A Cultural or Colonial Christmas?

With NaNoWriMo advancing as it ignites the globe in an explosion of creative energy, so too is Christmas rapidly advancing upon us. As dinner menus are planned and gifts are purchased thoughts of Christmases past emerge.

In the spirit of the fast approaching season, I will share a post on my childhood Christmas memories.

Christmas was and still is celebrated in my home with great respect, joy, and merriment. I remember Christmas in South Africa being one that brought thoughts of snow and Santa Claus riding in on a cold night although thirty-degree heat reigned in the Decembers of my childhood!

The Christmas tree went up with layers of cotton wool to depict snowflakes with more stuck to the floor around the tree and little balls of cotton wool were glued around the windowpanes to emulate Christmas in the northern hemisphere.

Snowy Christmas

Under furry felt-lined hat and gloves sat a sweltering head and palms as ‘egg-flip’ under the pretext of eggnog was consumed. A merry belting out of Christmas carols accompanied the raising of the tree. All lights were turned out in the house for fear that Santa Claus might disapprove the harshness of bright lights after traveling in dark snowy night skies only to arrive in the southern hemisphere on a steamy, balmy, magical night! Under Australian skies, the cotton wool is no longer used to create pseudo snowflakes and the celebration is just as delightful.

Such, such were the joys of my childhood… followed by a reading of Charles Dickens’, ‘ A Christmas Carol.’

Christmas Classics


So, was this a vicarious or enforced colonial Christmas? I’m inclined to say it emerged from reading that extended from my forebears who believed good literature emerged from England and the classics were considered refined reading. However, the odd Mills and Boon novel was discovered in some corner of female ancestral dwellings!

Colonialism certainly left its mark on the innocence of childhood, a childhood well spent which remains indelibly imprinted on the heart.

What are your thoughts on Christmas as it might be celebrated wherever you are in the world?

Please share your thoughts below.