Happy Holiday with Liz Butcher
Here in Queensland, Australia, we spend our Christmas in the tropical summer sun. Every year, my family and extended family get together on Christmas Eve to celebrate. We kick off late in the afternoon, once the temperature hopefully cools, if even slightly. There is backyard cricket for young and old, not complete without a set of stumps painted on the back of the wheelie bin. Those of us preferring to sit back and watch spend the afternoon ducking as stray cricket balls hurtle towards us. Once everyone’s stomachs are sufficiently grumbling over the smell of roasting potatoes and turkey, my Aunt calls us over for dinner. Every year she sets up a buffet of roast turkey, pork and chicken, cold, smoked ham, roasted potatoes and pumpkin and an array of fresh vegetables. Don’t forget the gravy! We all sit around the huge, U-shaped table and put on our paper crowns made from recycled Christmas cards that my grandmother’s friend makes everywhere. Then, with each of us grasping either end of the bon-bon’s we all count to three and pull. With an eruption of bangs, small toys fly all around us as the children scurrying to collect them all. As we joyously eat, we take turns at reading out the jokes from the bon-bon’s laughing because they are terrible and laughing because they are funny.
Everywhere for dessert, we have home-made Christmas pudding and when we were little, my grandmother used to bake old pennies and quarters into the pudding. It was such a thrill as everyone dug in, to see who would have the most coins in their slice, but what my sister and I liked even more, was handing the coins back over to my grandmother in exchange for money we could use at the candy store. It’s sad we can’t do this anymore, but the Christmas pudding is still amazing. Once we’re all so full we can hardly move, we exchange gifts, followed by lighting sparklers on the lawn and writing glowing messages across the night sky. More often than not, there will be lightning in the distance as a summer storm rolls in, bringing with it the much longed for cool air.
For me, what makes all of this special is spending time with my family, as for some of us, it’s the first time we get to see each other all year. I love that as a parent myself; I get to share this tradition with my daughter and witness her joy as she plays with her cousins and revels in the Christmas spirit.
Thank you for sharing! Such different and warm traditions for a horror and dark fantasy author!
Check out Liz’ latest release: LEROUX MANOR
Camille’s father just inherited the family manor from his estranged uncle, forcing her to leave her friends and city life just before her senior year of high school for the small town of Woodville, England. After seeing a strange old woman lurking on the estate grounds, she embarks on a mission to uncover the history of her new home. What she finds is wilder than she could have imagined—the murder of her ancestor, Caleb LeRoux, on the same day his six-year-old daughter vanished without a trace. And an unforeseen connection to Camille herself, as the only female LeRoux born to the family in over two hundred years. With the help of her new school friends, Camille delves into the secrets of the manor, uncovering an all-encompassing truth that will change the entire course of her life—past, present, and future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning.
For more information on Liz and her writing, visit her website.