I live about a thousand miles away from most of my family. I’m not hyperbolising either. While I do live very near my Wolf Brother, the remainder of my immediate family is approximately 1700 kilometres (1000 and something miles) north of me.
Each Christmas I try to catch up with them. I miss my family and always love seeing them and Christmas is a fantastic time of year to take the opportunity in. I get a solid week off work and the two hour flight is more than easy to deal with in order to spend some invaluable time with my family.
While no Christmas is ever exactly the same, there are a few things that make the occasion special and unique to me. Besides the overarching Spirit of Christmas, it just wouldn’t be the same if the following things weren’t present:
1. The heat – Christmas in Queensland is not white. Christmas in Cairns can be quite uncomfortable even if you’re accustomed to the weather. Temperatures average around 30 degrees Celsius (approximately 86 degrees Fahrenheit) and with humidity somewhere in the 69-75% range, there’s a very good chance that you’ll spend Christmas Day hot and sweaty, even in the shade. Of course, swimming pools, fans and air-conditioners are very popular as a result.
2. The family – A rough guesstimate of any given “OpentoAdventure Clan” gathering puts the number of seats required at the festive table in the vicinity of 22. It’s not a huge gathering, but it certainly makes for lively conversation and brilliant, if not slightly insane events. We all usually get along famously, but with that many people enduring the heat there’s always the possibility of an incident. Especially if Santa hasn’t seen fit to deliver the appropriate gifts for the little boys and girls who believe they were good all year long.
3. The pool – I’m not sure how we ever celebrated Christmas without a pool nearby! Thankfully now, no matter where we meet for Christmas lunch, there is always a pool in close proximity to the festivities. The Annual Aunty Aquatic Extravaganza has become something of a tradition now, and it’s always fun to take a dip in the cool waters of the pool before or after lunch.
4. Dad’s trifle – A few years ago my Dad decided to make a trifle to contribute to the Christmas Day meal. I’m not sure exactly where he found the recipe but it was one that tickled his fancy and so he set to work creating this delicious dessert. Of course, it was a hit and is now a standard addition to the menu.
5. Roses chocolates – In addition to all the other delicious food that is brought to Christmas lunch there are the Roses. For as long as I can remember, there has been a box of Roses delivered each and every Christmas to accompany any other gifts. I can’t look at a box anymore without thinking about being at home with my family.
There are many other things that I could add to this list. Christmas Day for me is a day shared with family that I don’t see nearly as often as I would like to – and it’s often a day that packs about a year’s worth of insanity into a 12-hour block. But I wouldn’t trade my Christmasses for anything; I only hope to be able to share them each and every year. As much as I’d like to see a White Christmas, I just don’t know if it would be the same for me.
Are there any particular things that make your Christmas truly yours?