On the home front, with hubby currently away at sea, we’ve decided to do things a little differently this year. Not that we tend to go overboard in the first place but I’m keen for something even more low key this year. Especially when it comes to gifts.
Hubby returns home briefly for Christmas and as much as I’m craving a really extravagant holiday, just spending time at home with my family, doing absolutely nothing apart from some mandatory debriefing with hubby, is looking rather appealing right now.
While our three girls are super easy going and excited to be mixing things up this year, they still want to see a little Christmas spirit, mainly in the food on the table department.
In terms of the tree and decorating the house, we’ve followed a burgundy and gold colour theme for almost 20 years. Each year in the sales, I add a special piece or two to our decoration collection. It’s quite the collection now. We’ve had our tree for around ten years and as much as I would like to upgrade it to something even bigger and better, it is still going strong.
In terms of Christmas traditions, each year we throw a tree trimming party on December 1st and out comes our massive tree and stash of decorations. One of my favourites would be the pomegranate decorations I picked up at Bed Bath n Table a few years ago.
Two years ago my daughters found disco ball, Christmas tree lights which much to my disgust saw a change in theme that year. It was such a shame the disco ball lights were missing in action last Christmas and we we forced to return to our tradition colour scheme and theme.
This Christmas, we are in much smaller temporary accommodation while we search for our dream forever home. After 23 moves, I can’t wait for this next and hopefully last move. I toyed with the idea of leaving our massive tree and decorations hidden in our storage shed and not bothering this year, especially given our girls are so much older (15, 16 & 18).
Sensing my overwhelm with hubby away, my middle daughter (Miss about to turn 17) took matters and our storage shed into her own hands. I awoke on December 1st to find the tree taking pride of place (and most of the space) in our living room. My daughter had also selected a new and according to her improved theme this year, purchasing new decorations out of her first pay packet.
I suppose you would call the theme metallic. There’s everything from my favourite colour right now, rose gold, to copper, with a sprinkling of sparkles, glitter, majestic fabric birds and silver reindeer adding a certain texture to the tree. It certainly makes a nice change, not just in terms of the new colour theme but the fact that someone else is making an effort. My kind of effort.
In keeping with our low key approach, even though all our three girls now have part-time jobs and money to spend on gifts, I’ve suggested that we run with a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle this year, with a budget of $20 per gift.
I wasn’t entirely sure how this would go down but our girls were rather excited by the idea. As was hubby, who apart from being allergic to shopping, just doesn’t have the time to go shopping when he gets back and there aren’t any shops in the middle of the Indian Ocean where he is working right now. What an elaborate way to get out of Christmas shopping!
This year, even Santa is planning on sticking to a $20 budget as well. It just makes sense, when we don’t need for anything and we are busy saving for our new home. Thankfully Santa didn’t take any real convincing of this plan of attack.
Coincidentally my favourite Santa here in Perth is currently stationed outside, Bijoux Belle, located within Floreat Forum. Not that my girls will entertain the idea of Santa photos, they gave that tradition up in 2010 (sob). I’m living for the year that Santa photos become trendy again, although I’m guessing the days of matching outfits are long gone.
I’m also hoping that our new Secret Santa approach to Christmas and our $20 gift budget becomes our new trend. Which brings me back to Bijoux Belle, where everything in-store (and online) is just $20, with some Christmas gifts and decorations actually 2 for $20. Bargain!
There’s a little something for every woman in your life… with apparel, jewellery, giftware and much more to choose from. Which makes it the perfect place for me to kick start and finish my Christmas shopping for my three girls, as well as pick up a little something for one of our readers.
With up to 90% off retail prices and a flat rate Australia wide shipping fee of $9.95, you could say it’s a WIN WIN for everyone. Speaking of winning, make sure you check out our giveaway below!
Because I really needed to find my Chrismtas spirit and I love to shop for others, I’ve selected a little Secret Santa gift for one of you.
To be in the running for this prize, just comment below, letting me know about one of your Christmas traditions.
- Share a Christmas tradition in the comments below
- Secret Santa gift not pictured above
- Game of skill
- One winner, selected by a third party
- Entries close 15/12/16 (9pm WST)
- Australian residents only
- I cannot guarantee prize will arrive in time for Christmas.
Also, don’t forget to enter our Maggie Beer Mystery Hamper giveaway. ENDS 10/12/16!
There’s also two cash prizes up for grabs as part of our Aussie Review Crew linkup.
If you are a blogger, you need to head over and link up your favourite post from 2016 to be in the running for our end of year Blog Awards…
And for even more giveaways… head over and case our monthly Aussie Giveaway Linkup.
What are your Christmas traditions and are you doing anything special this year for Christmas?
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I have a really old worn bauble given to my son 20 years ago with his name on it, it always make an appearance even though he laughs at me.
How sweet, that you’ve kept it all these years.
When I spend Christmas with my brother, SIL and niece (and my mum and SIL’s parents and various other ring-ins) we have a ritual around the present opening. We can’t open a present until the person before opens theirs. We have to ‘ohh and ahhh’ at it and then the next person gets their turn. It’s annoying when you’ve got people getting lots of gifts or you’ve got slow-present openers!
We made the mistake of doing a joint Christmas with my youngest sister and her family one year. We tend to get one gift for the girls and one from Santa. They go to the other extreme. Our girls had finished opening theirs and then it was 2 hours of watching the cousins. Not that it mattered to my girls, it just made us look like scrooges.
Our Christmas tradition is the big extended family get together for lunch and a game of cricket following lunch with very full tummies. It’s always wonderful to catch up with my ever growing family. This year there had been 3 new additions. #TeamLovinLife
Congratulations on the 3 new additions. Do you host the extended family get together each year or do you take it in turns?
Congratulations on the 3 new additions. Have a wonderful Christmas.
Your tree looks amazing!
In keeping with the Christmas tree theme, our tradition is to have one of the kids put the star on top. Usually it involved Daddy lifting them up to do it given it’s a 7 foot tree. But my daughter can just about do it on her own now at 6 foot. This year though, we passed the tradition to the next generation, This year Grand D lifted up our grand daughter Lola and she did the honours. Such a special moment. x o
Merry Christmas Raych!
Merry Christmas to you too Leanne. Still finding it hard to believe you have a grandchild. It’s so much easier to find the spirit and magic of Christmas when you have little ones around.
I started a new tradition of giving a bag to #Sharethedignity last year, and for years I give gifts to people at an assisted living housing place. I pick older boys and their mums. They want the simplest things. A baseball cap, a beach towel – one year I also gave to a girl who wanted her year 7 stationary. It was when my own kid was starting year 7 so I just replicated what I got my child. It is quite heartbreaking and a good reminder how insular we are in our world view. They are probably my favourite things about xmas, to be honest. The rest is just a chore…
And your tree is amazing. I’m in trouble because I’ve lost the garden xmas lights in the reno!!!
I find the rest a chore as well. I usually give something to the wishing tree but this year I’ve also joined the #sharethedignity initiative as well.
When I was growing up, we used to leave milk and honey biscuits (Mum’s only baking at Christmas from her Grandmothers’ German recipe) out for Santa. My sister and I were always more interested in the reindeer poop that would be scattered in a trail out the front door, than the presents under the tree. It was actually my Dad who left sultanas out……and so the tradition continues and I’ll be doing it for the first time with my 2 year old Grandson this year.
Happy days 🙂
How nice that one of your daughters put up the tree for you!!
Your tree looks perfect, what a beautiful daughter you have.
Our family tradition, sees a different family hosting Christmas each year. Which was fine, when we first started the tradition many years ago but now the next generation all have families of their own and there has been a couple of divorces, making it harder and harder each year to keep everyone happy.
Like you, I’m wanting something new with a lot less fuss this year.
I’m all for less fuss right now and rather enjoy being 5000 km away from extended family and the pressure to be everywhere at Christmas, which I’m sure you can relate.
Our children open one gift on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure why or when we started this tradition or if it helps them actually get to sleep so Santa can make an appearance.
My girls try and get us to do the same thing.
Every year a new member of my family have to make the best trifle ever and every year we say that the trifle made that year is the best ever! But we say that every year, it’s really fun to try to make it the best one ever!
Love trifle. We did a chocolate one purely by accident when the chocolate cupcakes we made fell apart. Rather than waste them we used them to form the basis of the trifle and then added chocolate custard, chocolate sauce and well basically anything chocolate we could get our hands on. It was divine.
I love the idea of the Secret Santa except because there’s only me and hubby it wouldn’t really be a secret! Our tree and advent calendars (fabric with pockets) have travelled the world with us, and made the move across the pond from London to Sydney. We collect Christmas decorations from our travels so our Tree Trimming party is a always a good old trip down Memory Lane! Your tree looks fab – your girl did good! What impeccable taste she has (just like her mum!)
I love what my daughter has done with the tree. I am however kind of missing all the decorations I’ve collected over the years. Perhaps they will make a reappearance next year.
We have lots of Christmas traditions…most revolving around food! One of everyone’s favourites is the lolly tray that would only come out once a year; on Christmas Day. Nan would fill it with salted peanuts, French fry chips, lollies and chocolate. We continue this tradition, with the tray now passed on to me to fill. It’s the only day of the year you can have treats for breakfast- Such a special tradition to remind us of our Nan and Pop, and the fun we had growing up.
I think most of our traditions revolve around food too. I love the idea of the lolly tray. We do something similar with chocolate but on a trolley.
Our Christmas tradition is catching yabbies in the farm dam and cooking them up for an afternoon snack, because you always need more food on christmas day!!!
What a Christmas tradition. In the past month, I’m met a few people who have farms down south and that’s where they head for Christmas. They all catch marron from their dam. I’ve never tried it, I’m guessing they would be like yabbies.
Our Christmas tradition to honour my Mum and Mum in law who are no longer with us is to cook a special vegetarian dish as part of the Christmas spread. Its a Parsnip and Sage Roulade (Delia Smith recipe) has all the wonderful Christmas flavours, is a bit complicated to make but just so delicisou and always disappears very fast. My 2 daughter in laws are vegetarian so we’re passing this lovely recipe and tradition on.
The recipe sounds divine.
We have everyone over for Christmas at my parents home including extended family, friends and people who have no families to celebrate Christmas with.
What a wonderful tradition.
we eat mince tarts in our ojs under the lights in our street with all the neighbours and kids every xmas eve.
My 15 year old daughter had mince tarts for the first time this year. She always turned her nose up at them previously. Turns out she thought they had actual minced meat in them. LOL
My partner and I make a dish for my family lunch the night before, then freak out that neither of us bought tape or wrapping paper for gifts so we use old magazines we should have already recycled. Every damn year ?
When hubby was a cartographer, we use to wrap gifts in discarded maps he had lying around.
That’s a good idea! Maps are much nicer looking than weird perfume ads 😀
Christmas traditions start with Carols by candlelight,
midnight mass, then opening one pressie, at night.
Leaving reindeer food, carrots, milk, cookies, choc chip!
Maybe a beer for Santa, crackers and cheese
for he has a long trip 🙂
I’m thinking Santa might need a cocktail this year. 😉
It’s a big family tradition for My sister and I to fight to over the Pork crackle..just wouldn’t be Christmas without stealing pork crackle and getting scolded from Mum!
Pork crackle… yum.
Our newest Christmas tradition is our gorgeous son, who just turned 14, has been decorating the house in Christmas lights for the past 3 years. I freaked out about him being on the roof at first, but now he’s fine. He does an awesome job and has even decorate the tree in the middle of the roundabout in front of our place too! Everyone in the street is very impressed … and the best part is, all I had to do was supervise! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife
What a wonderful son you have.
Christmas tradition is new pjs for all on xmas eve and awake at 6am Xmas day to open our pressies.
We all need new pjs right now, so I may be adopting your tradition. Although, not sure about the 6am start to the day. LOL
It is kind of pretty tragic actually when I think about it we don’t really have a must do every year. We have our Fisher Price Nativity Scene that I got when our son was a baby and I put that out. I also put our collection of Santa photos on the wall. We need to get this year’s done but so far we have 15 photos.
My hubby’s family used to have a tradition whereby they would have a course of food and then open a present (this included Santa gifts). I think they did this to stretch out Christmas Day because they migrated from Scotland so had no family here. This has gone by the by now too many people not enough gifts for it to last and I think that they have started a new tradition of going to restaurants for Christmas.
My girls stopped doing Santa photos and dressing matchy matchy. The last one I have is from 2010. So sad.
I like the idea of going to a restaurant for Christmas but it’s so expensive here in Perth.
we sing tragic karaoke on christmas night, everyone has a go -its fun
I might need to adopt this tradition. We usually wait for NYE for the tragic karaoke.
every year we all watch Christmas with the cranks movie. we have been doing this for years and my 23 year old daughter still gets upset if I even suggest we give it a miss this year. Must admit still gives me a laugh every time
I haven’t actually seen that movie.
A glass of bubbly with brunch is our Christmas tradition. If we are having people over we enjoy that quiet time together before the madness begins.
We’ve always done an early Christmas breakfast but I’m actually warming to a brunch now the girls are older and not so keen to be up at the crack of dawn.
Each year we buy a new ornament for the christmas tree, this year its a blue baby rattle which represents our newest addition our baby boy.