THIS is Christmas

A sponsored post for Westfield

You spend months (OK who am I kidding) at least weeks or maybe days depending on how crazy the end of the year has been, thinking up a present for your kid that you think they will love. Something to challenge them. Something they have always wanted, or maybe even didn’t realise that they wanted, you save up, you lay buy that bastard, thinking with each passing day towards Christmas of their happy faces on Christmas morning, hands outstretched running towards you shouting their love and praise for you, in awe that their parents can actually be better than Santa.

And then reality kicks in.

It’s Christmas morning, The kids are fezza from staying up waaaaaaaay too late at a Christmas Eve function the night before and when you present them with the amazing present….and you get this.


Disappointment. DISAPPOINTMENT! Maybe even an audible sigh. A BIKE? A new bike? But I wanted that crappy plastic present. Sheesh.

(if you’re stuck for presents, check out gifts for kids)


Those presents, the ones that you have been developing on your Pinterest “Christmas wrapping” board with Scandi overtones that works back to the colours you have chosen on the ornaments on the tree and the tablescape for Christmas lunch, THAT wrapping. You wrap those presents, you place them under the tree, lovingly wrapped just SO with the fancy Japanese washi tape that you just know that people will LOVE, ensuring that a snap is uploaded onto Instagram so SOMEONE gets it, are placed under the tree. There they sit waiting for the big day to come where you know that SOMEONE, well maybe just your Mum, will comment on the beauty of them. Until Christmas Day when you start to hand them out and you realise that the DOG HAS CHEWED YOUR SCANDI PINECONE TOPPERS. The earwigs that were hidden in the pine tree have actually chewed trails out of each package. And is that a ripped section out of that one from my SIX YEAR OLD DEARGODWHYCANTWEHAVENICETHINGS?


The Gingerbread house you have BAKED. Sure it’s a little off the Great British bake Off special but you BAKED it. And you envisage a wholesome family scene as you decorate it with the kids. Except it’s hot. And the icing is a little thinner than you would have liked. And did I mention it’s hot? And those kids have reeeeeally put a lot of lollies on that roof. The cake gets decorated and then later that night, on the bench, you notice a crack. And crumble. And COLLAPSE. As that bastard falls down in front of you AND IT’S NOT EVEN CHRISTMAS YET WHYCANTWEHAVEANYTHINGNICE?

(these Christmas baking essentials might help)


THIS is Christmas. The actual reality of Christmas that is as far away from a Pinterest board in September as you can get. It’s messy, it’s angry kids when they should be happy, it’s lumpy gravy NOTHING like bloody Mary Berry’s in her Christmas Special, it’s drunken relatives peaking way too early. It’s all the bits that we as the planners and organisers see and lament about and actually ALL the bits that the people that love us never remember. It’s the memories of what Christmas is actually about. Not the shiny, catalogue Christmas, but the real ones that play out in our homes every year.

This year Westfield want us to celebrate THIS kind of Christmas. The moments that don’t quite go to plan but still create joy. They’ve collaborated with the very funny Julia Morris, to bring this to life and remind us all that it doesn’t have to be ‘picture perfect’ to be extraordinary.

For me being a kid I don’t remember what we ate for Mum’s lunches but I do remember watching Rankin Bass stop motion movies on Christmas Eve at our family friends house excitement growing as each hour passed by as my parents guzzled Chablis outside on a hot summers evening.


As an adult I remember the smell of a fresh Christmas tree laden with shitty and precious  Preschool ornaments twinkling away in the loungeroom with all the lights off and Bing Crosby playing.

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It’s sitting around a tiny lounge room on a boiling hot day stomachs overflowing with food as we watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Again.


It’s popping that fancy bottle of champers you were given from a client at work on Christmas morning and eating it with a side of ham on toast.


Or a some Christmas fruitcake with coffee for morning tea. Every day. For 3 weeks.


And long tables filled with people that you love having a lovely time together because you know what? You all just want to BE together anyway.

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Do you have a #THISISCHRISTMAS moment to share with us? To celebrate Westfield are giving a BabyMac reader a $250 Gift Card. All you have to do is share with us your favourite #THISISCHRISTMAS moment that shows YOUR joy. The un-pretty, un-planned and very ordinary Christmas moment that we ACTUALLY remember.

Make no mistake why Christmas is a day where it’s entirely acceptable to drink champagne from 7am until way past 7pm. #THISISCHRISTMAS


Do you have a special #THISISCHRISTMAS memory to share? Leave a comment for a chance to win the $250 gift card!
Working on a theme for your wrapping or tablescape this year?
Don’t bother.

(details of the T&C’s can be found here)


  1. Kylie Myers says

    Last year my poor hubby ended up with gastro. Very ordinary! It was going to be such a lovely low key day starting with that fancy bottle of bubbles but poor dude had been up all night spewing and couldn’t even stay awake to wake the kids open their pressies! It was just hubby , myself and our two girls on Xmas day last year so with him with his head in a bucket we didn’t even bother cooking the hot lunch we planned and the kids and I just ate dip and bikies all day long!

    • OMG my 9 year old daughter and I both had gastro too. Hubs had to cook everything (which is very new to him lol) and host the day while me and Rubes were throwing up in the ensuite! HORRIBLE day!!!!!! And i didn’t even give a shit that my other two had dressed themselves (not in what i had laid out the night before) but in hideous mismatched get up that they thought looked fab! Oh well heres hoping this year is spew free ?

  2. This year my bestie Alison & another dear friend Heather put out an album of beautiful Australian Christmas carols. I was lucky enough to make it back “home” for the Newcastle launch on the weekend.

    So instead of some of the hilariously bad stuff of years past we’ll have their beautiful music to listen to- even though we will be far away geographically from one another on the actual day, we’ll spend Christmas with our mates.

  3. A couple of years ago our kids received a big trampoline that was put together in a STORM on Christmas Eve and then some presents in their Santa sacks. One of the children announced that this wasn’t a good Christmas and they hoped next year was better because they got hardly any presents……..

  4. I have many wonderful #thisischristmas moments, but one of my favourites was the year where we only had the one child and he also held the status of “only grandchild”. This Christmas ge would have been 3 years old. We went for our traditional Christmas lunch at my parents’ place and my sister had gone to the effort of making all the Bon Bons, and filled them with awesome joke cartoons from her Gary Larson Far Side calendar, toys from Kinder surprise eggs (back in the day where they were actually good) and 3 Lindt balls! My little man was having a post lunch cuddle with my Dad and he was offered ‘one’ of the Lindt balls as a special only-grandchild treat. Surprise surprise he some how managed to scoop up Pa’s other Lindt ball chocolates when he had his eyes on something else and he managed to peel and gobble them up as quick as lightening! The look of guilty pleasure on his face and the surprised and indulgent burst of laughter that came out of my Dad were simply priceless. Such a happy #thisischristmas memory!

  5. Now days our christmases are laid back, everyone bring a plate and does everyone have a drink? Good, affairs but I remember one from when I was a kid that wasn’t that way.
    My mum spent days getting everything ready, then hours on the day finishing everything off. She let herself get a bit too wrapped up in the execution of the day and ended up having a massive panic attack. Only thing was, no one, least of all her, realised it was a panic attack, everyone thought it was a heart attack! As all the licenced drivers were already imbibing by this stage an ambulance was called and our gay affair turn very sombre indeed. Joy returned when when we learned that it wasn’t a heart attack and since then things have been a little more low key!

  6. Thank god I never plan a tablescape! Though one year I did actually use a beautiful ethiopian scarf as a table runner as it was suggested in the catalogue! My Mum was amazed – as she never does a tablescape either – always too much food!!
    Last year we were in the Arctic Circle in Finland at Santa’s home, so absolutely nothing can top that! Santa gave the kids their presents himself and it was wonderful. He knew everything, as one would expect!
    I’m waiting for my children to turn into ungrateful creeps (I was one of those) but so far so good.

  7. My favourite memory is always sitting at the kids table at my pops with all my cousins, dreaming of the day I was big enough to be at the adults table.
    Only now do I realise sitting at the kids table was the best place to be.

  8. Andrea Hall says

    Christmas morning my mum received the call that my Nanna had had a fall and was being transported by ambulance to hospital. We left the turkey and trifle preparation in Dads capable hands and met my Nanna in the emergency department. My
    Nanna suffered from dementia so she was blissfully oblivious to the fuss her obviously broken hip had caused. As surgery was not an option at that moment the wonderful staff ensured she had Christmas lunch with all the trimmings while Mum and I kept a bedside vigil with an arrowroot biscuit and a cup of tea before falling into bed late that night having missed the day. While the day was not ideal, three generations of women spent the day together and appreciated the fantastic care and festive spirit the fabulous hospital staff provided while missing out on Christmas with their own families.

  9. As a teenager I thought it would be funny to decorate our traditional gingerbread people anatomically correctly. My mum thought it was funny but warned me not to do it as they would be given to my Grandparents and the neighbours. I did it anyway and mum didn’t know until she saw my grandfather examining his gingerbread a little too closely!

  10. Emma Sparnon says

    #thisischristmas –

    When I was little I remember waking up at 6am and sneaking out to see if Santa had come and I would peek and feel all the presents before sitting on edge until I was allowed to get my parents up at 7am and then I would nudge them awake and make them a cup od tea before waiting excitedly before they shuffled out and sat on the couch! That year I got a bike and it was amazing.

    Now my favourite memory is after christmas lunch is done and presents are opened and all the dishes are done and away we always take the kids to park and walk of the food coma before coming home for made up cocktails and dessert and watching the kids laugh and play with toys and then watching them crash on the couch with movies and new toys surrounding them while we drink more cocktails and laugh.

  11. Katie Elliott says

    One of my fave memories is reading A night before Christmas pop up book that my mum gave me for my first Christmas on Christmas Eve. Tucked up in bed, listening for the sound of Santa’s reindeer’s hooves on the roof. My mum read it to me for soooo many years! Making sure my stocking was hung properly on the end of my bed. And now I am looking forward to reading it in 2 months time to my beautiful 6 month old son. Precious memories ?

    • I read that book to my kids every Christmas Eve – have done so since they were babies. They’re now 10 and 12 but still love hearing it. Those special family traditions are so important.

  12. #thisischristmas

    I remember being about 7 and we all got bikes, dad took off with the baby on the back and left me behind so I raced to catch them in all my “brand new xmas clothes” glory…. I hit a pothole, went straight over the handle bars, winded myself and ended up taking all the skin off my upper lip….
    Mum was pissed because I ruined my dress and had a blood moustache for the photos….

  13. Thank-you Beth – as I was about to have a mild panic attack for just offering to host Christmas this year, this has been a timely reminder about what’s really important at Christmas. And you’re right, it’s not perfectly themed trees or table settings. You have just saved me SO much time and effort! Thank-you. I have many memories of Christmas Day not going exactly to plan, but my favourite has to be giving birth to my first daughter right at lunch time on Christmas Day. I should have known then what I was in for!

  14. #thisischristmas I LOVE Christmas. I LOVE the anticipation. I LOVE finding just the right gift for that tricky person. My favourite Christmas moment was my son’s first Christmas. We were all gathered around the tree, gifts had been exchanged, champagne was being drunk, and then, my brother proposed to my sister in law. She said yes, of course. It was really, really special.

    .this year is first year with no little people.. My baby is 12 and we have retired from fostering, ? I’m am happy for all the memories we hold dear.. Just last week we were discussing this Christmas with our remaining 2 out of 8 off spring.. Im thrilled to say they still request the yearly Santa visit to get our photo taken with Santa at a random shopping centre ( no matter how old my babies get this will happen) Christmas morning breakfast requires Kellogg’s fruit loops for breaky followed by ham and eggs on the BBQ.. 6 of my children will be here Christmas Eve with their partners.. THERE will be backyard cricket with esky for wickets (tradition) with lots of laughs and food, oh the food, all day.. Relaxing in the pool to beat the heat.. Followed by all my 8 home and 4 grandkids Boxing Day to do it all over again..
    Merry Christmas shopping everyone!??

  16. My #THISISCHRISTMAS memory comes from where all cherished memories are made – my childhood.

    A few nights before Christmas our father would bundle up my four sisters and I and drive us into the city to see the Myer windows and then visit his office. My sisters and I would talk about this night for weeks leading up to it and on the day we were bursting with enthusiasm.

    The city seemed a world away from our suburban home and we soaked up the atmosphere through glistening eyes. Our first stop was the Myer windows to see the Christmas display. When I was very little, Dad would lift me onto his shoulders so that I could see. And after that, Dad’s office was just a short walk away.

    Entering the foyer of the law firm was a big thrill. I remember the gentle hum of the lift as we made the journey to the top floor, with the anticipation building as each floor passed. When we arrived, the five of us burst through the glass doors.

    I remember the smell of the office; the scent of manila folders and typewriter ink. The entire floor was quiet and still, save for the giggles of five girls. We would run to Dad’s office and forage through the stationary drawers and filing cabinets. We found fascinating items like highlighters and hole punchers and some years we were lucky enough to find a few loose chocolates. It only occurred to me later that Dad probably planted these chocolates for us to find, or perhaps his secretary did!

    On some occasions we would be the only ones in the office. On other visits we would meet one of Dad’s colleagues and we would laugh as Dad introduced each of us, confusing our names or getting the order mixed up!

    When it was time to leave, Dad would turn off the lights and pick up his satchel. It signified the end of the night but the beginning of a holiday – the beginning of time with our Dad who we didn’t see much during the year.

    I remember these evenings with Dad with great affection. They only lasted a few hours but the anticipation and the recollection sustained us for another year, until Christmas came around again.

    No present under the tree can provide the endurance of nostalgia. A Christmas memory will last long after the tinsel has been packed away and the tree has been taken down.

  17. Champagne and fresh fruit for breakfast, too many presents and more wrapping paper than the recycling bin can handle, Mum refusing any help in the kitchen but laying on the guilt hard that she doesnt have time to relax, roast lunch at 3pm in 40 degree heat, too much of everything means everyone is ready for a nap but whos going to watch the kids? #thisischristmas #wouldntchangeathing

  18. I remember the year we got bikes too, I didn’t want one, I never rode my old bike and had recently had my hips pinned so it was a struggle to ride anyway! But the Doctors had told my parents I needed to get my hips moving and a bike was a great solution.

    My Dad had a great idea that he would buy us a bike one size up so we could grow into it, my bike was so big I had to push it near the stairs and stand on the second step to get onto it. I hated that bike and cried on Christmas day. I felt so guilty for not liking my present and the pressure to get on and ride was too much. We lived on top of a very big hill and not being able to reach the ground without putting the bike on a good 45 degree angle was too much for me!

    We laugh about it now, about how the bike was in such good condition due to never being used that both my younger sisters got to enjoy it and how I never did grow tall enough to ride a standard ladies bike…

  19. My #THISISCHRISTMAS memory that I always remember and sums up our family so well;
    My husband and I had planned to have big family Xmas before we moved overseas. It was all planned, and we had so many people to go and see…breakfast here, then off to lunch here etc etc as you do at Xmas.

    Well we arrive at the big family gathering for lunch at about 11am, knowing we needed to leave mid afternoon for a bit. Well 3pm arrives and lunch is still being organized with no idea when it was actually going to be ready. So they tell us to just head off to, see some other relatives, and they will save us a plate for when we return. Off we go, to return at about 6.30pm. What do we find, all my husbands Aunties still in the kitchen with glass fulls of wine, and everyone else sitting around having a wonderful time, but still waiting for lunch 🙂 It really was the best Xmas, as everyone was together, and just as our family are…completely disorganized, always with a wine in hand, talking more than doing, and laughter everywhere.

    I don’t know how many dinners we have had at midnight over the years, so this Xmas meal seemed so fitting. We still talk about it to this day, and we are getting better on the timing-slightly, maybe 🙂

  20. Belinda Catt says

    We have had over 20 Christmas’s as a family but none as breathtaking and humbling as 2 years ago after hubby was informed on the 2nd of December that there was no job. We learnt in that one moment that nothing and I mean nothing is as important as us. Christmas Day the ham was a gift from a dear friend, the presents were light on the ground, but the love in our little lounge room was the purest we have ever felt.

  21. On the 23rd December last year, I was hit with THE most horrid case of Gastro ON THE PLANET!!! I never get sick but Jesus this made up for it. I sent the husbando up to Coles to pick up our preordered ham and prawns among other things. He came home and somehow or other later that day I realised HE HAD NOT PAID FOR THE HAM!!! He went through the self service section and told me he thought the ham was not only preorder but prepaid!!! $80 worth of delicious ham for free! I was so horrified but also too sick to give a hoot about it. Its only now that I look back and feel horrifically guilty. As punishment the following day, he succumbed to the dreaded gastro as well as both our boys. Needless to say, Christmas was not what we had planned, hoped and dreamed, but hey, we were all together. Yep #THIS IS CHRISTMAS.

  22. Christmas when I was little, although filled with the usual anticipation of gifts (….maybe this would be the year that Father Christmas would deliver the pony that I had requested), food and family celebration, was always tinged with a perplexed confusion and ponderings as to why on earth Father Christmas was making the move on some people’s Mothers as sung about in ‘I saw Mummy kissing Santa Clause’ – and why was this sung about with a jaunty tune, and what would happen if Dad walked in, and is the kid singing the song happy because maybe Mum is putting in a good word for the kid for his presents. My Dad would not have laughed if he had seen as I knew this wasn’t a laughing matter & if I had crept out of bed to take a peep & witnessed this would I tell Dad which might also get me into trouble because I was not tucked up in bed asleep, but spying around corners seeing Mum tickling Santa under his beard!!!! & was Father Christmas kissing every mother underneath the mistletoe? Was Father Christmas actually a sleezy creep? I tell you, every year this song created so much anxiety in my little head.

  23. #thisischristmas
    My childhood Christmas’ were always great. I was allowed to get up and open my Santa sack at stupid o’clock, but couldn’t wake my parents till 7am. One particular Christmas I woke at 5am and got up and went through my Santa sack. I had received many little things, but the two I was most excited about was my first training bra and a pair of roller skates. I tried them both on, but then promptly fell back asleep.
    When my brothers and parents walked into our living room in the morning they found me sound asleep with just a training bra and roller skates on.
    It still makes us all laugh.

  24. The nostalgia Christmas time brings is overwhelming! Every year for many years, it was just the 4 of us celebrating Christmas, but it was ALWAYS a circus. We’ve big personalities, loud expressive voices and my parents short tempers were not excused from Christmas Day (tough, hard-working, run-off their feet secondary school teachers!).
    Mum, Dad, Big Bro and I would sit around the decorated (plastic!) pine tree in the lounge room on the carpet (so much carpet, with little breeze-ways…farking warm I tell you), feeling the QLD humidity and basking in the excitement of our special day together. Spoilt little shits we were, my brother and I would have excessive presents to get through so it’d get hot sitting on that carpet! In the early days we would blast the fans and then finally… glorious air conditioning. So come 10am, when the humidity was truly unbearable because a huge fuck-off storm was on its way, the air con would be blasting and we’d be preparing fat juicy prawns with lashings of butter on fresh white bread, carving Christmas ham, and preparing salad and accompaniments. Lunch was barely finished and Mum would get back into the kitchen, to baste the Turkey and prepare endless amounts of vegetables and trimmings…including Mum’s UNREAL homemade Turkey stuffing. Oh the JOY. She still cooks it to this day and I still cannot replicate it. Things like processing bread to make stuffing was not on my Mother’s agenda. She would cut the white bread into small chunks and mix it with chopped tomatoes, onions, herbs, S&P and bind it with an egg before shoving up the Turkey’s clacker. With sliced Turkey breast and gravy it was my favourite.
    It was around the time Mum was prepping vegetables that nagging my Father would begin. He was not to be so tanked up over dinner (about 7pm) that he couldn’t appreciate what she’d cooked and the hours spent slaving over a hot stove. Why the F my Mum insisted on a classic hot roast Christmas dinner I will never understand, but I know it’s nostalgic for Dad; and I suspect the same for my Mum (she’s a closed book when it comes to her childhood).
    Anyway, by 7pm Dad would be sitting at the table with his silly hat from the pov bon-bon, eyes popping out of his head insisting he was NOT too far gone to appreciate the food. Mum wasn’t convinced and so the Christmas bickering continued. Oh the JOY. It was the absolute opposite of a picture-perfect Christmas but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We have welcomed extra additions to our Christmas dinners over time (spouses and friends dropping by) and things have changed a little, although it’s still a circus and I still find it bloody joyous! This silly season will be really low key and I won’t even get home to my hometown come Christmas time, so thank you for your blog and reminding me to cherish the wonderful and slightly-dysfunctional occasions 😉
    P.s. As a teen it astounded me, and as a woman approaching 30 it still astounds me… how on earth do women in Australia or more specifically QLD look so perfect on Christmas Day? How does their make-up look so fresh and why aren’t they visibly sweating their tits off!

    • Fashionista says

      Laughing so hard at your story! Especially at the traditional hot dinner, in QLD. I know right, WTF???? But we still do it……….

      Re your comment about looking so fresh, I think just being used to the weather helps. And I only ever wear natural fibers. And lipstick, always have lipstick in place which gives the veneer of being put together.

  25. For me Christmas was first all about that magical guy called Santa (could he really travel the world in just one night?). Later it was all about the food. Five years ago on Christmas day I lost my beautiful 26 yr old sister after a very furious battle with an aggressive cancer. So now #this is Christmas is all about family – maybe she knew what she was doing and decided Christmas day was a good day to leave us – that way my family will never be alone on her anniversary. My hope for Christmas this year is that we find a way to remember her spark and love of all things Christmas and recreate some of its magic for my boys; one of which has definitely caught up with what that guy in red is all about (even if he is a little bit scary).

  26. My favourite part of Christmas is going to my parents house and seeing the paper Santa that my younger sister made in Primary School. He has split pins in his limbs so you can move them around. It’s an ongoing joke that when his arms are positioned just so, Santa looks like he’s getting a bit friendly with himself ;p My sister and I are in our 30s and still think it’s hilarious!

  27. The year we had a Japanese exchange student living with us for Christmas, we decided to drive up a nearby mountain to a picnic spot that was always a few degrees cooler than home. Our clapped out old Volvo station wagon (the one with the rear facing seats in the boot) shat itself halfway up. Rather than let it bother us, we climbed down into a dry creek bed nearby with our Esky and had our picnic there. Our Japanese friend had a great story to tell his family about how he celebrated Christmas with his mad Australian family. It remains a very fond memory.

  28. Last year was our first Christmas as family of six. It was the first time I looked around at my people & thought ” yep, we’re finally all here”. It was the first time we’d ever had our big Christmas dinner in Christmas Eve. It was the first Christmas Day we done bugger all & seen nobody. We were relaxed, content, happy & whole. It might sound like a completely boring, uneventful & not special but to me it was the most perfect Christmas I can remember. I hope we have many,many more like it.

  29. Loved this post Beth.
    #thisischristmas moment for me was end of Christmas Day 1996 when we visited our newborn and FIRST ever granddaughter in hospital and got to ‘mind her’ while her mum and dad went for a walk. Cuddles and all that wonderfulness…smelling the newborn, checking out family resemblances.
    She WAS (and still IS Christmas to me) as when she arrived it was seriously the BEST event in my life (other than the birth of my 2 kids) because I had LONGED to be Grandma since forever and we had the worst year ever in 1996 …major health probs for my hub which resulted in his sole business going bust, losing our dream home within 12 months, me having a car accident while wearing a boot for the broken ankle, and losing all sense of ‘self sufficiency’ until…the early hours of 23 December when little Jessica Rose arrived and has charmed the world and her grandma ever since. BEST Christmas ever.
    Love, Denyse

  30. We had a very relaxed Christmas at the beach one year when our kids were young. We stayed in an old apartment on the beachfront and the kids received boogie boards as presents. After a picnic breakfast in the park with a few relatives, we had fish and chips for lunch sitting on the beach and ended the day with ham sandwiches, also on the beach. Such a stress-free day, it remains a great memory for us.

  31. My best memories of Christmas are spending Christmas Eve gathered with my massive Italian family. There would be about 30 of us crammed into someone’s house, eating delicious Italian foods, exchanging presents (when we were younger), doing a secret Santa (when we were a little older), and finally being old enough to get into the wine. Since moving back to Australia, I seriously, seriously miss those massive Christmas Eve’s we would do. I hope to get back to the US one day for a Christmas Eve with my crazy Italian family again!

  32. A stand-out Christmas memory for me was the first year I spent Christmas interstate with my (now) in-laws.

    In my family, we have the Christmas feast on Christmas Eve and go all out – all the family, the turkey, the ham, the seafood, all the trimmings…. you get the picture. So the Christmas before we were married, we decided to go to my fiancé’s hometown and spend the holiday with bis family and boy was it different to what I was used to! There was no Christmas Eve but that was ok, I was expecting that. Christmas lunch, to my dismay, was all cooked the night before then simply MICROWAVED on the day!

    Looking back, I feel like I was such a spoilt brat, not getting my lovely Christmas dinner but I also feel that was the year I grew up. Not every family is in a position to enjoy a lovely meal together, and I learnt that. But my MIL showed such love for me, welcoming me into her family when we’d only met once before, and for me #thisischristmas

    (PS. Being woken by her on the first morning bringing me a cup of tea in bed when I was starkers was a little…. startling, but I wouldn’t trade her for anything now!)

  33. As a teenager on Christmas morn, poking my head out of a sleeping bag on my grandmas floor, to find my mother standing over me offering a bowl of coloured popcorn….at 7am…we were not a family who got to eat a lot of lollies and treats usually, but my mum sure as hell made up for it on Christmas Day, and as kids it was just too exciting to be getting stuck into licorice all sorts for breakfast!

  34. I think my favourite #thisischristmas moment hasn’t been created yet but will soon. This year I became a mum and our child is the start of the next generation in our family and I know he is going to make this Christmas and the next few extra special. I’ve always loved Christmas because the whole family gets together and we eat so much food. My grandma and now mum and aunty spend so much time and effort for one meal which makes it special.

  35. Domenica Kiely says

    My fave Christmas memory is of my husband staying up until 3am the night before Chrissy last year to put up the big bastard trampoline that Mrs. Clause had very generously bought with almost all the money she saved from three months of part time work. He did it in the backyard, almost in darkness, in case one of our girls looked out their windows and spotted him. I kept stressing they’d wake and was willing him to hurry without being able to help because I was wrapping the 36 (!) presents for extended family that I’d cleverly left till the last minute to wrap. The next morning the first comment made by one of our daughters was that Santa was pretty lazy to drop off a trampoline and leave it to daddy to put together in the backyard last night. All that late night/early morning stress for nada.

  36. What lovely memories from everyone! Reading everyone’s comments brought back a lot of similar memories of Christmas.

    When we lived in Chicago, we used to go downtown to look at the Christmas window displays. One year my oldest brother took us….he must have been about 20 at the time…he thought he would play a joke on my 7 year old sister and ‘hide’ from her. Only we LOST her! Someone found her, but she wouldn’t tell them our phone number because it was unlisted. She thought unlisted meant she shouldn’t tell anyone. We finally found her in the department store lost and found an hour later.

    The first year my partner and I were together he surprised me with a brand new Trek bike. It was like being a kid all over again at 49.

    My favorite Christmas movie is Trains, Planes and Automobiles with John Candy and Steve Martin.

  37. My now almost 4 year old was due on Boxing Day. She decided to arrive via a very emergency c section on the 23rd. Of course this meant I was in hospital on Christmas, and the hospital was empty as all the sensible people arrange “things” so they are not due to have babies at Christmas time (or have cooperative babies that arrive in such a way that they are able to leave hospital the next day). We also had a 20 month old so I was quite emotional about missing her first Christmas with some understanding/excitement. My lovely family postponed Christmas until we were home and on Christmas Day they all piled into our room with a lovely impromptu picnic style Christmas lunch. Such happy memories and because the midwives were really only busy caring for me they were able to join us. I will not ever forget it.

  38. I love xmas songs, but my husband hates them.
    I used to have to play them when he was not around.
    But a few years ago, Bob Dylan released an album of xmas songs!
    Now I can play xmas songs when ever I like.
    As long as it’s Bob singing of course.
    ‘Santa claus is coming, Santa claus is coming’ (imagine this in husky Bob voice..)

  39. Michelle V says

    #thisischristmas for me.
    The kids get up before the birds, and race into the lounge room where their gifts are. Then begins the chaos of them tearing into their gifts, all whilst I’m frantically trying to capture it all on film/camera. After the gifts are opened, the kids play, oohing and aahing over everything, whilst I begin clearing the wrapping (SO MUCH WRAPPING!!!!!), and getting last minute preparations ready.
    Then, once hubby finally decides to wake, we all get dressed and ready and go to my parents for lunch. Huge ethnic family all together equals so much noise!!! Mum cooks enough food to feed a village, dad (dressed in a Santa suit that’s old enough to vote), pops the bon-bons with the grandkids and proceeds to tell lame Christmas jokes. Something gets spilled on mum’s “special Christmas tablecloth”, my two sisters and I fight over who will say the Christmas speech, then forget to do it once we see all of the food! Then we indulge in lunch and dessert, and the kids open more gifts.
    After a couple of hours, it’s off to my Greek in-laws, where there’s a succulent lamb spit waiting. Again, more noise and merriment. I dress up as Santa (because my sister’s in-law’s wouldn’t DREAM of it!), and hand out gifts and home made bikkies for the kids. We drink Ouzo, do Greek dancing, and eat, eat, eat.
    On the way home, we count Christmas lights on houses that we drive past.
    We arrive home exhausted and in the best possible moods for humans to experience.
    Yes, #thisischristmas for me and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

  40. Another xmas story….

    My daughter is now 12 and she loves xmas too.
    But it wasn’t always like this.

    She has Down syndrome, and for the first few years of her life, I would live up to all the expectations of a mother preparing xmas for her children, and she just did not get it!
    She just did not get the tree, the decorations, the presents, the xmas books I read to her every night. And, she was terrified of Santa. The only childhood photo I have of her with Santa is of her running away and Santa with outstretched arms!

    But by the time she was about 10, something changed and it clicked in!
    Now she is my xmas loving daughter and finally we get to share this time together!
    I am so happy that yes, I let her put the tree up in November!
    We now make an annual pilgrimage to Sydney to see the xmas decorations, and to meet Santa at the Crystal Palace.
    We wrap presents together, sing xmas songs at home, in the car, and she goes to bed excitedly on xmas eve, knowing that Santa is coming that night.

    But the best thing about xmas is that my girl is happy with whatever present she gets. Every present she opens gets the same adulation and “wow”! A pair of socks is as amazing and ‘just what she wanted’ as much as a beloved Mermaids DVD!

    Oh, and she says “merry xmas tree'” to everyone at xmas time! (her verbal dyspraxia makes for some very funny faux pas)

    So Merry Xmas Tree everyone!

  41. My sister (who is much younger than I …by about 23 years) stuck a beanbag bean up her nose when she was three. It was Chritmas Day. As no one was sober enough to drive her to the hospital we were in a spot of bother. It was quite an ordeal as she became hysterical making the extraction of said bean with tweezers quite the challenge. But big sister saved the day! My chest was a bit puffy. There was much applause, cheering and back slapping so my sister thought this was FAB! What a party trick! So…. she did it again!

    Repeat #thisischristmas

  42. I remember many years ago when my Nan & Pa were still alive we would go to their house for Christmas lunch. Nan didn’t believe in putting things out for people to help themselves & would dish up in the kitchen & give you a plate. There was always much counting & recounting of how many plates were needed. I will never forget the year Nan & my Mum counted wrong & handed out all the plates & Pa didn’t have one. While he was protesting that he was fine & didn’t really need lunch Nan was going around to everyone with an empty plate in her hand getting a bit from each persons lunch to make up a plate for Pa. He ended up with a huge plate of food as everyone felt so bad for him. We still laugh about him insisting he didn’t need lunch the entire time Nan was collecting for him.

  43. I love Christmas! I think I love the lead up to Christmas just as much as the day itself. Last year I was heavily pregnant with my third child who was due on new years eve….. party! With bubbys arrival imminent I was determined to be super organised and had everything bought and wrapped ahead of time. As the days went on I was becoming increasingly worried about being in hospital at Christmas and missing out on seeing my other 2 kids open all their presents that I’d spent months deciding on, baby decided to help with that! Benjamin was born on December 22nd and we came home on Christmas eve. He truly was the best Christmas present the whole family could have hoped for and has brought us so much joy every day since. We can’t wait to see his face on Christmas morning this year. Last year’s Christmas will be hard to beat, but I’m sure this one will go close.

  44. My daughter was born on Christmas Eve 12 years ago. While our families were off doing the big Christmas Day thing my husband and I were holed up in a hospital room getting to know our new baby daughter. She was 8 days overdue so it wasn’t where I expected to be for Christmas Day but it was the best Christmas ever!

  45. I have lots of lovely memories of Christmas as a child but one of the best was in 2009 when I was 29. My brother received brain damage in 2002 and my dad was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2006 so Christmas as an adult was quite tense and emotional as our family battled with various issues and emotions. 2009 was different, it was like a childhood Christmas. Everyone was together and helped out, there was fun and laughter, presents, swimming and for the first time in years everyone lived in the moment and enjoyed the day without secretly worrying about what could happen in the future. Dad passed away just before Xmas the following year. We are all thankful for the memory of that year and the time we spent together as a family. Looking back it was my version of a Christmas miracle. #thisischristmas

  46. Oh man there are too many. Coming form a huge family (100+) Xams can get pretty messy and very funny indeed. Those xmas’ when the old blokes crack out the whisky at about 8pm and then by 10 they and everyone else has no clue what they are talking about. The time it hailed in a big thunderstorm; hailstones as big as golf balls, right on lunch for an outdoor setting. The year my brother got kicked out of Xmas at about 10pm for singing too loud was pretty funny actually. So funny in fact we made t-shirts the next year for my uncle and brother…’Xman leader of the pack, can he get kicked out of Xmas back to back.’ Fortunately uncle Mick layed off the home made Baileys that year and an escort off the premises was not required for any loud singing from my brother nor anyone else for that matter. I love xmas. We have lots of young ones now which makes it all very exciting and Santa certainly has returned. My mum is hosting the big xmas for the 1st time this year. God help Her!!! ha ha….I can’t wait!!

  47. Fashionista says

    Lots and lots of childhood Christmas memories of playing with cousins, being basically left to our own devices while the grown-ups partied on. As an adult some great memories of hosting mad Christmas Days filled with friends who also lived away from family.

    But #thisischristmas for me is traveling. Traveling to get somewhere to relatives, relatives traveling to us. Listening to ABC Summertime on the radio in the car while traveling. This year we are traveling nowhere (oh YAY!) but have relatives traveling to us.

    Now I must get on and start some Christmas Lists……….

  48. My #thisischristmas was 12 years ago when our fourth baby was due mid January. I was admitted to hospital with placenta praevia a couple of weeks before Christmas to be told that’s where I would stay until the baby was born. Dear husband had rounded up the Grandparents for Christmas Day. My Mother-In-Law was the organiser, cook etc for the day leaving him to do presents etc with the 3 kids. She ended up with gastro and ended up in bed all day. My Mum had to take over, to this day I still don’t know what they ate (probably Vegemite sandwiches). I did get a visit from the husband and kids later in the day and our beautiful baby boy was born two days later.

  49. I love a fancy Christmas lunch. Nothing too technical but something yummy that sounds a bit up yourself! Year before last I found a recipe for a chocolate pav topped with cream and fudge sauce and forerro’s and malteesers etc. I’d only ever made magic egg pavs before so I thought ‘how hard can it be’? It was so beautiful and peaky and it went into the oven and did as pavs should. Everyone was warned – DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!!! The timer sounded and I turned the oven off and resisted temptation to take a peak at my peaky choc pav. We continued with our Christmas Eve tradition, popped a bottle of bubbly and opened our Christmas Eve box. New pj’s for the kids and a family movie. Fast forward to Christmas morning and mum comes around for the unwrapping ceremony and we get a start in the kitchen. Mum fires up the oven for the turkey and 20 mins later my house is full of smoke and the smell of burnt chocolate pav ??? safe to say it was about that time I had my first drink. I made a choc mousse out of the cream and fudge and garnished with the choccies. Who cares. We were together and had a bloody good day. Here’s to this years Donna hay gingerbread trifle ?

  50. This is the first year my son won’t be the only grandchild for Christmas. We have all loved spoiling him since he arrived. The buying and wrapping of gifts and watching the delight on his face when he unwraps them provides as much fun for all of us as it has for him. At least I thought it did until late one Christmas night my 29 year old brother, the original baby of the family, reverted to toddlerhood to throw an epic tantrum because his 2 year old nephew got more presents than him. So it looks like Santa has an extra stop on his route this year, because no matter how big you get who doesn’t still need some mum and dad made Christmas magic?

  51. My favourite Christmas memory is visiting the John Martins Magic Cave as a child. It was such a wonderful and enchanting place. Waiting to see Father Christmas with my sister & i in matching outfits, bows in hair on a sweltering summer day, in a cave decorated with frost & icicles!! But the very best part was riding Nipper & Nimble. The two horses that featured (& still do) in the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. This Saturday I will relive this beautiful memory with my two darling daughters who also have fallen in love with Nipper & Nimble. It’s the magic of Christmas that children are in awe of that I find so wonderful #thisischristmas

  52. Charmaine Campbell says

    My favourite/interesting memory is from a few Christmases ago, before my Dad retired from the Fire Brigade and he worked day shift on Christmas Day when we had that very stormy Christmas Day weather. He was due to finish work at 7pm, then come to our house for present swapping and dinner, where Mum, his 4 Grandchildren and the rest of us were all waiting. Due to the crazy weather and the record number of calls the Fire Brigade received that day, he had to stay at work and arrived at my place at around 9.30pm. By then the kids were all moaning about the presents they had been waiting all afternoon to open, but we had to let Dad eat first, then did presents afterwards. I think it was around 10pm by the time the kids got to rip into their gifts from Nana and Pop, Aunties and Uncles, and probably about 10:05pm by the time they were finished! Family + Christmas = Chaos, but lots of fun! #THISISCHRISTMAS

  53. #thisischristmas
    I just LOVE Christmas. Eat, drink & be merry.
    Christmas 2014 was our first one without my dear mum. As a family – dad, plus five siblings and partners – we decided we would stick with tradition and have Christmas at dads, and we’d all help get the food etc ready.
    It was a bit of a disaster.
    Dad thought he would get ready early and pre-cooked ALL the veggies two days before. One brother bought sliced ham from the deli. And someone else put so much booze in the trifle it was inedible.
    What there was though was plenty of reflection, laughter and love.
    This year we are reinventing our traditional family Christmas and it is at mine. No themes as such, just more reflection, laughter and love.

  54. Going to get the ‘real’ Christmas tree because everyone loves the scent of a real tree. Our big family car fits the tree inside (with back seats layed flat).
    Half way home and suddenly we notice the car is crawling with ants, spiders, bees etc. Cue yelling to put the windows down/kill it/pull over.
    #thisischristmas. Every. Single. Year.

  55. The complete joy on my dads face when we opened our pressie. Years later I found out they struggled to buy presents some years and went without for our joy (and in turn his!) He still encourages us to Believe in Santa and now also gets much enjoyment from watching his grand kids 🙂

  56. #THISISCHRISTMAS – listening to grandpa repeat the same story he has told at every Christmas because it makes you feel the good feels! He always retold the Albert and the Lion story. He has passed this year so Christmas will be hard without him. I have found the story he told as I could only remember bits and pieces and will tell it to my family. Not sure I will be able to memorise it like he did!

  57. One of my favourite memories of Christmas was as a 15 year old. All my family were together (which is special in itself as my Pop has now passed away) and we were sitting around the table about to enjoy our delicious lunch. There were jokes being told, bonbons being cracked and laughter filling the room. Then all of a sudden my chair breaks and I fall to the floor… No warning just crack… And I fall to the ground! It was hilarious!
    It’s been over 15 years but each year when we are gathered up around the table about to enjoy Christmas lunch we still talk about that day… And it still makes us laugh!

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