Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Danish Christmas in Africa

The Christmas celebrations are over, we are knee deep in toys, generously given by the many new relations I have met, but making me nervous about how much our already laden bags can hold for the journey home, and living of tasty leftovers.

Christmas with the Geeky inlaws is a multi faceted affair. We are in South Africa, the native country of my father in law. His heritige is British, and so are the Christmas traditions. (The white folk in South Africa are of two basic stock, British, the descendents of colonialists, and Afrikaans, people of dutch descent who have their own language and culture. Despite the many years since the end of apartheid, south Africans still identify strongly with their own cultural group, and make the others the butts of jokes. The Afrikaaners seem to get the short end of the stick). My mother in law is Danish though, and the 'Jul' traditions of that country are very different. So we got to do all of it:

On the 24th we all had to sit and sing around the tree (Artifical. Apparently they once tried to get a real tree here, but ended up with some kind of tropical plant that bore no resemblance to a Christmas tree and whose branches did not hold up to the baubles, so it was a very sorry sight). Then gifts were exchanged. Geekybaby had retired for the night, the poor guy has had a nasty cold, but Geekgirl was very enthusiastic, both at giving and getting. Her enthusiasm affected the whole room, with her "What do you have"? "Who is this for?" "Open it, Open it, Open it", More presents, there are still more presents!". My brother inlaws girlfriend has her seventeen year old son here too. He is of course too cool to get all into presents...until he opens a box containing "guitar hero III, legends of rock", and he turned back into a little boy! Actually so did we all. Everyone should share Christmas with a three year old for the sheer joy and wonder of gift opening, and with a seventeen year old so that you can play "Guitar hero", and awesomly cool game. And I am not a gamer. I know what Geekydaddy is getting for his 40th birthday now!

Dinner came after presents, the Danish traditional roast duck, steamed red cabbage (sweetended with currants and cooked in wine), and boiled potatoes coated in sugar, followed by rice pudding with cherry sauce. Geekgirl tried to stay up for dinner, and sat exitedly at the big table, but after a couple of mouthfuls said "I'm just going to take a little rest. Then I come back". So sweet! I put her to bed, and not surprisngly she fell asleep immediately, and slept until morning, awaiting the next present marathon, the much anticipated visit from Santa Claus.

1 comment:

followthatdog said...

This was the first year that Django really grasped the big deal aspect of Santa Clause. When I told him Santa wouldn't come until he was asleep, he was ready to go to bed at 7:30. Now if only we could tap into that every day.

Hope the baby is feeling better soon.

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