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1 Jan 2011

Xmas to New Year

I've been slack on the blogging front. I think up stuff to write, I have the material and then I get lazy. After a blissfully beautiful Christmas, which I insist on calling "the traditional Aussie Christmas" even though people tell me there's nothing traditional about an Aussie Christmas, I made up my mind to blog about it. The draft page remained open on my Chrome for a week before I shut it when I had to restart my PC for updates. That was the end of it.

It has been a crazy week. Busy and free. Full and quiet. Odd and lovely at so many levels.

Christmas Eve involved attending a family mass at the Holy Cross Church at Windsor. It was my first time. I've wanted to do that for many years now. A lovely experience. It felt nice to be at a place of worship after a long time. I had not realized until then that I missed going to a temple or church. It was touching to see that many people with an unfailing faith in God. There were bits when the priest was speaking that seemed to come straight out of the movies. That could be because movies take things out of life in an attempt to make it seem real. It felt out of place but that was just me, of course. I was allowed to take pictures but alas my mobile camera is not the world's greatest. In the end, we all held hands and prayed, then when everyone whispered "Peace be with you" to each other, in reverence, it took me a while to go from 'psst psst psst' and 'Merry Christmas??' to what it really was. Managed to return some myself, eventually.

Christmas was perfect. There is no other way to describe it. Ever since the festive season started, I had begun to feel more than ever that I wanted to see what the inside of a Christmas was really like. I wanted to spend it with an Aussie family and see what they do. Everyone I spoke with merely said "lunch with family", "exchange presents", "that's about it". I wanted to be part of it anyway but no such thing was going to happen. So, I got a stack of books from the library and told myself that I could atleast lose myself in the magical world of stories. That is when I received an invite to attend a 10-day camping trip to Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Excited as I was, it was too short a notice to obtain time off at work and to prepare myself. I hated having to let it pass. Then an angel sent me EM, girlfriend of RVR, from my Krav classes, at our pre-Christmas BBQ. 

RVR picked me up from home at 10 on the morning of Christmas Day. The afternoon was spent volunteering at a church, helping with the community lunch for the lonely/homeless/poor. It was interesting to meet so many people, listen to some of the older ones talk about life in their younger days, the even older ones discuss their times, really young ones argue about the fascination of their generation. EM's mum KM chattered away and introduced me to everyone. Such a social and amiable person, she is. Reminded me of my mum. Went back home to EM's parents where EM and I made dessert - chocolate biscotti tart with caramel filling. Yumm. Watching the family exchange gifts in private, is a memory to lock away and cherish. Showered, changed and got lost catching up with the rest of the extended family that came in for a fabulous Christmas dinner. Meeting all those people, the chatter, the excitement, the exchange of information was so overwhelming. The Christmas dinner was a gala affair, starting with PM "saying grace", the Christmas crackers, reading the cheeky jokes aloud, the 3-course meal, the conversations... can't say enough about it. Later, the exchange of presents, reading newsletters, sharing news, more talking, the excitement in the air was simply marvellous. At the end of an enjoyable evening came the goodbyes. 

I was the first to arrive when the day had just begun and the last to leave. A quiet drive back home with RVR, talking about stuff. Bedtime. A perfect Christmas.

Boxing Day was, of course, all about sales and shopping. Even though I had a late start to my day, thanks to the fun and frolic of Jesus' birthday, I shopped till the stores closed. The next day, it was more shopping again. My day started earlier but the spending spree was on till the shops closed. Buying gifts for others can be so much fun, especially when the salary's just been credited into your account. When you toss in a few things for yourself in there, it only gets better.

Back to work after the tightly packed 4-day weekend, which also included cleaning up the mess I call home. I loved it nevertheless, needed to exercise my brains. The 3 quiet days at work went by like a fantasy. Less people, no noise, lots achieved. 

New Years Eve was somewhat like Christmas Eve. Spent the evening with BT and NT. Only, this time it was watching fireworks instead of mass at the church. Walked back to the station, noticing how crowded the city gets on such days (where do all those people come from?) and eyeing the drunks warily, enjoying the colours and how Brissie comes alive on occasions like this. Twenty minutes before the switch to 2011 I knocked off for a good night's sleep.

New Year Day has started on a warm summer morning, just cool enough to enjoy a hot cuppa. Quiet, except for the odd bird. Shooting off to a day trip with friends. Looking forward to a fun day to reign in 2011.

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