Tuesday 7 December 2021

Festive Bonbons

1.Christmas Tree – do you have one, when does it go up, who decorates it, is there a theme or is it miss-matched? 
It's a live tree in a pot that I bring inside, so it only goes up the weekend (or a few days before xmas) and then comes down at New year, or slightly before. I decorate it, usually with the help of the kids, now just one kid as the others have lost all interest. No theme except every decoration the kids made in preschool, daycare or kindy. It's a very kooky looking tree. But I love it.

2. Christmas carols – yes or no, faves? Traditional or modern.
In what may surprise people, as I only listen to contemporary music and find the pop songs of my youth are too slow and dreary, yet when it comes to Christmas songs, I seem to like the most sombre of them all. My favourite Hymn is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (wrong on a million levels but I like it. No idea why). In the secular, I like The Christmas Song and Sleigh Ride, Johnny Mathis I think for both. Can't explain why, just do. 

3. Christmas books – any faves you want to tell us about? 
We have Christmas books that I get out each year at Christmas time for the kids and spend the advent nightsreading them each night. However the kids are too old for this now. I don't think I know any adult Christmas books other than Dickens so I'll talk about the books I am giving this Christmas.

Careful He Might Hear You! A delightbufl book that is fabulously written. Just a joy to read.
The Railway Man. An enchanting book while based on horrendous experiences during WWII.
I've ordered Mum the Hill Station, a book by J.G Farrell. We both loved the Empire Trilogy so much. Unfortunately, I got an email and it may not arrive in time.
Notes on Grief - I have a friend who lost her mum earlier this year, and I thought this book might bring a strange comfort. She accurately notes some of the strange emotions you experience in the very solo pursuit that mourning is. Chimanda Ngozi Adichie has a way with words that captures the feelings perfectly. 

4. Christmas movies – any you watch year after year? 
Die Hard. What can I say? As a kid l loved Santa Claus is coming to town and watched it annually when Channel 7 played it but my kids never got into it.
5.Christmas cake – yes or no? 
Hard no from me. As a teen I used to make Buche de Noel, which took a few days to make. Now I just buy something as none of my kids eat Christmas Pudding or Cake.

6.Chocolate nuts or fruit? 
We didn't have these growing up but I somehow got the tradition of giving them to the neighbours. I only get the nuts though, and preferable Almonds not peanuts. Or other nuts, just not peanuts. I've no idea why or how that started.
7.Christmas traditions? 
Mine start in November. I shop for Share the Dignity #Itsinthebag campaign, I also take abotu 4 kids from an assisted living list - usually 4 adult males teens, as I work on the assumption most kids go for the young kids cos they're 'fun' to buy for. This year one of the kids I took was non-binary (the gender had been left of so I clarified, guessing that might be the case). As I always get the Pocket Change Collective books regardless of subject, I got them a copy of Skate For Life along with the other gifts, hoping they feel 'seen'. This series is a great stocking filler for teens - on art, the environment, queer experience (I'm uncomfortable with that term so feel free to correct me if it's incorrect or offensive) and I've preordered a cooking one that's coming. Always good to see the world through new eyes. Some are better than others, but I learnt a lot from Skate for Life and even found myself interested enough to watch some youtube skate boarding footage. 

I've started doing a Reverse Advent Calendar each year and am currently doing a second one because I've just learnt about Hampers For Hope. Broadway shopping centre has a collection bin until the 12th Dec. My favourite family tradition, which is just me and my youngest one now, is going into town to see the David Jones Windows and Christmas lights and Nativity. It was our visit to Santa to lock in the Christmas list but that's finished with. The youngest also still makes the Gingerbread house with glee, and that's making our house smell lovely at the moment. We also go up to see the Hunter Valley Christmas lights. We used to do it in a group of about 30 of us, this year it's just 4 of us. Another mum and son with my youngest and me. Possibly for the last time.

8.What’s on the table?
Our Christmas meals are at my in laws and my mothers, so Italian food which I don't find Christmassy at all, and turkey at Mum's.

9.Christmas memories? 
So many. Family, Friends but mainly laughs. There was a lot of laughs at Christmas time around the table. As a kid, that excitement of running down to see the presents in the Santa sack, as a parent, I think the visiting santa night in town was almost more special to me than Christmas day. The magic and joy watching them watch the lights, ride the train and become excited by all the decorations. Dad and I always decorated the tree together growing up. We'd go off and choose one and bring it home. He'd set it up while I got all the decorations out of the roof. Then we'd decorate, with me trying to hang all my favourite ones before he could get to them.
10.All I want for Christmas is…
Covid to go away? The sun to come out for our beach holiday. i really don't need anything so good times and happy vibes is about it. I say that though and think how privileged I am to not need anything else? So I guess I already got my Christmas wish. For the record though, I changed my flights from my girls weekend in Hobart to detour via Melbourne and stay and extra night to see Tiesto so I told my husband that could be my Xmas present and so I'm getting a pretty spectacular pressie, if the borders stay open.


My christmas wish to you all, May the borders be ever in your favour!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My Random Musings


  1. Christmas is such a magical time of year. Giving to those in need is so important too.

    Have a fabulous day and rest of the week. ♥

  2. Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

  3. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about Christmas, and the tree is beautiful!

  4. Chocolate fruit - now all i can think about is chocolate fruit! #WedsBlogShare

  5. Wow that Christmas tree is stunning x #wedsblogshare

  6. Just want to clarify, that's the Christmas tree in the QVB (A shopping centre in a 150+ year old former town hall)

  7. I used to love to go into the city to see the QVB tree with all it's crystals. I also used to love the Strand Arcade at Christmas. You've surprised me re the Christmas music, but you haven't surprised me at all re the idea of giving back. Great causes. May the borders remain open.

    1. They are giving away strands of those crystals (if you spend $1000) in stores there

  8. I love your 'can't explain why, just do.' That make much sense to me. I also love your spirit of generosity, caring and compassion that runs through this post. To me, that's the true meaning of Christmas.

  9. A lovely post Lydia and thank you for sharing in our Festive Bon Bons Link Up. You have covered it all - decorating, music, books and I love your generosity of spirit in giving. It really is what this time of year should be about - that's the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  10. I love the charity things you do, for the assisted living kids.
    We also get a smaller tree in a pot, although this year it came inside very early because we needed some extra cheer. I wish you and your family a lovely Christmas.

  11. Lovely to read about your Christmas traditions. Our tree tends to go up around mid-December and most of the baubles are things that hold special memories or that the children have made. I love traditional Christmas carols, particularly ones like Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come All Ye Faithful which have nice descant lines that I can sing. We love Christmas books too and one of our traditions is to have a book advent and read a Christmassy book together each night in the run-up to Christmas. Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas. #WedsBlogShare

    1. I really like Hark! The herald angels sing too. It cracks me up that I like all these songs so much that are 'so un-me!' Ha!

  12. I enjoyed reading this post Lydia. Well done with your charity activities. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  13. Hi Lydia - I love how generous you are and the gift buying for those young men is a wonderful idea. We have a similar thing where you can buy a gift for the child of a prisoner - so they get something special despite their parent not being there. I just like the idea of Christmas being about giving and sharing, rather than all the consumerism that screams at us from the shops and online. I hope all your holidays, family time and travelling work out and that covid gets kicked the curb and we can all start getting over it and moving back to some sort of normal life again in 2022. x

  14. I'm with you Lydia, I want sunshine for our beach holiday down the coast too! Love that May the borders be forever in your favour :), it made me laugh. Great to have you join in with us for #festivebonbons and love the reverse advent calendar idea plus the hampers. Have a great time away.

  15. Thank you for joining the Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Happy Tuesday. ♥

  16. I do a live tree that gets bought and decorated the first weekend of December. I'm a total scrooge when it comes to the music but there are a bunch of movies I like. Christmas Vacation gets watched every year and never gets old. This weekend I think I'm going to introduce the mini to Gremlins #KCACOLS

  17. The tree is so beautiful x #kcacols

  18. This is fun, great answers Christmas Cake is a hard no from me too! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS

  19. This was good fun, reading about your Christmas traditions! Italian food sounds good to me, even if not very christmassy :-) We do a Scandinavian inspired Christmas on the 24th, then a more English one on the 25th, as I'm Swedish and hubby English. We keep it all quite relaxed and low-key though, mostly just enjoying time to relax together as a family. Happy Christmas! And thank you for linking up at #KCACOLS x