Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas is coming!

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
A very Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

What's that I hear playing softly (ok, not so softly) in the background? Is it Neil Diamond's Christmas Album?? I believe it is! Don't judge. My fam listed to this every year(much to my poor father's dismay). It's a matter of tradition and enjoying possibly one of the most kitch albums of all time. AND I absolutely LOVE it and cannot wait until the 1st of December every year to blast that shiz.

December is a month of contradictions for me. End of the year, exhausting and usually chaotic. My birthday (which I DREADDDDDDD) thrown in, but then, soon after, the absolutely exciting time of going home (it's a looooong and dry drive!), catching up with my very loved and extremely missed, friends and family.

I cannot explain to you how fun Christmas in Gunnedah is. I love everything Christmassy - Neil Diamond Christmas Album, trees, tinsel, light looking, drink and (no surprise here) - eating. The smell in the air is intoxicating. All my friends that grew up in Gunnedah can 'smell' Christmas too. 

Lots of people put up gorgeous Christmas decorations and light show spectaculars, so there are parties in the streets with people sitting out eating and drinking and spreading the Christmas cheer. Forget the display at Myer- Sorry guys, but it pales in comparison. And I'm not even kidding!!

It's generally so stinking hot, you can't breathe too well, but that's all part of it. We spend days by the pool, lazing around. Christmas Eve is the most anticipated night of the year. After getting family commitments out of the way (yes, I still go to Christmas Eve Church with my Grandfather - just cos')  all the youngins head out on the town to spend time with long lost friends they haven't seen since the year before.

Somehow, despite the best of intentions (I always preach that I'm not drinking) I fall into a dangerous trap and end up having a couple, and talking the night away, then creeping into bed at the early hours of the morning. My little sister (who I might add, is 18- so not so little) always sneaks in to wake my other sister and I up at a ridiculously early, and we grab our sacks (Yes, I still get a santa sack ) and open them.

Then the last minute prepping begins. I say last minute, because usually Dad and I spend the whole month preparing our menu, and cook for the week leading up to Christmas so that the big day will be relatively stress free. 

My sisters and Mum usually take care of the decorating and theming but this year, I'm going to give that a go aswell.

Not only do we cater Christmas day- my fam also hosts two additional Christmas parties (or they will be this year) A night for all my friends (and my sister's friends) to come and drink copious amounts and party on the lawn, AND a party with all the family friends. We might even think about combining the two events, but I'm afraid my parents and their friends will be a badddd influence on us 18-28's! 

Usually by the first of December, I'm emailing menus to Dad for approval, or have at least suggested some themes. The end of this year has been so hectic, professionally and personally, that I haven't started Christmas shopping or opened my December version of Gourmet Traveller, letalone finalised meal choices.

HELP!!! I want to use you guys as inspiration!! 

I'd love to know what you do at Christmas time. Tell me about your family traditions, what you like to eat and drink and what you listen to(as if it's NOT Neil Diamond)?

What theme is your Christmas this year? Do you do traditional, seafood, a mixture of both or something completely original?? I would like some stuff that can be prepared ahead of time too- don't want to have to get up TOO early!

I also know some of you are decorating divas- so would love some inspiration there too!

I'll will be serving my Christmas cake made at Judy C's class - that's for sure! But am totally open to suggestions- so hit me! 

P.S. Let me know if you want a copy of Neil Diamond- I can arrange. x

10 fabulous comments:

greenbeenfood said...

Merry Christmas to you!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Sounds wonderful!

I'm very short on family here so Christmas Day is a quiet affair with my mother, mother-in-law, husband and any of his cousins whom haven't gone away. I usually do a pre-Christmas gathering with friends as they're like extended family - the menu changes, but has usually been cold meats, salads and finger food. This year I'm going for a sit-down do...still dreaming up the menu (!) but probably cold starters and dessert, with some sort of ovened meat in between!

Decorations get recycled from year to year - our 1-foot tall mini-tree, some tinsel about the place and a string of fairy lights which get attached across the top of our tv and anchored on either side by some speakers!

Anna Johnston said...

I know, I know, I know..., Christmas IS almost here and with 1st December I fly into a tizz making my list of what I can make (coz everyone expects it & I sorta like it that way too) and the theme of the table..., I'm all about the theme. This year we've been invited to Mr HG's family... our first Xmas...WOOHOOO!!!!!, so I don't get to play with a theme and do the whole table decorations this year.... my job this year apparently is "the salads", so my load is light & you've come to the right girl.... Oh Right.., I came to you didn't I...., no matter, I'm here.... make use of me OK :)
So, here we go..., Table suggestions:- I put together a cool video in this post with heaps of table settings
I was invited to a 'do' and they turned an shed into an awesome banquet hall, I loved the make shift rustic chandelier they put together, another little video & check this out...., simple idea right?
Family Traditions you ask? Well..., my bro, my Mom & I are slightly embarrassing, but we all lurve a weird old 1980 something Christmas CD, its a compilation but we all know every word off by heart, its dorky but fun. And my own Christmas tradition is I bake cookies, lots of 'em and parcel 'em up in cellophane & ribbon & everyone gets some, I hand them out like Santa.
Hope this feeds the brain with ideas.

Ally said...

Basically every year we have antipasto and seafood. Platters of meat, cheese, olives, dips, vegies and salad, plus fresh prawns and crab, and some salmon sushi that I make.

This year I am mixing it up a bit and making pork belly to go with it.

My fam is really small, so Christmas is always low-key, but every single year for the past 18 years (seriously), we make sure we watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Oh, and Momma T makes her famous tiramisu!

JanJan said...

Merry Christmas to you too :)

The InTolerant Chef said...

I LooooooveChristmas! My kiddos woke me up on the 1st of November with blasting carols. Our tree goes up mid November as well. We always have the same colour theme of gold, deep red and cream, and even though Santa comes to visit, we keep to a botanical theme with fruits and nuts and birds, butterflies and flowers.
We don't like turkey, but I always cook a pork and chicken roast and of course there's the ham. We opt for a cold dessert, and last year we decided that we were only having dessert for tea as we were still stuffed from lunch. We also pick an awesome movie to watch in the afternoon to wind down with. With just he 4 of us it can be quiet, so sometimes we visit friends if they can squeeze us in. You Christmas sounds so lovely, I hope you have a great time, and I don't think the drive will be dry this year!

Sally said...

Oh night divine, oh night ...
We have the Neil Diamond Cd too, and we play it on repeat. I think we each have copies too. It's not Christmas without Neil. How wonderful to find a kindred Christmas Neil fan!

I love, love, love Christmas. I love the food too! Last year I did an Australian themed Christmas with a Lemon myrtle and macadamia crusted turkey breast roll. I often make an icecream bombe in place of a pudding, using homemade cherry icecream. Our family tradition is to have prawns for breakfast, and I often accompany this with toasted sour dough and an avocado and mango salsa. New potatos and snow peas with the main course, which is always variants on turkey breast, baked ham, and some lobster!

Cant wait to read about your menu, and see some pics of your decorations!

Susan: My Food Obsession said...

I definitely have Christmas carols playing in the background in a never ending loop. I don't have anything specific I serve except for lots and lots of sweet treats.

I think I will attempt a baked ham this year.

SOL's view said...

Lions Christmas cake with icecream and custard and a viewing of Nightmare Before Christmas. The tree goes up December 1st. It's black and gold tinsel with a hodge podge of assorted decorations.

Every year growing up, it was everyone out of bed, bacon and eggs for breakfast and when that was cleaned up, we could open presents. Gathered around the tree in a semi circle, dad would don the santa cap and give out the presents. Very slowly and one at a time.

I desperately tried to break that tradition but my kids - now adults - still love it and pester me to do it that way. Even with only the 4 of us. I get into sooo much trouble because I like to hoard mine and open them over the course of the whole day. :)

I'm a lazy cook, so it's usually cold salads, with the ham and chicken.

The tree hasn't gone up this year - I've not yet figured out a way to stop the ginger-destroyer-of-worlds (the kitten) well ... destroying it.

rhubarbwhine said...

I would like a copy of Neil! Awesome idea, ND singing carols, something else to drive husband bonkers :)

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