From the edi­tor

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -


AS A YOUNG ADULT I wasn’t too fussed about fol­low­ing Christ­mas tra­di­tions. My sib­lings and I were spread out around the world when I was in my early twen­ties, but as the grand­chil­dren started ar­riv­ing in my fam­ily, Christ­mas re­ally be­came a fun and fab­u­lous af­fair again, as it should. See­ing the tree and piles of en­tic­ing presents through lit­tle eyes brought the magic back in a big way and few things beat snug­gling up on the couch to watch a corny Christ­mas movie with your chil­dren. And don’t get me started on the food and smells of Christ­mas. To the cin­na­mon of our Euro­pean her­itage, add the smell of the braai, the sea, co­conut tan­ning oil and wa­ter­melon. Hmm! Cher­ish these mo­ments, take masses of pic­tures (send us some!) and get as sen­ti­men­tal as you wish. Christ­mas only comes around once a year, af­ter all.


“My Christ­mases have be­come more mem­o­rable for me now as an adult than when I was young. I’ve got­ten to un­der­stand the priv­i­lege of spend­ing time with fam­ily. When I was young, Christ­mas was about new clothes. Now, hav­ing lost so many loved ones, in­clud­ing my dad last Au­gust, I have come to value mo­ments spent with fam­ily dur­ing Christ­mas when we gather around, be it at a for­mal lunch ta­ble, or most times just a laid-back braai with loud mu­sic blar­ing in the back­ground. I’ve come to trea­sure those mo­ments as price­less!”


“Al­though Christ­mas is the day that my son and I cel­e­brate the birth of God’s son as the ul­ti­mate gift, there is a time, in my youth, when I re­mem­ber that it was ALL about the gifts wrapped in the green, red and gold pa­per – sit­ting un­der the tree from the night be­fore. This one par­tic­u­lar Christ­mas Day in 1981, I was 8 years old, it felt as if it was the most spe­cial day of the year be­cause I woke up to find a black kit­ten with white feet sit­ting in the empty fire­place with ash on his lit­tle head. He was from Fa­ther Christ­mas and left there for me. I named him Socks!”


“When I was younger, we used to go all-out for Christ­mas. Dec­o­ra­tions, the tree, py­ja­mas, and the count-down. Ev­ery­thing lead­ing up to the ac­tual day made Christ­mas that much more ex­cit­ing! On Christ­mas Eve, my cousin and I would take a su­per-long nap dur­ing the day and once up, we’d have a bath and change into our Christ­mas py­ja­mas. We would make snacks – usu­ally cook­ies and glasses of milk – and sit up past mid­night watch­ing Christ­mas movies. We weren’t al­lowed to open any of our presents un­til morn­ing, but just know­ing we had stayed up un­til the start of Christ­mas was enough.”


“I have so many won­der­ful mem­o­ries of Christ­mas! What stands out for me was that it was the only time of the year when the en­tire fam­ily got to­gether to cel­e­brate. I don’t re­call ap­pre­ci­at­ing it at the time but now re­alise how blessed we all were. Un­for­tu­nately, my grand­par­ents are no longer with us, but the tra­di­tion still con­tin­ues with my kids mak­ing spe­cial mem­o­ries with their grand­par­ents.”


“When I was a child we’d spend our Christ­mas with my par­ents’ friends on a small­hold­ing farm in Pre­to­ria North al­most ev­ery year. What I re­mem­ber most is that there al­ways were so many chil­dren and we played from early morn­ing un­til very, very late at night. We swam, ate amaz­ing food and of course had water­mel­ons. A typ­i­cal warm sum­mer Christ­mas. I can’t even re­mem­ber open­ing presents but the never-end­ing fun we had was just so amaz­ing! It has stayed with me all these years. We were one big, happy ex­tended fam­ily.”


“Hav­ing grown up in the vil­lage in Bak­en­berg, out­side Lim­popo, Christ­mas was the one time of the year where my fam­ily would come to­gether. It is the one time, be­sides Easter hol­i­days, when my fa­ther would be back home from work­ing in the mines in Gaut­eng. This time of the year sig­ni­fied a happy fam­ily re­union for the whole ex­tended fam­ily with us all chil­dren look­ing for­ward to the new clothes we’d been bought for Christ­mas. All the chil­dren looked for­ward to sit­ting to­gether as a fam­ily en­joy­ing the scrump­tious food and del­i­ca­cies only served on Christ­mas.”

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