It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Midlands MagazineDecember 22, 2023

As we head into the holidays, we asked four local families how they love to spend the festive season in the Midlands, creating merry memories together. Because what’s more important at Christmas time than family?

 

The Scott Family 

Sally, Dale, Ethan and Kellan Scott live in Howick. Sally is the co-founder and Creative Director of Caversham Textiles along with her parents, Ros and Malcolm Christian from The Caversham Press. Most family Christmases have been spent at Caversham on the big veranda filled with many laughs and happy memories.

 

What local Christmas traditions do you follow every year? 

We tend to do things with family at our home during the festive period, although we are excited to see new Christmas events popping up in the Midlands. We always head out to see Christmas lights, from Trevor and Gail’s lights at home to Light Up uMngeni! 

 

What is your most special holiday memory?

My mom (Ros) makes Christmas extra special. The morning always starts with mince pies, Christmas cake and carrot cake. We are a more traditional family when it comes to Christmas dinner and the entire family contributes to the meal. This is a sit-down affair with turkey, gammon and a table laden with vegetables, gravies and sauces. This is usually preceded by a plated starter and ends off with Christmas pudding, malva pudding and trifle. 

 

What is your favourite thing about spending the festive season in the Midlands?

Whilst we celebrate Christmas in the heat of summer, we are fortunate that we don’t get the stifling humidity of the coast and often have a cooler day, which is perfect for enjoying copious amounts of hot food! 

 

The Posthumus Family 

Lance and Kate Posthumus moved to the Midlands in 2019 to join the family business and give their three boys a family-oriented, farm-based childhood. Working at Indezi River Creamery, they are those guests who bring the cheeseboard! 

What local Christmas traditions do you follow every year? 

Our family chooses to gift local, artisanal products as far as possible, so we love all the Christmas markets that crop up in the area. We also enjoy carols by candlelight, wherever they may be held. Our Christmas Day feast is made up of local foods too – meat, veggies, chutneys, preserves, and even drinks – as we try to keep our spending in the local economy.

What is your most special holiday memory?

In the 90s, the Farmer’s Hall in Notties hosted an annual carols evening. Local children dressed up as nativity characters, farmers brought in animals to play their own roles, and we had proper candles on a paper plate. These were real community events that embodied the meaning of Christmas. There is something about singing from the same hymn sheet that really brings people together!

What is your favourite thing about spending the festive season in the Midlands?

We love the buzz of the Midlands over Christmas. It’s a busy time for our business, which is rewarding. We also enjoy the gift giving and receiving – it’s a chance to make everyone feel loved.

 

The Ikaneng Family 

Makhubalo Ikaneng, also known as “Makhubalo The Storyteller”, cherishes the festive season as he can spend quality time with his family. Makhubalo’s wife, Lungile, is a youth engagement coordinator who has a strong affection for family gatherings. Their four children, Unathi, Khanya, Sibahle and Lunalo, bring life to every celebration in their home. 

 

What local Christmas traditions do you follow every year?

Our traditions are rooted in the themes of renewal and togetherness. We prepare the house by making basic renovations to signify the special period of renewal. Following this, we have a grand meal prepared using ingredients sourced from local shops. This is a special time for me to dust off my special recipe book and cook for my family.

What is your most special holiday memory?

Last year’s Christmas meal was amazing, which we held on the day before Christmas. On Christmas Day, I joined the wonderful people at The Old Mushroom Farm, where a festive meal was served by Sandy Chowles at Home Slice. It was heartwarming.

What is your favourite thing about spending the festive season in the Midlands?

I have unwavering faith in the Midlands and its potential to become a hub for engaging and memorable holidays. My favourite aspect of spending the festive season in the Midlands is the determination of its residents to continually enhance the quality of services and products offered, aimed at improving the experiences of both visitors and residents.

 

The O’Neill Family 

The O’Neills hail from the Midlands South. They reside on a charming sugarcane farm, the backdrop for their family business, Sugar Baron Craft Distillery. Brad and Marisa have forged their distillery venture, along with their three children, Alexander, Ariane and Angelina. 

 

 

What local Christmas traditions do you follow every year? 

Our traditions revolve around two distinct but equally cherished experiences: spending quality time at our tranquil farm with extended family and embarking on epic road trips. It’s during these moments that we connect on a deeper level, strengthening the bonds that tie us together.

 

What is your most special holiday memory?

In December 2019, we received an invitation to attend my cousin’s wedding in the UK and turned the visit into a memorable holiday. On Christmas Day, we toured London from an open-top bus. As the sun set, the city transformed into a twinkling wonderland. Christmas lights adorned every corner. I can vividly recall the awe and excitement on the faces of the children. 

What is your favourite thing about spending the festive season in the Midlands?

The days are often bathed in the warm embrace of the sun and the air is filled with the fragrant scents of wildflowers. Mornings often greet you with a mystical veil of mist. Cicadas serenade the daylight hours with their high-pitched, rhythmic chorus, while the evenings are adorned with the gentle croaks and chirrups of frogs. This is what we love about spending the festive season in the Midlands!