Christmas in Oz

by Christine Holroyd

australia-christmasMy parents separated many years ago, so I try to juggle things there, and my brother lives in Western Australia, too far away. We don’t get to see him for Christmas any more, which saddens me somewhat. My Dad usually spends Christmas Eve with us, staying overnight; and lately, we’ve had lovely evening walks to look at the decorations on the homes around the area; or we drive to other locations to view them. We have to wait till about 9 p.m., because it is still so light here until late – and often it tends to be quite balmy outside. Lovely!

On Christmas Day, Father Christmas continues the tradition of placing a sack of toys at the foot of Charlotte’s bed. Often it is filled with smaller things, and the larger gift is waiting in the lounge room by the Christmas tree. We have a gift opening session, but usually wait for Mum to arrive. Mum and Dad are fine in one another’s company, which makes it nice for Charlotte in particular to have her Grandad and Nanna around on Christmas morning.  Then Dad spends his afternoon with our lifelong friends and we take Mum with us to Peter’s sisters for a gathering with his family.

Peter prepares sushi on Christmas Eve to take along to add to the delicious and healthy array of food that his sister has prepared. Lots of salads and a BBQ for the meat eaters. We usually sit outdoors to eat our tucker. Gift giving is kept to a minimum. Peter has 8 sisters and a brother, so his Dad prepares a list each year and lets us know who we are buying a gift for. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the whole family, but still it is a grand affair. So long as it isn’t wet, we play some sort of ball game, maybe fly a kite, and sit about having good conversation, good wine with the food and plenty of laughs.

Boxing Day is usually a ‘drop in’ day at our home from mid-morning to evening time, for anyone at a loose end. Good food and conversation outdoors is to be had yet again, with a game of table tennis thrown in afterwards and trampolining for the kids. Before and after Christmas, we continue to do the rounds of the homes in the evening, with their beautiful decorations, at Charlotte’s request. We also keep adding to our own collection and I have always loved the sparkles, so the more lights the better from my perspective. I’m still a kid at heart.

In closing, I must say that for me, Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas over here because it is usually warm and it gets dark quite late. I personally love cold, snow-filled Christmases, snuggling in front of a fire, looking out at the lights from early evening, but still it is a time of fun, laughter and family gatherings which I thoroughly enjoy at anytime of the year.

I hope wherever you are and whatever you do in your neck of the woods, that yours is a truly magical one.

Today’s guest post was written by Christine Holroyd, of Gippsland, Australia. You can read more of this “whacky and hyper” mum’s adventures on her blog

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