Melton locals share their family Christmas rituals

Published on 04 December 2017

Each family has its own unique way of celebrating Christmas, but arguably what makes the season so special is the way the Melton community comes together, and the common Christmas rituals and traditions we share. 

Here’s how some of our local residents will be celebrating Christmas in Melton this year.

Norma and Ken Higganbotham, Melton residents of 50 years

Ken: “We’ve got four grandkids now – two families down here and one in Queensland. We haven’t put a Christmas tree up for the last four years, because we lost our grandson four years ago and we don’t feel free to put a tree up now. Going back years ago, we used to have Christmas night on our farm up Coburns Road – we had 40 or 50 people up there, all the young people around.

“It was always a secret how good Melton was. Now everyone knows. It’s the most affordable place now to buy land. There are all different types of people now – early in our days they were all farming types. We’ve got a mix of different cultures now. We wish all the people of Melton the very best for Christmas. Keep shopping at Woodgrove, because this is the centre of Melton.”

Norma: “We’re up early in the morning on Christmas Day to get ready for Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner at night time. We have meats, and at Christmas lunch we have a roast and ham and all the traditional Christmas stuff, and Christmas pudding. At night time, we have bits and pieces of everything – salads and leftovers – and I cook some Christmas night cake, because the boys are looking for that. They come and they say, ‘Have you got any?’ and I say, ‘Yes, I have,’ and they go through the cupboards. Anything I cook, they pinch!”


Albert Peck, customer greeter at Kmart Melton

 “I’ve lived in Melton since 1967, and I’ve been at Kmart all up for about 13 years. I’m a customer greeter – I turn customers into friends. One thing that makes Christmas in Melton special is everyone getting together and working together. It’s one big team, it’s one big community. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but as a customer greeter I greet everybody.

“I didn’t know what Facebook was when it first came out. My son, he rang me and said, ‘Dad, you’re on Facebook.’ I said, ‘What’s Facebook?’ It was a group [‘Albert is the greatest door greeter in history’] that was set up by a customer, and it started from there. I’m 77 – I’m still trying to get out of the last century.

“We do have carols in our family, but not like we used to in the old days when I was a kid. Things have changed a lot. But we do sing one or two at home around the Christmas table.”

“Christmas is a very special time. It’s a time when the Lord was born into the world, and I think the important thing is to have peace and love for everyone. Let me wish you a very Merry Christmas, and have a peaceful and a joyful one.”

Heidi Richards, Woodgrove fresh food chef

 “Our Chrissie tree goes up on the 1st of December. I’ve got twins, so the kids normally take it in turns – one does the top bit, one does the bottom bit. Every Christmas morning, I have a group of friends come over and we do pancakes. We get up, my kids open up their pressies, we play Christmas carols and then they come over and we do the pancakes, and that has been going on probably about 17 years.

“I love Christmas. Hence why I sing while I’m demonstrating – I’ll always make sure that everyone in the shopping centre is in that Christmas spirit, and just try and slow down and enjoy it, and don’t stress out. My advice for Christmas is to just relax and enjoy, reflect on the good things in life. You never know what’s around the corner, so you’ve gotta live it up – don’t worry, don’t stress, just have fun.”

For thoughts that count this Christmas, visit Woodgrove. See our opening hours and calendar, and give the ultimate gift of choice with a Woodgrove gift card.