Christmas. A Chat with Lucia De Mello.

December 06, 2016

Christmas. A Chat with Lucia De Mello.

Our next favourite mama is Lucia from The Thriving Elephant. We love how she is always positive and passes on her positive attitude to life through little IG squares. Her story, if you haven't read about it yet, is an amazing one. If I may say, a miraculous one, a brave one, a joyful one.  Join us today to find out about Lucia's Slovakian Christmas Traditions. Her Slovakian Christmas dinners (I'm drooling here). And all that is merry. 





1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Your Family. And what keeps you busy every day. 


I am currently a full time mama to Luca + fur baby Oura and wife to Thiago. Absolutely loving it I am a dreamer, a wanderluster and I believe I can change the world. I believe in the power of energy and the power of the mind.


I am always keeping myself busy with some sort of project, usually 100 on the go, constantly experimenting with recipes, working with all sorts of new ideas, keeping up with my social media + my blog (which is needing a make over atm), socialising, creating … the list goes on. I find myself overcommitting to too much, so I need definitely need to work on that! But honestly, I do love it! Haha! It must be a Gemini thing…we get bored too easily and need to keep ourselves stimulated! I do however take time each day my gratitude and meditation, because if you don’t take time to quiet the mind, you cannot hear truly listen to your hearts desires, to signals, for clarity. Always find 5 minutes to focus/meditate. It will change your life.


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2. What are your favourite Christmas Traditions?

I am Slovakian born and my husband is Brazilian born so culturally we both celebrate Christmas Eve! Thiago’s family all live in Brazil so Christmas in Australia is always spent with my family. We do visit Brazil often, but its usually not at Christmas time.


Christmas growing up in my Slovakian family involved getting out of the house around 3pm on Christmas Eve (so that Santa could come while we were gone) BUT for some reason every year when were all ready to drive off mum would always say “Oh wait! I forgot something” and had to run into the house to get it (ie. to throw all the presents under the tree in record timing). We would return home around 5pm and what do you know! WOW! Santa had stopped by and unloaded all of our presents under the tree! So exciting! We just wanted to get right amongst it and open them all up! But no…our parents tortured us with “patience”. “Not until we’ve eaten dinner!”, mum would say. You have got to be kidding me. By the way 30 years later, same rules apply. (I wish I could insert a whole heap of emoji’s here!).


Each year, Christmas Eve dinner is the same. Traditions. Before we dive into dinner (because we are the pinnacle of patience remember), my mum hands my dad an apple on a plate with a knife as well as four whole walnuts. What the? Yeah, I know. Hear me out. So, by this stage dad has probably had a few too many and he’s super merry. One at a time he throws a walnut into each of the four corners of the dining room. As he throws them he will say whatever he wishes for our family and the year ahead, so usually it would be something like “for health, for wealth, for success, for happiness”. The walnuts are supposed to stay where they land all year to bring those wishes to the family. THEN dad will cut the apple in half horizontally and if he opens it and it has a perfect star shape in the middle, the apple is healthy! Then he will slice a piece of the apple for everyone around the table and we will eat it as a symbol of good health for the year ahead! Dad makes a toast. Mum makes a toast. We cheers with champagne. Now we can eat! (Oh I forgot, there is probably a disagreement with Christmas music genres between team kids v team parents somewhere between all the healthy and wealthy).


The menu has never changed (except with the vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options which are now offered ~ thanks fam). Slovakian Christmas dinner staples…potato salad & chicken and pork schnitzels. There are a few other things, but you don’t need a smorgasbord to feed 6 people.  We don’t have all the types of foods in Australia that would normally be eaten at a Slovakian Christmas dinner, plus it’s Summer here, so we improvise.


By now it’s approximately 6:30pm and we all sit together in the living room and it is time for presents! Hallelujah! When we were younger we would hand out all the gifts to the family, but now as we are all adults we do secret Santa the way my husband has introduced (the way his family does it in Brazil). We have a proper secret Santa and we also have a “bad” secret Santa. That’s when you gift the worst, most impractical, funniest, useless present to someone. The rule is we only buy for our secret Santa and no one else. Apparently this rule doesn’t apply to my mum. Mind you she “creates” these rules, but she doesn’t follow them. Nope, instead she whips out (like a magician with a wide smile on her dial) another 1000 presents as says “ I know WE said no other presents *ummm no mum, YOU said this … remember?* but I just got you all a little something. She literally CANNOT help herself. #greatestgiveriknow #rulebreaker #rebel


Then Thiago will usually entertain everyone with games he comes up with, my dad has passed out on the lounge by 9pm and my sister and I usually watch back old footage of when we were little babes and cringe at the things we used to do and say. The food and drinks are never ending as my mum doesn’t like it when there is no eating or drinking at her house. Don’t ever tell her you’re not hungry or thirsty, she won’t believe you. YOU. MUST. EAT. UNTIL. YOU. EXPLODE. Tough love. #europeanmama


On the 25th, we vow to start our new year resolutions early, thanks to mama bear, but then she begins forcing at us ALL the left overs and we spend the day whole day eating and then laying in a food coma, once again, thinking about our new years resolutions. #ilovechristmas #iactuallydo

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3. Make us drool over your favourite Christmas food! 

Ok, so as a self confessed foodie this is embarrassing. I don’t actually have anything for you to drool over! We literally eat the same thing every year hah! My sister and I will create different desserts each year, but that’s about it! Perhaps it’s time I get onto the Christmas recipes!?


4. Are you the "I'm done with Christmas Shopping with Christmas Tree all up by mid November" or "Nah. Let's put up the tree on Dec 20th  and hit the stores on Dec 23rd" type?

Ok so I will usually put the tree up some time in December and shop on the 23rd hah! I’m always rushing around last minute for everything! However, this year, now that I have Luca I was way too excited and I blasted the Christmas music mid November and put up the Christmas tree! Oops. I also plan to have all the presents bought and wrapped soon as nobody has time to be pushing a babe through the Christmas crowds!


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5. What is the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Christmas is a reminder. For example for my mum it has religious values, the birth of Jesus Christ. For my dad, not much significance at all. For me it has become a universal reminder to think about others, to celebrate giving and to celebrate those that we love. It also reminds me of how fortunate I am to have a loving and supportive family.


I also think that it is Christmas each and every day that I am blessed to live on this earth. Life is something I value greatly and I see blessings and gifts in each and every day. My husband and I don’t buy each other gifts every Christmas, it isn’t really important to us. Christmas for us is more of a time to reflect on the year that was, to feel the emotions of loving and appreciating our families and celebrating the traditions of our cultures and of course just having a good old time!



 Choose between the following:


Christmas song: Jingle bells or I’ll be home for Christmas?

mmm…I love the modern version of Christmas carols, so I guess it would depend on who’s version I’m listening to haha. The orginals, neither.


Christmas food: Christmas Pudding or Mince pies
I have NEVER tried either? I don’t think I would like either to be honest…

Christmas movie: Home Alone or How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Definitely Home Alone as I grew up watching it and it never gets old. The Grinch is also a great movie, but I’m from the Home Alone generation! 80’s kid!


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