Archive | Christmas RSS feed for this section

Holiday beaches

7 Jan

I choose this rainy day to start a few quick posts about the December holidays. They were just here, I swear I smelled them. They are now finished. Swoosh, just like that! Anticipation of Ouma and Oupa arriving, excitement at seeing cousin Cleoné and a few weeks later, those are already memories.

This year we actually managed a few outings to the beach (It is hard to get to the beach when you have a solar-heated pool at home ok!)

We (re)discovered Noordhoek beach (Phillip and I go there every 14 years).

Building sandmen

Building sandmen

African dancing

African dancing

Chased by the sea

Chased by the sea

Captivated by sand

Captivated by sand

A warm pool of cousins

A warm pool of cousins

Taming the untameable calm  lagoon

Taming the untameable calm lagoon

A mother in the making

A mother in the making

Irresistible grin

Irresistible grin

Deciding on the target

Deciding on the target

My favourite mopkop

My favourite mopkop

We also visited Hout Bay beach. Kids love the dunes there.

National sport: dune-climbing

National sport: dune-climbing

... I'm not sure what they're doing, but it looks pretty cool

… I’m not sure what they’re doing, but it looks pretty cool

Life support. Holding hands.

Life support. Holding hands.

Joyful

Joyful

Ecstatic (Léa's favourite word at the moment)

Ecstatic (Léa’s favourite word at the moment)

Joyful. 2

Joyful. 2

Proof: Killian and I were there. Love the background.

Proof: Killian and I were there.
Love the background.

 

Advertisements

#FailTraditions

18 Dec

Remember when I wrote that we didn’t have any traditions for Christmas? Well, it is not completely and utterly true. Like facebooking, blogging can also be deceitful! So even though I said that traditions become irrelevant in the light of Christmas being about Jesus, I happen to have a few traditions of my own.

I do. – Insert **shock and horror** face!

They are a bit different from the more common traditions that we hear about and they are mostly out of my control.

#1. My first tradition is my kids asking “so….. what is our christmas tree going to be this year?” with a vaguely interested tone of voice!

0I will be blunt and say that the traditional christmas tree just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t think they’re ugly but I don’t want them in my living room for one month. I’m not a fan of ‘fake’ anything (flowers, marble, gold…) and the ‘real’ ones look a bit miserable in the 32 degrees. But I looooove fairly lights. I think fairy lights should be up all year round. So every year, I need to find an alternative  that will allow me to enjoy a season of  their ambience setting.

This year, I saw a beautiful tree made of plank with writings on it and thought “Rats, if I were not so lazy I would totally make that!” and low and behold, my friend, without  knowing that I liked that idea, made it, painted it and gave it to me as a christmas present! So our tree – for 2012 – is made of white-painted planks with Mark 10:45 written on it (my very professional picture does not allow you to read the verse but it is painted in beautiful red handwriting “He came to give his life as a ransom for many”)

#2. My second tradition is a bi-annual December trip to the ER for Killian’s acrobatic prowesses.

WARNING: Do NOT try these experiences at home without the supervision of an adult.

5 years ago, he opened his forehead on the corner of a furniture trying to run away from me (that will teach him).

3 years ago, he decided to jump from the roof of our jungle gym onto the umbrella, hoping to bounce back into the pool. No, his plan did not work out and yes, he ended up with a hole in his skull.

Last year, he tried to jump off the rope in our garden, misjudging the backward momentum effect and ended up breaking his arm – 6 week in a cast with no swimming!

And a few days ago, he jumped in the pool grabbing the concrete side at the same time and landed on his chin. A 2 hour wait and 3 stitches later, he proudly wears another big plaster on his face.

It seems that we became very fond of tradition #2; so even though we planned on only making it a bi-annual trip, it seems that we’re speeding it up and did it again this year. Watch this space?!

At 30

At 7At 8

#3. My third tradition is having a very disappointed mum because the parcel she sent a month ago did not arrive in time for Christmas.

Disclaimer: All comments about the South African postal services might be an overreaction and an exaggeration as there are still a few days before that parcel shows up!!

My mum who can’t be with us for Christmas always sends a lovely parcel with exciting goodies for everyone. Every year, she prepares it well in advance but the south african postal services are not as efficient as the french ones. They might be friendlier but friendliness does not count as much as french mustard and mayonnaise!

And there you have it! You too can make up your own traditions! Happy Christmas!

Santa and other forbidden words…

7 Dec

ChristmasTraditions

Christmas traditions.

If you are like many of my christian friends, the word makes you boil with enthusiasm and your crafts, paints, baking utensils, homemade jar cookies and your blog posts are all a ‘tick’ away! If you’re like me, the word makes you shudder.

The build-up to Christmas is really enjoyable. I love Christmas and all the celebrations around it. Some have a christian character attached to it, like  Carol concerts, Operation Christmas box but others do not, like family coming together, gifts and cockroach-killings.

For many christian families, Christmas is also celebrating with binding traditions. Some go to great lengths to make these traditions very christian. Whether they feel that these traditions make them more Christians than others, I cannot say. But one thing I am convinced of, is that none of these traditions bring them or their families closer to Jesus.

I generally have no desire to be ‘the same’ as everyone, which comes easily: I became a christian in my 20s and I’m french. My culture and my background are distinctly not the traditional brand of Christianity we tend to read on family blogs. But nobody wants to be different in the “weird” or “less christian” kind of way. It took me great many years to come to terms with the fact that we are not enthused by Christmas traditions. It’s a taming process to remind myself that my children’s fate, whether they will live for the Lord faithfully or not, does not depend on the way Christmas is celebrated (even if Santa is included – which he isn’t – but it’s worth mentioning really… Sorry, I had a relapse)

The essence of Christmas and simply and purely celebrating the birth of Jesus. Whether you buy into the commercialisation of Christmas fully, half-heartedly or not at all doesn’t define you as a more godly person as long as you remember that at the centre of Christmas is, and is only, the birth of Jesus.

Unfortunately, my readership is not nearly big enough to have an impact but if you, like me, feel that you don’t always fit the mould, do not fret!!! God is only concerned about your first love in your heart. And it isn’t your family traditions.

%d bloggers like this: