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12 Days of Christmas Memories: Laura

HerCanberra Team

Last year we shared snippets of HerCanberra readers and staff Christmas memories.

This year, we wanted to share stories of community, celebration and tradition each day from now until Christmas in the hope that it brings a little seasonal joy to the hearts of Scrooge-y and gooey Canberrans alike. Tell us your favourite Canberra Christmas traditions in the comments!

12 days until Christmas…

Laura Peppas

Senior Journalist and Communications Manager, HerCanberra

It’s not cool to say it, but even at 29 years old, I’m still a sucker for Christmas.

What I love more than anything else are the long-held traditions – the sound of carols playing, long walks to look at the lights, the smell of comfort food, and those precious moments with family – iPhones shifted away, TV off, shops closed – where there’s nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company. No present can come close to that sense of coming together.

When I was younger Christmas was hands-down the best day of the year. When it was all over I’d spend most of the year counting the days till it all happened again; a process so gruellingly slow when you have the relatively empty social calendar of a school kid.

As I grew older, the 5am Christmas day wake-ups waned (to my parents’ relief) but the carols, lights and Christmas tree decorating all stuck.

Laura's Christmas tree this year

Now a little tradition of mine is to go to the shops to get presents, get overwhelmed by the amount of people there, then try again the evening before Christmas. Not very practical, yes – but it adds a sense of excitement.

The event is made all the more special now because my husband, knowing of my love for this time of year, proposed to me last Christmas Eve (you can read about Laura’s Canberra wedding here). This Christmas our families will come together for a big lunch for the first time since we were married, and, as his parents are Greek, they have some festive traditions of their own. 

One tradition (which I love) is to cook more food than anyone can ever imagine: crackling pork, tzakiki, chicken, fish, spinach and cheese pies, baklava – you name it, it’s there. We then sit, quietly marvelling at the size of our bellies, and have a snooze. It’s heaven.

Another Orthodox tradition is to attend church on Christmas morning, which also means catching up with extended family and friends you may not otherwise see on Christmas day. Going to an evening Service on Christmas Eve is also very important for many Greeks.

Bringing my family’s Christmas traditions together with the new traditions of my husband’s family is easier than I thought: there may be a few changes, but the sentiment of togetherness remains.

Read more articles by Laura here.

Image of ‘Background of Christmas sweets…’ via Shutterstock

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