It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Photo by Michele Reid

Christmas decorations at Meyer.

How is it December already? Christmas has really snuck up on me this year. We’ve been super busy getting ourselves a place to call home (so excited!!!) and preparing for the arrival of our new fur-child, a gorgeous Maine Coon kitten. Hopefully her big Siberian sister will take to her quickly and we can all enjoy Christmas together.

Photo by Michele Reid

Mia playing in her favourite present, a random box, with her Santa toy.

It’s a bit difficult getting into the swing of things and doing all my Christmas crafts with it being 39 degrees Celsius today! Summer has truly arrived. I’m also busy helping with organising our office multi-cultural Happy Holidays party, so have been cutting out photo props and Santa beards to go on some paper straws (will take a photo and hopefully post them here later in the week).

I’ve managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done (that was the one department I’ve been very organised in) complete with stocking treats. I just need to get a few things for my family back home, but that’s easy enough thanks to online shopping (a lifesaver!)

I absolutely love Christmas. I think I have my parents to thank for that. It really was a magical time for me as a child. It all started with an invitation to the Noddy Party (if you’re South African and a child of the ’80s, chances are you went to at least one of these). It was organised by the local Rotary and Noddy was the main character. Ours was hosted on a farm (it’s long been sold off and is now home to lots of new houses). We would be entertained by characters on the stage which included Noddy, fairies and of course right at the end, Santa. Meanwhile, our parents would get stuck in the picnics they’ve packed and catch up with friends. You would wait and strain your ears until you hear Santa call out your name and give you a present. I always thought we were so special to get a present from Santa before Christmas!

Photo by Michele Reid

Antique German Christmas baubles from my childhood.

Another favourite was decorating the Christmas tree. Christmas smelt like tinsel to me. After a while, my grandmother gave us one of their trees (we had fake ones) and my brother and I each got to decorate our own trees! Christmas eve we always spend with my German side of the family where we got to indulge in some German Christmas treats. Naturally that meant Santa came on Christmas eve at their home. After midnight, we would head home and drive through our town’s main road which was completely decorated with Christmas lights.

My brother would usually wake me up early on Christmas morning. He would first report that Santa drank the two cold beers and biltong (cured meat) we left out for him. He would then go on to tell me how many gifts he received, how many I’ve received and what he thinks I got. Together we would rush into the lounge to open our presents before running to my parents room to show us what Santa brought us.

Later as I became part of Hubby’s family, I also got to experience some of their traditions and enjoyed delicious, lazy Christmas lunches under the big tree with their family.

Photo by Stephen Reid

Our Christmas tree.

Now that it’s just the two of us in Australia, I think I try to compensate by the amount of decorating I do. I make a delicious meal and we celebrate on Christmas eve (as that was really Christmas for me growing up), but we open our presents of Christmas day. Santa doesn’t even forget the fur-children! We also get to open our stockings (something I never had as a child but got to experience with Hubby’s side of the family). We might head off to the beach for an early morning swim and smile at the families from places like the UK enjoying the novelty of a summery Christmas. They pose with Santa hats on the beach to send back to their families who haven’t even woken up yet. It’s nice to see people create new traditions in their new home. The rest of the day is usually spent indoors with the air-conditioner on and phoning or Skyping family back home.

So, hope you get to finish all of your Christmas crafting and shopping (do share ideas with me, I love to see what everyone’s making) and get to spend some time with loved ones over the holidays!

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2012 Draws to a close

It’s that time of year again where we wish the past year farewell and look forward to new beginnings. This year we’re being rather boring, opting for a quiet celebration with just the three of us (me, hubby and our fur child).

It has been quite a year. I’ve realised a life long dream of visiting India (posts on our travels to follow shortly), survived everything this year has thrown at us (albeit barely) and managed to be one step closer to really knowing who I am and finding some bliss in life.

I’ve already started to think of some New Year Goals (goals sound better to me than resolutions). Some are quite silly but others will help me be a healthier and subsequently happier person. 2013 I am really going to focus on my yoga practice and being healthy. I’m no longer in my 20’s and I’ve realised that I can no longer eat my bodyweight in chocolate without having to pay for it later. So will have to cut down (drastically) on the chocolate and focus on exercise and healthy eating.

Photo by Michele Reid

My DIY Christmas wreath

Photo by Stephen Reid

Christmas tree with stockings

So to say farewell I thought I’d share some of our Christmas photos. This year I will start a bit earlier with the diy projects. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and that 2013 brings amazing adventures (we’ve already booked our first one!).

Some Indian inspired Christmas presents

Wow, where did this year disappear to? I am convinced with each passing year time goes by quicker. Any way, Christmas is almost upon us and I decided to share some of my favourite things with you in case you were looking for some last minute gifts.

Today I’m sharing my Indian inspiration gift list.

I’m a tea-aholic. I’m not a fan of coffee and spend my days chugging down mugs and mugs of tea. There is one shop here in Australia that I absolutely love, more for their beautiful tea sets than their vast variety of teas (there are so many divine blends available). At the moment I am head over heels in love with T2Tea’s Sari Collection. If my hubby is reading this…this is a strong hint that I would love any of these under the Christmas tree.

Sari Range

The Sari Collection by T2tea

Green Cup

I would love to drink my chai from this cup

Sugar Bowl

Sugar pot

Creamer

Creamer

Etsy is another favourite of mine. You can find really beautiful and unique items from sellers. At the moment I really like the wedding band cushion by Kangan Arora. The chai glasses tea towel is also very cute.

Cushion

Love this cushion!

Chai tea towel

Chai glasses tea towel

I have been lemming this print by incredibly talented artist Cate Parr from Silver Ridge Studio for ages. It’s just so beautiful and I love the colours.

Indian Bride

Ok, so maybe I have a few hoarding issues. I love books. I love the smell of them, I love reading them and sometimes, I just like to look at them.  A while back I rejoiced when I received Sanjay Patel’s Little Book of Hindu Deities. I have since added his other books and just found out he has a new one out about Ganesha! His illustrations are just too adorable and the books are great for young and old alike.

Kali

Sanjay’s Kali

Finally I have to share a few of my favourites from online shop The Play Clan. They do some great kitsch Indian items like t-shirts, cushions and cups to name a few. I also adore this clutch bag. It’s so unique and people will definitely want to know where you got it.

Chori Clutch Bag

Love the uniqueness of this clutch

Truck Tircha Cushion Cover

Truck cushion

Saraswati

Adorable Saraswati T-shirt

Cup & Saucer

I think this cup and saucer is just adorable

Do you know of a great shop that sells wonderful Indian inspired items? I’d love to hear about it. I hope you find all you wish for under your Christmas tree!