Food, glorious food


RitaE / Pixabay

Tell us about your ancestors who had occupations or businesses related to food or beverages. Has it been easy to research this aspect of your family history?

My grandfather Frank Duncan had a food van in the late 1920s and 1930s that he took to football matches, race meetings etc in the area around Cobar. The aforesaid Frank Duncan was a sheep farmer on 48,000 acres near Cobar until an horrific bushfire wiped him out . So he was always connected with food.

I have had a baker and confectioner. But I haven’t done much research on them yet

Hi everyone – yes I have bakers and confectioners in my family tree too @tasteach. The Forfars had a famous bakery at Hove in Sussex and his descendants had one in Newcastle – Wingfields.

My great grandparents were dairy farmers at Seventeen Mile Rocks until the 1930’s. One of my convicts was a ‘pantry boy’ and I had a grocer in Suffolk in the mid 1800’s. I have to admit I haven’t done a great deal of research

My ancestors in Bedfordshire were vegetable growers. Researching their property has given me a huge amount of information about them

My great grandfather was a butcher. His business was in front of their house. His wife had a cake shop at the back of the house.

When I was little Mum and her sister had a delicatessen in Kensington NSW. I used to love the easy access to milkshakes and ice cream cones.

#Food & #FamilyHistory go together like strawberries & cream. Did the ancestors eat rich or poor foods or (even worse) workhouse food? To write about their lives we have to know about the food.

I have a 4xg grandfather who was allegedly a baker, but his son might have been making that up for the marriage register! And my 2x ggrandfather ran a pub in Charleston (West Coast) for a while – obviously found that more lucrative than the gold fields

My aunt was an excellent cook, and I have some of her recipes in my handwritten book. My nephew is a chef. There are some publicans among my family

Guess my farming ancestors count too! Grandfather and great grandfathers were stock agents, some good stories about their working life from newspaper reports when they retired.

I have farmers and vegetable growers in my family history in Australia. Most of them struggled to make a go of it but the ones that stuck with it for a few years did very well

My maternal grandfather was a sales rep for Allens sweets and also McNivens Ice Cream. His brother (my great uncle) was a pastrycook/baker. Easy to research.

I am envious Karen. The nearest I came was my grandfather knowing the owner of the Smiths Crips factory in Brisbane. I can’t eat them now because I had so many as a child

I imagine she did, but us kids certainly had some of the sweets! On at least one or two occasions he brought us an ice cream container full of Allens sweets! Happy days, of course! But, we lived a long way from my grandparents, so didn’t see them too often.

I forgot I had generations of corn millers in Marston, Lincolnshire. I have done quite a lot of research on this Morley family and the water wheel mill

My husband’s ancestors were butchers in Brisbane and had a firm called Daw and Slack. I was excited to find a photo of one of their shops in a much loved book called Brisbane Art Deco

I’ve recently been researching the Gutteridge & Anchor families of Emneth, Norfolk. The men were butchers & Mary Anchor was the licensee/beer-seller of the Butcher’s Arms at Muckle Row.

I got a lucky break with the Butcher’s Arms, finding a list of licensees on a Norfolk Pubs website; there was Mary Anchor and 2 husbands which helped explain all her tricky name changes

My convict 3 times g grandfather had a pub in Singleton called the Golden Fleece. I was thinking I had few ancestors who worked with food but now my memory is being jogged….

Mother-in-law was receptionist at Gartrell White cakes in Newtown, NSW – the kids had very fancy birthday cakes until she retired.

I think I have some grocers too – the widow and her daughter took over the shop until she died.

My maternal great grandfather had been a pastry boy on an immigrant ship to Australia. Both hard and easy to research as he deserted his wife and family.

I have a g g uncle who farmed sheep in NZ then came to the Darling Downs Qld and bred a new sheep. He is mentioned in a Royal Commission into the meat industry in Qld in the early 1800’s

I have two more self employed butchers in my family in 19th century. One at Violet Town and one at Redesdale, both in Victoria

My convict ancestor Margaret Jones was a dairymaid and she and her husband Samuel Taylor had some success in animal husbandry

My Great great grandfather was a gardener at Government House in Tasmania often mentioned in newspaper articles for growing great fruit and vegetables

Have also found him written up in Lady Harriett Gore Browne’s diaries while she was wife of governor in the 1860s

Amongst my husbands ancestors there were confectioners and a baker but on my side, farmers who grew their own food. All my food as a child was home grown, killed, dressed, baked etc

My husbands family had a bakery in Cuba Street, Wellington, NZ and as my ancestors lived close I wonder if they were customers. Or a great grand father was a cook on many different ships. No wonder I have no photos or electoral roll records. Often at sea?

My 2xgreat grandfather, William Welch, moved to the Hutt in 1845 where he started the Rose of the Valley Hotel, also known as the “The Rose Inn, Mr. Welch’s”.

Just remembered my 2x great grandfather who owned a pub in Kent Street London called The Castle. When he gave up the lease he came to Australia and struggled growing potatoes in the snow in Victoria

My g grandfather was involved in hare drives in South Canterbury. Got some photos of those.

StockSnap / Pixabay

What food related events did your ancestors experience during their lifetimes ie famine, new settlers, war rations? How did these events affect their lives?

The Potato Famine in Ireland caused my ancestors to emigrate to NSW.

I had paternal ancestors who left Ireland during the potato famine and went to Glasgow to work in the coal mines. I wish I knew where in Ireland they were from

My mother was a child during WW2 and she told me how they had ration cards and her lunch was dripping and bread. She reminded me of that whenever I didn’t like eating something so it stayed with her

My grandfather wasn’t allowed to go to war (WW2) as he had to keep the Brisbane water supply going. He used to come home with US soldiers and my grandmother had to make the rationed food go around. She did so graciously though

Gosh well I know that both my parents went through rationing in WW2. My mother says she will always remember the excitement of seeing chocolate wrapped in foil after it was all over. All foil was previously donated to the war effort for munitions I think.

My husband’s grandparents hoarded tea and sugar during WW2 as much as they could and my husband continues the tea hoarding tradition to this day !

My parents went through rationing during WWII, and sent food parcels to the UK. I got some books and toys when I was born. No food was wasted in my mother’s home. I still have that attitude.

Probably the most significant event that affected a lot of my ancestors was the potato blight in Ireland, prompting mass migration. My ancestors from Munster all came to NZ, while others moved to England and Scotland.

Irish potato famine (likely); war rations (definitely). One uncle was a cook during WWII when he was very young. There were several agricultural labourers/farmers among my ancestors and their families.

My paternal grandfather fetched firewood for the local baker during the depression as ‘payment’ for bread.

Great book about the meat industry in NZ, primarily about Borthwicks, written by Peter Norman, called The Meat in the Sandwich. Some good anecdotes about my ggrandfather in there too.

Mum never cooked brains nor tripe – probably a hangover from the Depression and WW2 coupon years plus she was raised in a single parent family when her father deserted them from 1938-1939 – so things were very tight

Nrs_Kitchen / Pixabay

Share your food related memories of your own past ie birthdays, family dinners, school fetes. What food evoke strong memories of the past for you?

Cooking wasn’t a strength for my mother. Her limited repertoire included meat and 3 veg, crumbed cutlets, corned beef, lasagne and packet cakes

Bread and dripping was not unusual in our house after we got home from school. The dripping had the taste of the previous roast dinner.

So many memories! My mother’s chocolate cake on birthdays that tasted like no other – a very rich cream or ganache filling from memory. My mother once buying such a big turkey for Xmas from DJs Elizabeth Street that it didn’t fit in the oven.

School fetes – toffee apples and toffee in cupcake papers!

My mother could also manage toffees and coconut for the fetes,

We had Christmas every year at my grandparents house. My grandmother would kill the chook on Christmas Eve. I loved the chooks so worried about the chook that was served on Christmas Day.

I have such fond memories of my Irish grandmother’s cooking. Her Irish Bap, Irish stew, caramel Custard, home made ice cream and Rosella Jams were my favourites

So many great memories! My mother makes wonderful desserts (pavlova, cheesecakes, sweet pies, cakes, biscuits, slices, puddings), roast meals, lasagna, spaghetti, and many others. She taught me how to cook when I was 7, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.

My paternal grandmother’s roast chook cooked in the Sunbeam counter top electric frypan was to die for.

Remember going to Nana’s and she always had sugared almonds – pale pink and white I think – in a little jar, like the ones that used to be found in wedding favours

My mother always made wonderful double tier sponge cakes 🍰 for birthdays, filled with fresh cream (from our cows) and homemade jam. Sometimes we had bought lemonade too that was a real treat.

Mum was a great cook, yet we always had meat and three veges for evening meals. Mum also did lots of cooking at Girl Guide camps and catering for events with her sister and cousin quite often

We had meat and three veg too for dinners. I was always amazed when my mum cooked for friends at dinner parties – she really leveled up! LOL Obviously fancy fare was wasted on us kids.

Big fat cream buns. I think that is my favourite childhood memory. The baker delivered and we would get a cream bun as a treat

So many memories connected to food, and I’ve tried to pass on family food traditions to my kids. But have also created our own too – we make a gingerbread house every year for Christmas and they still love decorating it, even in their teens!

I have a book called British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History. I hvn’t read it yet but look forward to it in the new year. Looks an interesting read, and I expect will give a better idea of the food our ancestors ate

Happy memories of my parents discovering delicatessens in the 70s – trying black bread, salami, cheeses, avocadoes…we had what we called “peasant lunches” on Saturdays and loved them. A bit like an antipasto. Lots of fun.

Remember taking 25c for school lunch order on Fridays as a treat. Was able to buy a pie, coffee scroll and drink with that amount

Tuckshop! sausage rolls for morning tea on a cold Canberra morning were always very welcome. Space food sticks in the early 70s were very hip. Paddlepops for 2cents.

My mother made fudge & fudge cake for every celebration – sickly sweet. I haven’t eaten them since I left home. She had a very sweet tooth, lived to 92. For Xmas it was log cabin roll & fruit cake. When we visited her, she would make fudge cake

Boarding school food horrors – sinker, i.e. afternoon tea cake, fried fritz (a South Australian thing), boiled cabbage…..

I know what you mean but the chocolate slice at afternoon tea at our boarding school was to die for. I have yet to find the recipe. It was sooooooo good.

Family dinners were basic food – stews, casseroles, meat loaf, roasts, etc with vegetables, many of which came from the garden. That’s what I still eat a lot of. My father liked milk puddings. I did the baking – biscuits and loaves.

Food brings back so many memories. Mum’s roast beef. She was ahead of her time – went for low fat meals. I remember she used to ask the butcher to cut off much of the fat. He moaned as it reduced the weight so she said weigh it, price it, then cut it off.

Making boiled fruit cake with my GM. My GF breaking his false teeth on a bacon rib, him making me champ as a “starter” (potato mashed with butter, salt, white pepper) when we were hungry waiting for dinner. Peas like bullets after I went walkabout aged 3 😮

Our neighbours had hens. Lots of eggs though I avoided slaughter time. Chicken was expensive in the 1960s. I often asked for chicken for special meals like birthdays. Food choices are different today.

We had meat & 3 until Mum discovered Asian cooking. We had so many spicy meals we got excited when meat & 3 was back on the menu 😆


Are there any foods or recipes that have been passed down in your family? Do they reflect your heritage? Share your favourite Christmas foods and recipes.

Definitely Scottish Shortbread from Mr @geniaus forebear.

My grandmother’s home made ice cream, Irish bap and plum pudding are still a favourite in my family

So did I until I had to give up milk 30 years ago. It’s not the same with soy or rice milk. Bread and butter pudding used up old bread. Crumbles and sponges. 1st husband liked choc fudge pudding

Oh yum! You have reminded me of my mother’s rice pudding Alex. I could never make it taste as good as she did

What I have now is rice flakes cooked for a few minutes in rice milk, served with fruit (at present strawberries or raspberries from my garden) and yoghurt.

Rarely had rice pudding. Baked in the oven, short grain rice, can of nestles sweetened condensed milk. Nutmeg sprinkled on top. I always thought it was a waste of good condensed milk & hated the skin on the top. Mum was into fresh fruit so we had lots available.

I have cooked the mince pies and christmas cake. Shortbread is next with my nifty new cookie cutter in the shape of a Xmas tree together with my Gnome for the holidays spatula from TK Maxx.


Morning/Evening #ANZAncestryTime just popping in to say hi very quickly. Looking forward to reading about those family food memories. I remember my grandmother talking about using every part of the xmas bird, even its feet, to feed her hungry horde

Not a scrap Maggie! The same woman had been housekeeper for an English doctor and his wife. She was a fantastic cook – her recipe book fell apart eventually.

I never had soggy boiled cabbage. Mum put ours on when the roast meat was out finished and being carved. I still hate the thick white stems part as they sometimes they were nearly raw. When I went to university and met institution food it was frightening.

My mother loved to experiment – one of her go to cookbooks was Aerophos – though hers were probably late 1950’s

Aerophos is the best!!! We have that here at home. I’m pretty sure it’s what I use for the Christmas cake and puddings although I deviated this year to Nursing Mothers cookbook.

I just love old recipe books and that’s my go to section now when I go to Lifeline book sales. So many hilarious ones put out by fridge companies or canning companies – how many recipes can you collect for tinned pineapple or gelatine !!

I inherited some of my mother’s and my aunt’s by marriage. Some have gone off to collections. I still have some to sort through as they are not dated and no use to my researcher of food friend.

Same for my daughter – that and Commonsense cookbook but I don’t think my daughter appreciates them 🙁 probably too old-fashioned and very unhealthy.

Here’s last Christmas ham baked by hubby, and Christmas cake me-made #ANZAncestryTime Did Mum’s recipes A-Z a couple of years ago

My mother always made a delicious boiled fruit cake, a weekly staple!

My cousin always made black bun for Hogmanay and my brother has her recipe. That and shortbread. Neither can I eat

I have a lovely Christmas pudding recipe from an Irish friend’s grandmother. It has Guinness and whiskey in it, so I enjoy making it as much as I enjoy eating it!

No one mentioned the sixpences in the Christmas pudding #ANZAncestryTime We looked forward to that and ate so much pudding hoping to get a coin😀

Thanks for the tweet on sixpences – I’ve just ordered sixpences on ebay for next year’s Christmas Puddings

Mum cooked fabulous pikelets in an Electric counter top frypan

I loved mums meatloaf and got her to write the recipe out for me to use.

I love traditional Christmas pudding with warm custard and vanilla ice cream. I also love chocolate coated almonds, salted cashews, fresh cherries, seafood, and roasts (though these days, I mostly eat vegetarian!)

I have a little handed-down notebook with recipes (including for household products) but I’m not sure who it is handed down from! Currently trying to decipher handwriting, and might try making the more palatable-sounding dishes.


RitaE / Pixabay

Blog posts:

Jill:  Frank Duncan and his food van, Shortbread recipe,

Alex: Newcastle bakers, Daw and Stack, Jones and Taylor,

Sharn: Family recipes,

Carmel: A-Z recipes,

Twitterchat: November 2020 chat about food

Readers: What are your memories of great food that has been passed down in your family?

Christmas reminiscing

This #ANZAncestryTime discussion is tailored around questions the team submitted & previously published geneamemes. There are loads of quick fast questions for short and snappy answers. Or reply with longer stories, over multiple tweets. It is not necessary to answer all! Have fun!

OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

1. Important traditions to you…

  • Shauna: Just thought of another important tradition – we had to leave out beer and cashews for Santa. Milk and cookies weren’t allowed
  • Carmel: I have no memory of leaving anything out for Santa…strange.
  • Sharn: Poor Santa got water at my house and a biscuit. We left out a carrot for the reindeer
  • Jill: I made my shortbread today in a posh tin then couldn’t get it out. It will still taste good even though it’s been butchered
  • Tara: As kids our family tradition was to spend Christmas Eve scrubbing the house, finding holly and a tree in the woods nearby, decorating, and writing letters to Santa for “a surprise”. Simple but fun
  • Sue: I love listening to Christmas carols and watching Christmas movies on TV in the weeks leading up to the actual day
  • Margaret: I don’t do much at all for Christmas. I put up a few decorations and make my special recipe fruit cake (just out of the oven). I get out my carol music books and try to play them (a damaged wrist makes that difficult). I go to the annual variety show.
  • Pauleen: We always have a tree up with decorations collected over the years. It goes up on one family birthday and down on another.
  • Shauna: I have always liked to have a tree up with some decorations and lights around the house. Otherwise it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.
  • Sue: As kids we would go to the park for the carol singing as mum and I loved singing  – haven’t done that for years now
  • Fran: Our neighbours, with no kids, organised Father Christmas to come every Christmas when I was a child. He arrived on a fire engine one year. It lasted until too many of us did not believe any more. Loads of kids on their front lawn getting a small gift.
  • Pauleen: We did Carols by Candlelight for many years but then it got tacky and overly commercial, and annoyed us. Youngest daughter’s 1st Carols by Candlelight she was only a few weeks old….didn’t like the cannon booms though.
  • Brooke: Xmas is not a religious holiday for our family, just festive fun time. My favourite tradition is weeks before Xmas – Pudding Day with my sisters. Usually, family comes to our place, mainly because we have a pool & a big kitchen.

2. Commercialised festive season traditions…

  • Sharn: Boxing day for my children was a day on Sydney Harbour boating and watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. We haven’t done it for a few years now
  • ANZ: Anyone else remember paper decorations and spraying snow stencils on the windows? One of my earliest Christmas memories. Odd to think of doing it in Queensland’s summer but we did for quite a few years before we took up camping at Christmas
  • Sharn: We used to drive somewhere near the Glasshouse mountains to cut down a Christmas tree when I was a child. Now I wonder if we were actually meant to do that
  • Shauna: I used to take my son to see the Myer windows each year and my mother used to take us to see McWhirters Christmas display – so I guess that’s a tradition. Now all I need are some grandchildren!
  • Sue: Don’t like the over commercialism especially when it starts straight after Thanksgiving. We are going too American. Should only start mid December
  • Pauleen: We moved to Secret Santa for adults, probably a decade ago, to avoid the overindulgence that the shops push at us.
  • Shauna: Going to work or group Christmas parties is also good because you get to know people better outside of the work environment. We all have personal lives as well as work or group responsibilities.
  • ANZ: The older grandkids prefer to get $$$ so they can hit the sales. The littlies love presents. I find shopping for 12 kids tiresome
  • Sharn: Every Christmas my mother made matching outfits for herself and we children and entered the beach wear competition at Maroochydore…

3. Seasonal events…

  • Carmel: Had presents all wrapped before projected arrival so this morning head to Pack and Send – delivery scheduled for early NY they say – Noosa to Thirroul, luckily Santa will know where kids are🤪
  • Pauleen: We have seen Santa arrive on a small plane, landing on an island off Port Moresby, arriving on a fire engine, hmmm. what else?
  • Sue: Used to love doing Christmas decorations and cards with the kids at school but always sad when some kids due to religious beliefs were not allowed to join in
  • Pauleen: Christmas was always inextricably linked to religious practices as a child and for many years as an adult.

4. Other annual traditional celebrations…

  • Brooke: My husband loves the Melbourne carols. I just make snarky remarks about the same old singers they trot out every year. I’m a bit worn out on Xmas Eve.
  • Fran: Check out the Christmas and other seasonal traditions from your family elders before it is too late.
  • Brooke: All these tweets of festive traditions makes me think, I better ask all the elders what their childhood Christmases were like.
  • Fran: We went to a friend of Mum’s property and their son took us up the hill to get a fresh, correctly sized pine tree. The town was called Pinehaven.
  • Brooke: Husband told me that Saturday before Xmas is his favourite day of the year – the day we pick up the (award-winning) ham. Lucky he likes it because no one’s coming to Xmas now. All 7kg for us! (Mum is keeping the prawns hostage on the Northern Beaches)
  • Sharn: My daughter asked me recently if when I put my children’s home made decorations on the tree I really put them at the back for others to see from the window or was it so I didn’t have to look at them….. staying mum
  • Carmel: We grew turkeys especially for Christmas usually took about 30 to market and always had roast turkey in the middle of very hot SA Christmas Days
  • Sue: Definitely Christmas pudding with sixpences inside them, mum used to make about a dozen of them to give away and for us to eat throughout the year

5. Festive music…

  • Pauleen: Mary’s Boy Child (Boney M), Ode to Joy, Little Drummer Boy.
  • Jill: We usually watch the Carols from Melbourne on Christmas Eve. Not sure if they are going ahead this year.
  • Sharn: I have certain Christmas songs that I always play while cooking on Christmas Eve. Mostly it’s “All I Want is You” Mariah Carey and I dance to it. Not this year with fractured ribs and foot

6. Holidays away…

  • Shauna: When we were younger we always went on camping holidays at Christmas time with our parents. Looking back I wonder how we managed in a tent with no electricity just the gas lamps and esky. Life was much simpler then.
  • Fran: As a child we went away after Christmas. It was always at home. We had a neighbourhood Christmas Day. In my teen years we joined up with Mum’s family Christmas Day. Holidays away happened every 2nd years. Painting the house some alternative years
  • Pauleen: We never went away over Christmas when I was a child. I did miss my friends when they were away though.
  • Sue: We would often head to Devonport Caravan Park or Douglas River on the east coast for our holiday around Christmas – loved kayaking in the river

7. Holidays at home…

8. Holiday photos…

9. Family entertainment…Couch or backyard cricket…

  • Jill: I’m looking forward to the days after Christmas. My double first cousin’s DNA results have come in, A fab Christmas present as I am an only child
  • Tara: My plan is to indulge in research and reading over the holiday. Can’t wait
  • Sue: Boxing Day is mum’s time to watch the cricket and start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race.
  • Jill: Just remembering my Grandmother who bought me the pogo stick and roller skates my parents wouldn’t let me have
  • Shauna: Couch or cricket – mostly couch sleeping off the excess food especially if it was hot
  • Sue: My dad’s step father had a beautiful pine in their backyard and would decorate it ready for Christmas. They had room enough for a small game of toey rather than cricket.

10. Favourite meal…

  • Sue: I love the trout or salmon cooked on the barbecue at my brothers and the berries with icing sugar and cream
  • Pauleen: A favourite meal is one where family gathers. Usually these days it’s seafood, ham and special salads followed by tiramisu. This year will be roasts cooked in s-i-l’s smoker.
  • Jill: When I’m in charge it’s a traditional meal. Turkey , ham and sometimes Duck
  • Pauleen: we had rum balls when I was a child – without the rum! We also had apricot balls and white Christmas but never did baked ham
  • Carmel: Mother and Mother in law both made christmas puds with threepences. Have M-I-L delicious recipe but no longer make it
  • Shauna: Always like having a ham for Christmas and Mum was all for a hot roast dinner with a bit of everything. Followed by plum pudding and custard. And the fight for the threepences.

11. Invite ancestors to dinner…

Sharn: I would love to know how my German and Swiss ancestors celebrated Christmas before coming to Australia

Jill: Would love to invite the ancestors for Christmas lunch. Top of the list would be Elizabeth Phipps 3xGGM. She may be able to tell me who fathered her son – our ancestor.

12. Family functions…

  • Fran: We were just talking today that it is a year since visiting London. Miss that I cannot go to visit cousins if I just wanted to go. Every time I read more lockdowns I feel for my cousins.
  • Brooke: She did talk about a drive-by delivery to my sister’s house (also in the lockdown zone). Something about tossing them over the fence like she did with the Easter eggs (we were locked down at Easter too)
  • Fran: Never make people get dressed up. It’s the food that has a theme. And some decorations. Covered a big tree with printed pineapples and hibiscus flowers one year with loads of tropical cocktails and island theme food
  • Pauleen: With dad having worked shifts, and our daughters also when working hospitality during uni years, we became adaptable about when we celebrated. I did hate the drive to Nambour on Xmas Day when it was only two lanes
  • Shauna: Lots of families alternate with Boxing Day to cater for in laws although if you go to both that’s a lot of food and drink. Memories of feeling stuffed.
  • Jill: I prefer to have the family on Boxing Day (we do alternate Christmas years with the inlaws.) We have a relaxing meal by the Lake and the kids paddle and kayak.

13. Family recipes…

Pauleen: My mother’s Christmas cake, my grandmother’s pudding and shortbread, my green peppercorn Christmas cake, my daughter’s tiramisu.

Carmel: gathering with family, rum balls, apricot balls, Christmas cake, spiced baked ham

LindaTa / Pixabay

14. I always wanted a……

  • Brooke: A Xmas Memory My brother still believed in Santa & just before bed on Xmas Eve showed his list which included ‘Scarf for Snoopy’ (stuffed toy). That’s when I discovered my mother could knit. She stayed up late to keep the Xmas magic alive for another year.
  • Shauna: My special Christmas present to myself arrived today after being ordered over a week ago and paying express post delivery. Still it is here and I am excited. Max will wrap it – best way to get what you really want
  • Pauleen: A good Christmas (and birthday) was one where I got a book, or preferably more than one!
  • Jill: I always wanted a bicycle.
  • Shauna: I always wanted books but I kept getting dolls
  • Sharn: My worst Christmas. I was told I had to wait until I was 12 to get a bicycle. That Christmas I ran out to the tree to find my beautiful bike parked next to one for my sister who was NINE. But we ended up having fun together
  • Sue: I loved getting jigsaw puzzles as gifts, but at least one person would nick a piece so I couldn’t say I completed it on my own ..
Wounds_and_Cracks / Pixabay

15. Favourite, worst, funniest gift…

  • Brooke: Worst Xmas Coming down with chickenpox on Xmas Eve (like many of my high school bandmates; we’d been on tour together the week before) I had to watch Xmas Day from my bedroom window. (3 siblings came down with it 2 weeks later. I was so popular that summer NOT)
  • Pauleen: the best gift (maybe) for our older two daughters: the dolls’ house Mr Cassmob made one year in PNG and I decorated. They loved it.
  • Sharn: When I was 9 I got a joey for Christmas. My father had found it by the road. We raised it and it played with our dog but then it had to go to Lone Pine
  • Pauleen: Funniest – having to go to Brisbane’s biggest shopping centre on Xmas eve to get a present for DD3. We found what we’d actually bought months later, hidden in her sister’s wardrobe. Or gifting the photo story book to the wrong child and vice versa
  • Sharn: best present I had was a huge slot car set my father gave me… well really it was for him! It took up the entire lounge room and my mother was not happy
  • Pauleen: a $2 calendar was the most disappointing gift from a close relative. The best was a photo album of that line of the ancestry from the same person

16. Family concerts….

Fran: Had concert on front lawn with the neighbourhood kids. No one could play an instrument. Used recorders, tin whistles, home made drums (pots) and even combs with tissue paper can make a tune. Practice that morning, bar in the tent closed, all parents had to watch.

Sharn: If my family had Christmas with my paternal grandparents we had a family band. Every single person played an instrument and it was such fun!

17. Regular stocking fillers from your childhood?

JillWellington / Pixabay

Christmas blog posts from the past

Sharn: A meme created in 2014; reply to Pauleen’s geneameme;

Pauleen: in 2012 she created a Christmas geneameme and here is her response to it

Carmel: Christmas past and present

Disappointments for this Christmas

Feeling very bah humbug tonight, kids with 3 little grandsons were due to arrive today but closed out by Covid outbreak in NSW – Carmel

Santa’s helpers usually distribute sweets to kids on the jetties but in a nod to Covid he’ll just sail by this year – Jill

Readers: What are some of your Christmas traditions or memories?