Caitlin's topic for news at school last week was "How Do You Celebrate Christmas?" That question made me pause and think how do we celebrate Christmas. Just about 38 days to go. Every year at Christmas, we usually do the same things except for 2006 when we spent Christmas in Portland, Oregon with my sister and her family. It was our first white Christmas and we had such fun from going out to the tree farm to choose the Christmas tree (we have a fake tree here), decorating this humungous tree that reached to the ceiling, heading out to the snow fields on Boxing Day (along with everyone else in Portland). It was lovely, freezing cold and a totally different experience. But we actually felt homesick for the sun and sea nearly 7 weeks there in cold, grey Portland.
In the lead up to Christmas, we put out the Advent calendar box with little treats and things for our girls. I try not to have just sweets in there, but mix it up with little trinkets and also little notes with things they can do to prepare themselves for Christmas e.g. smile to everyone today, clean your room, sing carols etc. I have to start thinking what to do this year.
Most Christmases are spent at home in Sydney, in the hot summer, yet we always seem to have a roast. We always host Christmas lunch or dinner at our place because my SIL is way too lazy to organise anything. I don't mind putting on Christmas for my family especially my girls but doing it year after year can get tiring. She has this expectation that she will just rock up for the meal and shoo off when it's over. Besides family, we also have a few friends join us for Christmas celebrations. We attend the Family mass at our local parish on Christmas eve. Then, it's home to dinner before setting up a glass of milk and cake for Santa plus carrots for the reindeers. Our girls are then off to bed. The next morning, they wake up bright and early, all excited to see what Santa has brought them. After opening the presents, Chris and I start preparing for the celebration meal. Then it's feasting and drinking followed by a siesta.
The days that follow Christmas are usually hot and humid, which is great beach weather. We will usually wake up early and head out to Freshwater beach. Soon, the year will end and another new year rolls along.