Even after all these years I still can’t get used to the Summer Christmas. I don’t know if it’s just the 100F (41C) degree heat, or that people still sing Frosty the Snowman, White Christmas, and Let it Snow. All in all we survived what they call Down Under, the “silly season”. Mom was out again for another holiday, 3-weeks this time and it was nice to actually spend some quality time with her this time around.
We started off by heading out to the moonlight cinema at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens, were we watched an less than average film and it sprinkled on us the entire time… it was no B-52’s at a muddy winery – but it was fun!
This year was the first that we were assigned Christmas Dinner at our house, so we decided to keep the plastic tree in the attic and go cut a real one this year. The 9 footer fit in our living room quite well (I might go a foot shorter next year – they are really hard to decorate when they are that tall).
We spent about three days making Christmas cookies – they were soooo yummy – I’m not sure why I’m saying “were” because we have heaps left over in the freezer! Did you know you can freeze your Christmas cookies – they last forever and they taste yummy even when frozen. We made everything from Gingerbread reindeer, to oatmeal cranberry, pumpkin with a kiss, rice krispie treats (rice bubbles for you Aussies), all beautifully delicious.
On Christmas Day we usually do a morning brunch of seafood. Pretty much all of the significant cities in Australia are on the coast so seafood is a big deal here – and of course it is very good! We did some cold king prawns with dipping sauce, and Oysters Kilpatrick. It was a nice break from our Dinner prep. I should rephrase that – they call it Christmas Lunch here, and we served around 2pm.
Birdie’s family came for Christmas Lunch, his parents, and my brother- and sister-in-law with the niece and nephew. We tooled around for a while, had a drink and watched as Birdie finished up with his new smoker – smoking a Turkey and a Ham. A bit of Rotisserie Pork on the BBQ and we were overloaded with meat! I try to make a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner for our annual get together, and usually we have Christmas at the parents. Birdie tried to do a more traditional spread with long bean and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, roasted tomato’s and vegies, Rod made my favourite Italian Sausage Stuffing (my Mom’s recipe), and I made a pumpkin pie and a cheesecake. Believe me when I say it was more food than we 9 could eat!!
The full photo album is here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152199437031309&type=1&l=5f790b3bec
The kids opened their gifts and there was a horrible wrapping paper disaster in our living room but alls well that ends well. Everyone was tired and happy at the end of the day.
I did plan a bit of activity around Mom’s trip this year. She got to go to our 12-week scan and see the baby move around on the ultrasound, we spent more quality time just hanging out than really going off to do too many things – that’s the way I like it. We went to see our first Opera together at Opera Victoria – Madame Butterfly – which was spectacular! And I took her to see her first Play – War Horse – which was even more spectacular! And on Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas – traditionally when gifts would be given to the servants), we went to the Gold Class Cinema, had lunch and watched Les Misérables (fabbbulooous)! On our last day we had high tea and devonshire scones in Sassafras and then had dinner with Mum and Dad in the mountains.
We wrapped up our visit with a bit of baby shopping and we are excited to be coming back to the US in October next year with the baby to see everyone!
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that you enjoyed our pictures!