Wednesday 27th October 2021

Christmas.51/52.#LifeThisWeek. 2018.131.

Christmas.51/52.#LifeThisWeek. 2018.131.

My dad used to say I was The Queen of Christmas…and also that I was like a big kid at Christmas…so what he meant was:

I Love Christmas.

From when I was a child, into my teens, Christmas was about:

  • getting excited about Santa coming
  • wondering if I would get what I wanted
  • going to the movies to see “A White Christmas” with my younger brother while our parents entertained friends at home. I liked the movie, but I am not sure about my bro. Could ask him I guess.
  • before we moved to Balgowlah Heights, as residents of Wollongong, it was not too far to drive to one set of grandparents for Christmas lunch and to the other for Christmas tea.
  • once we were in Sydney, however, after a couple of those “all day in the car’ experiences, Mum and Dad began hosting at their place and the family members who could, travelled up for the day.

Then as a young married mum, Christmas was always exciting to have at my parents’ house and occasionally at our place or my brother’s.

  • it was a great Christmas eve at our place, going to mass and then Macca’s was a tradition, and some family singing around the tree till time to put the Santa sacks out and snacks for S.Claus and the reindeer.
  • eventually Mum handed over the Christmas lunch duties to me and that was fine as we no longer did the drive across Sydney. Always a hot baked dinner with some cold seafood and ham on offer. A feast. Mum made the pudding and I made the cake.
  • presents were exchanged after some morning tea. That would often be smoked salmon on toast, cheese straws and dips.
  • over the years, as our kids and their cousins got older, we stopped presents and limited them to our parents and within our family, Santa always brought the kids’ ones and we exchanged gifts.
  • oh, husband introduced the Mystery Gift to our little family and that was always fun to anticipate.

And then, we became grandparents. And to top it off, the first grandchild arrived 2 days before Christmas and she now shares my love of Christmas. She says she got it from me. Well, I will not deny it!

  • family times at Christmas became more challenging as the family membership changed again with partners of our kids too, so we adapted
  • some years, we would go to the grandkids’ houses the morning OF Christmas to see the fun after Santa had been
  • other years, we celebrated with them before or after the day itself
  • gifts became centred only on the grandkids as we reduced family spending and then there was less financial pressure
  • I admit I got to have my Christmas buying fun and each grandchild was also very involved in the tree decorating at our house when we lived in Sydney
  • Christmas is about creating memories and I feel we did that in spades.
  • when we moved away from the families and they too were changing, we stopped gifts, instead depositing some money in their parents’ accounts for the kids to spend after Christmas
  • we make our place a little festive but do not exchange gifts, we just like to share the spirit of the season

Christmas pics taken for the blog by photographing the photos…I know, bit slack! I have two Christmas scrapbooks too.

I hope you enjoy Christmas in 2018 if you celebrate it.

We will be having lunch by ourselves with our daughter, three adult grandkids & one partner and ONE very excited 6 year old. They are driving up here and we will have a ‘grazing kind of lunch’. Some time after the festive season, we will catch up with our son and his family I am sure. I saw my Dad recently for Christmas. It is a day he will spend with my brother and family who live nearby.

Cheers from Denyse.

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Joining Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 52/52. Free Choice. We Made It. 24/12/18.



  1. I love Santa throwing lollies. That’s hilarious!!
    I am not looking forward to the day when we don’t see our kids for xmas. Already one spends xmas eve at their girlfriends house so I know it’s going to come much sooner than I think!
    Happy xmas to you, thanks for hosting all year and see you next year. (I really am taking a break come wednesday!)

    • Oh yes, it is hard to adjust as I well know. One year our daughter and bf decided to have Christmas ‘alone’…and they did not like it!!

      Thanks Lydia, you are a champion at helping me keep my spirits up and I look forward to re-connecting when you are B-A-C-K!

      Merry Christmas to you and Happy Schools Hols too.

      Denyse x

  2. I’m absolutely love Christmas so much so that I like to celebrate it twice a year, once in December and once in July. I love the tree, the food, the movies, the music – the whole thing just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. As I’ve embraced minimalism, I’m less about the gifts and more about spending time with and sharing experiences with my special people. I still like to give gifts to say “thank you” to people but I like to make these myself. You’d never guess I was Jewish the way I love Christmas! I loved looking at your old photos – bygone albums are the best!

    • Thanks Sammie, I think you do double the Christmas celebration because that is YOU.

      Kindness and caring personified.

      Love the presents to give thanks. Mine tend to be home-cooked/baked too.

      Have a great time off and see you when you are ready to link up again in January!!

      Denyse x

  3. When I was a kid I was never as Christmassy as I am now. Things changed when Sarah was born and we started our own traditions and then they changed again the year we spent the lead-up to Christmas in the UK. Now I adore everything about it – especially the Christmas cooking shows.

    • Oh how lovely to read when Christmas became something to love. I can only imagine a Northern Hemisphere Christmas would bring its own joys and more.

      Thanks for sharing your blog posts here in 2018 and I hope you too will be back in 2019.

      Have a wonderful Sunny Coast Chrissy!

      Denyse x

  4. I love how you’ve captured the differing meanings of Christmas to you through different stages of life, Denyse. It’s always full of joy and love but different details mean more at different life stages, I think.

    SSG xxx

    • Yes, that is so true. In fact, you have reminded me that as a teen I was part of the then church choir and I sang a solo! Yes, I loved being in the choir but I sure was nervous for the solo.

      Christmas in its various forms has always been special to me but the last few years where I had to learn about ‘doing it just for us two’ was probably necessary and so now I AM ready to do it with and for the family (one half anyway) again.

      I love reading your lead ups to Christmas. You sound as excited as I used to be.

      Denyse x

  5. I love everything about Christmas, Denyse and especially having grandchildren who are still young enough to get excited about this magical time of year. Yesterday we wrapped their gifts and put them in their Santa bags ready for their visit next Sunday. I wish you, your darling husband and family a very Happy Christmas and a healthier and wonderful 2019. You have achieved so much this year and I know it is just the beginning of new adventures for you. xx

    • Oh I so remember that fun of buying for the little ones (much easier than the big ones) and then putting them in their Christmas sacks. Back when I became grandma, I had a friend sew me 4 sacks (never realising we would go to 8 grandkids) and when our grandkids got to open them, they would poke the heads inside and then emerge with a gift. So much fun..

      Thank you too for sharing your wonderful Christmas love and for your kindness and care in 2018. Warmest (in the nicest way) wishes to you and your husband and of course his Mum and your extended family.

      Looking forward to more connecting via our link ups in 2019.

      Denyse x

  6. I really enjoyed reading your post of Christmas through the ages Denyse! I also love that your granddaughter said she got her love of Christmas from you 🙂 . A really nice post all about the joy of Christmas and we can feel your joy through your words and photos.

    • Thanks so much Debbie. Yes it is great sharing the passion of the Christmas season with at least one Grandchild. I admit, my favourite day in late November when we lived in Sydney was “decorate the tree at Grandma’s and papa’s house” and the kids got dropped off and we switched up the Chrissy tunes, and they all re-discovered their own decorations and then the decorating started. Magical memories.

      Been great getting to know you more in 2018 and I send you all my good wishes for a wonderful first Christmas as a grandparent!

      Denyse x

  7. Thank you, Denyse, for sharing your Christmas stories and photos with us. In our family, these days only the children exchange small gifts and we have a big dinner together. I like the holiday decorations everywhere in my city and it’s always magical when we have a white Christmas with real snow and get to stay inside looking out.

    • How lovely that sounds. Yes, we sure do not have your weather here in Australia for Christmas but on some rare occasions it has snowed on the mountains. We tend to have heatwaves and need to jump in a pool or go to the beach if we can.

      It’s been good having you join us here each Monday and I look forward to more in 2019.

      Thanks for always visiting and commenting.

      Denyse x

  8. Hi Denyse – I linked up an old post for this one – it still sums up what Christmas means to me – making compromises, juggling schedules, but ultimately coming together with whichever family members are available to make it a special time. It’s not about the presents – it’s about the spirit and joy and love that Christmas represents to me. One week to go!! Happy Christmas my friend – and you’ll be able to eat more yummies this year 🙂

    • It does become very complicated and needing a timetable in some instances but we let much of that go because of others in the family (read “in-laws”) and we were better off I reckon.

      Every time families change with new members of course new ideas/traditions are added or expected. I know from time to time I did not deal with some of that well but as I got older, I was much better at it.

      Thanks for your lovely support in 2018 as it makes such a difference to know there is a blogging community of care out there doesn’t it?

      I will be eating more…and I already am but I am much slower than ever before.

      Denyse x

  9. Last year I skipped the family ‘do and went to the beach on my own Christmas morning. It was blissfully deserted and such a nice break from the year.

    • After the year from health-hell I do not blame you one bit.

      You gave yourself the best present I reckon.

      Hope this year, whatever you do, works well for you.

      Enjoy the break. Thanks too for your on-going and great support in 2018. It means a lot.

      Denyse x

  10. My youngest was due on Christmas Eve. I like Christmas but this year we’re planning a very slack one. It comes around really fast. Too fast!

    • I reckon you have had the “odd” thing or two on your health-plate this year. Managing your family and getting everyone through school is huge.

      I hope you and yours enjoy the Christmas you love and send my good wishes to you for continued good health.

      Denyse x

  11. I love this time of year too! I hope you have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

  12. Not having grown up with Christmas in the actual sense, I really don’t feel much this time of the year. I do get excited for the holidays and summer and the beach but that’s it. I sound like the grinch I know but the few times I’ve been in relationships and therefore had obligatory family Christmases, it’s been interesting to say the least. I kinda like my solo Christmases or choosing to spend it with people I actually want to {read: friends}

    I do enjoy reading or hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions though. Wish you and your family a lovely Christmas Denyse! Hope to catch up again in the new year.

    • Thanks Sanch it is good to know of your experience! Sounds like you can be an ‘observer’ at Christmas…and pick and choose your day. Today, at Erina Fair, I observed parents lined up with little ones for Santa Photos and I could see on some of the adults’ faces “do I really HAVE to be here”.

      Whatever you “do” on the day, make it fun and relaxing…not everyone will have one like that. In our case, we are delighted to return to hosting lunch but on a much simpler scale than me of a long time ago.

      Look forward to another coffee catch up!

      Denyse x