Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Season

This time last year I was in Israel celebrating Hanuka. This year it is great to be home in Australia with friends and family. The weekend was a good example of multiculturalism taking a hold on our summer Christmas.Eyal and I spent the weekend with my family, my little sister ( 12 y.o.) decided it was about time for a Christmas tree in the house. So we put on our hats and sunscreen and found a saw in dad's shed and off we went up to 'pine tree Hill', a little hill near our house. We hunted around for a while in the bush until we spotted the perfect tree and took turns cutting through the 2 inch trunk. With a tree over one shoulder we made our way home. We spent a fun afternoon clearing a place for it in the house and decorating it. Since my four year old niece will be the only 'little' kid home for Christmas we put teddy bears all around the bottom to make sure it was attractive!

It will be Eyal's first ever Christmas ( he still can't remember what the date is), and he comments occasionally that we are all very pagan in our symbolism. To be sure I have no good Christian explanation of the tree, lights, glitter kind of scenario???

In the evening we went shopping for flour and yeast and spent hours making home made 'sufganiyot' (absorbers), aptly named (deep fried) jam filled doughnuts, the kind of thing Eyal's mum might make for Hanuka. We lit 5 candles ( as was appropriate for that day in Hanuka) and with the help of my little sis we hassled Eyal into singing the first line of a Hanuka song, which we dutifully repeated before tucking in to the doughnuts. There is some symbolism in the doughnuts- they are deep fried in oil which is one of the central themes of Hanuka- the miracle of one day's worth of oil burning for 8 days after the destruction of the Temple. Many of the foods traditional to Hanuka are deep fried.

On Sunday evening we had a roast dinner (is this a Catholic tradition??? or just an Australian one? ), and of course dutifully deep fried some 'latkis' (potato fritters), and lit what candles we could find.

Overall we were very pleased with ourselves, and certainly fatter than when we started!

Next weekend my older sister is arriving, her husband is Muslim ( from West Africa), so we can see if they have anything further to offer.

What are your traditions for this time of the year..??


Blogger bulanjdjan said...

Woefully few, having spent far too few Christmases with the same company years running. In my family, we don't even have a single food item which is typically/traditionally eaten at Christmas - we re-invent the menu every year we spend together. Perhaps the collaboration on the menu is our tradition?

Lovely to hear about your traditions - those familiar and newly encountered!

9:19 pm  
Blogger Bernadette said...

Well even though Liz and I are old enough to have children of our own we still all get up early, Dad with a santa hat on handing out the presents one by one. We all wait while each of us open presents and oooh and ahhh at all of them. We then proceed on to a mammoth hot roast lunch and then promptly fall asleep not without christmas pudding, custard and icecream. We wake up, eat more then sleep more. I love every suburban Australiana bit of it more and more each year.

7:05 pm  
Anonymous wamut said...

Yeah, we're not to different. We start with champagne breakfast, then present opening - someone is always chosen as the person to distribute the presents from under the tree one-by-one. our other tradition is some sort of boardgame. last year it was that sale of the century type thing, but my brother-in-law designed all the questions to be family in-jokes. it was so funny but all jokes only our family would find funny... it was pretty cool.

but this year is my first christmas in katherine. i have nothing planned and don't know what it will be like. a bit lonely perhaps, but i'm sure there'll be plenty of phone calls.

much love sophie and det gela-boi.

5:39 pm  

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