I’m starting to think that Christmas is a lot like parenting, everyone has their own style, and yet we still all compare with others!
As a youngster growing up, I had no idea that Christmas could be stressful. My parents made it all look so easy.
Then at 22, I impulsively came to New Zealand on a bit of a whim, it must be said. At this age, Christmas didn’t really bother me. I didn’t celebrate it. It just meant extra days off work to spend at the beach.
But then things changed…
I got married. My husband’s family like to spend Christmas all together as a family. A nice family tradition – cool.
Those first family Christmases were so super hard for me. Kiwi Christmas is nothing like English Christmas. I’m sure my new kiwi family thought I was being hard work, but the reality was, I was starting to feel the first pangs of homesickness. Spending time in big family groups highlighted that I miss my family.
Making new traditions…
Then along came our little people. This made Christmas so much more bearable for me. It gave the whole thing purpose. The magic, the awe that I created for my little people. It all started to make sense at last.
We have made our own little traditions along the way, our use of Christmas jumpers at the Smith & Caughey’s Winter Wonderland to see Santa. Plus we are the family that sticks their tongues out for said photo…
But it never dampened my need for a more “traditional” English Christmas.
Which has led to me taking my little ones back to the UK, to spend Christmas with my family this year.
As I’m planning my trip, I am being bombarded with advice and other people’s traditions on what I should do. Exactly like when you have a baby really!
I know people think I am crazy for heading back to the UK for this time of year – leaving a beautiful Kiwi summer to head into a notorious English winter. But for me, Christmas will always be about the dark early evenings, the Christmas lights (again in the dark) and the warming your hands by the fire with a warm coco before opening Christmas presents. Wrapping up warm and heading to the pub for a Christmas drink at lunch time while mum cooks the turkey.
These things are my Christmas memories that I can’t wait to share with my children – what are yours??
Share with me your Christmas traditions – I can’t wait to hear from you!
Cute Cuddles NZ