I come from a family of five children. Although we’re not children anymore, we sure like to “play our old tapes” when we get together and behave the way we did when we were kids! Christmas can be stressful at times and surprisingly nice at others, but mostly, just a little crazy.
Our family celebrates Christmas on the odd years (which is fitting) and the spouses get the even years. Our Mum lives in country NSW, so it can be quite the hike to get there with the actual children in tow. There are twelve grandchildren now, with more to come, so when we’re all together, it’s nuts. Meal times especially.
In the days leading up to Christmas, we take turns with meals. There’s no real roster or anything official like that – you just pitch in when you feel like it’s “your go”. For me, it’s meat and steamed veg or a Bolognaise of mammoth proportions. Like most families, I suppose, we go by the unwritten rule that if you don’t help with dinner then you help with the cleanup.
Mum takes care of the food on Christmas day. The rest of us help prepare where we can, and clean up afterwards, but when it comes to the cooking, she’s in charge. Her focus is amazing. I can see that she’s a little stressed, but she has a particular way of doing things, and we’re not to interrupt. We have a traditional English Christmas dinner with roast turkey, a hunk of ham and more veggies than you can shake a stick at. My family is heavily into condiments. There’s Mum’s white sauce, gravy and cranberry sauce everywhere. I’m pretty sure the mint sauce even makes it onto the table, which is strange, I know.
With no exceptions, we always have a Legacy Christmas Pudding, a Margaret Fulton recipe that’s exclusive to Legacy, to support the charity that supported us.
The kids have a table of their own. Twenty-two people don’t fit on one table. My eldest niece, at fourteen, has just been promoted to the adult table, which is super exciting for her, although sometimes I get the feeling she’d still like to be hanging with the kids.