Christmas Tables With Meaning
- By Hannelie Hanekom
Christmas Day, celebrated on December 25 in Catholic, Protestant, and most Orthodox churches, is a public holiday in South Africa. On this day Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The date is traditional and is not considered to be the actual date of his birth. The story of Christ's birth has been handed down for centuries, based primarily on the Christian Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Christmas is the only remaining Christian event which virtually the whole world acknowledges. Christmas is celebrated in South Africa in different ways to cater for the many cultures in South Africa; but whatever culture, Christmas is family and mealtime.
AFRIKAANS CULTURE: People tend to generally eat gammon or cold meats and a malva pudding for dessert, but the traditional Christmas “dinner” is more of an outside lunch that will usually involve a braai.
BASOTHO CULTURE: People enjoy moatwana, which is a chicken feet stew.
XHOSA CULTURE: People enjoy umngqusho, a dish that includes samp.
NDEBELE CULTURE: Ndebele culture people enjoys Morogo which is a spinach-like vegetable that turns soft when cooked. It ranges from pumpkin leaves to other greenery.
NGUNI CULTURE: Some of the Nguni cultures enjoy mqombothi beer and sometimes they slaughter goats, chicken and sheep as part of their family celebrations.
ZULU CULTURE: People feast on a variety of food such as amadumbe (patato like), bhatata (sweet potato), isigwagqane (pap-like dish, ate with lamb or beef stew), izindlubu (chickpea like).
VENDA CULTURE: Venda cultures love to use maize in their food and use it in almost every meal. The maize is made into porridge and mixed with meat and spinach for a type of stew.
Because of the beautiful sunny weather in South Africa, Christmas meals are often eaten outside; in people's gardens, next to the pool, or on patios. Christmas invitation is often extended to friends of friends, and even to complete strangers. Whether you're hosting a large group this holiday season or just want to add a bit of festive cheer to your dining table, there are endless ways to decorate a Christmas table this year. From beautiful modern looks to sparkle and glam, there's an easy holiday table for every taste……the table needs to be as memorable as the menu.
Fabulous Decorative Ideas for Christmas Tables
1. Inspired by nature: There's still a place for tinsel and baubles, but intersperse these with pinecones, twigs and bark-like textures for a contemporary and welcoming look. Take inspiration from the symbolic meaning of Christmas decorations, greens, reds and golds become muted with natural textures playing a big part in bringing this look together
2. Blue Christmas: Green, red and gold may be the traditional festive colours, and will always be evident but for 2019 blue has joined the party. Think deep midnight blues, aquamarine hues and cerulean (shades of blue ranging between azure and a darker sky blue) as both main and accent colours.
3. Patterns add interest: Dots and lines make a big splash for Christmas 2019. Herringbone is by far the front runner but polka dots (of any size) and other line patterns help add to the vibe you want to create.
4. Lights everywhere: Candles and Christmas tree lights are a big part of the festive season every year, but in 2019 light gets a makeover.
5. Treat all the senses: Christmas 2019 is a smorgasbord for every one of the senses. Creating a visual buffet is as much a part of the preparations as the Christmas Day lunch. Play with textures to draw interest and convey this special time of year.
Let our tables be a reminder of how blessed we are and that we are to bring the light to others. Enjoy your Christmas table!