Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Celebrating Our Way -

NI­COLE SMITH, 32, lives with her part­ner, Warren Le Grange, 37, in Lin­den. She works in ad­ver­tis­ing.

“Since fall­ing preg­nant a few months ago, I’ve been think­ing about fam­ily so much more, and how there’s no sea­son that high­lights the im­por­tance of spend­ing time with your loved ones quite like Christ­mas does.

Tra­di­tions are im­por­tant over the fes­tive sea­son, too, and they re­ally tie into the theme of fam­ily, since they’re passed down from one gen­er­a­tion to the next. I’ve al­ways as­so­ci­ated my fam­ily’s small and in­ti­mate Christ­mas par­ties with the smell of gam­mon fresh out of the oven, the sound of car­ols tin­kling mer­rily in the back­ground... and, of course, the in­evitable ar­gu­ment over the last slice of pud­ding! That’s how we cel­e­brate in our house. Last year brought a change of pace, though, as I was in­vited to join Warren and his fam­ily over Christ­mas.

On Christ­mas Eve, we all pitched in to clear out a large space in his home, fill­ing it with chairs and ta­bles that would host up to 30 fam­ily mem­bers – it would be a grand cel­e­bra­tion! Rows of colour­ful tin­sel and sparkling fairy lights were pinned up to set the mag­i­cal scene and, on the ac­tual day, Warren’s mom and step­dad couldn’t wait to give me a taste of ev­ery­thing on their Christ­mas menu, from paella and deep-fried prawns to fish-curry potjie and roast gam­mon. My fam­ily and I stuˆ stock­ings ev­ery year with small gifts and sweets, and I re­ally en­joyed mak­ing a few for the Le Granges. I also man­aged to rope Warren’s fam­ily into ex­chang­ing gifts through a kind of ra”e, where who­ever’s up next can ei­ther take the gift they win or ex­change it for some­thing some­one else has al­ready claimed. Last year’s great backand-forth bat­tle was for a pair of emoji slip­pers. Un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther Warren nor I made the cut! It was won­der­ful re­ceiv­ing such a warm wel­come from Warren’s fam­ily, and I can’t wait for our two clans to cel­e­brate to­gether. This year, my fam­ily is head­ing to Cape Town to join me at Warren’s folks’ place for the fes­tiv­i­ties. It’s go­ing to be an in­cred­i­ble melt­ing pot of fes­tive cus­toms, with a fan­tas­tic fu­sion of food and bustling con­ver­sa­tion. I’m sure we’ll also meet a new con­tender in the fight for that elu­sive last slice of dessert.

Hav­ing both ex­pe­ri­enced such joy over the years cel­e­brat­ing with our own fam­i­lies, Warren and I are re­ally look­ing for­ward to com­ing up with our own Christ­mas tra­di­tions to pass down one day. And it’s crazy to think that, by this time next year, we’ll have a new ad­di­tion to the fam­ily – our very own lit­tle Christ­mas mir­a­cle to cher­ish.” w&h

‘We’re ex­cited to create our own fes­tive tra­di­tions’

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