New Year period.

18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?
18. It varies, not a lot this year as we will be elsewhere, but we are gradually switching to solar so that will make a difference.

19. Is your neighbourhood a "Xmas lights" tour venue?
19. No, not at all, though a few more around this area are putting up lights as young families move back into the neighbourhood.

20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?
20. No, not since the children left school.

21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?
21. When we were younger and our family returned home for Christmas, we would 'go home' with a caravan and that would become the kitchen for the day. It would be taken out to the local headland, where we would swim or paddle, etc. and often catch extras for Christmas lunch which would be cooked there and then.

22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?
22. Always with family, but spread around 3 homes in turn. I suspect that will change in future years. Now, mostly between two homes, but always visit others.

23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?
23. Not really an option in SE Qld, we have had many storms with hail, that's about as close as we get.

24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?
24. Always... it has gone from a gum or she oak when we were small to various live pine ones, which used to grow in bushland near by, but now is an artificial one. Over the years, when it was a more crowded house, we have still managed to have some sort of tree, no matter how small.

25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?
25. See above... I should have read further on. 

26.  Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?
26. Yes, many are home made by the children, there are small framed photos of family members, some are from our very first married Christmas, others are crocheted by my mother in law, some are the children's choices as they were allowed to pick one decoration a year.

27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?
27. We don't have Thanksgiving in the southern hemisphere, which is a good thing with the seasonal heat. I can't imagine all that so close together.

Feel free to participate in this Christmas Geneameme and share your Christmas experiences!
Don't forget to leave a link to your geneameme response in the comments section or on Google+ or on Twitter using hashtag #xmasgeneameme. Thanks!


  1. Thanks for joining in Chris..I really enjoyed your responses, and yes, we have lots of Xmas practices in common. You reminded me of a few too -like the kids' hand-made decorations and soon it will be the grandkids. And I have all the pudding ingredients ready so we'll have a pudding prep session tomorrow ;-)

    I'm with you on #4! Happy Christmas. Pauleen

  2. Thanks for the comment. I've only read yours so far..and loved peeking in as it were. I have a feeling that the rest will be post Christmas reading.

  3. #4 gets my vote too! Love it :)

  4. Chris, your post reminded me of so many things. I'd forgotten that we used to make decorations with the aluminium milk bottle tops! And whenever I hear Chris Rea's Driving Home For Christmas I think about the time I stayed with a friend in Northern Ireland during an exceptionally frosty October... Ah, happy memories! :-)

  5. Chris Rea anytime, anywhere for me... I love his music.
    We used to gather mistletoe, much to the delight of the farmers, and make garlands intertwined with whatever flowers we could find and hang them over windows and doors, tied up with huge red crepe paper bows. How we loved crepe paper, great flowers, fancy dress costumes and mad hatter's hats, all would have been so boring without crepe paper... Do you remember making steamers and twisting it every couple of inches, after stretching it to make a petal shape, or criss crossing with a contrast colour and making chain streamers?

    Such fun... and I just remembered the 'snow' made out of Lux flakes and dribbled all over the Christmas tree... ;-)

  6. I enjoyed reading about your Christmas celebrations Chris. Have recently been thinking about how we always refer to "Christmas Dinner" although it's eaten in the middle of the day and at any other time would be called "lunch" ... mmmmhhh :-)
    We share the Christmas venue around too and is at my home this year but nearly had to change because the temp was expected to be 40degrees :-( ... I have a great airconditioner but my daughter's home with aircon + pool is even better. Even so, it always has to be a hot Christmas Dinner! ha ha ha ... all in the name of "tradition".
    Enjoy your celebrations and have a wonderful New Year. Cheers, Catherine.

  7. Great to read your comments as always, Catherine.. let's hope it's nowhere near the 40'C for you...
    May your traditional Christmas Lunch ;-) ( it's always that with us) be spiced with lots of love and laughter,
    and may the real dessert be the memories created!
    I look forward to continued friendship over the years ahead...

  8. The changes follow the patterns of our lives it seems with the sad loss of those close to us. Overall a time to celebrate being a family. Thanks for the revisit.

  9. It was interesting looking back... yes, we've lost far too many, but this Christmas, we add another.. who knows, maybe more in the future. Our greatest Christmas gift is always the presence of family rather than the presents.


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