22 December 2017

Of Christmas past and present

It is the time of year when one reflects on Christmases past and enjoys the pleasures of the present season.

Childhood Christmas in the 1950s and early 60s

  • Christmas Eve – decorating the tree – always fresh, cut from the scrub paddock
  • Midnight Mass with lusty carol singing
  • spotting Father Christmas’s (never Santa) sleigh in the sky returning home in the darkness
  • a fresh ham sandwich before bed
  • morning excitement, Father Christmas presents found in the lounge room
  • fresh cherries for nibbles
  • gathering of large family around the Christmas tree once the turkey and vegetables were in the oven,  distribution of small but multiple presents
  • middle of the day – hot Christmas meal, home grown, stuffed and roasted turkey, roast potatoes and pumpkin with a green vegetable usually peas or beans, treat was a fizzy drink – lemonade or creaming soda, in later years a sparkling wine
  • hot plum pudding with lashings of fresh thick cream from the farm cows

Christmas as a couple in the 1970s

  • alternate years between parents
  • celebrations with friends
  • 1975 Toowoomba, Qld - Christmas in our first-purchased home
  • 1977 husband in Antarctica, self, long drive to South Australia to visit parents
  • 1979 Christmas UN in Srinagar, Kashmir -  ice and snow

Family times 1980 – 2000

  • writing the Christmas holiday newsletter to send to all family and friends
  • children’s Christmases, school celebrations
  • some years with parents-in-law
  • Canberra Christmases, carols by the lake
  • camping at Burrill Lake, NSW, boats, swimming and fishing
1997 Christmas Day, high above Tignes, France

  • 1997-2000 Christmas parties in Matilda’s, Australian Embassy, France
  • 1997 skiing at Tignes, France -  a fondue Christmas
  • 1998 Parisian style - apartment full of Australian visitors
  • 1999 International Women’s Group cookie exchange chez nous, Christmas week skiing at Val Thorens, France
  • 2000 Freezing in New York, abandoning the Christmas Day walk in Central Park
International Women's Group Christmas cookie exchange hosted at
15 rue de la Federation, Paris 1999

Empty nesters

  • 2001 –2011 Sydneysiders
  • Celebrations with adult children
  • Family visits
  • Boxing Day on the harbour
Boxing Day on Sydney Harbour

Retiring times

  • Street party celebration
  • Community groups gatherings
  • Alternate years – offspring and grandchildren’s visits
  • BBQs, mangoes and ice-cream treats
  • Ride bikes to the beach in the morning return home to a seafood salad beside the pool
The next generation - unwrapping Christmas 2016
Have you created a timeline of Christmases of the past?


  1. That's kind of cool! I hadn't thought of doing such a timeline, but it might be fun. Though most of the holidays through the married years have followed the same pattern, recording some of the childhood events before they are gone from memory would be good.

    1. Time passes so quickly and yes, memories fade so I'm trying to record some of those memories from along the way.

  2. What a wonderful idea, I would really have to get the thinking cap on, though I do have photos of most Christmases. I have written a little about those spent with my paternal grandparents, but so many more to add... nothing quite as adventurous as yours though. I love reading your posts.

    1. Oh yes, I have many photographs of Christmases when the children were small but don't think they would appreciate me publishing them here. This exercise did make me find some funny ones that I'll share with both of them for Christmas. Thanks for commenting once again Chris.

    2. I have included one or some of your blogs in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

      Thank you, Chris

  3. Sounds like great times with lots of family events and fun adventures.


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