Before we get any further into 2012 I feel like it is my duty to bombard you with some of my Christmas snaps.
This year was an extra special holiday as I headed home to South Africa to spend the first Christmas with my family in seven years. Yes, seven! Needless to say, I was excited.
Although I had grown up with warm Christmas' my whole life, it took some getting used to again after so many chilly and snow-filled ones.
South Africa does not go all out on Christmas like it's done here in the States. You will find the occasional Christmas tree at the mall and a street vendor wearing a Santa hat, but it's definitely nothing like the magic of New York at this time of year.
But who cares when you are surrounded by family, right?
A couple of days before Christmas my sister and I set up the Christmas tree. Okay, I admit, I only hunted down and carried out the faux tree from the storage room outside while my sister did the unpacking and decorating. But I'm still calling it a team effort!
It was so awesome looking at all the different decorations which each hold their own special little memories. When we were little,
my parents Santa would hide 2 new tree ornaments on the tree and my sister and I would have to try and find them. That is a tradition that I will (starting next year) love to carry on with my own kids.
On Christmas Eve everyone started the food preparation and later we headed to church for Midnight Mass. My parents are lay ministers and were in charge of the service that night and unbeknownst to me, my mom had volunteered me to do a reading out of the bible during the service. So I set aside my hatred for public speaking and managed to get through it without too many mistakes and no tripping in my high heels on the way up to the lectern. Phew!
The next morning we woke up to the sweltering heat of a very South African Christmas and after a scrumptious breakfast of scones and croissants we all hit the pool to hang out and cool down (dogs included!)
More food preparation happened and then we all sat down to open gifts. For an unborn baby, our little Llambok came away better off then anyone else in the present department. We were so spoilt by so many beautiful outfits, toys and equipment.
The food preparation and table set up carried on into afternoon and we finally sat down for a beautiful, alfresco Christmas dinner. My mom really outdid herself this year (with help from the odd family member here and there) as we enjoyed a smoked salmon starter, roast dinner (gammon, turducken and lamb),a fancy meringue desert and traditional Christmas pudding (set aflame in the traditional way).
I am so grateful that I got to spend this special time with my beautiful family. It was such a special and memorable Christmas and I just wish we could do it all over again.