Christmas Day can be loaded with expectation and emotion, fuelled by soaring heat, beer and close encounters with family members that you have spent the entire year avoiding. Thankfully, our day was merry and bright, and suitably festive for my childlike desires.
I admit to being intoxicated by magazine spreads of perfectly styled Christmas events, and wanted to create a bit of magic to begin the day. We hosted a drop-in vegan breakfast for both families, with the kitchen and coffee machine open from 7am. I was skipping with fa la la on Christmas Eve as I hung decorations and laid out my ceramics collection to be filled at dawn with raw granola, bircher muesli, marinated mushrooms, guacamole and fruit. All sourdough bread desires were met with rye, white, wholemeal and fruit loaves from our local artisan baker, and the barista pumped out flat whites, decaf long blacks and half caf soy long macs. If you wanted tea you had to help yourself. By ten o'clock we were down the beach for the first dip of the day to work up an appetite for act two - the roast lunch.
The meat lovers managed to withhold their smart remarks about the lack of bacon or eggs at breakfast because they knew what was coming out of mum's oven at 1pm. 37 degrees isn't conducive to a proper sit down English meal, so we congregated around the table in an air-conditioned bubble as three types of meat were slabbed up and roast veggies were smothered in gravy and mint sauce. We aren't the seafood on the barbie kind of family, despite being free from the mother land for over a hundred years. Just in case we weren't totally stuffed, there was mum's old fashioned steamed pudding that had been bathing for two months in brandy to accompany retro trifle and custard. All this and not a green leaf in sight.
Dad flaked out in his recliner before the dishes were finished and siblings parted ways with diplomatic farewells. Tom and I rode to the beach for another swim and snacked on leftover muesli on the deck at sunset. A joyous day.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas brimming with peace and goodwill. Best wishes for the rest of the festive season.