Christmas preparations

I love Christmas. I love all the festivities and excitement. I love that it heralds a new beginning and lots of gatherings with loved ones. I love Christmas songs and the decorations. I love Christmas movies. I love the nativity story. I love the British TV Christmas specials. I love Red, Green and Gold.

I’ve been busy over the last few days getting some preparations for Christmas like the original, fake tree ready and decorated. Quite difficult to find a proper tree topper in a country where Christmas celebrations are not a big deal. Although family get togethers over a barbecue with prawns and lamb and pavlova are common place. Then after feasting, a spot of backyard cricket. Or maybe I think that Christmas is not as huge in Oz because it has always been a major deal in the other countries I have lived in. The Christmas music in every store, the church invitations to Christmas Eve services and/or nativity plays, Christmas Carolers knocking on your door, the decorations on the streets and not just the major West End streets, shopping for new clothes or material to make a new outfit. Christmas tree lights turned in by some famous person. Or maybe its the weather that I am still not used to.

It’s been a busy week – I’ll highlight the main events.

Monday, I cleaned my home. I hate cleaning but it’s tradition to spring clean before Christmas. New beginnings, gratitude, people visiting (what will they think if my home is untidy? I am my mother’s daughter ha ha ha ha). Don’t enjoy cleaning even if music is on. Let’s say no more of. To compensate, I went shopping for extra cake ingredients. Checks and balances!

Tuesday, I baked a Chocolate, Apricot and Hazelnut cake for Little Sister. As I bake by hand: Hand mixing, creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, hand chopping all those dried apricots into little pieces and so on, it takes a few hours but I la la la LOVE IT! Especially if I am baking for a loved one then an extra heaped cup of love is poured into the mixture. Preparation, baking, tidying up is all worth it!

Wednesday, I met up with British Sister and Posh Brit in the city for a pre-Christmas catch up. We started off at 567, Collins Street which is a hub of food activity and eateries. We had beautifully decorated but luke-warm coffees and Prana Chai at one of the venues.

Decided to grace a different eatery with our presence as the general vibe of venue 1 was not at all welcoming. We settled on the eatery called Black Rice because it had jacket potatoes (Spuds) on the 8-page menu. Spuds with cheese and beans were a staple diet in England so, feeling nostalgic, we piled in and were not disappointed. Off the menu, we could choose The Pork Spudster, The Mad Mexican, The Burgerkin and other set Spuds or choose a maximum of 6 toppings. What was Chrimassy about that? British Sister had two different goodies in the party bags. We were presented with homemade chocolate bars and prunes soaked in alcohol encased in chocolate. I was with dear friends. Food, fun, laughter and loved ones (in increasing order of importance). ‘Tis the season to be jolly!

Pre Brit family meet up, I went to Debenhams. My fourth time in 2 weeks. Don’t judge me!

Debenhams is in St Collins Lane on Collins Street.

St Collins Lane is a shopping precinct that is decorated with beautiful artwork. The green glass installation top left is mesmeric.

I had to get my tree up and decorated earlier than usual because 75% of my god-daughters are performing on Dec 1st and 2nd. They have been busy rehearsing every Saturday for 5 months. So exciting.

Thursday, I brought the tree into the house (got the tree out of the box) and put it up. Got the baubles out of hibernation and ready to be displayed on the tree. I started reminiscing as I unwrapped them. Most of them were purchased on travels to special places and memories came flooding back. I invested in a grown up tree this year. I decided that for my favourite season, I might as well. If I had known that I needed hours to colour code the branches, I would have stuck with my mini singing tree and not bothered. I am glad I persevered.

 Sigh!  Mini tree is musical. Playfully quaint, I know.

Yes, beady-eyed friends, I did find a tree topper. It reminds me of the one my family used in my pre-teens.

Turns out I am not the only one to have put up my tree early this year.

British Sister’s tree

75% of my god-daughter’s tree

Friday, today, I was going to mow my incredibly small lawn by cutting the grass with a pair of shears. My neighbour rescued me from hours of agony and mowed it with his lawn mower. I ended up pulling out a few weeds, sweeping cobwebs off windows and sweeping the front door steps. So… I am freed up for the day to watch a Christmas movie or read a Christmas book or get ready for the weekend and another busy week of pre-Christmas shenanigans.

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