It truly is the most wonderful time of year. I love the holiday season, it brings me nothing but joy and happiness and a sense of wonder and appreciation. What I love most about this time of year, is the traditions that as a family or as a friendship group we have up kept and continue to do today or look back on with fondness. Some of these traditions have changed slightly over the years, and some of them I miss a lot because we don’t do them anymore, but as I get older I appreciate more and more the special quality they give to the overall Christmas experience. As I go off and explore the world and try new things, it’s always the little things that bring the sense of joy and wonder that I crave so much to keep me grounded and remind me of what is important.
Putting up the Christmas Tree
Nothing beats a Lawrence Family Tree. NOTHING.
There is not order to our tree, no selectively put baubles or colour matching lights, it is just a cacophony of light, sparkles, a singing pig and an angel bear that is now missing eyes, an arm and its wings. It is the most precious thing of Christmas and most years will stay up almost till Valentines day (whoops!).
Putting the tree together is an ordeal, but it gets done. There is Christmas music playing, we try and work out who’s turn it is to put up the special beads or angel bear at the very top, sorting through the tinsel to see what needs replacing and watching Dad trying to unravel the billions of metres of lights that we own. At the end we are left with an amazing masterpiece that is unique and different every year.
Food, Food, Food
It is not a lie that food is massive part of my life and the same goes for my family. Christmas is especially great time of year to be around because the food options are amazing. There’s paella on Christmas Eve, duck, turkey, pork and prawns on Christmas day and all the trimmings in between. The best part of Christmas is the treats. It’s an unsung (newish) tradition that I make rum balls every year and an old and tried through tradition is making kulkuls as a family. Making kulkuls is a tradition my Mum’s family have brought over from India and Christmas is not the same without them. Kulkuls are sweet, fried biscuit/donut hybrid that don’t last very long in the house and are gone within a night. These are always left out for Santa (even if we don’t believe in him anymore) and gone by the morning (thanks Dad).
When I start living on my own, these are the traditions that I am going to miss the most. Food just brings people together and the extravagance of it all, through from the prepping, cooking and eating makes everything that little bit more special. Christmas is the time to over indulge and treat yourself.
The Special Touches
It’s always the little things during the holidays that make it that little bit more extra. Everyone seems to bit that little more happier and relaxed and willing to let things go. It’s the little touches that make everything worth while. Wrapping tinsel down the staircase and wrapping the lemon tree in lights makes everything better. My favourite part, no matter how old my sisters and I get and tucked up in bed, presumably tucked up in bed and sleeping, my Dad will always call out from down the stairs “Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas Lawrence Family!”. When I was younger, and if I heard it, I would always believe it was Santa and now it just makes me feel warm that my parents will still go the extra mile to make Christmas special, I was even writing Santa letters up until last year!
The Ones I Miss
There are some traditions that I still miss, like going to the Carols at the Domain with friends and getting extremely sun burnt in the process. I miss having all my extended family together, but now we have family that live interstate. Most of all, I miss what Christmas was like when we were younger, when all my sisters and I still believed in Santa and some of us didn’t have such an aversion to Christmas these days. As I get just that little bit older Christmas seems to lose some of that magic and it gives me trepidation for the one day where Christmas never is the same again. I hope that that day never comes because Christmas is most certainly my most favourite time of year.