December in the tropics! (Advent Calendar, Day 20)

Zee Monodee brings us a description of her celebration of December in a warm climate…something many of us dream about! Christmas is one holiday to celebrate this month, but there are many others. Thank you to Zee for sharing with us how she makes this month special.

Hey everyone! Thanks to Anastasia for having me over today; pleasure to be here.

 

So we’re all talking about December and the holiday season in our parts of the world. If I tell you BBQ, what do you immediately think? If you’re from the US, that would probably be Fourth of July weekend.

 

But if you’re in Mauritius, where I live (cue geography lesson: southern hemisphere, Indian Ocean, the tropics) then summer is in full force in…you guessed it – December!

 

Now, nothing spells summer better than eating outside in the evening and chilling with your near and loved ones. And yes, too – it’s just so hot that unless you have air con and can stay in a closed-off house with the air powering on high, then eating out where there might be a potential breeze to help you cool down is what you’ll crave.

 

And December means all the kids will be on summer break, and almost everyone tends to let loose a bit during that month. Work still goes on, but the pace is much more relaxed coz everyone is getting into the holiday mood. So this is really the perfect time to indulge. Family is also a huge thing here, and what better time to get together to spend some good times?

 

I’ve been married for 11 years now, and though I come from a big family, I stumbled into a whole other world when I met my husband’s family. Indians/Indian-origin folks love drama and over the top celebrations; my family is not the exception. But my husband’s relatives? Wow! They party at the drop of a hat! Impromptu family get-togethers happen every so often, and this aunt or that uncle or that cousin is calling every other week to ask everyone to dinner. The reason? Just because. They live for all the hoopla, the dhoom-dhaam as we call it in our Indian world.

 

No surprise then that we also stumbled into that tradition of having family over during December. But lol, we keep it small. The in-laws/parents and our siblings. We’ve now become renowned for our annual BBQ held sometime in the middle of December.

 

And what’s on the menu? Tandoori-spice chicken, lamb shanks, beef steaks, chicken franks (the kids, who are all teens now, lol, enjoy making hot dogs). You’ll get an array of salads – coleslaw, lettuce and tomato with mozzarella, cucumber with yoghurt. Dessert is usually my sister-in-law’s contribution – she and her eldest daughter will always come over with cake or crème brulee or some other dessert they tried their hands at.

 

An afternoon of get-together where hubby and his brother will man the grills while the kids bring over the latest games and set the console in the living room while we’re enjoying outside on the terrace. Then an evening of eating and fun and laughter – what could top that, eh?

 

This is what December means to us, and though we don’t celebrate Christmas, we do celebrate good times with our loved ones – and this, ultimately, is what the holiday season is about, right?

 

And what also happens during December? Cyclones! Yep, those awful tropical summer storms. But still, romance can happen during such troubled times…as proved in my very first 1NightStand story, Once Upon A Stormy Night.

 

One lucky commenter will win a copy of that story! Tell me about your December/Christmas season to enter the draw.

 

Zee Monodee

Stories about love, life, relationships… in a melting-pot of culture

 

Zee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she’d stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.

From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.

This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit ‘on a fence’, whether cultural or societal, in today’s world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.

 

Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is married, mum to a tween son, & stepmum to a teenage lad.

 

 

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97 thoughts on “December in the tropics! (Advent Calendar, Day 20)

  1. sassytwatter says:

    Another post that is making my hungry!

    Sounds like a lovely way to enjoy family. Nothing better than get togetherness where everyone can enjoy just being together.

    The holidays start for me on the 24 and go through the 26. Filled with food friends and family. Everyone comes over cooks together all the traditional Swedish foods herring, ham cheese, liver paste, we cute out own salmon and tons and tons of special holiday sweet treats.. Getting so hungry just thinking about it. Then we just spend the next 3 days staying up late eating talking enjoying each other.

    Happy Friday! Off to sleep now.

    Like

    • sassytwatter says:

      Anna- while I’ve never loved the penis tree not sure why I just got this turquoise blob- I swear I didn’t do anything and actually kinda miss the cute little tree guy I just figured out how to style his hair.

      Like

        • sassytwatter says:

          Another post that is making my hungry!

          Sounds like a lovely way to enjoy family. Nothing better than get togetherness where everyone can enjoy just being together.

          The holidays start for me on the 24 and go through the 26. Filled with food friends and family. Everyone comes over cooks together all the traditional Swedish foods herring, ham cheese, liver paste, we cute out own salmon and tons and tons of special holiday sweet treats.. Getting so hungry just thinking about it. Then we just spend the next 3 days staying up late eating talking enjoying each other.

          Happy Friday! Off to sleep now.

          Just incase you say other one doesn’t count guess I’m a bit paranoid with all your rules.

          Like

  2. quiet sara says:

    I wish Christmas today as an adult still held some of the wonder and awe that it held for me as a child. I wish I enjoyed it but usually I just wish for it to pass quickly and that makes me sad. I think this year my New Year’s resolution should be for me to find the joy of Christmas again. I am certain it would make me happier as well as my lovely family.

    So on to traditions we go…

    When I was a child we lived in a big pre-civil war era home. It was in the middle of nowhere and I had no neighbors to speak of… and I loved it. My brother sister and I spent our time
    playing outside, something of a novelty now with so many electronics at our youngster’s fingertips! In the winter, near Christmas time, our days were spent sledding by the creek, playing tag in the snow, building snow forts, and making snow angels. Mother would make hot cocoa, pancakes, and syrup all from scratch. You have never had delicious syrup until you have had it made that way. Often she added blueberries or raspberries and cooked it down to a bubbling goo that topped our pancakes so deliciously.

    My Father was all about the gifts. He loved shopping at the local auction to find things
    you didn’t normally see in stores. He also loved stuffing our stockings with bits of watermelon candies and little wind up cars and tiny dolls.

    Christmas day was awaited with much anticipation and we first read the story of Jesus birth before opening any gifts. This tradition I still carry on in my own family.

    I remember those times wistfully.

    Many Christmas Blessings
    sara

    Like

  3. Tara Finnegan says:

    Oh wow, I’m envying you the summertime because its freezing here. Sadly the little snow we had has turned back to the miserable, cold, driving rain. Still there’s hope for more snow.

    This year, we’ll start the festivities by visiting friends on Christmas eve, and getting ready for Santy. Kids will be on high doh.

    Then Christmas morning at some ungodly hour they’ll drag us out of bed for the booty 🙂

    Mass at midday as the kids sing at it with the school choir, which is really sweet. Then It’ll be time to stuff ourselves silly on Turkey ham and all the trimmings. We have regular Christmas day callers and they’ll come over in the evening time, maybe for cards, maybe just for a drink or two, depends on what time they call. Adults and kids alike fight over cards in the best of spirits, all wanting to win all the plastic chips that have no value what-so-ever, except gloating kudos.

    Like

    • sassytwatter says:

      Tara- Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate. Does seeming the days leading up to the holiday no much sleep with all the preparation and anticipation! Cards do you mean holiday cards?

      Like

    • angel says:

      Cold weather thats when it is 60 degrees that’s winter isn’t it?? My 10 yr old wants to build a snow man she says she is missing all the winter fun We are taking her to the beach this weekend to teach her how to build a florida snowman Body made of sand his eyes will be sea shells we are giving him a carrot nose but I am sure the birds will steal it lol I told she will see she isn’t missing out on making snowmen or snow angels she just has to make them out of sand and then she can wash off in the ocean

      Like

  4. Irishey says:

    Happy December, Zee! 🙂

    I enjoyed reading about your December school break traditions and celebrations. It sounds as though you lead an eventful, happy life full of love and laughter. I think I feel somewhat wistful about the laid-back atmosphere of your month of December. It usually is fairly busy and fast-paced in the US. That keeps me staying home as much as possible to avoid the frenzy.

    I had to smile when you mentioned BBQ in the US, because my family and friends love to barbecue with snow falling!

    Large families and their frequent, impromptu gatherings are a lot of fun. I grew up with that. As we all got older, some of us began moving away, and we got married and often had to split time with spouses’ family functions. We now only see all the aunts, uncles, cousins and their respective families at major reunions. Still, there are almost 40 of us who gather at my parents when my siblings, our spouses, children and grandchildren are all present.

    Our December has a strong religious heritage, but some of our previous traditions and observances have fallen away after my grandparents passed away. My grandmother was very devout, shared her love of Jesus in all she did, and epitomized the “love your neighbor” way of living her life. This loving generosity of spirit touched all of her family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers… every day. We all carry those memories of her example. Sometimes it can be quite humbling, but in a good way.

    Grandma is with us every Christmas, although she passed away almost 20 years ago. My grandpa stands with her, protective, supportive, quietly teasing and always smiling at her and us. At gatherings, we always talk about my grandparents, great-grandparents and the many great aunts and uncles, recalling things they did as part of our family’s memories. Once again this Christmas, they will be there with us in spirit.

    This year, D and I, and my two youngest children, will travel 500 miles to celebrate our traditional Christmas Eve food fest, gift exchange and visiting at my parents. We will be joined by two more of my children and their families. My siblings won’t be traveling back home this year, so it will be a smaller gathering.

    Christmas Day will be spent with D’s mother, and possibly his sister and her family. Football and basketball on television will feature heavily in the background throughout the days we are visiting family. 😉

    Thank you for sharing some of your experiences, Zee. Enjoy the rest of your holiday time!

    Like

    • Michael says:

      Irishey,

      The love in your family is a marvelous thing and comes right off the screen. I felt the love of your grandma and grandpa. Remembering them, your great grandparents and uncles and aunts is what the love of Christmas is all about. Bless you and your family.

      Like

      • Irishey says:

        Thank you, Michael. You’re correct. I think it spoke to you because you know those same feelings – being richer for having known your grandfather and sharing so much life, love and tradition with your family. I recognized the depth of feeling in your nostalgia, too.

        One of the best parts? Also remembering the very real imperfections of these people, looking back and being able to laugh at those things, and loving them more for their quirky characters. That gives me hope my grandchildren will remember me fondly. 🙂

        Like

  5. abby says:

    Ahhh,,,,hard to imagine, but thanks for sharing. It is so interesting to learn about other cultures. We have many traditions, gathering together, on the 23 for some Christmas caroling and hot chocolate, reading The Night Before Christmas before we tuck the little ones into bed….pork pies for breakfast…..and cinnamon rolls shaped like a Christmas tree are a few.
    Have a wonderful holiday.
    hugs abby

    Like

  6. Michelle B says:

    One thing’s for sure – no matter in which hemisphere you live, no matter what the season or what you celebrate, it would appear that men everwhere are the de facto “chefs of the grill’! 😀

    In the northern hemisphere, we tend to refer to a “white Christmas”, and although it certainly looked like we would have a white one this year, it is currently raining and we’re expected to get some snow mixed with freezing rain all weekend…. there goes that white Christmas! Already, I’ve been hearing reports on the radio about cars sliding into ditches and into each other due to the icy conditions on the roads… December is a festive season that can so easily be marked by tragedies due to the unpredictable weather!

    Then again, despite the fact that we tend to b**ch about the cold and the wetness, I think I’d rather take my chances in icy conditions than try to survive a cyclone anytime!

    🙂

    Like

  7. Roz says:

    Hi Zee, I live in New Zealand so December/Christmas is summer for us too so we are similar to you. It seems that everything tends to wind up and become more hectic, especially work wise during December until just before Christmas when everybody starts to take holidays. Then everybody winds down and the BBQ’s, gatherings and fun begins 🙂

    Christmas Day for us is having the family together and BBQ. Ironically, having just said that, it is actually forecast to rain this year! However, I’m sure it will change again between now and then!

    Hugs,
    Roz

    Like

  8. minellesbreath says:

    I love the Holiday festivities you enjoy. I have a large family as well. We too enjoy the (any and every excuse) impromptu gatherings. The last Holiday family gathering in my childhood home was so large we had standing room only. For all of us the Holidays are extra special but the love and joy of togetherness continues all year!

    Like

  9. thelongbean says:

    Sounds great, just a bit warmer than the Northern hemisphere.
    It is great when there are family get togethers just because……
    Similar in ways to Southern European nations where they often do the same thing.

    Like

  10. terpsichore says:

    Celebrating good times with loved ones is indeed what the holidays is all about… 🙂 Thank-you for sharing your special December traditions in your part of the world…they sound lovely! 🙂 Hugs

    Like

  11. houston_switch says:

    December is usually the month where the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is celebrated. This year was a huge exception when Hanukkah started in November…the earliest ever. Jewish culture uses a lunar calendar and has a leap month every so often. … to realign the holidays with the correct season.
    Hanukkah lasts eight days and candles are lit each night (in our house) after the evening meal. Family and friends gather on the Saturday or Sunday evening celebration. … 40 or so people come eat fried chicken (our menu),fried potatoe pancakes and special dessert…. jelly filled donuts.
    Gifts to children are passed out each night. … as they age up… the gifts become more gift-cards or cash.
    Merry Holidays everyone and healthy 2014. Please remember someone, sonewhere is less fortunate… than you.

    Like

  12. Katie says:

    Hi Zee, 🙂 Thank you for sharing your wonderful traditions and warm holiday celebration with all of us! It is wonderful to have such gatherings! It is chilly and snowy where we are now, so no BBQing for us- though Rob has been known to shovel a path to the grill and use it on and off to cook various meals during the winter months at times. Always good!

    Our holiday fun includes gatherings with friends, enjoying all four of our kids home together, and celebrations with Rob’s side of the family, who live nearby. On Christmas Eve we usually head to mass, then gather at one of his family’s homes for gift exchanges, dinner of 7 fishes, food and drink, and it is tons of fun. Our Christmas day is more leisurely- we all get up, enjoy coffee/tea as we open our gifts, and then we usually have breakfast together. We often host Christmas dinner- with family and friends over. For sure it is my favorite time of year. 🙂

    Like

  13. Renee Meyer says:

    Wow, what beautiful traditions your family has. Thank you for sharing them with us. We live in the South East part of the US near the beach. Our Christmas tends to be very different also. We do the traditional tree inside but we decorate a palm tree outside and rain withstanding we also walk on the beach each holiday. There have even been years that the children swam in the ocean on Christmas day. Our temps this time of year can go as high as 80 during the day. If the weather is warm enough I can cook the turkey on the grill. We do not have any family nearby so after opening presents we usually work together to create a special meal. I do the main course while each child makes a special recipe that they have picked out. After eating way too much food we watch Christmas movies together until we fall asleep. As the children have grown some traditions change but the basic ingredients have stayed the same. Family, cooking, and enjoying each other mixed gently together to create a season of love and hope. May you and your family enjoy your season of family and love.

    Like

  14. Marybeth says:

    Zee, your warm weather sounds wonderful now. We will definitely have a white Christmas. Today is the last day of school for my boys until the new year. A full 2 weeks off. We enjoy spending time with each other, friends and neighbors, and of course, family. I no longer believe in organized religion, so no mass. It will, hopefully, be a relaxing time.
    Your BBQ sounds wonderful and so does the Indian food. I have never heard of Mauritius ( hmmm…..auto correct has!) so I went looking. Geographically, I am challenged, I need maps! I also looked up your books on Amazon. I can’t wait to read them!

    Like

  15. Leigh Smith says:

    Loved reading about your traditions and want an invite. The food is making my mouth water and it is only 6:30 am. The last time we had a Christmas of all of us was more than 25 years ago and since then they’ve all been smaller celebrations. Not nearly as much fun or as chaotic but still memories to be cherished.

    Like

  16. Erzabet Bishop says:

    It’s warm here in Texas today. Tomorrow it will probably be cold. Went out yesterday to go to work and it was 78 degrees. Go figure. Lol.

    We don’t have a lot of traditions. Mostly I look forward to having the day off from work. Being a bookstore manager, this is a busy season on top of my writing.

    Eggnog, stollen and some hot tea and my favorite anthology and I’m a happy camper.

    Now for a rest before I go back into the fray.

    Thinking of you all and how nice it is to visit every day.

    Best,

    Erzabet

    Like

  17. Kelsey Summer says:

    I live in New England so my December is very different from yours. We have several inches of snow after two snowstorms this past week. I hate cold weather, but I stay because of family. Christmas is pretty traditional here (kind of like Michael’s Italian Christmas from yesterday). The whole family gets together – cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, but we’re definitely inside all day. Enjoy the warm summer weather!

    Like

  18. Joelle Casteel says:

    Sadly, I’m one of those people for whom this season means stress and upset. I could type out the laundry list of nasty people I’ll have to deal with and all sorts of other things, but it’s bad enough just to deal with them and I don’t want to subject anyone else (cough cough, to my mother). I’m hoping a new round of boundary setting behaviors and a caretaker support group helps me through the season. I’m looking forward to after the holidays- I’m looking forward to contacting my local Council on Aging to see if I can get any help with my mother-in-law.

    Like

    • Sherilyn says:

      Joelle, your comments remind me of my relationship with my mom. For years, my mother and I had a difficult relationship. She married my father because she was pregnant with me. She did come to love him and she love me, although there was always tension between us. When she came down with multiple sclerosis, it did terrible brain damage and she stopped remembering any good in our relationship. I was nobody’s dream teenager anyway. We had pitched battles until I went to college. Even then, vacations were awful and I always went back early. It got to the point where, even after I moved to Denver, I dreaded phone calls from home. She died when I was 27. I’m glad that neither of us still suffers. Enough time has passed that I remember more of the good times than the bad and I have long ago forgiven her. And myself, because I did contribute to the problem!

      All that said, Joelle, find what joy you can in this season. I’m glad you have us to talk to. I hope the Council on Aging can offer you some relief. My heart and prayers go out to you as you find your way on this difficult journey.

      Like

      • Joelle Casteel says:

        thanks, Sherilyn. sighs, I’m just feeling tired atm; it seems things just keep getting rougher. and I still haven’t talked to my mother to tell her about how the visit will go. But there’s also the Doctor who Christmas special- I hope to be home in time for that. I’m looking forward to a house of just my dog and i tonight while my Master and our teen going to the gaming store- good thing since we just heard how my mother-in-law’s first night at home went and it wasn’t good 😦

        so Ana, you need to continue with the cheer because I need another cheery post tomorrow. It’s too bitter cold to enjoy Zee’s Christmas bbq too much

        Like

  19. JC says:

    Wow! I can’t imagine Christmas with a barbeque! We don’t always have a white Christmas but it is always child our at last very chilly. I teach school so my Christmas break last for about 2 weeks but is filled with time spent with family and friends.

    Like

  20. JoanneBest says:

    Hi Zee, greetings from cold slushy NJ USA, do you think I have time to make it to your BBQ if I get on a plane right now? I’ll change out of my pj’s first of course, it’s too cold to go out in my pj’s 😀
    Your holiday sounds wonderfully warm and full of love. Our next door neighbors are from India and their parties are super fun, they have so much delicious food and on special occasions they have the most amazing music, drummers banging out a beat you can’t help but dance! I’m fascinated by the Indian culture and feel so lucky to be able to hear their stories, we learn from them and they learn from us and it’s wonderful feeling to share our experiences (and food, yummy food :D).
    I’ve talked about my Family traditions and the fact that this is my first Christmas without Mom so I shall tell you about Christmas here at our house with the hubby and sis-in-law; Christmas Eve is always hectic as somehow, even though we try to get everything done, there’s always something to do at the last minute…Christmas carols play all day and night and we all run around giggling and whispering and waiting for Santa 😀 We always open one gift each on Christmas Eve, usually a silly fun gift, then wake up early on Christmas morning when I pop a tray of cinnamon rolls in the oven and brew the coffee and make my tea (Tetley’s British Blend); as soon as the cinnamon rolls are done that’s the cue to run to the tree and start tearing open the presents, always holding one back till we’re done then we “find” the last gift that Santa left and it’s always the best present of all.
    While we all savor each and every gift (we tend to go overboard and there are always gifts and stockings for the cats and dogs too) we put the ham in the oven to bake and the house smells like Heaven, a mixture of cinnamon, pine tree and ham. They do things different than my side of the family, so on Christmas Eve sis-in-law and I make potato salad, macaroni salad with shrimp mixed in, deviled eggs and my favorite, baked brie. We put out platters full of cheeses and crackers and olives and oh, stuffed celery and mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and green olives.
    It’s a day of eating and relaxing with an open door policy for whoever wants to stop by. I always used to do all that then around noon drive to my Mom’s and head to my brother’s house for the formal sit down dinner. This year? I don’t know what it will bring but whatever it is will include me spending time with Dad (he doesn’t want to come here this year).
    I’m sorry if my comment is all scattered, you see, it’s 5 days till Christmas and I have to start shopping! Wish me luck and I’ll be back later because this is my home and I love you all ❤

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  21. angieia says:

    I enjoy trying new recipes. Every Christmas I make my husband his grandma’s homemade biscuits and waffle cookies. We don’t have much family around so we tend to stay home and watch movies or just hang out. My husband is talking about grilling out even though there is snow on the ground. We made a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving, maybe a ham or prime rib. We try to de-stress the season. It used to be more stressful on what to get the kids for Christmas. My big stress this year is what to get my daughter for her golden birthday on the 23rd. Any very vanilla suggestions?

    Funny story I got a new iphone and didn’t realize that when you sent a group text and were talking to one person the other person would get the text. I was talking to my husband about being spanked and my daughter also got the text. She said that was just gross and please tell me you were just kidding. So I said yea I was just kidding (didn’t want to scar her). I know TMI, but I just had to share that funny story.

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  22. Zee Monodee says:

    Hi ye all! Wow, what awesome repsonses. Please forgive me for not commenting on each one right now; it’s 8PM and the Internet service is absolute crap tonight (Grrr!)
    I’ll log back in tomorrow morning and that’s when you won’t be able to stop me from talking! 🙂 In the meantime, big huge huggles!! ❤

    Like

  23. pao says:

    Oooh, tandoori chicken! Ahh, now I miss food from home. Do you call the flat bread roti or naan and the yoghurt dahima or raita? Hm, I guess my Christmas season is almost like yours (the warm weather – we have the rainy monsoon season) minus the big family celebrations. This year I’m far away from family, although we don’t do much together during this season, I do wish I could have a day or two with them before the year ends.

    Like

  24. Janey says:

    I’ve just broken up for Christmas hols and really looking forward to two weeks of fun and family.
    We have family in Australia and New Zealand and so get the yearly pictures of festive BBQs in the sun, but for us it’s normally cold, we hope for snow but mainly get rain!
    Now as to your menu Zee, I could go for that big time. We have turkey and ham as traditional but I don’t know why. If I was not entertaining family with traditional expectations I would love something far more exotic and the food you describe is my absolute favourite.
    Like so many people here have said though, I think it’s the spending time together that is the important bit.
    Happy holidays and merry Christmas,

    Like

  25. Holla Dean says:

    I want some BBQ! It sounds like you have a wonderful December. I don’t envy you the heat, however. I live in the Arizona desert and this time of year I am grateful that summer is over and we’re enjoying cooler weather. Right now our nights are dipping in the low 40’s, we even had a bit of a freeze a few weeks ago. But our days are beautiful and in the 70’s. When we first came to the desert it was a little strange for me. Coming from Chicago, it was odd to see cactus and other desert plants decorated in Christmas lights. But we’ve been here over 30 years now and it seems normal. I do go back to Chicago for Christmas to visit family so I get my traditional snow and/or freezing temperature fix.
    Most important, no matter what you celebrate this season (or not), is the gathering of friends and family for good times and making new memories.
    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Like

  26. Blondie says:

    Christmas in the tropics sounds pretty good to me. Growing up in snow country, it has taken me a long while to get use to the rain and/or sunshine on Christmas morning.
    My favorite memories of any magical Christmas, is always Christmas morning as a child. We would always wake our parents up by singing them Christmas carols. My brother and sisters and I would practice and argue about what songs we would sing, weeks before.
    We always seemed to get new skis from Santa Claus, which we immediately used after breakfast. My dad, who is first generation Finish, would make this kind of pancake, and I would slaughter the name if I tried to tell you what it was called – something that sounds like ban-u-caca. Then bundling up and going outside to ski, sled, snowball fights and making snow angels. It never made sense to me how Santa could go anywhere that didn’t have snow. I so miss the simple times of waking up to several feet of fresh snow and blue sky. We could ski right in our back yard that was a hill. We sledded in the front of the house, starting where the snowplow would push the snow into one big mountain of snow. We would spend the day outside coming in for hot chocolate and later Christmas dinner. It was such a simple time. Nobody had electronics or watch television. We played board games. Our fireplace warmed the entire three stories of our house, it was so big.
    Ahhhh, but now as an adult, I can really imagine spending the holiday in a tropical location. My children have all outgrown Santa and would enjoy being somewhere else for the winter break. Maybe not Hawaii, we have been there in January and it was not as pleasant as it is other times.
    Thanks for sharing your holidays with all of us

    Like

  27. Emily Tilton says:

    Thankfully Christmas comes at the very beginning of winter, so we can still enjoy the snow here in New England. If it were in, say, February, I think everyone would feel very differently about having a White Christmas, and a very famous song might run differently. . . “I’m angry at this White Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. . .” 😀

    Like

  28. P.T. Wyant says:

    Man, reading that post… I need to go get some lunch!

    Let’s see… December and Christmas…

    Well, I live in the US, in Western Pennsylvania. We currently have snow on the ground, but it’s all going to be melted by the end of an unseasonably warm weekend. (It is not supposed to be 60 degrees here in December. It’s just… not!)

    Thanks to the commercialization of the holidays, most places have “light up night” in November now which is when pretty much every town has their own parade with high school marching bands, the local VFW group, other local organizations, and finally Santa on a fire truck throwing wrapped candy to the kids. That kind of takes part of the magic out of December…

    My roommate and I have a tradition of “24s” — a small gift given each of the 1st 24 days of December. (Usually nothing over a couple dollars.)

    Other that that, the celebration depends on schedules. My mother worked in a factory so holidays were always flexible in my family. Now, with two people working in nursing, plus families to consider, plus the fact that I celebrate Yule/Mid-Winter/Solstice and she celebrates Christmas, it gets complicated. On the brighter side, I could probably now organize supplies and troop movements for 3 different countries in the same war.

    We’ll be having ham tomorrow for Solstice. I usually do a goose but the grocery store has ham on sale and it looked so good in the ad. (Like I said, I’m flexible. LOL) I’m going to try to stay up all night tonight to welcome the rising sun tomorrow, and to do so I’ll be baking cookies and making egg nog. My roommate is working evening shift so we’ll eat before she goes to work.

    On Christmas day dinner will be turkey but we’re just doing a breast (for her) and drum sticks (for me). Again, she’s working evening shift so we’ll eat before she goes to work.

    (Since she’s working next week I don’t have to schedule around her family. Mine is closer and easier — just show up. I think this is probably the least crazy holiday we’ve had since she moved in.)

    Okay… now I’m off to get some lunch and check to see what groceries I need to get later.

    Like

  29. siobhanmuir says:

    December around here in Las Vegas is like most of the North America except snow is for mountains and our version of cold sits somewhere around balmy for places like Minnesota and Alaska. Talk to me in the middle of our summer when it hits 110 F on average. But I love December because get togethers happen more often and friends share things like cards, food, little ornament gifts, and joy. The kids are excited and want to give everyone they meet a little something. I get to eat cookies and baked goods and not feel guilty. It’s the holidays. My favorite thing about this time of year though is the lights. I love the lights on our tree, wrapped around our stair banister, and draped around the outside of the house. It’s dark here this time of year, so having the lights is so comforting. I hope you have a very happy holiday, Zee, and enjoy the summer. 🙂

    Like

  30. Thianna D says:

    Oh, I love your December tradition – can I come over for dinner? You’ll barely notice me – well, except for the missing food…. Can I take a to-go box? 😉

    Currently, I live in a winter climate – though whether or not it snows is up to the weather gods. But I lived in Arizona (SW US) for a few years and we would do BBQ and smoking meats during this month. I loved teasing my friends that I was eating holiday meals in my shorts outside in the 70-degree day.

    I have very few memories of my childhood, so I don’t really remember any traditions.

    One thing I do for myself this time of year is what I call the ‘yearly cleanse’. It is a getting rid of the old to make way for the new ritual I do every New Year’s Eve. For about three or four days before then, I start writing all the stuff I want to leave behind, anything (or anyone) I no longer want to associate myself with – I write them down on little pieces of paper.

    Then starting about 11:30 pm on NYEve, I go outside and meditate and get myself into a really good space. At just before midnight, I say goodbye to the old, burn all the little pieces of paper, and let the smoke drift away. Once all of that is gone, I finish my meditation and go inside. New day. New year. A great start.

    In the last few months I have learned how to ‘revise’ events in my mind and I plan on adding this wonderfully magical process into my yearly cleanse.

    Like

  31. laurellasky says:

    I live in Florida. Ho hum, it’s about 75% and I played tennis this morning. We live in a large gated community with a lake(man made) and its fun to bike around the lake or take a leisurely walk around. I sometimes miss the snow and ice, like a toothache. LOL we have made trips to the north in the fall to see the changing of the leaves.
    Well now I have a big division, should I sit in the hot tube and then swim in the pool or sit on the patio with a cup of coffee. Decisions, decisions.

    Like

  32. Leah says:

    Other than the cyclones, that sounds fantastic! I’d love to live near the ocean and the food sounds amazing. I need to visit that part of the world someday. I love how, regardless of where we live, the best traditions seem to revolve around our loved ones.

    No telling about the weather around here. It’s snowed twice in the past five years but it might be in the 80s. So we might be bundled up inside with a warm fire or might be in the backyard in shorts. I’ve lived in a cold climate and associate white Christmases with difficult traveling so I’m not actually a fan.

    Enjoy this time and thanks for sharing!

    Like

  33. Katy Beth McKee says:

    I’m in Central Florida. We can have a wide range of temps but usually in the mid 60’s around Christmas. One year we had snow flurries that never made it to the ground and there have been years in the low 90’s. This year looks like high 70’s to low 80’s.

    I like it to at least be cool enough to wear my one Christmas sweater.

    Like

  34. pieclown says:

    Hi Zee, Thanks for the share. The closest I was to something like this is when I too my army roommate home to FL, a 5 hour drive. I spent Christmas day washing my car in shorts. I do know about the Indian love of partying. I have done birthday parties for some that live here and they all ways want to feed me. I ask for a take home plate and explain that a clown can never sit a a birthday party for long. They understand and I get some great food.

    Like

  35. catrouble says:

    Hey Zee…thanks for sharing your customs! I love hearing about how others celebrate different holidays and family gatherings.

    After I had my children, Christmas day was always at my house. I refused to cook on Christmas day…I wanted to visit and have fun with everyone. So I started a tradition of cooking ahead of time then everything is put into the oven, crock pots or on ice and served buffet style. As the children got older, they loved that we didn’t have a set time with a ‘sit down’ dinner so they could visit their girlfriends, etc. All my family, in-laws, friends, nieces, nephews, etc. could pop by to visit and eat whenever they wanted.

    This year, it will be much smaller and held on this coming Sunday as that is the only day my youngest son can come and my oldest is far away and not able to come home for the holidays. Next year…who knows…might just have to find a cruise to take!

    Wishing you wonderful holidays with your family.

    Blessings…Cat

    Like

  36. Sherilyn says:

    Sitting in Denver, with clouds, cold, and the possibility of snow flurries, BBQ and parties sound heavenly, Zee! And the food, yum! I’ve fantasized about spending time in your part of the world for years! Having been through two hurricanes, a typhoon, and an amazing micro-burst storm, I can live with the cyclones, though!

    Holiday traditions, well, we have an interesting combination at my house. Tonight, I will conduct our Yule ritual with my husband, bidding the last year goodbye and welcoming the new year. We’ll create the possibilities we look to fulfill in the next year. We’ll light a candle to light our way this year and leave it burning in a safe place (usually the kitchen counter). I will go outside, seriously bundled, and wish the moon good night. We’ll get up in the morning and welcome the sun and the new year, probably with cinnamon rolls! We used to sit vigil all night, but we can’t quite manage that anymore!

    On Christmas, we’ll get up and rush around to be ready for my daughter and granddaughter. They will join us and we’ll open gifts and have breakfast. This has gotten challenging, as I’m allergic to pork and soy and my daughter can’t have gluten! We’ll be experimenting with potato flour in some of our traditional recipes! We’ll see how it all turns out. We’ll Skype with my son, d-i-l, and their three kids (one of whom will be a month old on Monday) in the afternoon, so they can see where Grandma hung the ornaments they made and Grandma can make sure Santa was good to them. It should be fun! My daughter and granddaughter will leave to attend an evening church service and my hubby and I will settle down to a quiet Christmas night. Except I’ll probably get swatted for spending too much on him, heh, heh, heh. It will be worth it!

    Like

  37. Terry says:

    Hi Zee
    It has been such fun learning about the different customs and traditions people have for their Christmas and holiday time with their family and friends. I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with your country at all. I went straight to the internet to see it on the world map and look at pictures. You live in a very beautiful place.

    I love tandoori food but most of my immediate family have stomachs that don’t like spicy foods. To me tandoori isn’t spicy just very flavorful. My daughter and son-in-law have a house with an extended roof so they keep their BarBQ grill out all year long. We plan on doing some grilling this Christmas Eve. Their backyard isn’t like your sandy beaches but it will still be nice.

    I do want a white Christmas for our celebrations but no major snow storm and I hope you have no cyclones to interfere with you holiday time with your family either.

    Like

  38. Leona says:

    Family sounds like a lot of fun.. Their is nothing like having family over for now reason, just have laugh and getting together.. I know we do it lot here.. sometime to much.. lol ..

    Well for christmas, my son and I go over to me sisters for 2 or 3 days.. were only 10 min drive away, but being only the 2 us. it nice to have lots of family and friends around.. We play games, go outside and play in the snow, do karkoa, rock band and have lots of laughs. Who and don’t forget to play jokes on the poor person who needs some cheering up.. It is usally me.. it gets so bad the bring tears of joy to my eyes.. I, actually think if they did not do this.. I made them mad at me. pretty bad don’t you think.. then we start it all over again for new years eva.. my son birtheday is in the middle too.. so we can’t for get him.. 30 th of dec is his day.. so lots of party and having fun..
    I do hope everyone has great holidays.. no matter if you celebrate christmas or not..

    have a wonderful day.. Leona hugs. 🙂

    Like

  39. chickie says:

    I’ve never been to tropic anything before! We sorta came close once though. My grammy & grampy moved to Florida from NY. We all knew this was to be our last Christmas together. In our family, we had a big Christmas eve thing with that side of the family. Then Christmas day was with just us followed by her side of the family Christmas afternoon. We did the Christmas eve like we always had, just a lot warmer outside! We woke Christmas morning to the rest of the presents and a fabulous breakfast. Leftovers for lunch and there were plans to go to a restaurant for dinner. Grampy had found an “authentic” Italian place he loved, none of that chain garbage! It was soooo good, he said. We head the name, snickered to ourselves but let him enjoy his ideas. Yup, it was the Olive Garden! And of course, being Christmas night and all, they were closed. Well, we could go to the second-rate Italian place… also closed. Chinese? Closed! The diner? Closed! That was the Christmas I will never forget for many reasons, one of which was chicken dinner from Popeyes. That’s my Christmas in the tropics!

    Like

  40. Michael says:

    Hi Zee,

    Thank you for your wonderful post about how you celebrate December in the warm weather of Mauritius. Could use some of your warm weather here in Frostbite Falls Minnesota. It has been below zero most of the week which has frozen about 2 feet of snow into solid ice. Today it was the warmest it has been in days with a balmy 18 above zero.

    Season and I will be traveling about 600 miles on December 23 to visit family and are very excited to be seeing our loved ones on the holiday. We will exchange gifts while there but I will save the naughty ones for when we return. Don’t want to explain to great aunt Millicent why I am giving my wife a holey paddle or how nipple clamps work. YIKES!

    And no, Ana, JC, Marybeth and Irishey, you naughty imps. The paddle and clamps are for Season to be used on Season. But shhhhhh don’t say a thing to her. I want it to be a surprise. 😈

    Like

    • Marybeth says:

      Hmmm…Michael, I can picture you with nipple clamps. LOL. I have been using the image of a young Sean Connery for you. But, I guess Season would like to keep her presents and not share.

      Like

      • Michael says:

        No, no, no, Marybeth. You are confused. Nipple clamps for Season. NO nipple clamps for Michael. Have you been over indulging in the eggnog? Naughty, naughty.

        Like

          • Michael says:

            Cat, you are mixed up too. Have you been slugging back the eggnog with Marybeth? You know, it’s just as easy to put two red bottom imps in the corner as one. You and Marybeth will look adorable as you shuffle from one foot to the other trying to ease your pain because as you know, no rubbing while in the corner.

            Like

            • catrouble says:

              And just what is wrong with eggnog Michael? I have an excellent recipe which I posted for everyone…actually posted two. But as it happens, I am enjoying some of my spiced cider (yes I did post that recipe also) but you said the clamps were not for you that they were for Season so shouldn’t that lead me to believe that Season would put them on you? *snicker*

              Like

              • Michael says:

                Cat, purposely misunderstanding statements is classic imp behavior, or rather misbehavior. I see you joining Marybeth in the corner with a rosy bum very soon.

                Nothing wrong with eggnog and spiced cider as long as one uses moderation when indulging. But moderation is an attribute sorely lacking in an imp’s makeup, and sore is what you will soon be, sore of bottom.

                Like

    • Irishey says:

      Ha! How do you know G-Aunt Millicent might not be able to provide a little instruction of her own, Michael? Lol!

      How the heck did I get mixed up with imps?! I think you mis-typed. Surely you meant Joanne? She oozes “imp” – wouldn’t you agree? 😉

      Like

      • catrouble says:

        So sorry Irishey but you are what my daddy would call a pot stirrer so that definitely makes you an imp. 😀 You headed my way for Christmas? Drop me an email!

        Like

        • Irishey says:

          What?!! I’m ONLY guilty of stirring the soup pot. I’m so misunderstood. Lol!

          Cat, I landed in your neck of the woods early this morning. Ice, ice, baby! Omg! Slick sleet out here in the boonies. I’ll charge my battery and email you later. Hugs!

          Like

      • Michael says:

        Irishey, I did not mistype. You got mixed up with imps because you are an imp of the highest order. Cat describes you most accurately. Cat, that may have shortened your corner time, but we shall see.

        And Irishey, thank you for reminding me about imp Joanne. She is definitely in your class. I am sure she will thank you for painting a bulls eye on her rear.

        Like

      • Michael says:

        Also, Irishey, great aunt Millicent providing tips on the use of nipple clamps! OMG! How do I unread that? Even if she does possess such knowledge – and it wouldn’t surprise me if she did because she has always been somewhat of a wild child and still is – she’s still my aunt and it wouldn’t be right to discuss this with her. I think I am going to introduce aunty to Mrs. Claus and let the both of them team up to handle such a naughty imp as yourself.

        Like

        • Irishey says:

          Michael, you do recognize a suck-up when you read a cornered one trying to obtain a sentence reduction, don’t you? Meow!

          No higher order impishness in me… Oh. Okay, there is, but it’s the angelic variety.

          Michael! I wasn’t suggesting you ASK Aunt Millie! Omg! Just reminding you not to sell her short! Rotf! 😉

          Like

          • catrouble says:

            IRISHEY! You little stinker…was not sucking up…simply stating a fact! And look who Michael is calling an imp…not me! Oh and I wasn’t the one that put the picture of asking his auntie how to use nipple clamps. 😉 Still say that since Michael said the clamps were for Season, not him, that it is up to her to put them on him. LOL

            Like

            • Irishey says:

              Michael clearly misapplied my words and concocted his own visual – that scared him. I’m still not sure how you made the mental leap on the nipple clamps, but that was brilliant! 😉

              I do not stink. Sheesh.

              Like

  41. Kitty says:

    hi all i’m so happy i’ve never won anything before. woot woot.
    these days x-mas is much different than what i use to do as a child.
    most of my family is gone now those that r still alive live to far away to visit the closest is a more than 12 hour drive.
    so my x-mas is a lot different now.
    i starts the day before x-mas as my friends and i watch her daughter whose handicapped both physically and mentally. open one gift always nightwear tried to get them to start my oyster stew tradition but they don’t like it so that one is one i don’t do any more.
    the next day it’s either gather all the prezzies together and go to my friends mothers place or they come here it’s usually which ever place is cleanest their both packrats. the ham or turkey is placed in the oven. we open presents, then we go to the moveis. this year we’ll probably see the hobbit.
    then it’s back home to watch what ever the majority want to watch, on a great note we’re mostly all football hating females and even to one guy there doesn’t like it either. we eat when its ready.
    the next day it’s leftover day.
    yes i no it’s kind of boring.
    i love u all i’ve enjoyed everyone posts so much. bye for today.

    Like

    • Marybeth says:

      Kitty, it doesn’t sound boring. It sounds calm and enjoyable. Have fun seeing The Hobbit. We loved it! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

      Like

  42. octoberwoman says:

    I envy you the warm weather! We don’t get lots of snow and such like other areas of the US, and we rarely have a “white Christmas”. Which is fine by me. We do get cold and wind. This past week we had nice weather, in the 50s and 60s, but tonight we’re expecting icy rain and/or sleet. I’m just glad tomorrow is Saturday and I don’t have to go anywhere!

    Like

  43. Ria says:

    Hi Zee, I currently live in the US; but I am a transplant from the Caribbean. Our temperature is an average of 82F for the year. We only have 2 seasons – rainy and dry, :-0 (I do not know what I am doing in weather less than 60F). We have about the same number of Africans as Indians, so our food is a meld of cultures, i.e. very spicy. We celebrate all holidays – Chinese New Year, Indian Diwali and Eid, Christian Christmas and Easter, Sports (whenever we win a cricket match, :-0), Independence, when it rains and when the sunshines (ha ha!!) etc. In other words, we are a very happy group of people with large families who constantly intermingle. Your Christmas menu is sweetening my chops. Today is my sister’s birthday and she was commenting about Indian food, so I think I will take her to an Indian restaurant for dinner. Thanks for making me drool, :-). Merry Christmas to you and your family (those close and far).

    Like

  44. Kathryn R. Blake says:

    Zee, a part of me is envious of your warm weather clime, but for me Christmas needs snow and cold weather. We spent a couple of years in sunny, southern Cal and I used to resort to cans of spray “snow” to “frost” our windows so I could fool myself into thinking it was cold outside. Though Michael’s Minnesota is probably a little too cold for my taste, I think I’d prefer to spend Christmas there than in the south.

    That said, what’s really important is family at this time of year. Not where you live or the temperature. So, thanks for sharing a little bit of your warmth with us, Zee, even if you do need air conditioning to keep cool.

    Like

  45. TL says:

    The weather here in the south is a bit wonky in December. You never know what you are going to get. We usually do a big family outdoor gathering, which can be a bit tricky if you aren’t sure if the weather is going to be 30 or 80. We usually bbq some chicken and everyone brings something. We do a white elephant gift exchange and it’s a lot of fun.

    Thank you for sharing your December with us. It’s kind of weird to think in some parts of the world it’s summer, even if it was 75 today.

    Like

  46. Michelle Palmer says:

    We enjoyed Christmas in Florida last year! It is always so fun to wake up Christmas morning to the sound of the breeze through the Palm trees! Although Zee, your Christmas season sounds magical… truly a tropical experience! This year we won’t be quite so far South… So rainy and 40s are more likely!

    Like

  47. Marybeth says:

    No eggnog, just making sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, fudge (3 kinds) to put in the boxes for neighbors. And making blueberry and apple pie for my family get together. 2 of my brothers and their families are close by and we do Christmas with them. I am the designated baker as I make everything homemade. Lol.

    I see you have no comment on the Sean Connery image. 😀

    Like

      • Michael says:

        See, too much eggnog, Marybeth. You are guilty of TWI – Typing While Intoxicated. I am sure Mrs. Claus will take you in hand and soon we will all see you on display in the corner with your bare bum all aglow. The cookies, fudge and pies sound delicious, but you shouldn’t try to bribe Mrs. Claus with these treats as that will only worsen punishment.

        A young Sean Connery? I’ll take that any day, Marybeth, and I bet Season will too. Just lose the nipple clamps, though.

        Like

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