Christmas 2023

Well, Christmas is over and we now move on to Phase Two – eating left overs from the fridge, enjoying the quiet days between Christmas and New Year (except for the frenzy of the Post Christmas sales) and getting ready to welcome in the New Year.

Our Christmas, this year, was a wonderful set of activities that resulted in some lovely family time together.

So much for El Niño and global warming, the last few days have been exceptionally wet. I can’t be exact because our home weather station stopped working and I couldn’t install a new component and get it operating again until Christmas Morning. However, it seems that between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, we have had around 40 mm (1 1/2 inches) of rain. Some places have had three or four times that amount. This rainfall has been similar all along the entire 3000 km of Australia’s East Coast.

Our Christmas preparations began with our two Melbourne. based grandkids, Audrey and Kai, coming to help us decorate our Christmas trees. We have two. One is our traditional Christmas tree and is decorated with a bird theme. This year, we added a sassy pink and white Major Mitchell Cockatoo to the top of the tree.

We call our other tree, our ‘International Christmas Tree’. Each year, we hang ornaments that we have collected from all the cities and countries that we have visited around the world – sixty six of them. It gives us a delightful opportunity to reminisce about these places and the adventures that we have had. Places such as – Ireland, Scandinavia, Canada, Japan, Kenya, Chile, New Zealand and many other countries. This tree provides us with a wonderful  collection of good memories.

About a week before Christmas, I was able to visit the city CBD with my friend Steve to photograph some of this year’s Christmas lights and decorations. I don’t think that they were nearly as plentiful as the ones I remember from 2020. Perhaps those days in the middle of Covid needed more brightening up than this time, but the current Christmas lights are not as extensive as those from a few years ago. However, I managed to shoot a couple of good photos and we had a good night out together. I don’t get into the city very much and was amazed that the train that we caught back home at around 11 pm was absolutely full!

Because of other family commitments, we had the pleasure of Cathy, Audrey and Kai for Christmas lunch on Saturday just before Christmas Day. This was a bit of a blessing, because it was one of the warmest and driest days over the Christmas period. We sat down to a wonderful seafood feast of lobster, prawns, scallops, baby, octopus, and oysters. It was delicious, even if I say so myself. We ate the leftover seafood in a pasta marinara on the following day.

On Christmas Day itself, Audrey and Kai spent the day with their dad and Cathy came back to join us for lunch. We had a traditional Christmas lunch with turkey and ham, roast vegetables and a glass of very fine red wine that I had been keeping for a special occasion. 

In the middle of lunch, we had a FaceTime call with the other half of our family in Perth. David’s young boys, Orin and Koa, were very busy with their presents and didn’t have much interest in talking to us but we did later see some of the fancy dessert work that Orin had prepared for their Christmas lunch in Perth. 

It’s normally a two hour time difference between the two cities, but when we start daylight saving time it extends to three it’s more awkward and harder to find a good time to call each other. We plan to visit David, Yuki and the boys around Easter time when the kids will have school vacation and we can spend time with them during the day.

The last part of our Christmas celebrations consisted of a drive to my brother and sister-in-law’s house near Daylesford where we shared a Boxing Day lunch with our extended family. We all took something for the table and, as usual, we provided the meat for the BBQ. It began to pour with rain just as we started cooking the barbecue outside, but fortunately my brother is a keen golfer and he had a very large umbrella that I could shelter under while I stood in the rain, cooking sausages and hamburgers.

After all these days of feasting, I am sure that I am a kilogram, or so, heavier although I might be a few grams lighter after having had a small melanoma cut out of my arm ten days ago. All is good now, no problems.

Right now we are looking forward to this quiet time before the New Year to enjoy some of the warmer (and hopefully dry) evenings when we can take advantage of the longer days to do what we traditionally do in summer – take a packet of hot fish and chips down to the park for dinner along with a bottle of wine. We might even be able to sneak in a Dim Sim! I think, though, we need to eat what is left in the fridge before we buy any more food!

We hope that you and all our friends had an enjoyable Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you again once our usual activities start up again in the New Year. I look forward to seeing my Vietnam Veteran coffee mates on Tuesdays when we meet for coffee. I’ll look forward to catching up with members of my Probus Club at first meeting for the New Year and I look forward to seeing a number of fellow 85 Transport, Platoon, veterans at our reunion in Darwin in August.

It’s now time for a few slices of ham and mustard on toast for lunch. I will help reduce the amount of food in the fridge and makes for a simple and tasty lunch.

One thought on “Christmas 2023”

  1. Seems as though all your Christmas activities were very happy and full of the joy of family celebrating together despite the distance between Melbourne and Perth. Thank you for sharing.

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