What are your favourite memories of Christmas as a child?


I grew up in the Netherlands, so Christmas was in winter. The smell of mandarins. Dark mornings with candles on the table.


Did you have any Christmas traditions in your family when you were growing up?

Christmas was not a time for presents. That was done at St Nicholas on December 5th. But we always got a book, placed on our plate at breakfast. Then it was off to church for the Christmas service and morning tea.


Do you have any Christmas traditions now?

We do presents under the tree. One handmade gift for everyone. One thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to wear and one thing to read.


What does Christmas mean to you?

Time together.


Where will you spend Christmas this year? Who will you spend it with?

At home with our family.


What’s your Christmas dinner style? Traditional, Kiwi BBQ, Something else?

We often have something light, grilled salmon, salad etc.


Tell us about your decorating for Christmas. Do you have a tree….real or artificial? Colour-coordinated or anything goes? Do you decorate just the tree….or do you adorn everything you can?

We have been buying a real tree every year, but are planning something different this year, as the spending and then wasting is getting to me. I am looking at making a tree from branches and sticks. We have lots of rustic decorations, made and collected over the years. It is like meeting old friends when we unwrap them.

Do you have a favourite Christmas recipe you can share?

We like to make a gingerbread house. We first saw one when we went to Finland on a December holiday to visit Santa. We have made one most years since.

To learn more about Mieke and Dreamstitch you can read our previous conversation here.