I have a confession to make regarding Christmas. You see, our Christmas doesn't look anything like those TV adverts where perfect families race downstairs on Christmas morning, children all bright eyed and shiny haired and the Christmas tree perfectly put together. In the ads, the presents are wonderfully wrapped and excited youth sit surrounded by mountains of expensive gifts and then a meal is served from family heirloom quality crockery and all of the happy, smiley people gaze lovingly at each other for the rest of the day.
It can be hard to put together any sort of traditional Christmas when you're first a couple and it wasn't until we spent our first Christmas in the UK, not knowing anyone and with two very young children, that our own traditions were started. From that first Christmas by ourselves we realised how easy it was to get involved in the advertising hype, and by putting all of that aside, the best Christmases are formed. Our first cold Christmas was a wonderful day of relaxation. Our main meal included the Supermarket delights of frozen roast potatoes and Yorkshire puds (we were in Yorkshire after all), followed by lovely phone calls to our family in Australia, who were enjoying the endless sunshine of an Australian Summer, and children who were just happy to play with their toys and enjoy their usual afternoon nap.
Our Christmases haven't changed much since our early UK festivities. Our morning starts with the children opening their Christmas stockings and the rule is not before 6am - we all need our beauty sleep. We then have a lovely leisurely breakfast of a Summer fruit salad (Watermelon cubes, Strawberries and Blueberries drizzled with passionfruit), Danish pastries, coffee and juices before the main pressie opening begins. Strict budgets apply to the presents so part of the excitement is seeing what everyone managed to buy each other for next to nothing.
The rest of the morning is then spent putting the final touches to our main meal. We're very lucky in Australia that Christmas falls in Summer. For the last few years our meat slowly cooks in the BBQ outside while the salads are prepared and the trifle and/or pavlova is made of dessert. Lunch is eaten, and even I confess to using paper plates on occasion, no-one wants to do all of that washing up, and then in between phone and skype calls we marvel at how easy Christmas can be...
...even if it doesn't quite feel that way when there's less than a month to go!
Hope all your Christmas plans are coming together.