‘It’s my first Christmas as the host’
Helen Mazibuko, 42, is hosting Christmas at her new home for the first time this year. Her family is driving in from out of town for the occasion, and her in-laws will be joining, too. She owns a bakery and lives with her husband, Gugu, 44, and two sons, Nkazimulo, 11, and Fezile, nine.
“We usually spend Christmas with Gugu’s family, and it can be a fairly manic aair. Last year, as we arrived at their home, the preparations for lunch were in full swing and they were in a flat panic – with over 15 adults and their children all arriving in great festive gusto, there was a lot going on. Catering to the hoards while remaining jovial can be quite stressful.
By the time we sat down for lunch, everyone was a bit flustered and the festive meal slipped by too quickly. Before I could blink, I was in the car, heading home with our two boys asleep in the back. While it was, admittedly, a busy day, it was still wonderful to have everyone together, and there were moments when I wished my own family could have been there – like when we placed the last angel on the tree, and when the kids burst with joy opening their presents. My family live in another province, so we don’t see them over the holidays. I found myself dreaming of a Christmas with absolutely everyone. That’s why I’ll be doing things dierently this year by hosting Christmas at our place. My mom, sister and cousin will be driving in on the 24th, and I’ve cleared my work schedule to allow for enough time to get our house spick and span before their arrival. Gugu’s family will also be joining us on the day – I think they deserve a rest!
I’ve outsourced the cooking to a very talented chef who’ll be preparing a festive lunch of gammon with all the trimmings. It means more quality family time for us and far less chaos in the kitchen. I’ll set up a table outside under the trees, and there’ll be water slides and board games for the kids. I might even round them up to help decorate the tree and bake some cupcakes, too. As is tradition, Gugu’s dad will lead our special prayer, before we open presents. Then, after lunch, we’ll unwind in the garden. Because I’m a baker,
I’ll be making fruit cakes for both families to show how much I love having them with us. To be with the most special people in my life at this time of year seems magical.” >>
‘Having everyone over is my dream’
Helen’s planning a fun-filled day with both sides of the family