The Value of Non-Traditional Traditions

Being raised by let’s call them, Hippies (think 1970s – dad wearing kaftans with a long red beard and hair) tradition was never our thing – not Christmas or any holiday for that matter. And when you grow up like that you can’t imagine these seasonal times to be any other but how we chose to spend them.

We don’t buy presents and truly believe that every day is a joyful, special day and that one should be mindful and choose happy regardless of what the social calendar says. You know that saying “use the fancy china, drink from the crystal glassware, wear your fancy shoes and purple hat because every day is a special day”, well that is literally our slogan!

As a small family we celebrate often, throughout the year, and within those moments create our own traditions. We make time to explore different cuisines, testing our culinary skills and outwitting one another with our creations. The first meal my husband ever made me was Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice), a dish he learnt from his father who was in the Dutch navy and during his adventures circumventing the world no less than seven times, brought back many exotic recipes.

Meeting up with my friends throughout the year also hold their own non-traditional traditions. Such as always sushi with the one, coffee with the next, or with one particular friend only fresh whole foods. Due to COVID-19 our traditional gatherings have changed to some or other technology platform – a true bliss for an introvert like me!

But no matter the who, how or the when, these gatherings area always in the company of wine! Mind, as I’m writing this and reminiscing on the value of non-traditional traditions, I am doing so with a gorgeous 2016 Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon – inviting, mouth-filling and utterly irresistible.

Around the world Christmas holds different sentiments for different people. And for me that is how it should be. We tend to be travelling on Christmas day back from holiday, stopping at a garage where one lone soul with a red bobble hat fills our tank with added cheer and we wonder where he would have liked to have been today rather than at work.

If we are lucky, we might find an open garage café, so our Christmas breakfast might be a garage burger or pie. When we get home, we get the fur kids from their other mother, we unpack and just unwind with a glass of wine on the front stoep, enjoying the sea view and coming back to our home, which is our haven. We might have a braai and an early night and that would be our Christmas day.

In any event, regardless of how we spend the day, Christmas is certainly not a time of winding down for me. I start vibrating to a specific frequency – the grape frequency! The harvest is close to being in full swing and I can’t wait to visit the land to taste the fleshy, juicy grapes and see what the harvest will gift us with.

So, as I raise a glass to this enormously challenging year, wearing my beloved bellbottom jeans in true dad-tradition style, I wish you a magical festive season, with whom ever or how ever you choose to share it with and may your own traditions or non-traditions be a joyful occasion.




Isabel Habets
Zonnebloem Viticulturist

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