Staff Christmas Traditions: Stuart

Christmas for the Harris family really starts once we’ve put the tree up. This usually happens before 1 December, except not this year.

Our family tradition starts with me retrieving the decorations from their home- on a shelf in the garage… no doubt they will have gathered much dust! Next, before we even open the storage boxes, I will spend about an hour setting up a camera on a tripod and some lights so we can record a time-lapse. What do you expect from the General Manager of a TV channel? We’ve done this most years. It’s great fun, and it encourages our three children to get involved in putting up the tree. We usually play festive music too. It’s also a fun way to look back and see how the kids have grown up. Here is last year’s video of us putting up the tree.

This year we’ve waited. We won’t be putting the tree up until after 6 December. This year, we’re looking forward to celebrating with family who are visiting from overseas. Grandpa-Pip and Uncle Shaun are flying over from the UK to spend Christmas with us. We can’t wait to see them, however we will wait to put up the tree and include them in the filming this year. We’re busy right now sorting through neglected toys, clothes and books, and will make a necessary trip to the Salvos to offload our unwanted items and create additional space for our visitors to stay. It’s a great excuse to declutter too – which, as aspiring minimalists, we love to do.

Even though my wife and I have lived in Australia now for more than 15 years, Christmas down-under still feels novel. Living in Queensland is such a contrast to England. We’ve exchanged the cold and damp for the hot and sweaty! The real spruce tree for a fake – however we splashed out so our tree looks so real it even drops needles! We still prepare a traditional Christmas turkey lunch with all the trimmings which must include bread sauce. If you’re not sure what that is, and never tried it, here is a link to a great bread sauce recipe.

Christmas morning will start with opening one present each before heading out to our local church for the Christmas Day service. We love our local church, and I especially enjoy the Christmas Day service. I enjoy nothing more than singing Joy to the World at the top of my lungs knowing that the day ahead is going to be full of fun with the whole of my family. More present opening will follow, food and a swim in the pool.

Whatever your Christmas will look like this year, on behalf of our family to yours, may you have a wonderful and Merry Christmas.