I may have been born on an Easter Monday, but I am quite certain that I have been a Christmas traditionalist since that day. Wishes to Santa were made on dandelions, cards crafted with cotton wool beards, paper chains hung on trees in the garden, carrots left for the reindeer and a bottle of beer for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. We went to Midnight mass and came home to open presents – I could never understand why my mother, who was always ready on time was somehow the last out of the house every Christmas Eve!
With the arrival of our own little Flamingo Dancers three we added to these traditions – flour Santa footprints and sleigh imprints. Christmas boxes decorated with last year’s Christmas cards and wrapping paper in anticipation of the gifts they would hold.
Over the years we would visit the shopping mall Santa and each little person would choose an ornament to add to the tree so that now each year every ornament has a memory, or a story. A pile of story books also grew through the years brought out each December even long after the childhood years had passed.
Now another generation of Flamingo Dancers has arrived and new traditions are being created, but one is already in place – Christmas books on the bookshelf. Spot’s First Christmas, the board book version of course, has already found a place in our granddaughter’s room.
Yes, we may live where scenes of a white Christmas are just a fantasy, and our trees may be artificial to mitigate the heat. We may eat salads instead of roast dinners and swat flies as we laze on the verandah after lunch instead of sitting before a blazing fire. The one thing that is no different be it here, or there, north, or south is that Christmas is where our hearts are and may yours be with those you love this yuletide season.