Today we took Miss M to see Father Christmas. We had been building up to it this season. We
- made the Christmas biscuits and a gingerbread house;
- drank Glühwein and Kinderpunsch;
- visited 5 Christmas markets, one of which was even in Australia;
- crafted and hung wreaths and tailored some IKEA Christmas ornaments for the family;
- carefully opened one of the gifts on our Advent calendar each day;
- posted to our Facebook Advent calendar each day;
- bought, made and arranged and wrapped Christmas presents for family members on both sides of the globe; and
- spent nearly 24 hours in the air to reach Australia and our family.
Today was the first of the family Christmas get-togethers. More importantly, it was the day for Miss M to visit the big man himself.
Fortunately, the department store we chose has an online booking system, so that you could reserve a spot with Santa (yay Myer!). This significantly reduced waiting time – so much easier with a young child whose jet-lagged body is still not sure what day it is. I wonder why more department stores don’t offer this service – but I digress.
Miss M farewelled Santa with a, “Get a good sleep Santa, you’ll need it for tomorrow night.” Miss M was very certain that Santa (and not the Christkind) comes on Christmas Eve and delivers presents to all the boys and girls on his Nice List. After doing Australia, he heads to other parts of the world where it is not yet morning.
Yet in all the planning and festive activities and discussions about combining our Christmases, we had neglected one issue. What do you leave out for Santa?
What do you leave out for Santa? It is as much a tradition as deciding when to open the presents.
What do you leave out for Santa? The Australian answer
Miss M had obviously watched too many American Christmas specials and was certain that Santa should have milk and cookies. We had to explain that cookies were biscuits and that milk would go off in the Australian heat before Santa got to eat it. In fact, if it was really hot, we had to put Santa’s food and drink in the fridge to keep cool (we don’t know when Santa would appear).
After some discussion, she decided that we should leave out a plate of crackers, some with ham and some with cheese. We would also leave out a beer for Santa to drink. Too much milk gave Father Christmas a bellyache, like Mummy, and that wouldn’t be good because he had the rest of the world to do still after Australia. If he hadn’t been when we went to bed, we would leave it in the fridge with a note to tell Santa where it was.
I guess the adjustments for heat is another Australia tradition that many other countries don’t face. It is now also part of Miss M’s Christmas traditions.
Merry Christmas from Tea with Mum
For some of you – our family included when we are in Germany – tomorrow will be the time that you get together and open presents.
We hope that you can quickly resolve any residual questions about when to give out any presents, who delivers them and indeed what to leave out for Santa or whoever else might be delivering the presents.
Instead of waiting for Christmas morning – the Australian way –
From our family to yours – we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, wherever you may be.
Thank you all for following Tea with Mum and for joining us on this incredible journey of healing. I hope to hear from you in the New Year!