Tuesday, 27 December 2011

...The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

Today is an additional public holiday, given by the government (last week) to 'compensate' for a public holiday we lost earlier in the year. While I initially thought it was a bit of a silly thing to do (I mean, do they not realise how chaotic this is for staffing?), I'm rather glad I managed to get an extra day to recover from the Christmas weekend. Heaven knows, I need it!

When it comes to Christmas traditions, Andel and I have tried to break the mould a bit. Every Christmas eve is spent with the larger Klaasen family. While we don't have a formal dinner (although this is going to change from next year), we hang out until midnight (usually watch apologetically as the grandkids are woken from their slumber), and exchange gifts as soon as the clock strikes twelve.

Christmas stockings for the whole family - homemade by Robyn

Lexi eagerly awaiting her gifts

Ricki distributing the pressies

Even the adults got in on the action

Just about ready for bed

The next morning, we have a leisurely breakfast before we leave to head back to Cape Town. There we join our church in hosting a lunch for abandoned and abused women and kids. The best part about this that we all share lunch together. For me, it's the best of both worlds: kind of like eating out, but still being at home. And we love that we get to avoid a family tug-of-war by having our own little family lunch.

Christmas evening is spent with the Hendricks bunch. It always starts with Secret Santa, a gift exchange programme that I'm happy to say is working very well for all of us. All the adults draw names in October already, and for Christmas day, only have to get gifts for that one adult, and the kids. The anticipation on Christmas afternoon is almost palpable - especially PJ's (he's the most particular when it comes to gifts, and is always paranoid that he's not going to get what he wants). This year it worked out like this:

PJ bought Dom an ipod

Dom bought Yaya a spa voucher (5 hours worth!)

Yaya bought Papu a tool box

Papu gave Robyn the cash for a Springbok jersey
(the announcement of Peanut threw a spanner in the sizing works)

Robyn bought (an ecstatic) PJ a vegetable knife (that's been on his list since 2008!)

Andel bought Ash a pair of white gold earrings

Ash bought Andel an All Black jersey

And Kim (who was not officially part of Secret Santa this year) got a blender from Santa himself

The younger ones also enjoyed an array of gifts, the highlight being Jorja's keyboard - which her mother spent the day playing!

The rest of the evening was a food, fun and family fest. We had Gran Jean, Gramps George, the Ebrahims and the Hannuman family over for dinner, and a house-full of festivities that went on well into the night. Some survived longer than others...

Andel's contribution to dessert: carrot cake made by his mom, and decorated by his wife
(it seems we were too busy making, eating and surviving dinner to take any more pics)

A day's photography is hard, tiring work!

Christmas really is such a special time. As I reflect on Christmases past and dream of Christmases to come, I'm so grateful for the blessing of friends and family. And amidst all the loving and giving, how can we not marvel at the greatest gift of love ever known: that God could love this fallen world so much, that He sent His son Jesus to save it. How amazing!


  1. lovely! thanks for sharing all the photos. looks like Christmas was exactly what everyone wished for. wish we could have been there too.

  2. The stockings and the cake look amazing! The pregnancy is going well, all your mommy talents are coming out. xx