“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

christmas cookies

Ginger beer.  Suddenly, it’s Christmas 1975, I’m standing in my mother’s pantry staring at 20L of fermenting ginger beer… The French have an expression for that “la madeleine de Proust” The smell of a madeleine (the cake) made the writer Marcel Proust remember old events.  Nostalgia maybe?

Christmas back then (without giving away my age) meant baking mountains of cookies on 16 December, making tinfoil Christmas decorations, planning what gifts you could buy for everyone with the R5.60 you saved all year and of course…the anticipation to see cousins you haven’t seen for months!  Oh, the Christmas beds, the chatter until the early morning hours…

Then the big event…the women prepping tons of food in the too small kitchen with the red linoleum table, the much-anticipated trifle (mistakenly doused in mampoer one year), me licking the dripping custard jar and my burning ear afterwards, my uncle stepping backwards into the swimming pool while trying to take a picture of the whole family (warts and all), sunburnt kids crying in a baking soda bath…

The Festive Season should be brimming with love and eternal moments, times to reminisce about for years to come.  Enjoy the vast variety of things to do and places to see the Garden Route has to offer.  After gathering those eternal experiences, get together for lunch or dinner and share in each other’s delight.

Let’s cherish each other’s hearts this holiday.  Remind each other of the silliness from years back, all the senseless fun and the wonderment that envelopes this magical time of the year.  After all, as the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

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