I think I said before that a Summery Southern Hemisphere Christmas just isn't suited to red and green. This year I am choosing a pink and yellow theme. I've got pink roses and white lilies, yellow gift bags, and pink and yellow crackers. We do have our little fake tree which is green, but most of the decorations are candy colored.
About ten days ago, I finally started to make preparations for Christmas. We have been so bogged down in house problems that I almost thought we wouldn't have Christmas this year. Just lately though, I let that go and accepted that we are staying put in our temporary city apartment through early January.
Being in the city has its advantages when it comes to shopping, so I could get a few ideas and pick up a few things almost every time I left the building. One thing I did miss out on though is an Advent Calendar. I usually get a chocolate one for the girls to help count the days and get excited for Christmas. This year, I was late buying one and by December 8th, they were sold out of every store.
Funnily enough, not having it has made it difficult to keep track of how many days we have left. There was a guy on the corner right near here who was hawking (here they call it sprooking - I'm not sure how to spell it and I don't care because it is a horrible word and a horrible activity). He would talk into a portable mike and speaker "come on in ladies, only 6 days left till Christmas, we have designer shirts for only $39....." on and on. So anyway, I knew how many days were left if I went by there when he was in action. It is hard to sense Christmas coming on without the normal clues: snow, dark afternoons, candles and fires twinkling.
It is more like a party that everyone in the city is having on the same day. In a way, when you think of it that way, it's kind of fun. I don't know what every one else does, if they have traditions or not, but I want to have historic consistency so we can look back over the years at the familiar threads. I know that a lot of Aussies do have BBQs and swim in their pools, and I guess they have presents. Like most things here, on the surface, they seem like a slightly different version of what we are used to in the US.
The things that we always do are: have Bangers and Mash on Christmas Eve, I make the girls PJs and they open them and wear them. I make stollen bread on Christmas morning and we have it with eggs and bacon and orange juice (the sausages and the bacon are veggie for the girls and meat for the boys). We visit friends or family in the afternoon but always stay close to home and just chill most of the time with the 4 of us.
|decorating the sylvanians for the nativity scene. Are they 6 and 10 years old?|
|It was Hannukah first, and we used birthday candles for want of anything better.|
|Noah and Valerie having fun cleaning up on Christmas Eve.|
|My camera was stuck on a wrong setting so all the photos look like Instagram.|
|Christmas dinner in pink and yellow.|
We did most of that this year with a few changes. For the first time EVER, I am not giving them pyjamas. I didn't have a machine and really didn't have the planning or forethought to manage any handmade gifts. This is a little bit sad, but we will get through it. The girls did not get up at 6 a.m., and we won't be going carolling in the snow. Mostly, the difference is that even though we are together as a family, we are a different family. We have one teenager and one adult child. David and I are older too, and we are in different phases of our lives. Thankfully, we are all happy and healthy.
We have our nephew Noah here from California! and we had a few friends over for lunch and games (yay Apples to Apples). It rained all day which made it more cozy and a lovely day all together.
This year has been full of changes - some small and some big. It sounds corny, but it has been about letting go and moving on from some things and trying to hang on to others. Hanging on to friendships, and family connections, and traditions.
Merry Christmas! To everyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas, have a relaxing break. Enjoy the winter or summer. Peace Out! XO