What Christmas Means to Me - Adele O’Shea

Christmas for many of us means snow, or at least the dream of snow (I think I've known one white Christmas in, well, quite a few...) so I've always been fascinated by the thought of what Christmas would feel like in a hot climate. Enter Adele O'Shea, who grew up in Tasmania and now lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children, Isaac, Melody and Eddie. 

I first stumbled across Adele's Instagram a couple of years ago and instantly felt I'd met a kindred spirit across those little squares. A passionate baker, Adele transports you into her kitchen where you can almost smell the delights she creates with her three little helpers in tow. Taking much of her inspiration in the kitchen from the changing of the seasons, I for one, would quite like to hop on a plane and end up in Adele's house for Christmas this year...



Adele, you are the most wonderful baker, what one food means Christmas for you?
My mother's Christmas cake recipe. She has made it every year for as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved to watch her decorate the top with almonds and glazed cherries, then wrap the tin in newspaper before popping it in the oven.

Where do you normally spend Christmas Day?

We alternate between my family and my husbands family each year, as well as where Christmas lunch will be held. My family live in Hobart, Tasmania where I grew up, it is a beautiful little town, it's always lovely to go home for Christmas!

How do you decorate your home at Christmas?

With an array of perfectly imperfect handmade decorations, foliage from the garden made into wreaths and centre pieces, candles, and the odd bell here and there.

You have three children, Isaac, Melody and Eddie, what Christmas traditions do you share with them?

I think the most prominent tradition is the making and baking leading up to the 25th. Every year we spend weekends baking biscuits, puddings, & sweets to give away as gifts. My children love to make all sorts of decorations, like paper chains, Christmas Stars, and cards, paint baubles, salt dough ornaments, and sew little draw string bags to put biscuits and lollies in for their friends and teachers.

Favourite Christmas book?

Merry Christmas Ernest and Celestine By Gabrielle Vincent.

What do you tend to do on Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve for us usually involves a BBQ in the backyard with overly excited children running around in the warm summer air, slapping mosquitoes on their legs until dark.

How would you sum up Christmas in three words?

Giving, Family, Love

What would be the best present anyone could get you this Christmas?

I would really love an Elderflower plant, but if not, I'd be just as happy with cuddles from my kids!

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without…?

Cherries. As a child I dreamed of having a white Christmas like in all the story books and Christmas movies, but as an adult, I have come to realise, that Christmas without snow comes with it's own perks. We might not be able to build a snowman, or warm ourselves by a beautiful log fire, but we can get outside and have a game of cricket in the backyard, go to the beach, or simply enjoy summers finest of fruits. Cherries are one of those seasonal treasures that take pride of place on our Christmas table every year.

Charlotte Wood
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