This is Christmas with Westfield

brought to you by Westfield

Thank you so much for all of the entries! I just loved reading your stories and photos and congratulations to Charmaine for your winning entry and beautiful family. 

I am a Christmas tragic. I love it. For me it is all about the birth of a special baby, family, traditions, memories, the Santa photo, presents, the kids rearranging the decorations on the Christmas tree for the millionth time, rehearsing for the nativity play and seeing more people than you’ll ever see at church.

My memories of Christmas growing up are full of Barbie dolls, tea sets, grandma working in the toy department at David Jones and being exhausted by the time Christmas rolled around and telling us stories (oh the stories), seeing all of my family, a few white Christmases in England, always church, Santa coming into my dad’s work Christmas parties by helicopter, ute or other means.

Now my Christmas is all about making memories for my own little ones

waiting to come downstairs

and feeding the masses. Here is one of my Christmas spreads and pretty much sums up our aussie Christmas lunch. Every brings a salad, my dad does the seafood which is a longstanding tradition that we continue in memory of my mum. I buy every Christmas magazine that comes out and make my menu  but then inevitably stick to old favourites. Every single year.

an aussie christmas feast  by retro mummy, via Flickr:

And we always have the kids table. Our Christmas lunches never look as perfect as the magazines I buy but there is plenty of love, happiness and memories being made at our house.

the kids table

We have a family tradition from my side of the family that we do the family presents after lunch and the kids hand them out. Now when it comes to buying presents I start early with my list and I also tend to stick to a few stores to make it easier. But I have a big confession to make. I always end up spotting things that are so perfect for myself when I’m shopping. I’m terrible at it. In fact I have to confess that while writing this post I discovered a wonderful handbag that I knew was perfect as I’ve been through 3 this year. So that’s going under the tree. And I’ve created a Pinterest board here with some fabulous Christmas gift ideas this year……

When it comes to Christmas shopping I tend to stick to a few stores and do as much as I can online with plenty of time for postage. Mind you we do love to pop into the city to see the Christmas windows and have a look around. But I save present shopping for when I’m on my own and get things done.

Top of the list is Country Road for classic beach towels, board shorts, summer tees for men or women and summer clothes for the kids – classic polos for the boys with smart shorts, little dresses and cotton cardigans for my girls. It’s the perfect time to buy a pretty summer dress to wear on Christmas day and my girls are still wearing these ones. You can find a great list of kids party dresses and outfits on the Westfield website here. Classic colours never go out of style and I just love white at Christmas. Until someone spills their food on it. For big and little girls I love buying stationary and hairclips. All of my kids love to receive Lego, books and jigsaw puzzles.  And don’t forget gift cards for the hard to buy for person.

sweet girls

Now not everything goes to plan. This is real life. No matter how well I write and rewrite that list there is always someone who comes along or gives us the most unbelievable present and there is that awkward moment where we realise what we have given them isn’t up to scratch. What to do, what to do? For this reason I keep extras – glasshouse candles, gift boxed champagne, this Georg Jensen wine cooler is perfect for the hard to buy person and we snapped up two last Christmas on sale, Country Road bags make the perfect present for an older child/teenager and are great for school camps, sleepovers and sports. And what about a picnic rug for that hard to buy for person.

Now I’ve got a $250 Westfield gift card for one lucky reader if you share a special Christmas memory with me in the comments or a photo of a special Christmas moment. You can upload a photo below or tag your photo with @retromummy and #ThisIsChristmas to be in the running (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Entries close Thursday 3rd December 2015, giveaway open to Australian residents only. 

I love this year’s Christmas ad from Westfield with our very own funny lady Julia Morris and I have long loved this house which is a favourite of mine.

$500 from this post is to be donated to Give & Take for their Christmas hampers this year. 

Comments

  1. Christmas Day last year was the last Christmas we had with my Oma. She hadn’t been right for a few months, but it was nothing the Doctor could identify. She hadn’t been eating much at all for a while. I think we all knew that she didn’t have long. So Christmas Day I sat next to Oma and cut up her food. All that delicious Christmas food that we wait all year for. I can’t tell you how happy I was that she ate everything we had put on her plate. Finally a decent meal.
    The next day Oma collapsed. She spent the next 2 months in hospital before passing away. I will never forget last Christmas, eating Christmas lunch with her.

  2. Susan Leach says:

    Last year we had a secret Santa theme of something to wear around the $5 to $10 mark. At the end we all wore our gifts for a group photo. The party was made up of family and close friends who are just like family. It was our first Christmas in our new home in a semi rural area, so all round a very special time

  3. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the day I met my husband on Christmas day at his Aunt’s house. Little did I know then that ten years on we’d have nearly 8 years of marriage under our belts and three beautiful little boys. This Christmas we will be spending the day with the same Aunt and her family, celebrating our milestone on a very special day. I’m so grateful for the invite to Christmas lunch that changed my life for the better.

  4. It’s a few weeks until my first real Christmas since completing RCIA & so the first time I can share the joy of the days during advent & the special days after Christmas Day with my children. Last night I baked my first Christmas cake: mum broke both arms 5 weeks ago making it impossible for her to uphold traditions as she otherwise would. It’s also a precious Christmas: dad will have major surgery for bowel cancer Dec 17. So with all this “change” the marking of new traditions, & making of special new memories is more important to me than ever.

  5. Last Christmas will always be a precious memory for me. Our 10 month old daughter had been admitted to hospital a few weeks prior, with a bowel obstruction, while we were on an interstate holiday. We came home, and five days out from Christmas she ended up back in hospital. They told us we would be spending her first Christmas in hospital. She was diagnosed with failure to thrive (she was just 6kg at 10.5mo), and I had to stop breastfeeding abruptly as they out her on a tube feed. Christmas Eve rolled around and we were making plans for how we were going to tell our four year old that mummy and Ava wouldn’t be home and how we were going to try and see each other, without him having to spend all day in hospital and miss out on Christmas fun. Then at 3 o’clock the doctors decided we could go home! I was a mess! Spending Christmas morning at church surrounded by so many friends and our family who had been praying for us was so emotional for me and for a lot of people; lots of them were teary as they hugged us. (I’m getting teary just remembering!) I will never, ever forget how special that day was, and how loved we were. It wasn’t how we thought Ava’s first Christmas would be, but it was so precious, and will be one of the special years that I treasure dearly.

  6. My special memory was when I was 11 and my brother and Dad came out on Xmas morning with spots…….chicken pox!!! Everything had to be cancelled, family rung and told bot to come. We had to stay in quarantine incase we all got it…which we did on New years day. It is funny to think about now but we were all very upset at the time, even my parents. My dad ended up having 6 weeks off work being so sick. It actually is one of the best summers I had with us all together. Thanks ks for the Westfield advert I really only see abc4kids and they are lacking in great adverts 😉 sounds like the sort of Christmas I’d love to have with that many people.

  7. My second baby was due on Boxing Day, but decided to arrive in a hurry on the 23rd. It ended up being an emergency c section so we were both still in hospital on Christmas Day. I was very sad as I had a 21 month old at home and I did not want to miss out on the memories with her. My family are amazing though and postponed Christmas until we came home, and on the 25th we had a lovely impromptu Christmas picnic in my hospital room. The midwives were lovely and as it was very quiet in the hospital (only me and my baby) they were able to join us! I have such happy memories of that Christmas, and it really confirmed for me that it is the people you are with, not the location or the gifts that make Christmas.

  8. So many wonderful memories at Christmas and being named Holly I have heard every joke about it there is! When I was little Christmas always felt so magical to me, and it still does. So many memories to share like the time we went to a christmas party at the local racecourse and my Dad played Santa and I didn’t realise, I was so upset he missed seeing me get a gift from Santa! Then there’s the year my parents gave my brother and I a blow up boat with oars and at the time my mum was the manager of the local pool so we snuck over there christmas day to take the boat for a spin! Then of course there was the time we went away for Christmas and I was so worried Santa wouldn’t find me but I woke up to a stocking full of gifts on the day. These days I love to watch the wonder and excitement on the faces of my kids as they open their gifts as they share their love and joy for the holiday season and as they learn all about the spirit of Christmas in Australia. xx

  9. Courtney Smith says:

    I have two Christmas memories I’d like to share. First is something from my own childhood. I have wonderful memories of visiting my Grandparents for Christmas. We would spend the holiday playing tip and hide and seek with our cousins, and go fish, Chinese checkers and snakes and ladders with my Nan and Pop. Nan would always have the tree decorated with chocolate Santas and candy canes for all the grandchildren to have.
    The second memory I want to share is from last Christmas with my own son. He was almost 3, so it was the first year he has really understood Christmas. He came running in on Christmas morning shouting, ‘quick Mum! Come and see! Santa brought presents!’. He had the biggest smile on his face, which didn’t disappear the whole day. I am so excited for this Christmas as now I have two little boys to share the joy with. ❤️

  10. Last year was my sons first christmas and also the first grandchild on my side. I dont think christmas has been so much fun in years. We have two little ones this year so the joy is blooming by the day.

  11. I miss Christmas back at home (in the US). Most of my dad’s side of the extended family live nearby so we all gather, catch up and eat. My grandfather does the prayer before the meal. There aren’t any pressies, just a lot of love.

  12. Every Christmas as a child we used to go to my Aunt’s house. Such incredible fun. For three years I was in the carols by candlelight performance but one year I became an understudy as I missed the first three rehearsals due to other commitments. On the night I had the option of going back stage at Carols or going to my aunts house – I chose to go to Aunty Maureen’s house. I didn’t want to miss it for anything! The funny thing is I am now 41 and still go there with my children. They love it as much as I did!

  13. Belinda Picard says:

    Christmas 1984 – Christmas morning with my brother in our lounge room

  14. Melissa Loggie says:

    We have that same tradition with the kids handing out the pressies after lunch, so sweet :)

    My favourite christmas memory is a very special shopping trip I take with my dad every year to buy mums presents. We have done it every year that I have been alive and continue to do it 29 years later! These days it’s a 2am trip as my dad gets such a kick out of being at the shops at such a weird time and we go for a wine after… Just the best fun and means so much to him, and me.

    And of course the annual trip into the city to see the tree at Martin place and the djs windows!!

    Christmas is the best!

  15. Christmas 1979 I received a Beauty Secrets Barbie, a “real” barbie, and one that would rival the dolls of my friend up the road (an only child with everything!). I am the eldest of four and that christmas was special. We had the junky christmas stockings with the lollies and the little plastic water pistols, we had the bear money box that was full of caramel toffees (we would spend months sniffing the bears butt where the stopper would go because his insides smelt of caramel). And I had my doll…….till boxing day. My sister upset me somehow and I slammed that doll over her head so hard she broke in half! (The doll, not my sister). I tried to tape her back together with electrical tape but my christmas was over. I hid her under our couch and that was that. 30 years later, I found another Beauty Secrets Barbie, mint in the box, on ebay. My sister lives on the other side of the country. I think this one might last.

  16. Melanie Ambrose says:

    A very clear memory for me was walking into mum and dads room late on Christmas Eve at the age of about 8 to use their bathroom and discovering mum completely surrounded on the bed with all of the kids Christmas presents (all of which were going to be “from Santa”). She smiled and acted nonchalant and I pretended to have seen nothing and carried on as normal, never mentioning a word about it to either parent. Now that I’m a mum of three myself and know the late Christmas Eve crazies, I admire mum more and more. She’s been gone 17 years now and I wish I had just one Christmas with her to show her her grandchildren and tell her how much I appreciate all the time and work she put into every Christmas tradition. Miss you mum.

  17. Sonia Nunan says:

    A lovely Xmas tradition we have started on Xmas eve the Pj’s are all wrapped and sneaked to the front door , whilst busy getting dinner and enjoying some Xmas cooking with the kids , they always remember to check if Santa has left any early parcels and maybe instructions where to look for the big family present on Xmas morning . We also have Habdmade bags for every child that has the full named stitched and date of birth and they place them oh so carefully under the tree .

  18. I’ll never forget (or live down!) the Christmas I dropped the turkey while carrying it from the kitchen to the table! But it wasn’t the embarrassment I’ll always remember, or the poor dog high-tailing out the door at the noise, only to come sprinting back at the smell of turkey), it was the pause and silence, followed immediately by everyone bursting out laughing, coming straight over to help me clean up and hustling to stretch the ham and prawns over the plates so there was still plenty to go around :)

  19. If I have made it work there will be a photo of me with Santa that visited me every Christmas day…….my Pa

    • Yay ! It worked. My presents were personally delivered by Santa every Christmas day when I was little. It took many years for me to work out why Pa always missed Santa’s visit :)

  20. My special Christmas Memory is waking up in the morning, getting ready for church, returning home to eat lunch and then sitting down after Dad had had a short nap to open our Christmas presents. I loved that Christmas lasted all day because Dad usually woke up around 3pm. I’ve continued this same custom will my four children. We get a few presents from Santa in the morning, then its breakfast, church, home for lunch and then we have a rest. We spend an hour together outside jumping on the trampoline or just walking around the neighbourhood. We then open our presents at about 2pm which gives the kids time to play later. It’s even better when family comes for lunch as it gives us time to really enjoy each others company. Merry Christmas Retro Mummy and family and God bless you all the Christmas session.

  21. My daughter was 5 months old when she learned to crawl on our first ever visit to Australia. Time flies, that was 18 years ago and tomorrow our Aussie girl is heading off on her own to visit her grandparents in England :(

  22. Christmas is such a special time for my family, as we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus. My favourite Christmas memory is gathering with all of Mum’s family at my Nan’s house for a Christmas dinner feast. Nan welcomed people who didn’t have family to celebrate with at Christmas and these people were our honorary aunts, uncles and grandparents for the evening. After dinner, Dad would sit at the piano and we would gather around the songbooks, and we would enthusiastically sing our favourite Christmas carols till we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Then we were sleepily carried out to the car and then tucked into bed at home, to dream of Christmas all over again!

  23. Lady Tiffany says:

    The first Christmas we had without my mum, my then 5 year old son said we have to celebrate Christmas because Nanny is in this bauble…he put a photo of her and him together on a Christmas bauble…and now every year it has a special place on our tree..true spirit of Christmas

  24. My most favourite Christmas ever was when my nanna didn’t know that my mum put alcohol in the fruit punch. My nanna was very uptight and proper normally but boy, that Christmas day she became the life of the party after all the punch she had!

  25. My wife went all out to make my Christmas dreams (fantasy) come true. The gauzy red on green negligee, topped with Santa hat and amazing thigh high lace up black leather stiletto boots. Anyway, she donned her attire to perfection, then struck the most incredible pose in our bedroom window, for me who was in the garden at the time. As she leaned her palm against the window, that sexy smile of seduction, the bloody window gave way and smashed to pieces. Fortunately she was alright, but damn that wretched window, having to call insurance, wait for a glazier, and all the other crap that ensued, then the kids woke up, it was Christmas morning and they wanted their presents. But what about mine :( The memory was and is amazing, and yes my Christmas dreams came true…….at a later date, but much, much earlier, when my own earth bound Christmas angel agreed to be my wife.

  26. Charlotte’s first Christmas last year, wearing one of our Christmas cracker hats!

  27. I don’t have photos of this but around 20 years ago my portly dad dressed up as Santa Claus for all of my cousins and family at my nan’s place here in the Hunter Valley.

    It got so out of hand with the kids that they chased “Santa” down the New England Highway and he had to make a “not so graceful” exit into the Commercial Hotel with his brothers (and me, his son!) following closely behind. The drunks in the hotel couldn’t believe their eyes and started to chant “Santa, Santa, Santa”…. luckily we rescued him in time.

    When dad got back to the party all the kids rushed up to him and told him he missed seeing Santa Claus.

    It truly was the best Christmas my family has ever had. Dad died in 2005 – he went to bed one night and didn’t wake up, aged 56.

  28. We have a few from this year. A friend and I are learning to use our cameras on manual setting.

  29. Lucia Saal says:

    When I was 8 I wanted a Velvet Doll. I was sure there wasn’t a Santa but I went and sat on his lap and asked for the doll…and I got it! It renewed my faith in Santa!

  30. One of my favourite Christmas memories is from when I was about 6, I think. Instead of going to sleep straight away I sat up in bed looking out of the window, desperately hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeers. The stars were starting to come out and each time a new star twinkled I thought could that be them?? I never did see them flying through the sky but slept happily knowing that he would come whilst I was sleeping. Also loved singing the carols at Church and the special family gatherings, alternating between Dad’s family in the bush or Mum’s family in Sydney.

  31. Charmaine Campbell says:

    Every year for us is special, especially since my husband was given 9 – 12 months to live 5 years ago. Christmas is emotional for me, wondering each year if it will be the last one we get to share with him. This year is extra hard because he has been unwell due to side effects of his cancer treatment and also lost his job a couple of months ago. I love Christmas and try to make it extra special for my family, making fun memories and taking lots of photos while the extended family is all together. We put our tree up yesterday, a Westfield voucher would be amazing for us to be able to buy gifts for our kids while we have no income. Merry Christmas!

  32. Belinda Catt says:

    This was Christmas last year. Growing up I never thought that I would be so blessed to have a husband who I love and who loves me and four sons that are beyond amazing. Every Christmas once you have created a family of your own is so wonderful. I put every Santa photo on our mantle and even now they don’t get Santa photos the boys do a photo in front of the tree for me.

  33. One time we got chalk and wrote all over the lounge suite, graffiti style, like “Santa was here”, “Elf no. 31 was here”, “Rudolph rulz the skies!” etc etc, the kids reaction was priceless, the littlest one nearly had a heart attack she kept looking at me and whispering in a worried tone “Oh no mummy your couch, oh no, look what they did” whilst the elder one thought it was awesome and how cool that Santa and his team were not just a bunch of boring dorks lol.
    Another year we put the kids to bed then waited until they were asleep….and then completely changed the entire lounge/living area around! We moved the lounges, the tree and even our tv cabinet to another spot. The kids were shocked and impressed that Santa and the Elves were able to do such a thing, they talked about it with each other for hours coming up with differing theories. It was hilarious for us adults to listen to them deciding that it must have been a safety issue and that Santa decided it was a safer spot for the tree to be located ha ha.

  34. Patricia reynolds says:

    Year after year Santa shows up for his annual Christmas photo shoot. Finally after many many children’s photos were taken, we had a chance to rest up. Santa decided to take a snooze, so a selfie with the photographer was a must. I tried not to make a sound… Success.!

  35. Twas the night before Christmas and there wasn’t a sound. Us kids were sleeping knowing that Santa was coming…

    All of a sudden my sister and I suddenly awoke, the sound of balls bouncing and laughter was was in the house. As we creep out of our beds to investigate what had occurred. I remember my heart started to pound that maybe Santa was around…

    We crept down the hallway to peep into the lounge. What we saw shocked us, it was Mum and Dad! It seemed they were putting together a table tennis set but couldn’t resist, having a Mum Vs Dad sneaky hit… What did we do? Of course join in too!

    From that time on the challenge of Parents Vs Kids was on! Every Christmas since it’s our Christmas tradition to put a family table tennis tournament on. It’s always fun :)

  36. The Christmas memory that stands out the most to me is the year that we gave most it away. I would have been six or seven and money was tight. We would get one special present that my parents saved all year for. Then a few treats from Santa that we didn’t have often like potato chips and fizzy drink. It was a huge treat for us. I can still remember my parents sitting us down and talking to us about a family we knew who had six children with a now single mother. They had no spare money for special presents. How did we feel about giving up our special present each to be able to get something special for each of them. We were all willing and excited to be able to do that for them. We carefully chose a present that we thought they would love. I remember chosing the cabbage patch dolls we got for two of the girls close to my age. It was the best feeling. We even got the food we would have had for a roast dinner and dropped it all off to them. I don’t remember now what we had instead, only the magic of making a family’s Christmas. I’m grateful my parents saw their need over our own because it taught us to look outside of ourselves to serve another and that’s what our Saviour did for us.

  37. Debra Crowhurst says:

    Last Christmas…. we didnt know that would be the last time our eldest brother Keith would remember us….. it will be forever a special memory.

  38. Tammy Roberts says:

    Last year my Grandmother turned 90. My sister and I were talking about how special it would be to see 90 Christmases in your lifetime. We were recalling the stories Nan had told us about Christmas when she was a girl, and although they had very little it sounded like the most magical time.
    Nan told us with joy how one year they had had roast goose for Christmas Dinner and how it was the most glorious thing she had tasted.
    So last Christmas we purchased a goose. We fattened it up and had it dressed for Christmas lunch. (After all, its pretty special to have 90 Christmases!)
    The look on Nan’s face sharing the goose with her grandchildren and great grandchildren was magical.

  39. One of my favourite Christmas memories was all the family gathered at my Grandparents home for a cooked lunch. Roast chicken, vegies, gravy and homemade stuffing cooked in cupcake pans so it’s crispy outside and soft inside (so yummy) followed by Christmas pudding and custard (yum!). Hoping we could find a six pence in our pudding was a nice surprise. So many happy memories! Looking forward to Christmas and seeing the excitement on our children’s faces.

  40. I create special Christmas moments with family and friends every year through Christmas cards! Every year I find Christmas cards with my name, Joy on it. My family and friends always get a laugh out of it and they don’t even have to open it to know who it’s from! https://instagram.com/p/TlKpg7tKXF/

  41. Being the International Day for People with Disability it seems appropriate that I share this Christmas memory from Bondi Beach. Not only is the beach iconic, their lifeguards are so lovely with my son who is non-verbal and they also have a beach wheelchair which gave our family access, creating a fun and memorable day for us all.
    Memorable for all the right reasons.

  42. My favorite Christmas memory was when our daughter who was supposedly Autistic and detached from the whole ‘Christmas’ thing started to show glimpses of understanding what it was all about, Santa, opening presents, Christmas carols. then finally one year it all came together, she was excited for Santa, excited for her sister, loving all of her presents, it was an amazing Christmas to see her so engaged.

  43. My greatest christmas memories are of the boxing day bakeoff’s our family use to have throughout my childhood! Always a lot of smiles, laughter and more chocolate and flour ending up on faces than in mixing bowls!

  44. Elizabeth says:

    At 15 I spent my first Christmas away from my family,
    however, my host family in France, surprised me on the day,
    not with gifts that were grand or a first glass of wine in my hand,
    but with food that they thought was special and thoughtful too,
    an entree of snails and a main of KANGAROO!
    I had actually never had kangaroo before and the combination of kangaroo meat and snails was very unique and a memory I’ll never forget!

  45. Renata Marchionna says:

    My Christmas is all about making memories for my little girl.
    This year,My daughter wanted a picture with Santa and her dog

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