Cape Town-based Digital Creator, Julie Kynaston, takes us on a journey into a new kind of Christmas with her trio of joy.
Words: Lesego Ntsime | Images: Anita Reed
This year, the Kynastons’ Christmas will be filled with magic, bliss, laughter, and a few pandemic-style new traditions with Judah (7), Kira (8), and Ilan (10) at the center of it all.
It’s evident that love emanates from the blogger (Heart Mama Blog) and mother of three, Julie ‘Jules’ Kynaston. As a digital creator, she invites people into her world of family, fun, and adventure. Her journey is one that encapsulates the wholesomeness of love and family.
In the spirit of Christmas, Superbalist found it fitting to share in this wholesomeness.
For the Kynastons, Christmas is family. The two are utterly synonymous. And what is family without love - the most supreme binding agent? In the words of her daughter Kira, “Christmas is for the loving, the giving, and the sharing.”
Her mom adds; “Your kids don’t need all the things or a fancy holiday away to feel jolly this season – some family traditions, a Christmas movie or two and a sleepover in the lounge can go a long way.”
“Every year, we practice giving with dignity,” shares Julie. She adds that her kids choose some of their favourite toys to give away and emphasises that they “must be good quality and well-loved toys.” Her affinity for giving is quite humbling in the way it softens you.
The source of her family’s inclination to share so effortlessly is the fact that they “celebrate that Jesus was born on Christmas Day” and as such, the tradition of giving stems therefrom.
And what an appropriate time indeed to reflect on our capacity for generosity and expand it to hold space for others.
When you’re raising three young children, fun has to be filtered into the plan in copious amounts, and this evidently comes as second nature to Judah, Kira and Ilan’s mom.
Something about the way she describes her earliest memory of Christmas suggests that her inner child is wide awake:
“Sleeping on a fold-out bed at my Granny’s house and being surprised that Father Christmas could still find me to place a gift in the empty pillowcase I’d left at the end of the bed.”
Today, this exact childhood wonder and awe is relived through the eyes of her children.
Staying on the theme of fun, Julie mentions that her family plays ‘The Present Game’ which she describes as “a hilarious game of gift swapping”. She’s seemingly jubilant as she explains the concept of the game and doesn’t forget to mention the extreme lengths her family went to in order to attain the Nutella jar last year.
“The ‘Present Game’ is an absolute Christmas highlight for the kids. 10/10 would recommend,” the mother-of-three comments as she explains the rules.
For those who’d like to dabble in the game this year, these are the Kynaston rules to follow:
Every Christmas needs a personal touch and the Kynastons’ one brings the future into the present. “Every year, we gift our kids a Christmas decoration so that when they leave home one day, they’ll be able to take a box of memories in the form of decorations along with them.”
The love they share as a family is one that considers yet completely eclipses time as a concept.
It’s almost impossible to discuss Christmas without food, so let’s jump right into it.
Instead of the traditional Christmas lunch, the family gathers for an all-encompassing Christmas Eve dinner. The digital creator reveals that this year she’s been tasked with dessert and will be preparing a family favourite - peppermint crisp tart. But for the savoury palette, “it goes without saying that crispy roast potatoes are a MUST!” she exclaims. That tells you everything you need to know about her zest for Christmas food.
There are certain gifts that one can’t see or touch that find a home within us all for the duration of our entire lives and as a mother, Julie wishes for her kids to feel a sense of belonging and togetherness wherever they may be - a gift she herself gifts them with every day of their young lives.
On this Heart Mama's wishlist this Christmas, is an Amanda Jayne Glass Collection Candle – the Greenhouse one, because in her own words; “parents can dream, right?”
As they should!
Gifts aside, we’re still living in a pandemic, so our safety - as well as that of our loved ones - remains a top priority. This is why ZOOM church in PJs is a newfound tradition for the Kynaston family.
And for that personal touch we mentioned earlier, she discloses that “this year [her] mom-in-law, who is visiting from Durban brought [them] all festive-themed masks.”
In all the chaos (and grandeur) that comes with Christmas, the simple things never fail to prove to us time and time again that they truly are the stars of the show.
“Bomb drops into the pool, sneaking sweets off the gingerbread house, family braais, and having Dad all to themselves because he’s on holiday too.”