1. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
For our family it means summer has arrived, and the school year has ended. It's the start of our 6 or so weeks of beach holiday and the chance to meet with family and relax over a laden Christmas Day table. (Jenny here when I was at school it was 8 weeks and we got of a few weeks before Christmas so had time to do things for Christmas now it seem kids only get out a week before some not even that)
2. Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
My father-in-law has an acre of cherry trees under protective bird netting. One of our late December traditions is to pick boxes-full (not counting bellies-full) of fat, juicy cherries when we visit his farm. Cherries and Christmas go together so well.
Back at home, I like to decorate with a hand-knitted nativity set my mum made for me. It's so sweet and reminds me to focus on what really matters ~ the Lord Jesus, appearing just when it was foretold ~ in Bethlehem, with the angels and the shepherds. And even though there's speculation about when they arrived... there's a trio of magi in there, too.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
Jesus, Oh What A Wonderful Child... I love this Christmas song, although I'm not sure you'd call it a carol. The tune is catchy, and I once taught it to my Sunday School class and they had the best fun performing it in church. But more than that, the words remind us that the coming of Jesus brings 'new life, new hope and new joy.' The entire Christmas message is encapsulated in that one line. Jesus came to offer newness for today and for all eternity. Something no one else could. No wonder we sing about it in celebration! (I am not sure I know this song Yes I know I have it on one of my cds and I would call it a carol)
4. If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?
One day, it would be a dream come true to experience a White Christmas. I already suffer from snow-envy. Match that with Christmas Day and you'd have to slap me a little before I fainted with unmatched thrills!! Somewhere in the US or UK would be awesome. Can you arrange that, Jenny? Thanks, lovely friend. (I know I am good but not that good besides I like warm weather but hey it snowed in Ballarat one Christmas)
5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
In 1992, my firstborn, Sophie, arrived a few days after Christmas, so I was heavily pregnant on Christmas Day that year. We even gave her a Christmas middle name ~ Holly. The hospital where I delivered was still decorated with tinsel and Christmas trees, and one of the nurses who cared for me still wore her angel earrings. I remember thinking a lot about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the arrival of her a baby in an environment so different to mine. And my 'first baby' moments fill my heart each year when I hear Christmas carols.
6. What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you.
Christmas Day varies depending on which side of the family we're celebrating with. But Christmas Eve is spent at home, baking almond bread with green and red sugared cherries and watching Carols By Candlelight. We light the candles and transform our family room to match the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Carols by Candlelight is a long held tradition in Melbourne, and although I attended the rehearsal once, I do love watching it on TV each year with the family. Sylvie Paladino is my favourite caroller. Interestingly, my parents sat in the audience once...long ago when my mum was pregnant with me. I'm detecting a Christmas/Pregnancy theme happening here....! :) (Sitting watching the carols on Christmas Eve is a tradition for me too. I cried so hard last year at the Hallelujah chorus as mum said when she got to heaven she would be singing it with the heavenly choir. I love Maria Prior too)
7. Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
Movies - Funny Farm. I know it's a little silly, but I just love the snow drifts and the house. And there's a writer in it, so that's good for a giggle.
Books are different. With books I want to enjoy the real Christmas story. I have a collection of Children's books I would put beside the Christmas Tree in a basket for my own kids when they were little. Even though they're simple books, I still enjoy the beautiful illustrations and nativity story.
8. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
I've always rested in the knowledge God's timing is perfect, for the details of my own life, and for my family. When we've been impatient for something or disappointed, we've encouraged one another with the assurance God's timing is perfect.
At Christmas time, I like to remember the words of Galatians 4:4 "When the time was right, God sent His son."
God held the plan for His son's coming until the time was right. And we not only rejoice that Jesus came, but that He came to seek and save us. What a privilege to know the story and understand we are the reason. Jesus came when God determined THAT day had arrived. And we can sing with the angels, "Glory to God in the Highest " everyday.., and especially at Christmas time.
Dorothy lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her Beloved and their children. She's the winner of the 2013 FHL ~ Touched By Love Competition. Enamoured by all things 19th century, she writes The Heartbeat of Yesteryear, Historical Romance - Aussie style.
Visit her blog, Ink Dots. http://dorothyadamek.blogspot.