Country Christmas Traditions
Author: Amelia Phillips Date Posted:3 November 2023
Embracing the Charm of Christmas Traditions
As the holiday season approaches, there's a certain magic in the air, a time when we reflect and try to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
For most of us, Christmas conjures up memories for better or for worse, and for those whose past Christmases hold less than joyful memories, my heart goes out to you and I hope you can find some comfort and joy this coming festive season.
For others, Christmas is an opportunity to unwrap those time-honoured traditions and celebrate the simple joys of the season, bringing family, friends, and community together.
In this blog, we'll explore some of the heartwarming Christmas traditions that have been cherished for generations, I might even add a few of my own for good measure.
Decking the Halls
One of the most cherished traditions is decorating the home and surroundings. This tradition is believed to have come from the Welsh and adapted into the well-known Christmas Carol “Deck the Halls” in the 19th century. Families would come together and gather evergreen branches and pine cones from their own land to craft decorations to adorn the home. Other homemade ornaments, such as popcorn garlands and salt dough creations, add a personal touch to the festive decor. This Christmas, many families will decorate their houses with festive lights, blow-up characters, and light displays accompanied by music. A modern take on an old tradition.
There's nothing like the smell of pine needles in the morning!
Have you ever experienced a live Christmas tree? I have, and this was one of my favourite things to do as a kid. I would head off in the old ute with Mum, Dad, and my sister and we would pick out the ugliest looking Christmas tree we could find because my Mum believed everyone should be loved. We decorated that thing with questionable decorations made in art class at primary school, tattered tinsel that had seen better days, and homemade paper chains. It was ghastly but it was so much fun and boy did the pine smell good. Nowadays with dedicated Christmas tree farms and responsible farming, we can all enjoy a real, guilt free tree. I would recommend it, even if just once in your life.
Oh not-so-silent night
Nothing else brings communities together like Christmas Carols. Whether it is Carols in the Domain, or a sing-along in a tiny outback institute, Christmas Carols make even the worst singer sound good….ok so maybe that requires a sneaky swig of egg nog! If you haven’t been to a community carols night, grab your deck chairs and picnic rug, pack some snacks and head along to your nearest event this year.
Sugar and Spice and all things nice
At Christmas time city and country kitchens alike come alive with the sweet aromas of freshly baked pies, cookies, and slices during the holiday season. Baking is a cherished tradition, with generations-old recipes passed down from one family member to another. These homemade goodies aren't just for personal consumption; they're often shared with neighbours and friends as gifts of love and goodwill. Every year I make my Nannas Apricot Balls. She used to freeze them to try to stop us from stealing them before Christmas Day arrived. We just acquired a taste for frozen Apricot Balls, now that’s the only way I eat them!
Santa's Little Helper
What about that little Elf that gets around?
The Elf on the Shelf is a popular Christmas tradition that originated in a 2005 children's picture book of the same name. In the book, the Elf on the Shelf is described as a scout elf sent by Santa Claus to watch over children in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The elf returns to the North Pole each night to report to Santa on the child's behavior and then returns to a different location in the house the next morning. Sometimes this little elf is very naughty, and kids revel in waking to find what mischief Santa's little spy has got up to during the night.
The tradition has since become widespread and is now practiced in many households during the holiday season.
So what about my own traditions?
In recent years I have made it my own personal tradition to help out packing Christmas hampers for disadvantaged families. I have done this for several years now and love it.
As previously mentioned, I make my Nannas Apricot Balls.
I still try to get the kids motivated to decorate the tree on Christmas Pageant Day here in Adelaide, however, I think they have learned from all the years of me saying “Come on let's all decorate the tree”. Then I micro-manage where every decoration is put, and they usually just sit around watching ME decorate the tree.
My daughter has certainly taken on the joys of Christmas, she is a young adult now and has taken on the decorating duties. Even as an adult, she has not lost that youthful Christmas innocence. I'm sure her own developing traditions and love of the holiday season will be passed on to her children and beyond.
Christmas traditions offer a heartfelt way of celebrating the holiday season. These customs celebrate the joy of togetherness, the beauty of handmade crafts, and the warmth of community. Whether you live in the city or the countryside, you can incorporate some of these timeless traditions into your own holiday celebrations, or start your own tradition this year and make Christmas a season to cherish and remember for years to come.
Whatever you decide to do this Christmas, I wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season.
Let us know some of your Christmas traditions in the comments below.