Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And so this is Christmas (Part Two)

As usual after we have stuffed ourselves silly at my Mum's house we drive down to Inverloch to 'Shirwell' - the original family holiday home of Matt's great grandparents generation, newly renovated this year by his aunty and uncle. Matt's parents have built their new home on what was a bush block, right on the beach with views over to Cape Liptrap. It has been such a long time coming and we were super excited to see the finished product of so much hard work and planning that goes into building 'the house' that will become the heart of our family now. 

And of course, there was a baby to snuggle, a pregnant cousin to admire, so much delicious vegetarian fare, a huge salmon on the barbie and the smells of mint and mango in the air. Christmas dinner at 'Shirwell' is a highlight for me - this year on the new deck by candlelight with all our loved ones chatting over a glass of wine. Bliss.

The following days have been filled with more baby snuggles, more delicious food, strong coffee, late lunches and walks on the beach with the dogs. We drag out the opening of presents down here, it is just far too relaxing! We finally opened some gifts today, and yesterday did our traditional Kris Kringle round-robin type game we do every year. The kids were happy with the handmade and cheap toys (of course) and the grown-up's shared their goods of chocolates, homemade biscuits, jams, coffee beans, scarves and the like. Just the way Christmas should be - our family together, sharing, giving, laughing. 

We are feeling so very blessed, full of joy and gratitude to be safely home with our families and to have enjoyed such a lovely Christmas both at my family and Matt's. In the coming weeks we will be finding our feet, making some pretty big decisions and continuing to discover where 'home' lies. In the meantime...I'm going to have another mince pie.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And so this is Christmas (Part One)

Christmas is over for another year...

From Boort we headed home to Gippsland, across the Bolte and sighing at the sight of Melbourne town in all her summer sparkling glory. Back at home on the farm we enjoyed an early Christmas at my dad's with a pool party and massive seafood feast - prawns, oysters, crayfish and champagne a'plenty. Crazy manoeuvres on the waterslide, a bus shelter delivery from Santa (note the sleigh marks) and crocheted animal hats from Aunty Em...

Christmas at my mum's is full of tradition - Christmas eve mass in our local parish, leaving beer for Santa, wrapping gifts, picking holly and decking the halls with decorations. Oh the decorations. My mum is the Christmas crazy elf herself (I think it may be genetic?) and does not disappoint with our childhood home decked out with all sorts of baubles, trees, garlands and tinsel. We love Christmas! Can you tell?

Santa sacks were laid, beer and carrots were left...Christmas morning dawned merry and bright with squeals of delight at guinea pigs, puzzles, paints and books. Our traditional fly-over from our friend Bill as he dropped packets of chips on our front lawn from the plane. And then onto the food. Tradition dictates pork, turkey, ham and chicken (for my brother-in-law who feels it's necessary to have roast chook?!) Jamie Oliver smashed roast spuds, pumpkin, peas, gravy, pudding and washed down with a healthy slosh of brandy sauce.

After lunch we headed off down to the beach to Matt's parent's new house! Much excitement to see everyone and especially to meet our new baby niece Madeleine. But that story is perhaps for another day...

I hope you and your families had a beautiful Christmas, with lots of good cheer and good food!