This will be our second Christmas celebrated in Australia. Last year, John and Shawn on Active Transport spent the holiday aboard with us in Sydney. This year they're in South Africa and we're in Hobart. Unlike Australians who realize that Christmas is a summer holiday down under, we're still northern hemisphere traditionalists and it's hard to dispel old ways of thinking that have been ingrained for decades. We're not hoping for snow or anything, but we like the big midday turkey feast and presents under the tree ... I mean, the mast, on Christmas morning.
Most Australians we know tend to celebrate the holiday at the beach with a picnic or have a big outdoor barbie. Several folks from the marina have taken off for a week or two to go sailing or camping over the holidays. It's summertime ... outdoor activities seem the right thing to do. We're told, it has become traditional for international visitors who are in Sydney at Christmas to go to Bondi Beach where up to 40,000 people visit on Christmas Day. Wouldn't that be a fun experience? (NOT!)
Christmas shopping is done in shorts and t-shirts instead of all bundled up in parkas, mittens and snow boots. Though I've seen poinsettias, the local red proteas or the native Christmas Bush with its bright red flowers, seem more appropriate. I've seen artificial trees, but no lots full of real Christmas trees for sale. Santa might be just as likely to arrive at the beach on a surfboard or in a dinghy as in a sleigh … and the white boomers readily replaced the tired reindeer without hesitation for Santa's inland Australian run last night … or so we heard.
Perhaps if we were from California or Florida, the beach thing would be appealing. But we're not...we're from cold and snow country and being at the beach on Christmas … well, it's just not right! We should be shoveling snow or making snowmen or snow forts...having snowballs fights, but definitely not laying on a beach. It was cool and overcast today in Hobart. Not a good beach day at all … but not good for snowballs either.
So, how did we celebrate Christmas? We planned to go to midnight service at St. David's Cathedral, but it was cold, dark, windy and misty at 11pm and we were already in bed. So much for that plan.
We were up early this morning drinking mimosas (champagne and OJ) and singing Christmas songs while getting the turkey stuffed and in the oven for our traditional afternoon feast. We gratefully declined offers made by friends and opted to spend Christmas with just the two of us this year. We like each others' company a lot plus more leftover turkey for the crew.
We cooked and chatted and opened our presents. We had cinnamon coffee cake for breakfast...washed down with yet more mimosas. We watched a romantic movie (Love, Actually) and it was time to eat. The turkey was roasted to perfection. The aroma had driven us crazy for hours. The table was set with our best linen and china (as if!). Hours of preparation led to a leisurely, sumptuous dinner. Everything was delicious including the blueberry/raspberry crisp for dessert (a close second to cranberry pudding). A fine day celebrating what we love most … each other.
We'll Skype our family in the States and Brennan and Hannah in Rome tomorrow when they have their holiday celebration.
Wishing you and yours a happy Christmas from Nine of Cups.