This time of year is packed with traditions. Watching the little people hang up stockings reminds me of my childhood, although we didn’t have the brightly-decorated shop-bought stockings and sacks patterned with felt cut-outs of Santa and elves. My brother and I would leave out a school sock and an old pillowcase, but we were every bit as excited and woke as early as children now.
Food is also something that is steeped in family and cultural tradition. Growing up in England, Christmas dinner was turkey with roast potatoes and vegetables followed by Christmas pudding, which my father loved, but also a trifle to satisfy everyone else. Moving to the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas is celebrated during the summer, we enjoy the Kiwi tradition of ham and salads. The one item that remains on our menu is a trifle, although this differs from my mother’s recipe and so is a more recent tradition.
This wouldn’t be a typical post from me if I didn’t manage to mention something writing related. The book I’m currently working on is set in New Zealand and features some Christmas chapters. Tradition and spending time with family is important to Anna (the main character), and one of the chapters I enjoyed writing most is about her family Christmas in a small coastal community.
Whether we keep to the traditions of our childhood or make new ones, they are all a part of who we are.
Here in New Zealand, there are just a couple of hours until 2016. I hope it brings us all happiness.