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Different types of Christmas Families through my life (Monday Missions entry) by bengy

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· @bengy ·
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Different types of Christmas Families through my life (Monday Missions entry)
<div class="text-justify">

<center>![](https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1558056524-97698af21ff8?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjEyMDd9&auto=format&fit=crop&w=1050&q=80)</center>

<center>[Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/vENEN2cryYQ)</center>

Through my life, I have had different experiences of Christmas and the family gatherings that occur around them. From the family of my childhood to the family of my wife and then finally to my own family with my own children. Each stage has been quite profoundly different in the way that we have experienced Christmas Day and the festivities and gatherings around it. 


https://steemitimages.com/0x0/https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmQgdKBYt2WqqK4iNvDmFsZHUJfu9t62Hz1JxHAwJ7SyoB/thealliance_pagebreak.png

# <center>My Childhood Family</center>

<center>![](https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1562887340-dcaf16c02011?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&auto=format&fit=crop&w=1489&q=80)</center>

<center>[Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/r8Q_2nr9Rbg)</center>

My parents were immigrants to Australia, and my brother and I were the first generation of our family to be born in the new country. There were no other extended family to join us, apart from my grandmother around when Hong Kong was due to leave the British rule and be returned back to Chinese territory. 

So, Christmas was a very small affair with just my parents and my brother. There wasn't a huge fuss about it... there were the usual Christmas Eve shenanigans from the kids... not being able to sleep, staying up as long as possible... and trying to catch Santa in the act!

Christmas mornings would be the usual early morning wake up... waiting for my parents to be awake so that we could make a start on discovering the Santa sacks that would would hopefully be full of nice little goodies! 

This would be followed by lots of Christmas phone calls (in those days... it was before Video Chats... so, it would be long-distance calls..) to extended family around the world, mostly to aunts, uncles and cousins that I had only ever met once if at all!

There were many of us new immigrants to Australia... there were our Italian neighbours, Chinese families and many others... all of whom would be in a vast new country with no extended family, just the first generation nuclear family that had been birthed in Australia. So, often we would gather together as a large "extended" family of people seperated from our cultures and former lands. Each year, it would be something different... a large gathering in a Chinese restaurant, with the kids playing under the tables... or a large Italian style gathering in the backyard of the neighbours!

It was a time where we found our extended family in friends and neighbours, to have an excuse to bond together as new arrivals in a new land. 


https://steemitimages.com/0x0/https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmQgdKBYt2WqqK4iNvDmFsZHUJfu9t62Hz1JxHAwJ7SyoB/thealliance_pagebreak.png

# <center>My Wife's Family</center>

<center>![](https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1519741497674-611481863552?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjEyMDd9&auto=format&fit=crop&w=1050&q=80)</center>

<center>[Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/5BB_atDT4oA)</center>

In contrast, when I met my future wife... theirs was a family that had been in Australia for many many years. It was a large nuclear family (7 kids!) and with a huge constellation of aunts and uncles and cousins (not to mention the ever changing parade of girl/boy friends and other spouses) .... which for a person who had ever known a total of 4 people in a family for so long, was a complete shock to the system... and a terrible test of my memory!

The preparations for Christmas involved a huge deal of cooking and present preparation on the Eve before the big day... and was only interrupted by a trip to the local church for the Catholic Midnight Mass. The Midnight Mass tradition didn't last through to the current day, however the crazy degree of preparation for the coming day still persists... but the workload is now shared among the now adult children!

Christmas Day would be a morning of continuing preparation for the lunch (which would often start much later than any lunch had any right to be named...)... Instead of long distance phone calls... there would be a physical gathering of the entire extended family, as various members arrived through the day... to be greeted by glasses of champagne and a slightly tipsy (and getting tipsier through the day...) version of song "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!".

The day would turn into night (generally after a late afternoon nap)... and the lunch meats would be reheated and serve a second duty as evening snacks... there would always be way too much to eat and a ready supply of drinks! 

After dinner, the family would retire upstairs to unpack a new (or old) board game... to play into the wee hours of the morning. It was always quite a ruckus, turning the quietest of the family into raving, screaming competitive no-holds barred players of the game!



https://steemitimages.com/0x0/https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmQgdKBYt2WqqK4iNvDmFsZHUJfu9t62Hz1JxHAwJ7SyoB/thealliance_pagebreak.png

# <center>My Own Family</center>

<center>![](https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1480074568708-e7b720bb3f09?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjEyMDd9&auto=format&fit=crop&w=1053&q=80)</center>

<center>[Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/1ddol8rgUH8)</center>

Fast forward to the current day, where my wife and I have moved and put down roots in the old lands of Europe, where we are the only members of the extended family (on both sides) in this half of the globe.. and our children are the first generation in this new (old) land. 

Our Christmas Eve consists of the adults preparing for the day ahead with some cooking and presents.... whilst the kids try to stay up late... being too excited for the day ahead.... and plotting to catch Santa in the act of dropping of presents!

We have a very quiet morning, where the kids are nervously waiting for the parents to wake up... and at the slightest hint of sound from our room, they come screaming in and jump on us to make sure that we don't get back to sleep! 

We let them discover the now full Santa sacks... and they are allowed to open the gifts that they find in there... and play with them until breakfast is ready. After breakfast, is the calls to our extended families who are on the other side of the world, finishing their Christmas Day! This often involves several rounds of Video Chats, as we've discovered with past experience that a single group Video Chat is a really terrible idea!

Being the only members of our immediate family does make for some challenges... but in the last few years, we have partnered up with other families in the same position to spend Christmas lunch/dinner together. We meet at one of our houses, and we all bring too much food and little presents for each other's kids... just so that we have our little extended family away in a new land!

<hr>

Everything does feel quite familiar to me... but for my wife, she does miss the huge physical gatherings... and in truth, I do miss it quite a bit as well. However, it is nice to be able find other people in the same situation (away from our immediate families) to form our new extended families in a strange new land!











</div>

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<center><a href="https://steemit.com/@bengy"><img src=https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmS3NNz4S6PTtVURiQEDZ38qSCJuwQt6qEYe8pLbyyKm9c/upgoats-bengy.png><br/></a></center>


<center><sub>Upgoats by ryivhnn
Account banner by jimramones</sub></center>






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@bluemoon ·
@tipu curate
👍  
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@tipu ·
<a href="https://tipu.online/curator?bluemoon" target="_blank">Upvoted &#128076;</a> (Mana: 10/15 - <a href="https://steemit.com/steem/@tipu/tipu-curate-project-update-recharging-curation-mana" target="_blank">need recharge</a>?)
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@bengy ·
Thanks for the curation!
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@bluemoon ·
With pleasure! Happy New Year!
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@amico ·
@tipu curate 
@giphy curate 100
___
A huge hug from @amico! 🤗

<sup><sup><sup><sup> #sbi-skip !trdo </sup></sup></sup></sup>
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@trendotoken ·
Congratulations @amico, you successfuly trended the post shared by @bengy!
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@giphy ·
Upvoted &#128076;
<hr>Powered by witness <a href="https://untersatz.steem.design">untersatz</a>!<center><sup>Current VP: 69.74%</sup></center>
👍  ,
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@bengy ·
Thanks again for the curation and support!
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@ibt-survival ·
<br><img src="https://i.ibb.co/xF3pcrV/IBT-Image-Ready-Final.gif" alt="ibt"><br>Congrats! on your upvotes from the <a href="https://discord.gg/Gr3kH9T">IBT Community</a>
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@steemitbloggers ·
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@trendotoken ·
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