SNGF: Christmas Tree Family and Places

Randy at Genea-Musings has a weekly challenge: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This week he was inspired by Leslie Ann at Ancestors Live Here blog and her Wordless Wednesday Surname Tree.

This is my offering, created in Tagxedo and edited and decorated in Photoshop. I also did one for my Dorfprozelten to Australia blog, with the names of all those who left the village for Australia in the 1850s and 1860s. You’ll find it here.

I have done some of my family names here, including the names from different marriages but accidentally forgetting Dalziel. And since one thing inevitably leads to another, I thought I’d put my family places into a tree as well. So here are my creations for this week’s SNGF. Thanks Randy and especially Leslie Ann for the inspiration.

Created using Tagxedo in combination with Photoshop.

Created using Tagxedo in combination with Photoshop.

Created using Tagxedo and Photoshop.

Created using Tagxedo and Photoshop.

Happy Christmas One and All

Advent Calendar 2013: Day 16 – Christmas Travel

The theme for Day 16’s Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories was Christmas Travel: “Over the river and through the woods” as the song goes . . . Christmas time can often mean travel home or meeting up with family at a special destination. Do you remember traveling back home for Christmas? Were there any trips that standout in your memory? What methods of travel have you used to make the trip home?

I first wrote on this topic in 2011 in terms of my childhood Christmases, and one special one Mr Cassmob and I made in 1992.

Xmas lunch L&RSince our children reached adulthood, Christmas travel has pretty much fallen to them. My first thoughts were that we’ve been fortunate to mainly have them all around at Christmas time but when I tallied up the absences I was surprised that there’d been an unavoidable few. Thanks to technology we’ve been able to Skype the missing person in recent years, with calls to Africa or Italy, but back when our youngest was doing her Aussie-ritual year abroad in Hook Norton, we had to suffice with phone calls. Calls also had to suffice when DD#1 and DD#2 celebrated Christmas Day in New York. It was hard to feel sorry for them when they had Christmas lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Rockerfeller Plaza ice rink then went to Central Park. They even had Darwin friends who they met up with so weren’t on their Pat Malone (own).

Peter and Pauleen Xmas 2008 cropOur home gatherings have involved very long drives or long flights for whoever is the farthest from the bulk of the Cass mob, now concentrated in Darwin. One year the shoe was on the other foot and we took a driving trip to Tasmania where we met our eldest daughter and had a delightful Christmas on the gorgeous Freycinet Peninsular. It was chilly but sunny and we were able to go for a short drive to the magnificent beaches nearby. Tassie is also noted for its fine fresh produce and wine, so we had a splash-up Christmas meal with Tasmanian bubbles, lobster, prawns and scallops bought from the fish co-op the day before and fresh-from-the-vine raspberries and blueberries. DD#1 was the chef (I was the sous-chef) so we had a fabulous meal of lobster risotto with a starter of scallops on cauliflower puree. Delizioso!! Oh, yes, this is supposed to be about travel not food!

Image from Shutterstock.com

Image from Shutterstock.com

Only once have we been home alone as empty nesters, and that was our first year in Darwin. We coped quite well and thought in future we’d volunteer to serve community meals. So much for our good intentions, as never again have we been alone.

While we’ve travelled close to Christmas, we’ve always made sure we’re home for the big day (excl Tasmania).  As Darwin is so far from many people’s homes, we’ve also included friends who can’t make it home to family for the holidays. This Top End tradition is about sharing the joy with the so-called “orphans”.  When it’s not too hot, there’s been the chance for cricket or the pool.

However back in 1989 my youngest daughter, my mother and myself travelled to Europe and Christmas was spent in Lucerne. Calls home to the family didn’t really cut it for us and it was sad to be so far from them. Not one of my wisest decisions for a variety of reasons.

So there you have it, planes and cars for our distance travel but no boats and trains, unless you count the ferry to Tasmania. In fact sometimes our car can look like this one just travelling across town with gifts and a stash of food.

christmas-travel-300x164

This post is part of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) which allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com. You can see the posts others have submitted on the Advent Calendar Pinterest site.

SNGF & Deck the Halls Geneameme 2012 Revisited

Baby Jesus in mangerJust the other day I came across a post I wrote last year and had almost forgotten. Imagine my surprise today to discover that Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog has generously featured it on this last week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF)! (I prepared this last Sunday and forgot to upload -Christmas rushing?)

So if you didn’t see the Deck the Halls Christmas Geneameme I created last year, why not write up your responses and post a comment on this blog and also on Randy’s so we can all have some weekend Christmas fun. Thanks Randy for sharing the fun this year as well as in 2012.

Yvonne from Yvonne’s Genealogy Blog is first cab off the rank (after Randy) in 2013 though Angela from The Silver Voice has also reblogged her story too. Pam from My Maine Ancestry also joined in the fun.

Meanwhile here are the responses from the geneabloggers who joined in for Christmas 2012. They make great reading about the similar experiences we share as well as the regional differences.

A Pocket Full of Family Memories from Deb on Australian and UK Christmases

Angler’s Rest by Julie in England

Family History 4U from Sharn in Sydney.

Family History across the Seas my own response

Family History Fun by Sue in Scotland

Family Stories Photographs and Memories from Diane in Sydney

Finding Eliza from Kristin in the USA.

Geniaus by Jill in Sydney

Geneamusings by Randy in San Diego as part of last Saturday’s Genealogy Fun (thanks Randy)

Hanging from the Family Tree by Donna in the USA.

Jenny’s Genealogy Blog from Jenny in Sydney.

Jottings Journeys and Genealogy from Judy in Queensland (with a bush-Christmas slant) Lone Tester from Alona in South Australia

Red de Antepasados by Sonia in Madrid, Spain (use your friendly Google Translate button to read Sonia’s responses, unless your Spanish is better than mine!)

Round Tuit Genealogy by Linda in Illinois, USA

Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family by Catherine in South Australia

Shauna Hicks History Enterprises from Shauna in Queensland

That Moment in Time by Crissouli in Queensland

Tracking Down The Family from Jennifer in Bendigo, Victoria advent candles

And an absolutely delightful post about Christmas in Donegal, Ireland in the 1950s which The Silver Voice kindly said was inspired by this geneameme.

Thanks again everyone for joining in, and showing us the wonderful traditions people have around the world.

Advent Calendar: Day 15 – Christmas Tree Decorations

The Advent Calendar of Memories for 15th December was Christmas Tree decorations: Do you have unique decorations that you use each Christmas? How did you get them or were they passed down to you from family members? Do you have certain traditions surrounding Christmas decorations such as purchasing one from every state or country you visit? Describe your favourite decorations!  Once again I’m behind with the topics.

Xmas decorations collage

Collage made using photovisio.com

Yes, we have a stash of Christmas tree ornaments that are put up every year in the first week of December. Some are common or garden ones from department stores but many are special ones that we’ve bought while travelling: in Ireland, England, France, Bavaria and Africa. Just as well we often travel around that time of year (another post!) Strangely while we were in the USA just before Xmas once we don’t have any ornaments from there, or indeed from Scotland.

Our daughter bought us a beautiful Inuit Christmas ball a while ago but when hers bit the tiled floor a few years ago we passed ours on to her. This year the glue on my Tara bell suffered from tropical melt, and it too fell to the floor. Thank heavens for super-glue, and it’s only missing a tiny piece!

We have only one bright-pinks 70s ornament from our very first Xmas trees but when Target had some similar ones a few years back I bought some more in similar colours.

It’s always interesting to “tour” our daughters’ trees each year as among their collection are ones we passed on to them when they set up home and we became empty nesters. Craft they made as littlies and some of our Bavarian wooden ornaments from Nuremberg. Hopefully they will eventually pass down to our grandchildren, and at the rate we insist on buying more, despite a total over-supply, there’ll be plenty to go around.

A while ago I mentioned I should do an A to Z of our Christmas ornaments which decorate our tree and house.

A is for a choir of angels, in all manner of styles.

B is for baubles (flash glass ones or newer plastic ones), multi-coloured butterflies and birds

C is for craft (made by family or friends), crystal danglies and cherries

D is for a tiny drummer boy

E is for recycled Xmas earrings and Eeyore with gift

F is for French birds –lovely ornaments bought in Provence

G is for geese, mainly from Bavaria, or hand-crafted cross-stitch;  blogging gift swaps or gift ornaments

H is for a beating of hearts –all over the tree, and for heirlooms

I is for my Irish ornaments –a Royal Tara bell and Waterford china angel

DSC_0524J is for Jingle bells – some of the bells jingle when touched

K is for our kids’ craft: special things like mushrooms we’ve made from the Gnome Book of Christmas

L is for the strand of lights which circles the tree

M is for our Maasai decorations from Kenya: birds, hearts, angels

N is for Noel and the nativity set (manger)

O is for Ornaments and the orange ball which is a flash back to our original set

P is for a Procession of Pusscats with Puddings which marches up our stair-rail

Q is for a quirky mermaid ornament a friend gave me

R is for ribbon bows and the reindeer from a gift swap.

S is for a heaven of stars from around the world, sleds, snowflakes and snowmen

T is for tinsel and Tigger

U is for uncoordinated – our tree does not have a uniform style

V is for vibrant – colourful, varied and very evocative

W is for tiny wreaths on the tree, large ones on the doors, and world ornaments

X is for eXtra special but not eXpensive (unless you count the airfares to get some!)

Y is for a little yellow bird, the only splash of yellow on the tree

Z is for the Zanzibari dhow hearts which I bought for the tree.

christmas-ornaments-300x224

This post is part of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) which allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com. You can see the posts others have submitted on the Advent Calendar Pinterest site.

Blog Carolling

BlogCarolingI just had to include this Aussie Christmas song/carol in a last minute response to FootnoteMaven’s  Blog Carolling event. While it may be Saturday in Australia and we already have the airconditioning on at 8.30am, I’m going with the theory that it’s still Friday in the USA <smile>.

It’s not really my favourite but I thought it might make a change for many of my overseas readers. Personally I much prefer the lyrics and rhythm of The Carol of the Birds but Six White Boomers is kind of fun and besides which my feeble singing copes better with it <wink>.

Here it is on YouTube sung by the iconic Rolf Harris, and the reason for the use of “mommy” instead of the Australian “mummy” is on this website.

And the lyrics are:

In Australia, christmas comes in the middle of a very hot summer
so when Santa Claus delivers his presents
he’s not taken around by reindeer because
they can’t stand the terrible heat

he’s taken around by six big, white, old man kangaroos
called the six white boomers

early on one Christmas day
a joey kangaroo
was far from home and lost
in a great, big zoo

mummy….where’s my mummy?
they’ve taken her away

we’ll help you find your mummy, son
hop up on the sleigh

so up inside the bag of toys
little joey hopped
but they hadn’t gone far when santa stopped
unharnessed all the reindeer
and joey wondered why
then he heard a far off booming in the sky

(boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom)

[chorus]
six white boomers
snow white boomers
racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
six white boomers
snow white boomers
on his Australian run

pretty soon old Santa began to feel the heat
took his fur-lined boots off to cool his feet
into one popped joey
feelin’ quite okay
while those old man kangaroos kept pullin’ on the sleigh
hey!

[chorus]

then joey said to Santa, “Santa, what about the toys?
aren’t you giving some to these girls and boys?”

“well, they’ve all had their presents, sonny
we were here last night
this trip is an extra trip
joey’s special flight

[chorus]

soon the sleigh was flashing past
right over Marble Bar
“slow down there!” cried Santa
“it can’t be far
hop up on my lap here, son
and have a look around”
“there, there she is!
that’s mummy! bounding up and down!”

[chorus]

 well, that’s the bestest Christmas treat
that joey ever had
curled up in mother’s pouch feeling snug and glad
the last they saw was Santa heading northwards from the sun
the only year the boomers worked a double run

[chorus]