Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas day at our place

Christmas day dawned cold, but with no snow. Christmas Eve was rainy (which was not such a good thing, as this is when most Germans celebrate Christmas, and give their gifts late in the afternoon).

For us, the day begins with opening of the presents, and calling family back in Australia (often, due to the timing, these often overlap!). Alexander and Cameron burst into our bedroom to let us know that Santa had been (Rudolph had even left some carrot 'crumbs' on the terrace!) and there were some intersting presents for them to unwrap!

We joined the boys downstairs, and we opened our family presents. The boys had a great time, and one of the delights is sharing the boys excitement at finding out what they have received. Of course, this included Lego, so within minutes of all the presents being opened, there were packs of Lego opened and spread out around the loungeroom!

We had offered to 'host' Christmas lunch for our good friends, the Ramsays. We have enjoyed Christmas lunch at their place in previous years, and it was our pleasure to have them join us for the day. Following a detailed plan, the lunch ('Thomas the turkey') was prepared and served to the two families (except Alan and Sonia's eldest son Stuart, who celebrated in New Zealand with relatives this year).

It went off well, and we all had lots of laughs (especially with the two Dame Edna masks for Alan and Phil!), plenty to eat and quite a few bottles of good wine. The boys played beautifully, sharing and testing all of the new presents. Later in the evening, the boys reported that all the adults were asleep on the sofas at the same time (we, however, don't believe them...).

Being so far from home makes Christmas quite a reflective time. It reminds you how far away you are, and how the bonds of family are stretched that little bit further than if you were there. Having great friends to share Christmas with helps a lot.

Nicole received 2 tickets to see the film "Australia" from Alan and Sonia, so we arranged for the boys to have a sleepover and the 4 adults (Alan, Sonia, Phil and Nicole) went to the movies on Boxing Day evening. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and for Nicole and I it was a real reminder of home. Not so much the storyline, but all of the accents, scenery, actors the we have seen on Aussie TV... all the little stuff. When the credits rolled, Nicole and I just sat there. With Christmas, and then seeing our homeland, made us pine a little for home. Somewhere, over the rainbow, indeed.

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