The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
~ Isaiah 9:2
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Pictured in this post are a few things we’ve been eating these two days*: sushi, hand-rolled by my brother; a flaky blueberry chutney, ham and cheese-filled croissant; ravioli from Sabato, topped with truffle oil and lemon juice; tang yuan…
Yes, no turkey and no pavlova – it was too hot to stay in the kitchen/eat heavy meals.
Instead, we used the stove and oven as little as we could, drank lots of water, and concentrated on getting sunburnt in a place stuffed with bushes and grass and flowers.
I applied my rusty mind and fingers to a piano and could just about manage a few haphazard, possibly off-key renditions of various songs – oops! So good to feel those black and white keys again though…
I looked a little like a surprised roast chicken when I last glanced in the mirror, but never mind. It is wonderful to have a Summer Christmas, you know? Last Christmas I was waddling around in two coats. Sunburn is a terribly small price to pay for the ability to wear shorts and a singlet all day (and night) long while listening to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”…
Okay, I’ll admit I am a tiny bit jealous of you snowflaking/marshmallowing/roast turkeying folk on the other side of the world. But only a tiny tiny bit. Sun is nice. :-)
I realise I have trouble naming even one Christmas tradition. I cannot name a staple cookie, ornament or “thing we always do”.
I have spent Christmas on a plane; with friends; with family; in church; cooking with strangers; attempting to kayak; cramming with impossible crowds; hiding under the Christmas tree; at a dinner party; homesick with boxes all around me…
Sometimes, I think… I would not swap my life for any other.
Sometimes, I wish… I could.
But, whatever. I’m coming to relish opportunities to learn, to create adventures and to love…
And I’d probably not have said this a few years ago, but now I find forgetting Christmas shopping/lists/itineraries an attractive option and spend Christmas Day as I would most days – you know, reflecting on life, buying good wine just to celebrate living, being content to eat toast for dinner if everyone else feels like it, taking a walk in the sunshine/rain/whatever just ‘cos the grass is too lovely to ignore, thinking and writing for hours ‘cos I can, phoning a dear friend to see how they’re doing… that kinda thing.
And maybe somewhere along the line, I’ll find a way to introduce some sort of Christmas tradition.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading about what everyone else does at Christmas time and reflecting on what Christmas actually is about.
I hope you have a beautiful Christmas and fantastic launch into next year.
(On that note: everyone’s said this a million times over, but what the heck – can you believe it’s December already and another year is about to happen… again… so soon?!??!)
* What is not pictured here is the very indulgent potluck dinner we partook of last night… Christmas ham; two roast chickens (one with sage and onion and one with wine, herbes de provence and lemon); pumpkin, rocket and almond salad; shrimp cocktail; chips in a basket; cherry trifle; sourdough with a balsamic dip… yes I need not go on… I forgot to take photos, got caught up in conversation with this wonderful lady I met.