I am always thoroughly excited for Christmas because it signifies the one time of year which my rather large and blended family can get together and celebrate the many cultures and traditions that exist from the multitude of heritages of which my family is made up.
Firstly, my surname indicates my Polish heritage and the Poles offer a rich variety of Christmas traditions which we do make an effort to embrace. Secondly, I am South African which means that unlike the Poles we have a warm weathered Christmas, and that includes another menagerie of Christmas traditions that are too, embraced. In branching into my family’s variety of cultural heritages and nationalities these include; British, Danish, Lebanese, Afrikaans, German, among many others. I can say, that it is always a joy for me to see my family able to embrace one another’s cultures and traditions in a way that is truly magical!
Now it is time for the countdown! In no particular order I have listed my 12 favorite things about Christmas this year. These range from products, food, decorations, Christmas traditions, activities and any other aspect of Christmas which I absolutely love! Let me know in the comments about your favorite aspects of Christmas and and special family traditions that you may have. Or if you happen to celebrate another religious or cultural festivity at this time of year.
1. Mince Pies
Mince Pies are the one thing which makes Christmas official for me! Although, I do wish that I could eat them all year round.
Image source: http://www.therealpieco.co.uk
In South Africa we refer to these flowers as Christmas Flowers as they bloom during the South African summer which is over November/December each year. They are truly beautiful!
Image source: http://www.rd.com
3. Family Holidays
As you have seen, I did my share of traveling over Christmas last year to visit my family overseas. But many of my overseas family members often plan trips to S.A. in order to escape the European winter and spend Christmas with us. Two birds with one stone!
4. The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a globally recognised brand, famous for their cruelty-free beauty products and extensive collection of amazing flavours and scents in all their products. I always look forward to their yearly release of their Christmas range and they never disappoint.
Image source: http://www.thebodyshop.co.za
5. Beef Tongue and Herring Rollmops
While these are definitely not everyone’s idea of delicious Christmas food, to me there is nothing better that enjoying my Granny’s famous beef tongue with mustard, and having pickled herring rollmops as delicious canapes on Christmas Eve.
6. Christmas Eve
In Poland it is tradition to celebrate with a Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange on the evening of the 24th which my family has always done. But this is followed by a stunning lunch on Christmas Day which embraces the South African part of a Mazewski Christmas.
7. Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver Christmas Cooking TV Specials
While I don’t necessarily contribute to the cooking of Christmas dinners and lunches (yet), I enjoy watching Nigella and Jamie’s interpretations on TV. I see it as setting a good intention for the future me.
8. Leftovers Sandwiches
I don’t like to wish away Christmas but I must say that the leftovers from our Christmas roasts do make for a fantastic post-Christmas picnic!
9. A dip in the pool after lunch
A cooling dip in the swimming pool after lunch is the perfect way to end a Christmas Day feast. Especially that the S.A. weather allows for it!
10. Last Christmas by Wham!
Some say that Mariah Carey is the queen of the Christmas song, but for me, the ultimate Christmas song is Last Christmas – I always force my family to have a sing-along.
11. Dinner For One
I was first introduced to Dinner For One last year and now I adore it! I realise that it is a New Year’s tradition, but let’s face it, Christmas technically carries on until mid-January… for me anyway.
Image source: NDR.de
The memories and good times of Christmas can be cherished forever! Not only, memories through photographs and Christmas cards, but the non-tangible memories through our feelings and celebrations.
I wish you all a wonderful festive season and a lovely time of celebration, whichever form that may take.