Christmas in our Family 2020
Suzanne Lucas – Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, Ardlethan – Temora Mission
It’s hard to know which is more exciting, the lead up to Christmas or the actual day, but for our family the whole month of December is the most wonderful time of the year. Being cereal farmers, December is harvest-time and the most important month on our farming calendar. Add to this several birthdays including mine on Christmas Eve; and the culmination of a busy school year for our children.
My husband, Ian, and I grew up in families where the emphasis was on family and being together. As our five children have grown up, we have been blessed to celebrate Christmas together every year.
Attending Christmas Eve Mass is a time to see and catch up with friends and fellow parishioners, many of whom have travelled home from afar, and to reflect on what Christmas truly means before the bustle of the day to follow.
Regardless of age, the children arise bright and early on Christmas morning with a family tradition embedded – 25 December is the only day the children beat their father out of bed! And so, they patiently wait for him to make his way into the lounge room, having to hold back as he sometimes does his last-minute wrapping, followed by his generous offers to make all a cup of tea. Exchanging gifts is an important part of the morning and even more important to us that all family members are present before any exchange of gifts take place.
Our Christmas Day celebrations include getting together with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, even if this means driving for hours!
This will be an extra special Christmas as we have our first grandchild, Evelyn, to celebrate with.
Cathie Chalmers – Sacred Heart, Ariah Park
Christmas has always been a special time of family and celebration. My husband and I have always looked forward to putting up the Christmas tree, decorating the house with the lights, whilst listening to Christmas carols playing in the background. Now that we have two young children, Christmas holds even more excitement.
The week before Christmas is our town Christmas party. The children ride their bikes, jump on jumping castles and eat delicious cold slushies. The adults have often finished harvest and it’s a lovely time to catch up with everyone.
Each alternate year Christmas is spent with either my family or my husband’s family. When Christmas is spent with my husband’s family, I have the thrill of waking up in my own home. This is such a treat for me, being the daughter of a bank manager; Christmas was always spent travelling to visit family. The opposite year when visiting my family we get to enjoy Christmas by the beach.
Last year’s Christmas, as we remembered the birth of Jesus, the children enjoyed being involved in the dramatisation of the Christmas Story as proclaimed in the Gospel, although their shepherd outfits were a little too hot for comfort; and as a family we presented the offertory gifts. Christmas day began early with the excitement of presents left at the end of the children’s bed. We then enjoyed turkey and ham for lunch at my in-laws with extended family, and an afternoon of water play for the children and rest and relaxation for the adults.
This Christmas we wish you and your family the gift of love and peace that God offers you and me.
Jess & Mick Eccleston – St Patrick’s Gundagai
Christmas in our house is always such a lovely time. Mick and I have four children aged between three and twelve, so it is always a magical and fun time of year. My favourite time of year.
The lead up to Christmas sees traditions such as putting up the tree on the first of December and taking it in turns to place the shiny star on top. It sees us draping the outside of our home with Christmas lights. It includes us going to Christmas Eve Mass, and then keeping the kids awake until dark to drive around town looking at all the other houses and their beautiful lights on display.
We have even created our own new tradition in the last couple of years, where the children are allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve, before they go to bed, to have some special time as a family before the busyness of Christmas Day begins.
Christmas day is spent visiting all our extended family. We are lucky enough to have most of our extended family close by. We spend the day moving from house to house, eating yummy meals, sharing wonderful times and the kids have the best day with all their cousins.
To us, Christmas is about time spent and memories made. Having lost beloved family members in recent years, spending that special time with family at Christmas is more important than ever, and we make sure that that is exactly what our day is about- FAMILY.