Friday 5 January 2018

Christmas Musings

It’s that time again. The Christmas season has brought families together all around the world. 

My family spent this year at home. We traded the traditional roast for homemade pasta, and instead of pudding we had cannoli. It was a new experience that brought rest and recuperation after a very busy 2017.

We all have fond memories of Christmas days past, so I decided to revisit a column originally written and published in Book Fun Magazine, December 2016.

I hope you enjoy the Christmas musings of my novella box set co-authors. It was this time last year that our Aussie Christmas box set was released.

Links to these vibrant and festive stories are below. 

I asked my co-authors to answer one of two questions for me:
What is your favorite Aussie Christmas Day memory?
What does your perfect Aussie Christmas Day entail?
(The second question is for our authors who have not yet experienced a Christmas Down Under.)

Rose Dee: What is your favorite Aussie Christmas Day memory?

The year 2003, when my husband proposed at the Coral Sea Resort at Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. The hotel sits right out on the Pacific Ocean, with a stunning view of the islands. It was a typically hot North Queensland summer day. One hundred degrees in the shade (at least it felt like it), but we were tucked away in the air-conditioned restaurant, the waves lapping on the rocks, a mass of boats bobbing on their moorings in the bay, and a big breakfast of ham and eggs.

My husband gave me a box to open, but all I found inside the box was another box, then another, and another, until a small jewelry box revealed itself. I was so surprised, and overjoyed. I’ll never forget his words: ‘How about it?’ Typical Aussie bloke, but I wouldn’t have him any other way.

Now we are old visitors to the resort. We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary there, and this year we are looking forward to taking our son and stepdaughter back to make some more Coral Sea Christmas Day memories.

Meredith Resce: What is your favorite Aussie Christmas Day memory?

It’s summer and hot. School finishes for the year only one week before Christmas. Dad is harvesting, so there’s no time to drive an hour to the beach, and not even time to go to the swimming pool in the next town. But Mum has it all in hand. There are decorations to put up while we listen to Bing Crosby sing ‘White Christmas.’ We share a cold Christmas fruit punch and mince pie with anyone who happens by the farm.

Then it’s Christmas Eve, and we’re in knots of excitement. Off to church to hear the Christmas story, and sing old carols accompanied by the pump organ. After church lets out, we head to the main street where we gather to sing more carols, and wait for Santa to arrive on the back of a ute. He comes and hands out icy-poles and lollies. The sun goes down late and the warm night sky is full of stars.

I stare out in hopes of seeing THE Christmas star. Going to sleep in the heat is difficult, but we eventually doze off. At first light—5.45am—it’s Merry Christmas to everyone. Let the food and presents begin! Afterwards, we’ll run around on the lawn under the sprinkler to cool down.

Andrea Grigg: What is your favorite Aussie Christmas Day memory?

Our Christmas Day plays out much the same each year, and we love it! Our second daughter, Hayley, was born at 12:16am on December 25, 1987, so that's definitely my favorite Christmas memory! Because it's her birthday, we've always let her have a say in what we do.

We start off by giving Hayley her birthday presents. Then we open Christmas presents, followed by a barbecue brunch with lots of tropical fruit, something we all love. After that, we often used to go to our local beach, a famous surf beach, which was Hayley's choice. Now she's older, we generally stay at home and dive in the pool instead. There's nothing like an Aussie summer Christmas! 

Lacy Williams: What would your perfect Aussie Christmas Day entail?

My kids usually wake up my husband and I at the crack of dawn. On Christmas, it’s even earlier. Having small children is like discovering the joy of Christmas all over again, and it’s a lot of fun to watch them destroy wrapping paper and discover the gifts that we’ve picked out for them specifically.

Last year, they also got to visit the beach for the first time. They loved it. My perfect Aussie Christmas Day would probably entail the usual Christmas morning craziness and then a fun time on the beach, getting sand between our toes and soaking up the sun.

Marion Ueckermann: What would your perfect Aussie Christmas Day entail?

I’ve been fortunate to visit Australia twice, just not at Christmas. However, South Africa is very similar to Australia, so it would not be wrong to compare a South African Christmas with an Australian one.

My favorite Christmas Day memory—and it’s the same every year—is Christmas Eve dinner. I’ll get home from work early, start cooking the turkey, doing the final touches on the cooked gammon and setting up that special Christmas table for at least twelve underneath the gazebo outside. It’s always a treat to enjoy our special dinner in the warm summer evening under the stars with family.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

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