Motivation Monday – the Christmas Eve edition

St. Pauls at Christmas

As a very special Christmas treat (because I know you have been such good boys and girls this year) my friends and I are sharing our favourite Christmas memories.

Love runawaykiwi and friends


“Christmas Eve 2009. My sister is finally home from her term abroad in France, having been stuck at the Gare du Nord in the snow for 24 hours. The Corpse Bride is on tv, the cats are in the vicinity (purring) and mulled wine is on the stove. It’s the little things that make Christmas.”


“My best London memory was locking myself into my tiny kitchen in Shepherds Bush and spending 11 hours cooking an epic Xmas dinner for about 14 people, with all the trimmings, and I spent overnight prepping all the veges and trimming the birds and pork. When it was all ready to serve, I was drenched in sweat but managed to feed us all with Xmas dinner and at least 3 desserts that lasted us until New Years eve! My flatties surprised me with a slab of Tui beer as my reward. It was totally worth it :)”


“Christmas is always a time of magic, fantasy, and tradition. This is especially true for children, who hold dear various mystical holiday occurrences, whether this be Santa Claus and his reindeer (for me in the States), Sinterklaas and six to eight black men (ask the Dutch), or anything else that makes you warm and fuzzy. For me, this magic was evidenced every Christmas morning with the appearance of my stocking, stuffed with small knickknacks, on the foot of my bed. Being a light sleeper, I was convinced that it took some serious magic to place the stocking there without waking me or my sleeping siblings. Apparently my parents had ninja lessons at some point before their child bearing days.”


“Storming up to my friend Alex’s house after having a fight with my mum who had ‘ruined xmas’. I wore my favorite white/red/green dress and strutted to her house in order to ‘fix’ the holy day. We exchanged gifts, drank wine and did ‘proper’ xmas things. Hmmpf. What a brat! 6 years later in NYC? I might just enjoy a day of rest and not do a thing!“


“Christmas to me, is all about food. But not, as you might assume, because of the iconic, traditional dishes that so many associated with the yuletide feast. Growing up in the southern hemisphere it wasn’t the same turkey roast and Christmas pud for me. Well, OK, it kind of was, but it had a uniquely Australian twist. We always had roast meat, but it might have been served cold. And alongside the Christmas pudding there was always my grandmother’s fruit salad. Complete with a tin of passion fruit.


One Boxing Day my mother used her foodstinct to make these frozen fruit salad treats. It’s an enduring memory that comes to mind almost whenever I move things around in the frosty entrails of my adult freezer.

But what was most significant, was the coming together. The spirit of Christmas for me is the breaking of bread around a group of people we call our inner circle, whatever shape that takes. It’s a place to just be. To know you’re loved and that that loved is also shared.

Jared is a blogger who writes about food, cooking, psychology and culture – find more of his musings at


“It’s pretty safe to say that when most people think of Christmas time the immediate association that comes to mind is family time and probably presents & food a close second. For me the familial association is much deeper than your typical “That’s the time of year we all get back together”

My defining memory of Christmas is one that cemented me as a part of the group of amazing people who chose me to be a part of their wonderful family. I should probably clarify that aim adopted. When we were a lot younger my Nana used to make plays for us to perform for our family on Christmas. My first year I was given one line to say and relished the opportunity for my starring moment. I stepped forward and in a rather over rehearsed and precise manor recited “When I grow up, my mommy says I’m going to be a proper little madam.”

That sense of inclusion rang deep with me and I enjoyed the moment so much I can honestly say that it changed my life. From that point on at just 5years old I knew I wanted to work in entertainment. The desire grew through years if fancy dress NYE parties and Murder Mystery dinners – which were staple holiday occurrences.

I owe a lot if not all of who I am, deep at my core, to my family. When we moved to Bermuda it was always Christmas when we got to see my grandparents, aunts, uncle & cousins again so it was a particularly magical time as I hope it is for everyone!”


“Christmas always starts with the traditional (in our family at least) champagne, panettone, roast peaches and presents. My most fond Christmas memory is when, unusually for Auckland, we had a magical sunny Christmas day. My parents sister and I all got dressed up in our holiday finest and spent the rest of the day eating and drinking outside in the sun. This was followed by the also traditional falling asleep on the couch while watching an old school James Bond.

For me, Christmas is all about family and food. This year is a bit different because my sister and I are in London while the parents are in NZ. But I am sure with the power of skype we will still make it a traditional family Christmas.”


Author: runawaykiwi