I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day in whatever way you chose to celebrate the day – and for those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a good holiday day.
I left home on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with my closest friends here in Sydney, Brenda and Nigel, and we had a wonderful time. We didn’t over-eat as much as previous years, which was great. Nigel spoiled us, as he always does, by cooking us Eggs Benedict for a late breakfast (which Brenda and I washed down with a mini bottle of bubbly each). We then skipped lunch and saved ourselves for our Christmas feast of baked ham, boiled baby potatoes, sliced beans fresh from the garden, peas, and the most succulent turkey I’ve ever had – topped off with Nigel’s famous pavlova for dessert. My contribution was at Brenda’s request – I brought all the ingredients to make Sangria and Brenda and I polished off two jugfuls of it throughout Christmas Day (Nigel doesn’t drink, which always means more for us!). We both adored the recipe I chose, which can be found on the Taste.com.au website.
It was a very hot and humid day here in Sydney, so we ate our evening meal outside (along with their favourite next door neighbours who joined us for dinner) – I enjoyed it immensely until Nigel spied a huge spider … and I mean HUGE!!! … sitting on the fence by the table. I only needed to look once at its massive long legs hanging over the top of the fence and I was outta my chair quicker than a speeding bullet. Even Nigel said it was probably the biggest spider he’s ever seen, and when he tried to get closer to it it tried to bite him with its big fangs … I finally decided I couldn’t handle it any longer even hiding behind Brenda’s chair, and I cleared the table and did the dishes – then ate my dessert inside on my own! That’s one bit of company I did NOT want to share my time with on Christmas Day (or any day for that matter) – thankfully Brenda and Nigel know what I’m like so they weren’t offended in the slightest, and it got most of the dishes done early LOL.
After the neighbours left for the night we settled in for a bit more TV and DVD viewing – that’s all we did the entire two days I was there … it was sheer bliss!! A highlight was watching the New Zealand movie “Boy” – we really loved it. We also watched a Billy T James DVD that my best friend Vicki had sent over for my birthday from last year – we really did have a kiwi-fied Christmas with all our viewing choices! I even managed to get some stitching done – I worked on my Valentine Bird then realised I’d left one thread colour at home, so then I picked up a Halloween ornie to start, and yesterday I managed to finish them both off while sat in front of the gogglebox at home watching season 1 of Fringe. I’ll add a separate post shortly with the stitching finishes, but this is the progress I made on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Brenda brought tears to my eyes when I opened my Christmas gift from them – she had hand-painted a ceramic plate especially for me, and engraved it on the back with our names and date. I am incredibly touched by this gift by the simple fact that I know she doesn’t do these types of gifts for people often these days and the amount of effort that goes into each and every piece. This is one gift I will treasure always, I truly adore it! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hand made gifts are the BEST! 😀
I forgot to mention that I drove over to Brenda and Nigel’s on Christmas Eve, and at about 9pm we went out driving to see the lights and nativity at the ‘local’ Mormon church – it was really lovely wandering around the lit up gardens, and while I’m not religious it was really nice to see the life-size nativity scene created for those who celebrate.
We then finished off by driving round the local neighbourhood to visit a couple of Christmas displays that people have put up – there were very few houses decorated with lights this year compared to past years, I think the steep jump in electricity costs has taken a toll (I know ours jumped up $100 from one bill to the next from $157 to $257, and that was before “electric fan season” had started!).
The highlight for me, though, was a home where the occupants section off parts of their home just for Christmas to have window displays for visitors to look at – how awesome is this? They’re a lovely retired couple who stand outside every night throughout December to welcome visitors and have a chat … just wonderful, and really brought the warm fuzzies of Christmas cheer into my heart that evening 🙂