Saturday, December 27, 2008

And so this was Christmas ...

Christmas got off to a flying start on Christmas Eve morning, when our lovely complex manager U. dropped by with a special delivery.
U. not only keeps the place ticking over nicely, but often intercepts parcels on our behalf when we're not around (saving me an inconvenient trip to the post office), or brings in the garbage bin for me on rainy days. (Erm, that would be most days then).
Now, he doesn't have to do that, so we gave him a card and a box of Cadbury's finest a few days earlier to say thanks.
Anyway, on Christmas Eve U. dropped by with some traditional German gingerbread his wife had baked, to say thanks for the thank-you. The kids loved them!

The rest of the day was spent just chilling, watching a few Christmas DVDs, swimming, and wrapping last-minute presents.
I cooked for once, and excelled (if I do say so myself) by searing some NZ scallops in butter, garlic and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, served with pasta. Mmm, NZ scallops...
All too soon it was time to leave shortbread star cookies for Santa, milk, and carrots out for the reindeer. (Don't know what Santa thought of the milk ... pretty sure he would have preferred a beer, but the kids were adamant!)
This is all the Big Man left, though H. was concerned the reindeer didn't eat all their carrots!
C. was the first one up on Christmas morning - 5.45 am. Which was a sleep-in by previous years' standards. I managed to keep him from tearing into the presents for about, oh, 15 minutes, before I let him wake H. and Husband!
Even though we didn't spend as much this year, (some of the presents are from grandparents, and aunties and uncles, and of course, Santa), the kids seemed delighted with their haul - a Nintendo DS for Missy, a Playstation 2 for him, games, and toys.
In answer to so many questions, it was surreal spending Christmas away from home. In my younger days, I spent my share of Christmasses away from family, including overseas. But when you have kids it's a much bigger deal. Not only are you depriving loved ones of YOUR company, but you're depriving them of the kids as well. And vice versa. Plus, you're missing out on the whole family experience - Christmas morning church, the big family lunch/dinner, cricket in the backyard, and playing with cousins.
So yes, there was a touch of sadness at being away from home.
But on the plus-side, our Christmas was pretty stress-free. It was nice not to have to drive for hours on busy roads, and it was lovely not to be sweltering for once (Christmas here was warm but not hot). And for the first time ever, we didn't have to keep the chocolate Advent calendars in the fridge!
We were able to spend the afternoon helping the kids to enjoy their new toys, and arts and crafts presents, and yes, fitted in another swim.
After Husband's delicious lamb roast dinner, we spent the evening watching Home Alone 2 as a family. It was the first time the kids had seen it, and they thought it rocked!
Kiwis seem to treat Christmas much like Aussies do. There's either a big family lunch or dinner (sometimes both), and it's either roast turkey with all the trimmings, or a BBQ. And yes, they do throw prawns on the barbie, as well as the ubiquitous mussels (shudder). Oh, and much drinking of alchohol for the grown-ups.
Boxing Day involves either hitting the sales, or hitting the beach/great outdoors.
We couldn't face the horror of shopping just yet, so headed to nearby Point Chevalier beach.
The Pohutukawa trees line the seashore and provide plenty of shade. Lots of naked kiddies frolicked happily in the shallows (so different to home, where we're all so worried about paedophiles, kids have lost that innocent childhood pleasure.)
It's sad that Christmas is drawing to a close, but we're looking forward to making up for lost-time by catching up with our family and friends in Queensland next year!

1 comment:

Kelley said...

Sounds like a blissful Christmas :)

Happy New Year babe!