The tradition of Christmas

Isn’t it funny how suddenly the year has reached its end and Christmas is at our door again? For me the time of year brings mixed emotions, particularly since Christmas day is my birthday. The time of year represents that much needed break, time away with family and friends, and for us in New Zealand the beginning of summer. However, it also presents us adults with the challenges of Christmas shopping (which of course involves finding room in the budget), making food that will surpass or equal the year before and of course decorating one’s house, especially if there are children around.

I always used to wonder why mum got so het up about Christmas dinner, then I had the pleasure of hosting Christmas two years ago. Full apologies mum, your stress levels were justified. For us, Christmas day was all about eating only one meal, ‘cos that was really all you needed. The calorie intake was horrific enough in that one meal that potentially you didn’t need to eat for the rest of the week. Family blood sugar levels before the meal were always at an all time low (the rule of thumb in our household was skip breakfast on Xmas) and there’d usually be a fight about where the gravy boat went or some other trivial matter.

Mum always had it planned to the letter and during the meal she’d always tell us stories of how our Irish great grandmother made food just like this when she was a little girl. She’d always humbly add that Nora’s was much better, but we’d just murmur in reply that this was as good as it gets. As I’ve gotten older and spent Christmases away from home, I’ve always felt Christmas just wasn’t quite Christmas without that special Christmas meal.

I think that’s the tradition of Christmas, little rituals we perform year in, year out that make the day and the time of year special for us. Having a young family of my own, I am trying to create my own traditions, especially in the food department. But everyone has got their own agenda, enter Balint and Annie who will be blogging for us this month, both come from foreign lands, Hungary and Holland respectively. The food that they will cook will be about traditions of home, perhaps to ease the homesickness or just to get them into the festive spirit.

Whatever the reason is the food has to be great, and – let’s face it – fat and sugar laden, which makes New Year’s resolutions all the more easier to choose. I hope you guys enjoy the foodie traditions we share and get on board to share your own.


  1. Merry Christmas for next week Emma, and Happy Birthday too!
    Thanks to you and your whole team for wonderful recipes and inspiring images.
    I can’t tell you how proud I am that such a stunning food website comes out of little old NZ.
    Keep it coming!

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