Wednesday, 1 January 2014

An Australian Christmas

I sat down with the laptop this afternoon fully intending to do a bit of a 2013 reflection.

My laptop however had other ideas and decided that it was going to throw a bit of a tantrum. So after de-bugging and removing and uninstalling various programs I'm a bit over searching for just the right photos and I'm just going to concentrate on one day in December. Let me share with you my December 25th.

Christmas 2012 I was back home in Wales in the cold. It was stuff that the storybooks show - shops decorated until they were full to the brim, Christmas carols everywhere, hot chocolates in cafes and white frosty mornings - magic!
Christmas 2013 was in Brisbane in the heat. It was air con and fans, cold drinks, dips in the pool and lots and lots of people.

Before I talk Christmas day, let me start with Christmas Eve.

There aren't many  houses that show signs of Christmas around here. In fact, you could almost be forgiven for not noticing it's that time of year. There are no street lights or decorated trees outside of the city centre. There are however a couple of houses that put up a few lights....

a local house getting into the Christmas mood!
So on Christmas Eve we ventured out just as it turned dark to go and view the house with the lights. As we were nearing we spotted some red and white lights in the sky.

"Look, it's Santa on his way to New Zealand" I joked...

My eleven year old did a double take with eyes wide and muttered something like "You're kidding right?"

There hadn't been much talk or questions about the man in the red suit this year, and I hadn't initiated any conversation either. There was no milk or carrots left when it was bedtime and to be honest I was a little heavy hearted.

However.....when I went to say goodnight I found a stocking and this little note on the bedroom door.

Yes! One more year..... (thank you Qantas!!)

Christmas morning is all the same wherever you are in the world. It starts way to early! The stockings are inspected and there is always chocolate at some silly hour before breakfast. Then when the first cup of tea has been drunk it's on to the presents under the tree. 

It's not Christmas without my friend Jo Malone... diolch mam x

Our usual late breakfast/brunch is smoked salmon, eggs and toast and we shared this with Gu and Tadcu (welsh grandparents). Of course there is a need for coffee at this time as the day had already been going for hours!

We were entertaining at home and the numbers had been steadily increasing in the days up to Christmas. In the end the final count was 25.

The biggest challenge was not the food and drink, but where was everyone going to sit and did I have enough plates and glasses?
The ping pong table came in handy..... covered in a table cloth it worked a treat.
Ikea came to the rescue with cheap glasses and with some borrowed wine glass charms we managed just fine.

it's not an Australian Christmas without prawns.

Everyone contributed and we had a feast.

To start - crudities and dips, mini yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish.
Fish course - prawns on ice, lemon yoghurt sauce, orange roughie, tomato and cucumber salsa, feta red onion and watermelon salad.
Mains - slow roasted pork, glazed ham, home made pork pie, spinach and feta rolls, green salad, potato salad, quinoa with vegetables and nuts, chick pea salad.
Dessert - mini meringues with cream raspberries and passion fruit and lemon curd, fresh fruit salad, home made macaroons and of course chocolates!

I think we had enough food!

The thing I love the most about Christmas this side of the world is how the day is very relaxed. We sit around the table for hours catching up with family and friends. The food just keeps appearing and the afternoon becomes evening before we know it. 

The children have hours of fun in the pool and playing cricket and always put on some kind of a show. Even the four dogs and two cats behaved themselves!

So another year is over. I'm grateful for many things and thankful that I was able to share December 25th 2013 with special people.