Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry Christmas

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

As promised the more magnanimous magic of Christmas special! I recently received an email from Team Taylor's head cheerleader - Denene - that she has graciously allowed me to share:

We have the kids school prizegiving & play tonight and it always gets me. There is something beautiful about children singing, and being a catholic school they really feel the meaning of Christmas. The kids have taken preloved toys and food to school to donate to those in need (like St Nicholas- who was the original Santa). All that aside Christmas becomes about family rituals. Every Christmas day the kids put on a show (singing for their supper & presies) and this year Finn is on drums, his cousin is on his electric guitar and the others are singing to 'All I want for Christmas is you'. It is hilarious watching my 3 year old on his ukelele in his shades rocking and head bashing to it in the practice sessions! Christmas means squishing three families into the bach and sharing great food. Christmas reminds me to be grateful. Christmas means I receive decorations from my friends around the world who I miss, and my kiwi decorations get mailed over to them. So decorating my tree each year tells a story of different friends and different places and times. And as you can see above, every year I am a big Christmas geek and make a special card with my kids on it! My Nanna keeps all of hers on her bookshelf up all year long. (This year we are actually taking the kids to the mountain to see the snow too!)

She's dead right, isn't she! Christmas is about remembering all those great relationships we have, and every family has it's own traditions and rituals that make it a special time of year. My own favourite all time Christmas was the one when Jacky and I made each other gifts. So much love and thought went into that Christmas!

The Sivaks are equally expansive with their preparations and decorations. I remember when we lived next to them in Wakefield they educated us into the rituals of a Polish Christmas.

Denene's email reminded me of the times when I was maybe Finn's age - Ross (always two years younger than me) would wake me up at about 4.30am on Christmas morning and we'd creep out to see what Santa had left us. Our dining room and lounge at 18 Korma Ave, Royal Oak, Auckland had a glass dividing door that Santa would pull closed before he left. We wouldn't dare open the doors but we'd sit for what seemed like hours (and probably was) looking at the tree, the wrapped gifts, and the detritus of his visit (the empty glass and the crumbs from the food we'd left out the night before). Eventually mum and dad would emerge and we'd be bursting to open the presents. We were both spoilt rotten!!

The three English Christmases we had were definitely the best of the recent years. The season of goodwill to all is matched with cold weather, snow (Jade and Samantha where we lived in Leigh-on-sea) and a really special feeling. I especially loved wandering around Oxford St. with all the decorations and lights.

So all in all - wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whoever you're celebrating Christmas with, whatever the future holds in store for us - right now this is my chance to wish you a great family Christmas and a peaceful holiday season.

Love and peace (on Earth) - Warren

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