So it is almost Christmas. Crazy how fast this year has gone. Like a magician pulling the table cloth out from under everything. We are still standing even though the whole year has been swept away!
Darian and I went to see the Myer Christmas parade in the main street here in Melbourne. It was fun! Andrew Gaze waved at me! The street was blocked off for the parade but because I am only small and there were heaps of kids that were in front of me, I couldn't see anything (no that isn't a mis-type, most kids are either taller than me or at least over eye level!) and it was hot and crowded . So we went to a chinese restaurant which has a balcony overlooking the street. Not only did we get the perfect seats without anything blocking our view, the restaurant has a license so I had a glass of bubbly while Darian had beer and we enjoyed the parade in fully catered style! I cannot believe more people didn't do what we did, it was almost deserted!
We bought a real live Christmas tree this year for something a bit different. Darian remembers real christmas trees from his childhood. I think that my brother and I must have had a real one at some stage but when we moved to Queensland I distinctly remember we decorated random plants that mum had bought for the garden. Darian thinks that is funny. My mum loves to work in the garden so I think that we didn't have an actual christmas tree because it was an excuse to buy a plant that she wanted. Seeing as mum always got short changed at Christmas I figure that it would be her Christmas gift in a way. Us kids thought it was great either way and we always had fun decorating it and the rest of the house.
Darian's mum is a bit more traditional with the tree and everything. Christmas would have been pretty different in that house I think! Darian's mum would spend a lot of time getting everything prepared and the tree decorations just right. The one Christmas I spent with Darian's family was very special. I guess it is because there are 4 kids in his family and they haven't had a Christmas together in a very long time (seeing as Darian left New Zealand a number of years ago). Walking into the backyard where we were going to have lunch, was like stepping into a Christmas story book (minus the snow of course because we are in the southern hemisphere). The christmas tree in the family room was just beautiful! It was colour co-ordinated with bows and everything. Unlike our tree which looks like it has been thrown up on by an elf. *laughs* Mrs Darian's mum must have been up all night cooking and there was so much food including a christmas roast and everything else. Very involved that is for absolute certain!
Our family christmases on the other hand was a great deal less elaborate, partly because of the Queensland summer heat (especially the week of Christmas) and partly because mum doesn't do stress if she can at all prevent it. We would have salads, cheese, bbq etc. all outside on the patio. Everything was planed and organised to be as work/stress/effort free as possible right down to the paper plates so that there would be no washing up! I don't know if I could handle the craziness that goes along with having four kids (like Darian's mum had) as well as a big christmas. I much prefer my mum's style.
For the first time ever, Darian and I are hosting Christmas and I think I am going to use mum's 'less is more' approach. I still think it is going to be nice. We only have a one bedroom apartment so it might be a little cramped but I am so excited that mum and dad are coming. We haven't had a full family Christmas in about three years and this unfortunately will be the second christmas without David (my little brother) who is in Vegas at the moment and will spend Christmas in the US. Lucky him! He might even get a real white christmas!
To everyone who is reading this, happy festive season for which-ever holiday you happen to observe.