Lisa Ladas and her husband Leo are well-known around Shepparton for running a number of shops over the years. Here, Lisa tells us about her childhood Christmas traditions.December 21, 2012 4:22am
Growing up in a small village on a beautiful Greek island, there is so many memories.
While mums were busy getting the houses ready - cleaning, painting, putting the winter rugs on the floor, baking all the traditional cakes and sweets - all the kids will be practising the carols the night before Christmas, going around singing in all houses.
Some houses, they gave us money, some sweets or nuts... the feeling is something that I will never forget. The money we would use to buy books for our school's library.
Early Christmas morning, we (went) to church and after it was lots of visitors, food and playing with our friends. Santa was coming New Year's Eve - we wouldn't get too much, a pair of socks, hanky, a few balloons, ribbons for our hair, chocolates and biscuits.
Not everybody can have that - we were lucky because my parents owned a shop. "General store" it was called; I always thought that Santa was shopping in our shop.
A few years later, when I was older, as we were getting ready to go to sleep my mum asked me if I can put my little sister's presents in her shoes after she's asleep. Looking at the presents, I realised what was going on and who the real Santa was - and yes, he was shopping in our shop!
There were beautiful times - we didn't have much but were happy and carefree. I wish the kids of today could have as much fun as we did. All we need is love and respect for all and always think of those in need. Look around you and learn to share - you will feel so much better.
Have a wonderful Christmas, everybody.
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