Hey! How you doin’? Looking mighty fine, today! Oh my! And you brought me a coffee? I’ll keep you! Right, sit down, buckle up! I’m not sure where this train of thought will arrive, but do enjoy the ride
As a little Kiwi exploring London, I am really in awe of so many things.
For instance, the public transport system is bloody brilliant! You need to get from A to B without seeing the sun? Jump on the tube! Though, in saying that, the sun rarely makes an appearance…
The architecture is fantastic! Love the nicknames for some of the buildings, “Cheese grater”, “Gherkin”, brilliant!
And the names of certain streets I recognize due to movies/telly/books! Sometimes it feels as if I’ve already walked the streets I’m on… Bloody brilliant!
Sunday, I journeyed over to Bond Street to meet with my fantastically quirky, lovable, hairdresser/makeup artist Aunty! As soon as I heard, “Meet at Bond Street” I do admit to feeling like I was on a mission. And upon getting off the tube I was mighty disappointed to see not one Bond-esque character… No spy activity… No multi-function cars… Or jet-packs for that matter! Was momentarily so very disappointed.
And then I saw the Christmas decorations!
You see, I’m a sucker for Christmas. Not bothered with Halloween, I do enjoy Easter, and of course I LOVE my birthday (or birth-week… We drag out the celebrations)! But Christmas is my all time favourite. Kinda helps that Christmas falls in summer in NZ.
I am the one who usually starts asking for a Christmas tree around late-October/early-November. I find myself humming Christmas carols in June (does that make me too early, or too late?). I definitely am putting up the lights in November, if I haven’t done it earlier.
My family watch Christmas movies. Organize presents for everyone. Play Christmas music. Bake treats. Nana makes a WICKED egg nog, and heavily alcoholic Christmas cake. Laugh, sing, love, family.
Each Christmas Eve, we snuggle in and watch a Christmas movie, only lights on in the house are the Christmas lights. Just before bed, the cookies and milk are set next to the tree, and a couple of carrots and large bowl of water for the reindeer.
And then the magic happens. Stockings are filled, presents surround the tree, cookies and milk are consumed, carrots and water are gobbled up.
Christmas morning usually goes as follows…
Nana wakes first, she still gets so excited though always blames the kids for waking the house so early. She’ll begin by, not so quietly, banging cupboards and mugs, filling the kettle, and making hot drinks. All the while, singing Christmas carols, and making every effort to wake the house. If we don’t join her in the kitchen, one of the following occurs…
Loudly bursts into the room announcing, “Pressie time, pressie time!”
Switches on and off the bedroom lights.
Pulls blankets off beds.
And more often than not, all of the above happen!
As with each family, we have our own traditions. We present our gifts to each other, and everyone watches to see what lies beneath the thin covering of festive paper. Wrapping paper is ripped and piled in a heap on the floor, and often we jump into it! Wonderful, messy tradition. Any new clothes are immediately worn and shown off. New music is played.
A large brunch is cooked, many hands in the kitchen helping, hugging, laughing. We eat ’til we burst, then relax for the afternoon. And somehow we manage a feast fit for kings and queens, in the evening.
And we love it!
Boxing day is usually a day to relax. A big fry up of leftovers is cooked on the BBQ for breakfast, and I usually start a waterfight. Which resulted, one year, in all the adults in the kids paddling pool, fully clothed and singing merrily.
I love it!
We don’t necessarily want, nor need big presents, the main thing that is so very important for us is that the family is together, creating memories and traditions.
It will be an interesting Christmas for us this year, as I’m in London and they are still in the Land of the Long White Cloud, Paradise on earth. I will be learning and participating in new traditions this year, with my Uncle and his family in Wales. I will not be cooking on a BBQ outside in a singlet and shorts, and I doubt I’ll be starting a waterfight… However, I might be seeing snow!!
Seeing the decorations throughout the city, and hearing the carols floating down the streets, has me in such a giddy festive mood!
I can’t wait for the magic to begin!