Perhaps the fact that we had our family Christmas Day early this year accounts for the feeling of serenity against the tide the rushing shoppers. Our Christmas shopping is done (do you feel the smugness coming through the screen?)
The reason for the premature Christmas celebrations is that it's the turn for the in-laws to have the pleasure of our offspring's company and the other grandparents live in Melbourne. It's a very amicable arrangement which has worked over the years, with the Sydney family dividing their Christmases between us in Brisbane, our son-in-law's family in Melbourne, and our other son-in-law's family living just out of Sydney. The children have so many cousins in Melbourne and it's lovely that they will all be together on Christmas Day. After all, now we have them close by for the rest of the year.
I have been so welcomed by the St Ives Quilters, the local group which I joined soon after arriving in Sydney. We had our Christmas party this week - there were so many beautiful quilts on show that I am now really fired up to start a new project in 2012.
We all brought along a dish to share.
These pastries are apparently a permanent feature and I can understand why. They are feather light and it's impossible to stop at one. Well, impossible for me.
A different slant on cheese cake?
So Christmas Day this year will be a quiet affair, with my brother and our two closest friends as guests for lunch. The company will be wonderful, as we have known each other practically all our lives - the best sort of company. There will be laughter and reminiscences, old stories re-told (and perhaps embroidered a little).
Our third Christmas will be in Brisbane a couple of days later, as we drive up to celebrate with our son, daughter-in-law and their four beautiful children. We have missed them so much, so I hope they are prepared for lots of hugs.
All is calm, all is bright. I wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas.