21 December, 2020

The season and traditions

I put up my Christmas tree last week. The decorations always make me happy - the ones I bought on my travels, or that friends gave me, and even the ones I bought to mark my ectopic losses (at Christmastime 19 and 18 years ago respectively), although they are always bittersweet. As Tingting said here so beautifully, I do not feel that Christmas (or any celebration if you don't celebrate Christmas) is not for us, simply because we don't have children or grandchildren. It was hard for a year or two, especially with the memories of my losses so fresh in my mind, but after that I decided to reclaim the season.

One of my traditions is to always make some mini mince* pies - the recipe calls them baby mince pies, but for obvious reasons I refuse to call them that. I always make them. I enjoy them if Christmas is quiet, I give them away to friends sometimes, and this year I'm taking them to visit my sister. So that was my day today - making the pastry, the pies, juggling chilling the pastry, thawing the pastry (because I chilled it too long! lol), filling the pies, chilling the pies, egg-washing the pies, and finally baking the pies! It's a "Mali" Christmas tradition, and I'm fond of it. It helps me to know that Christmas is for me too.

Unfortunately, my husband hasn't always been able to do it. This year he sounds quite morose, and he has commented a couple of times that Christmas is not for us. As well as letting him know I have heard him, I have also commented each time that personally I refuse to believe that, and point out the fun we can have together. Of course, it is his first Christmas without either of his parents, and that may be playing on his mind too. I reminded him too that last year I didn't look forward to Christmas at all - it felt like an anti-climax (and it was). But by Boxing Day - the day after Christmas - it was all behind us, and at least here in New Zealand we could begin our summer holidays. That's the thing. Whether you dread Christmas or another religious or cultural day, like any of the Days that Shall Not Be Named, they don't last forever, and sooner than we realise, we can forget them and move on.

Wishing you all the very best over the next week. 

Sending love/Arohanui from New Zealand to you all.

Another "Mali" tradition
- a Christmas Meringue Tree

* fruit mince, which is minced dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, dates, and apricots) with a few other ingredients including a good slug of brandy!


  1. Oh, I like your Christmas meringue tree! :) I also liked reading about your tradition of making mini mince pies. I'll keep your husband in my thoughts. He doesn't have to enjoy Christmas this year. I will look forward to Dec. 26th for him. <3

  2. Love the meringue tree! It's such a foreign concept for me—that a holiday wouldn't be for everyone. Especially a fun one. I love that you put your foot down and create/keep-up traditions.

  3. Dear Mali, I love that you reclaimed Christmas and found your own beautiful (and I'm sure delicious) traditions!
    Wishing strength and peace to your husband... and sending much love to you. Thanks for being out there for us ♡.

  4. All about making Christmas a fun holiday with traditions of our own, without children! That meringue tree is GORGEOUS. I bet your baby mince pies are yummy too. It's funny, I was just thinking about the stories ornaments tell. Merry Christmas, Mali!

  5. My Christmas tree & ornaments makes me happy too! :) And I have NEVER felt that Christmas was "not for me" because I didn't have kids. I've never bought into that BS that "Christmas is for kids." Christmas is for EVERYONE. But I think it's understandable that your dh isn't in the mood for it this year. He may feel differently by next year, though!

    I've always thought of mince pies as "mincemeat" (and not especially appealing). Yours, however, sound delicious! And am betting that your meringue tree is a delicious as it looks too!