Christmas is always a favourite time of the year for my family. Since we are so spread out around the country (in almost every state in Australia), it usually means it is the first time we’ve been together in months. Besides lovely gifts and food, the main highlights of my Christmas were catching up with friends and family that I hadn’t seen for so long. This year, my parents, younger brother, aunt (& partner), grandmother and I risked the heat and all converged in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Surprisingly though, we really only had one day of high temperatures in the time I was there with the others days being rather mild mid to high twenties. We even had a full day of Melbourne-style, drizzly rain and 19ºC.
Festivities kicked off with the annual Carols & Pizza Night with some friends who have a self-built, wood-fire pizza oven and set up a projector in their back yard so we could enjoy Melbourne’s Carols by Candlelight in style. I’ve always enjoyed popping in over the years to see them and the additions they’ve made to their property to enhance the lifestyle of their beautiful family! My tomato-spinach-salami-bocconcini pizza was a hit and the light drizzle that arrived at the end of the night did little to dampen the mood of the evening. I really love Christmas carols.
Christmas Day was family time. We have some long held traditions including church in the morning, Christmas story reading before any present opening (to remind us it’s not really about the presents after all), and trifle for dessert. Asides from lots of eating, resting and puzzle completion, we attempted (with no small degree of difficulty) to Skype some of the members of our family who hadn’t been able to make it to Alice Springs. This included my uncle who resides in the United Kingdom but was holidaying in Canada at the time with his wife, and my siblings living in Rockhampton, Queensland. We were able to watch my nephew open his first Christmas presents (the wonder of technology!) but ended up having to call my other sibling. I think Skype may have been working overtime with all the families trying to get in touch with their loved ones around the world and it wasn’t quite cooperating.
Before I left town, I finally got to catch up with some of my friends who were also in town for Christmas. Living in such an isolated area means that most of my graduating class moved interstate for university so coming home doesn’t always mean you will get to see them. Fortunately, some of my favourites had either moved back to town or were visiting their own families over the Christmas season so I got to see them. Being the holiday time as it was, a lot of places were closed so we had to meet up in the ever-glamorous Gloria Jeans. None the less, it was lovely to catch up with friends I’ve had since high-school and to hear about all the incredible things they’ve been up to recently!
It was a pretty packed in visit to Central Australia but I enjoyed every day of it! Hopefully my next visit will not be so rushed (my mum hopes so anyway!). I hope everyone had an equally Merry Christmas!