One tradition that has become a bit more flexible is the decorating of the house and Tree. We still loosely aim at December 1st, however this now gets worked around the working week. Hence it is now December 2nd and I still have to go get the boxes of goodies out of storage! This weekend we are trying to juggle everyone's availabilty for our annual trip to the Christmas Tree Farm in Mooroduc, a long-standing tradition that everyone still sees as a highlight of the year. We converted from a fake tree to a real one around about the same time the Farm started business and we love the ritual of selecting, bringing home and decorating the tree - and trying to keep it "alive" through summer heat until January 6th, the official un-decorating day. It is a lesson in compromise when a family of five adults consult over exactly which tree out of several hundred is the right one and lots of fun!
Another key event on our calendar is the annual visit to The City (Melbourne, one hour from our home) which involves a visit to Santa for photos and a visit to see the Myer Christmas Windows. Yes, our three adult children plus one (Kaitlyn's now-husband has come along since they first started going out!) troop into Santa's tiny grotto and snuggle up for a photo - this will be the 26th year running! Even when Melissa was in New Zealand for two years, the photos of Kaitlyn and Kieran with Santa were supplemented by ones of Melissa aged 21/22 with a very jolly Santa!
The Christmas Windows at Myer have been a part of my life since coming to Melbourne when I was three and quickly became a family tradition from Melissa's infancy. We try very hard not to learn the theme before we get there - increasingly challenging in today's world of social media.
So, this is Christmas.
Want to see the whole history?
Family Christmas Scrapbook
Santa Photo album