Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Now that Tirzah's birthday has come and gone, our family can truly begin celebrating the Christmas season.

When we lived in Perth we always attended the Christmas nativity play in Forest Place, drove around to look at streets with Christmas lights, and went to the beach on Christmas afternoon...not to mention the endless cricket! As Peter Combe sings,

"There's cricket on telly all day and night.
It's the perfect way to waste time.
Short men and tall
hitting bat upon ball,
and running around in their yellow pyjamas."

Now we are in Hong Kong we will have to find new things to do. I've heard that many of the shopping centres have elaborate Christmas decorations, so perhaps we can visit at least some of those displays.

This afternoon we had fun decorating our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas carols on the stereo.

We still need to buy some lights to put up as ours were left behind in Australia. This year it was Keegan's turn to put the star on top of the tree.

As many families do, we buy a new Christmas ornament for each child each year. Jemilla's ornaments are all heart-shaped, as you can see from the photo below. Some are extra special; for instance, the smaller one third from the left in the top row my mother bought in South Africa. You can also see the Ariel shrinkydink ornament we made from last year on the bottom right.

Keegan's set of ornaments are all stars, which are much easier to find in the shops, believe me! The orange star, like Jemilla's orange heart, was bought in Bali on our tenth wedding anniversary holiday. Keegan's favourite is the baseball one on the end, naturally.

I am collecting "joy" ornaments for Tirzah, as Joy is her middle name. Family and friends have been on the look-out for these, and I have stockpiled a few for future years just in case I can't find them wherever we may be living at the time.

I'll make sure to take a photo for you of their ornaments for 2009 when we get them.

So what traditions do you celebrate at Christmas time? I like to ask families this question, and here are some of their replies:

  • Baking a birthday cake for Jesus and singing "Happy Birthday".
  • Reading a traditional Christmas story or watching the same Christmas movie every year.
  • Everyone receives a new pair of pyjamas on Christmas Eve.
  • Having photos with Santa.
  • Volunteering at a community Christmas breakfast event.
  • Acting out the Christmas story as a family.
  • Camping under the Christmas tree in sleeping bags.
  • Putting a present under the Wishing Tree/giving presents to charity.
  • Baking and decorating Christmas cookies together.
  • Eating pizza while putting up the Christmas tree.
  • Having an advent calendar.
  • Making a gingerbread house.
  • Visiting a retirement home or hospital on Christmas day.

Please let me know if you have other ones to add to my list.


  1. I'm impressed that you can remember from year to year whose turn it is to put the star on the top of the tree. Do you have to resort to looking at old photos for evidence?

    It's lovely to see all your ornaments together. That's a beautiful tradition, Renee!

  2. Your tradition of collecting decorations is truly beautiful...just this week I heard from my dear friend at church that she does the same with her children. I am so jealous that I didn't think of it or hear about it and implement it with our children...oh will just have to wait till my grand children come along. :)

    Just a couple of things we do at Christmas...

    We create our own manger (with baby Jesus) and place it at the foot of the christmas tree.

    Each Christmas morning we read an account of the Christmas of my all time favourites is a book called 'The nativity' with lovely illustrations by Julie Vivas. You'd love it Renee if you don't already know it.

    The 3 girls go shopping together specifically to buy a present for each of the 3 boys and the 3 boys go shopping to buy something for the 3 girls.

    Over the past few years we have been into 'The Advent Conspiracy' it....its great food for thought.