1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?
Eating too much…
2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?
3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?
What do you mean "believe" in Santa… are you suggesting he's not real?
4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood?
Not a done thing in Sydney – a pity, it would be nice
5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?
We load the CD player with a combination of carols by the choir of King's college, "modern" Xmas music (the Christmas songs people have made hits of) and German Christmas music, to remind me of the nine months I lived there which included a Christmas
6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?
Little Drummer Boy
7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read?
It's a Wonderful Life. We watch it about every two years
8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?
Individual gifts, but of low value
9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?
Christmas Lunch is always here, in my dining room. No one else will take a turn – it's always up to me (grumble, grumble, grumble)
10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?
It varies. We've often had turkey, last year we had pork, and this year I'm fed up with doing the lot so am providing cold meat and salad (remember, it's hot here). My husband isn't happy about that so he is doing some seafood on the BBQ to add to the cold meat and salad ("Well, if you don't want cold lunch you can cook something yourself…").
Two years ago was fun as I had planned and catered for the full traditional blow out and broke my foot one week before Xmas My husband, who until that time had never done any cooking, had to cook an entire Xmas dinner (I did prepare a spreadsheet for him with timings, like 12:35 put on water for veg; 12:45 put veg in boiling water…)
11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?
12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?
Definitely, but nowadays I'm afraid it is a purchased Pudding
13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?
We like to have croissants for Xmas breakfast. Not traditional, I know, but it’s something we do
14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?
15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?
Everyone comes to me (see question 9)
16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?
Definitely different. As a kid it was always spent with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle and cousins. Everyone used to dress up in the best clothes. It was special & magical then. Whereas now I just see it as a lot of hard work.
17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?
Various pre-Xmas functions
18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?
Just a few in the bushes in the backyard where we can see them when we are relaxing in the evening
19. Is your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?
20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?
21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?
No. I love camping, but don't think Xmas would be right that way
22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?
At home usually, though for two years we did go to a self-catering resort where I could put on a cold meat & salad lunch and relatives came to join us (see, I still had to cater…)
23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?
Not here, but it did snow the one Xmas I spent in Munich
24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?
Yes – even the year I broke my foot carrying down the decorations to get ready to put up the tree. That year my son had to decorate the tree with me acting as remote control from the sofa.
25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?
We now have a fake tree. I wish we could have a real one again, as the smell is so fantastic, but my husband says it's too much fuss. (see photo of this year's tree)
26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?
Yes. I buy one or two new ones each year. Some of them are particularly special, like the ones I bought in Munich
27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?
Christmas. This is Australia – no Thanksgiving.