My absolute favourite Christmas memories are the ones from when I was growing up. When you’re a child you simply get to enjoy the magic and sparkle of the holiday season. It’s the reason I always try to make the Christmas season extra special for my family. I know that everything we do now will one day become our children’s Christmas memories. And I really want them to be good ones so they can sow right back into their own families!
My most meaningful Christmas memories
The big Christmas time cleanup
The other day Ashley and I were telling the kids how Spring cleaning the house was a big Christmas tradition. We recounted how we were made to wash inside walls, hang new curtains and repack cupboards. They were absolutely horrified that children were made to spend their Christmas holidays cleaning! Guess what they have been doing every other day leading up to Christmas this year…
Home-made Christmas decorations
My cousins and I always helped to make our own Christmas decorations for the big tree at our grandmother’s house.
We strung popcorn, wrapped little matchboxes in festive wrapping paper and wrapped egg carton wedges in tinfoil. Then we strung each decoration and hung it around the tree.
In those days everybody still exchanged hand-written holiday cards so we huge those on a string above the fireplace mantle too.
Christmas clothes shopping
When I was very little we always got a new outfit to wear on Christmas day. This tradition kind of fizzled out as I grew older but I know a lot of family and friends who still do it.
My kids are kind of impossible to do this with. Joshua doesn’t really care what he wears as long as it’s comfortable. Alexandra absolutely loves new clothes so much that whenever she gets something new she has to wear it immediately and repeatedly for days!
Looking at the Christmas lights
At some point during the holidays my family would drive into town or to Somerset West to look at the festive lights. We’d all pick a night and then pile up into a few cars and drive to town as a group of cars.
The street markets were always bustling and buying glow sticks and mielies (corn on the cob) was tradition. Afterwards we would drive around the neighborhoods looking at whatever decorated houses we could see.
I remember how my mom and I used to get up early on Christmas morning to get ready. While we washed and blow dried our hair we were treated to the sight of the minstrels band marching past our house. I vaguely remember pressing my nose against the window of our corner house with a towel wrapped around my head. It was a sight to behold watching a big, loud, smartly dressed brass band playing Christmas songs down the street!
What a nice way to herald in Christmas morning and the day we celebrate our Savior’s birthday!
Visiting and wishing on Christmas day
I had the most random conversation with our security guard the other day. We were reminiscing about how lovely it was to go visiting friends and family on Christmas day. People just don’t do that anymore. I think it’s because the roads are treacherous on Christmas day, gifts and fuel is more expensive, etc.
Growing up it was really fun to drive around with my mom in our little green Mazda to visit and wish all our extended family and friends on Christmas day. They were short visits but we drove all over Cape Town to see as many as possible. We had so many gifts to hand out and got plenty in return. And at every house we visited we were forced to eat a small plate of whatever was being shared around the Christmas table. That was a really nice way to spread the Christmas cheer!
The blue envelope from Granny
One of my grandmothers had the sweetest tradition. For every one of her grandchildren she gifted a blue envelope on Christmas day. It contained only R20 and the amount did not change from the time we were little until we were no longer children. Although not a substantial amount of money, the blue envelope with our name on it was something we anticipated every year and made us feel so special!
This tradition carried on right up until I had kids of my own. They now get the envelopes instead of me!
What are some of your most meaningful Christmas memories? Share it in the comment area below so we can all be blessed by your story!