Christmas traditions 

I absolutely adore the holiday season. I start watching the hallmark Christmas movies now already and often start reading the Christmas themed books in July haha. 

It might be because when we were little, no matter how shitty things were going for my parents they always made it the most special time for us.

We would always spend it at my grandparents who lived at the Cape Columbine lighthouse in Paternoster (grampa was a lighthouse keeper) so the holidays would start with a road trip from Lüderitz all the way across the border and to granny and grampa. (even the road trip had its traditions). 

Here are some of my favourite memories: 

There was always baking, lots of sugar cookies because you know… Santa loves cookies! And our tree was always a live one. Always. And it was always so big it would bend cause it couldn’t fit which was hilarious cause we were in charge of decorating but needed a ladder to reach the top. 

We had to remember to add the little Barbie mirror inside the tree, balanced on the branches because the Christmas tree fairies were really vane. (They lived in the tree and reported back to Santa if we were good or not, guess kinda like today’s elf on the shelf thing). 

On the 24th we’d put out milk and the homemade cookies for santa. Because their house had massive lawns we’d also put out big buckets of water with carrots and oats for the reindeer. Did you know that reindeer poop chocolate covered raisins? It’s true… :P And we’d watch the nightmare before Christmas and if we were really lucky a second themed movie as well. 

On the 25th we’d wake up before the crack of dawn, sneak down the long creaky passage to the lounge and see if Santa had come which of course he had! We’d run back to our room, stealth mode long forgotten, and grab our stuffed stockings then take em to granny and grampas room and jump on their bed till they woke up. We were never allowed to wake my mother like that cause she needed coffee first. And we’d sit and open the goods in our stockings while my parents woke up. Stockings had things we needed in; new toothbrush, bubble bath, soap, Tinkerbelle nail Polish etc. Then when my mom and dad were finally awake we’d run to the lounge and wait impatiently for the man of the house (always grampa) to hand out the gifts :) 

Afterwards my mom and gran would finish cooking what needed to be done for lunch and we’d eat till we wanted to puke. Then went back to play with our new toys while mom and the rest of the ladies cleaned and the men, well I actually have no clue what they did. Pretty sure there was whiskey involved. 

And this was our yearly, like clockwork, tradition for most of my childhood. Well up until I was about 11 and my parents divorced. My mom married Hitler who in turn threw all of our really important traditions out of the window because they didn’t suit him. So we went from stockings, reindeer poop and Christmas lunch to dinner and presents on the 24th. Just like that. It completely broke my heart and is probably one of the many reasons him and I don’t get along. 

Now…

I’ve sort of gotten used to this 24th thing. My child has grown up with it and to him these are his traditions. BUT it’s being abolished. I was told last week there will be no gifts, tree, dinner etc this year. 

So now what? I’m sad Fysh didn’t have the fantastic experience I did but am also sad the little bit of tradition he did have is gone. 

And I’ve decided fuck it. 

Maybe it’s time to make our own damn traditions. 

So I’m going to go get us a real tree ad soon as they’re available but maybe we’ll start the tradition of it being the same height as Fysh. And we’ll make our own decorations. We’ll bake cookies and watch Christmas movies. And I’m thinking matching pajamas and a junkfood night. I’m going to bring back the stocking and am doing homemade gifts. 

Do you have any traditions you really love that we could maybe incorporate? I’m on pinterest looking for ideas but would love to know what you do? 

8 thoughts on “Christmas traditions 

  1. That is beyond cool that your grandparents lived in a light house!! Although Harvey will be a bit small (6 months) it is his first Christmas so I want to start the traditions we will continue as long as possible. I am going to make a Christmas eve box every year. Inside will be a Christmas outfit, an ornament, a movie and a book! Then every Christmas we can build up his collection :)

    1. That’s what I saw on pinterest. The christmas eve box. I love it. Yeah we used to have so much fun at the lighthouse. Grandparents lived at several over my grandpa’s 46 year long career as a lighthouse keeper. We’ve visited most of the ones around the country and Namibia. I miss it. Good luck with the traditions. It really is needed.

  2. This is a bit pre Christmas, but I do an advent calendar from December 1st. I have one with little santa sacks that I fill myself, but my mom used to make up little parcels, like 3 crayons and a sweet and then hang all the parcels on a stick or hanger with numbers on them for the day. At the end you would have a full set of crayons etc. I loved that. We also do the 4 advent Sunday’s with lighting a candle the first Sunday till all candles on Sunday before Christmas. We also do the 24th. Have a dinner first then open presents. I think it’s cool to do the matching PJs.

    1. I like the advent calendar idea. Last year we did a advent thing with a friend. The adult one was a success but the kids one was a bust. Wish I’d known sooner then I would have done the little sack with different gifts thing. Maybe things that would help him plant his own little veggie garden.

  3. I can’t quite say how I feel about the changes around Christmas we’ve had. Partly as after my Mother passed my Dad and Stepmother had different ideas of Christmas. We also now do the 24th dinner thing. When Mom was alive, we would go to 8pm mass (Catholics) and friends would come to our house after for coffee and mince pies and a gift for each family. Christmas day was for my Gran and uncle on Mom’s side. Boxing day was for my Dad’s family where water fights where (are still) tradition best remembered.

    After Mom passed, the friends after church thing ended, Christmas day ended and boxing day most of the family have emigrated. :(
    We would go to my brother-in-law’s family on Christmas day but he and my sister are now divorced…
    Now my Dad is high up in the church and Christmas and Easter and Passover and all that is too commercialised and just can’t be done.
    So Christmas eve dinner. Christmas day if you want to we can join the function at the church or sit at home (fun).
    Can you tell it peeves me off?

    I really like the Christmas box idea! Only, I’m alone house-sitting… And my sister I live with will be house-sitting alone too….

    This is one of the few times I really wish I wasn’t single and had my own family.

    Good luck and do what makes you and Fysh happy!

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