As far as traditions go this one has been a bit hit and miss over the years.
It is my all day trip to “The City” at Christmas. I live about 45 minutes drive from my beloved home city of Melbourne and any journey in there often becomes an all day adventure.
Even when the kids were tiny littlies I would pack the pram with lunch, snacks and array of drink bottles and we would head for the city. Inevitably I would spend half the day looking for places to change nappies and feed children. All the time desperately clinging to my Christmas cheer for fear of losing it to the added demands of a day out with young children.
As they got older the pram was discarded and along came a new set of challenges, the tired legs and the endless toilet stops. Yes no sooner had we “been” than it appeared someone needed to go again. I zig zagged my way from one toilet to another listening to the added chorus of “I’m Huuuuunnnngrry” and “My legs huuuurt.”
Christmas cheer was in short supply that year.
Needless to say this Little Miss Claus was not to be deterred. “I am creating tradition here!” I proudly told my husband that evening while gulping down my fish bowl sized glass of wine.
This year expectations were high again, mine that is.
Pumped full of Christmas cheer and switching to tourist mode I once again set out to take in all my favourite city sights. The same ones I have now taken my children to for several years.
We started the day in the foyer of Crown Casino, marvelling at the spectacular Christmas tree.
And then the more unusual one.
Next stop was The Block Arcade and Haigh’s Chocolate shop to purchase our annual Christmas bauble.
We enjoyed lunch in the sun as we watched the iconic Melbourne trams go by.
Then it was time to line up and see the incredible Myer windows. This year the windows tell the story of The Gingerbread Baby.
This year the kids read along with the story and they loved it.
Another much-loved arcade, Royal Arcade and an afternoon tea stop for hot chocolates and some toy gazing.
A beautiful message in lights at Melbourne Central.
Then a final stroll back through the colourful streets to the car.
As we navigated our way home the mood in the car was buoyant. Both children animatedly talking about the day and surprising me with their own memories from previous years. To my delight we reminisced about those many early trips to see the city at Christmas. Swirling together their memories with mine and then sprinkling todays delicious events on top to become the beginnings of their own sweet little pot of nostalgia. The greatest gift of all.
As we all fell silent, listening to the Christmas CD playing in the car I felt the knot grow in my throat and the warm tear slide down my cheek.
I had done it. I had created a tradition with my young family. A tradition already rich in memories and more importantly enjoyment for all.
Have you ever started a new tradition? What happened?
Christmas a fabulous time of year.