Why We Are Rotten Parents and Other Christmas Stories

I almost recorded this week’s podcast on my own. Then at the last minute, just as I was about to begin, Gemma-Rose appeared.

“I’ll talk with you about Christmas, Mum.” 

This week in my Christmas edition podcast, we chat about:

  • A magical Santa Christmas
  • A magical Christmas without Santa
  • Advent and Christmas traditions
  • Why the Three Wise Men set out to find Jesus before He is even born
  • Why St Nicholas isn’t very reliable
  • Why we are rotten parents
  • Why midnight Mass isn’t at midnight
  • The worst Christmas job that I no longer have to do
  • Australian Christmas traditions
  • Australian carols and songs
  • Why Santa wears his singlet, shorts and thongs
  • What Orana means…
and lots of other things!

And we listen to some beautiful Christmas music sung by Imogen. (Thank you Imogen!)

I apologise for the quality of this podcast. I think we must have been sitting too near the microphone. In some places there is a bit of a background hum which I was unable to remove. Perhaps I need a better microphone.

There were also a couple of clumsy transitions between segments. And can you spot the recording glitch? Oh well, I’ll get better at podcasting with more practise!

Program Notes

Blog posts about Christmas

Empty Shoes
Last year, St Nicholas forgot to come. Sophie couldn’t believe it. Her face fell as she peered into her shoes…nothing.

Memories of Magi
I hear someone outside my bedroom.  Fingers appear under the door as they push a scrunched up piece of paper into the room. There is a giggle and then the sound of footsteps retreating down the hall. I tumble out of bed and retrieve the message. On the paper are the scrawled words: I found the Wise Men at 6.05 am, Sophie

Grief and an Advent Wreath
Family treasures are hardly ever expensive. They are the things that were made with love.

The Journey of the Three Wise Men
Where will the Wise Men be today?

Christmas movies and books we talked about

Muppet Christmas Carol
Arthur Christmas

Books by Tomie de Paola including Merry Christmas Strega Nona
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Little Women

Blog posts about food

Our Christmas Pudding Collection
Something smells wonderful. Our mouths are watering.  And when we look into our bowls, we almost faint. It is Christmas pudding. It is this year’s Christmas pudding.

Andy’s Amazing Potato Salad
Your mouth is probably watering at the thought of this truly out-of-the-ordinary potato salad. You are probably waiting impatiently for me to write out the recipe. You might be planning to rush out the door to buy all the ingredients as soon as you find out what they are.

Australian Christmas carols and songs
Christmas in Australia

Christmas carols
Andy, Callum, Imogen and Charlotte sing The Carol of the Bells

Imogen Sings Praise to God in Heaven

The Angels of Abbey Creek

I hope Gemma-Rose doesn’t mind being turned into Santa. She won’t be getting my children’s book, The Angels of Abbey Creek for Christmas. We have lots of copies already! Did you know there’s an Advent and a Christmas story in my book?

If you’d like to listen to more of my podcasts, they can be found on my Podbean page. (Or you could subscribe through iTunes.)

And finally… you can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!

Enjoy the last week of Advent!

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  1. Reply

    What a lovely podcast, thank you ladies! Imogen's singing was a beautiful addition. Our favourite Tomie dePaola book is "The Clown of God" and "Strega Nona" is an old favourite, everyone seems to like that one.
    I like you tradition of hiding the wise men, that would be a fun one for us to take up too.

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for listening. It's a really busy time of year so I appreciate you spending some of your precious time listening to our podcast.

      We have 'Clown of God' too! I love Tomie de Paola's illustrations and how he weaves in the Catholic details in such a natural way.

      Hiding the wise men is a lot of fun.. as long as I remember to keep moving them. I haven't done too badly so far this Advent!

      Kelly, I hope you have a very blessed Christmas with your family. Happy Christmas!

    • San
    • December 19, 2014

    Another great podcast!

    Imogen has a beautiful voice and you have confirmed my thoughts that your family life echoes throughout the book Angels of Abbey Creek! Especially the busking 🙂

    I really enjoyed the book and could quite easily imagine you offering this as an audio book, hint! Benedict is still reading it. He seems to have lost heart with reading anything at the moment 🙁

    I will now go and check out your links in the show notes.

    San xx

    PS I have decided to borrow your idea of hiding the Kings! So they will be travelling from Christmas Eve right through to the Epiphany 🙂

    1. Reply


      I find it much easier to write about what I know so yes, the stories in my children's book do echo our own lives. Not all the stories are exactly true though most of the details are. I elaborate or change things a bit or make up different endings… Whenever I get together with young friends who have read the book, they always ask me "Did that really happen?"

      An audio book? Oh that is a new idea! I am so glad you enjoyed the book.

      Enjoy hiding the Kings! It is a lot of fun trying to come up with unique and interesting places to put them.

      San, thank you so much for your friendship this year. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Merry Christmas!

    • San
    • December 19, 2014

    Just watched the you tube!! You are one amazingly super talented family xxxx

    1. Reply

      San, thank you! I have absolutely no musical talents but I do enjoy listening to my family sing, especially at Christmas. I wonder if you are a musical family too. Most people enjoy singing Carols together. I imagine you do as well!

    • emily
    • December 18, 2016

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions! (pure coincidence that I just happen to have listened to this 2 yrs later in Dec.).

    A few things:
    1. I got a kick out of the Aussie version of “Jingle Bells.”
    2. Imogene’s singing voice reminds me of the voice of the actress who played the eldest daughter in “The Sound Of Music.” (Yes, that’s a compliment.)
    3. I know what Christmas pudding is! We ate it every Christmas growing up, only we called it “plum pudding.” I’ll have to ask my mom where it came from, as her heritage is Swedish/German. My paternal grandfather was English, so maybe my dad grew up eating it and asked my mom to make it. I’ll have to find out.
    4. You’re not the only rotten parent! I decided long ago that if I ever had kids, there would be no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. I’ve always been a bad liar, anyway. 😉

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, Christmas pudding is also known as plum pudding even though the recipes I looked at online don’t have any plums in them!

      It’s hard to believe this podcast is two years old. Wow, time passes quickly! I do remember having fun chatting about Christmas with Gemma-Rose. Thank you so much for listening, and for the compliment about Imogen’s voice!

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