I love family traditions old and new and this time of year is full of them for us. Each year we travel north to spend Christmas with my side of the family, while my brother and sister are home as well. Its a big drive but we make it fun and I love that my kids are old enough to remember the journeys and places and stories these days too.
We have a favourite cheap motel off the road with a pool for a late evening swim. They have a vegie garden near the house which was thriving this year. We arrived late after car troubles but the kids swam in the dark. Every year we order takeaway from the local Chinese restaurant when we're an hour out of town and eat it in our room with plastic forks.
Day two we stop to buy a few (9!) dozen local oysters from the local growers and then turn off a few miles later to the long white dog beach to let the labradoodle run.
Mum and Dad moved into town last year, but already some new traditions have started. There's a Christmas Eve carnival in the local village, they block the road and have street performers, food stalls and rides. We walked into town for dinner and the kids had a ride on the big swing chairs. Then home in time to put out a note for Santa and some apples for the reindeers. One more sleep then finally its Christmas!
For many years its been all seafood for Christmas lunch at our house, Bugs and prawns, sashimi and garlic bbq mussels. This year I might have started a new tradition with a last minute pavlova for dessert, covered in cream and fruit, it was delicious and gone in seconds!
I've loved watching other peoples families come together on instagram, and family traditions being celebrated around the world. I loved seeing what everyone put out for Santa and realised why his belts are XL! There's something so wonderful about family love and togetherness. About sharing and giving.
On Saturday my little sister flies in for a quick visit from Vietnam and we will all be together. I can't wait.
I hope you are all having some family time like us, laughing at old jokes and stories, celebrating old traditions and perhaps making some new ones.