Tradition, tinsel and tequila

Tradition, tinsel and tequila

Stretching back thousands of years, there is an innate need to warm our houses and lift our spirits when winter has truly arrived and days are shortest. Pagans used branches of evergreens to decorate their homes during the winter solstice to remind them of spring. Many cultures and religions include a winter celebration of light. However jaded by the Christmas rush I feel, there is something truly magical about coming in from the cold to a house full of warm Christmas lights. Or catching a glimpse through a window of another family’s Christmas tree and imagining the festivities inside. In our British-Mexican household, probably like most families, we have established our own Christmas traditions based on a mixture of our individual upbringings. Our Christmas tree is a happy jumble of gold baubles and Mexican decorations of techni-coloured pom-poms and tin figures. Hand-cut paper bunting (brilliant as it can be brought out again for all celebrations throughout the year) sits happily alongside the tinsel and fairy lights. The Christmas Table One of the traditions we have readily adopted from the Christmases we have spent with family in Mexico is the Christmas Eve punch. A gorgeous (but fairly lethal!) combination of tequila, spices and fresh fruit. Mangos, limes and guavas; the smell of fruit and cinnamon filling the house is just amazing. Christmas day itself is less of a focus for the celebrations in Mexico but for me, Christmas dinner is still the heart of Christmas. I therefore take extra care over the Christmas table settings. Welcoming our extended family with table decorations of colourful woven placemats intermingled with ivy and...