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Old 12-03-2006, 08:30 PM   #1
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Christmas is coming

Just three weeks to go so it's time to get the check-list out for things to do and presents to buy. This year will be the first time that our family will be together since our youngest son left school ten years ago.
It's hot and dry and we expect Xmas day to be in the mid 30's C so I've been out in the yard this morning mowing the weeds and the dust and cranking up the bore which will green things up for the day. There's a brawl going on down there between the different birds about who's going to have first bath.
The Poinciana tree is just starting to shoot new leaves and bud to flower so we will have plenty of shade for the day. The Mango tree has let us down but there might be a few fruit ready.
You are all invited off course so don't forget the sunscreen, straw hat and your cricket bat.
We should start the day off with the traditional ham and eggs and stubbies of xxxx beer. The men should then get a bit of exercise by setting up the table and chairs down under the tree, strategically placing the eskies, setting up the BBQ and get the roasts under way, and drink some beer.
By late morning things should be organised enough to let the ladies take over while the men cool down, and drink some more beer. They should also taste test some freshly cooked prawns and moreton bay bugs that they have just boiled up on the BBQ.
LUNCH - Party hats that stain your forehead when you sweat, bon-bons that don't work 'cause they were made in China somewhere. A rolled leg of pork, seasoned chicken and a leg of lamb cooked on the spit sounds good with plenty of salads to go with them.
After lunch we should have a game of cricket, and drink some more beer, then have a rest, and drink some more beer.
Then it will be time for a BBQ dinner. Angus rib eye steaks, U10 tiger prawns, pork sausages and bacon sounds good, probably a toad-in-the-hole for a bit of variety, and some more beer.
How does that sound for a Christmas day.

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Old 12-03-2006, 09:15 PM   #2
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I have yet to get my list together for presents and things to do, but I will do that soon! For me I cannot imagine a warm Christmas such as yours being summer and all, but I see you have plenty of partying going on and great food! Sound like a blast to me!!
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:24 PM   #3
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This is the first year I shopped on black friday. Me and my husband wanted to kick ourselves because we shopped at bed bath and beyond, khols and linens N things, and there really wasn't the type of sale you would expect for a day like "black friday". We decided to still go shopping on BF next year, but to boycott them for fooling us. lol
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:19 PM   #4
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I've always wondered how folks south of the equator celebrated Christmas. Now, I know at least how some folks in Austrailia celebrate. Thanks for the memorable post on the day's activities.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:20 PM   #5
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Allen, I've always celebrated Christmas somewhere just a little north of the equator. Temperature in Dec and Jan is always the coolest. At night there's just a hint of 'nip' in the air (at least for me).

In Manila where I grew up, people go crazy over Christmas with food, festivities, and age-old traditions bequeathed by the Spanish priests. They say the Philippines celebrates the longest Christmas. That's probably true.

By September you'll start hearing Christmas carols on the radio (honest!). By Nov 2 (right after All Soul's Day) people start putting up their trees. Malls and main avenues are bedecked with Christmas trimmings. People get caught up in a frenzy of holiday shopping. Many devoted Catholics go to dawn mass for 9 straight days culminating on Christmas Eve's Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster) or midnight mass celebrating the reason for Christmas. At these dawn masses, various forms of traditional warm rice cakes are sold in stalls outside the churches.

Families hold lavish Noche Buena (Christmas Eve feast). On Christmas day, families gather around the tree for gift-giving. Throughout the days, families and friends reunite and the feasting continues until New Year's Eve. Roasted pig is normally the highlight of the holiday buffet spread, as well as many traditional dishes with recipes handed down over the generations. On New Year's Eve, people everywhere set off firecrackers and gather in places to watch major public fireworks.

Needless to say, from December up to the first week of January, very little work gets done.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:35 PM   #6
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In contast, here in Thailand, a Buddhist country with countless Buddhist temples, December is a regular working month, except for the King's birthday on the 5th. There's some Christmas decor in the malls but Christmas is purely a commercial event here, lacking in any religious significance. Christmas trimmings are purely decorative in nature -- hey I've seen some food stalls decorated with tinsel in June! Salesgirls even don on Santa hats and costumes without any understanding. Even New Year is not observed here. The Thai New Year is celebrated during the Songkran water festival which is in April.

So much difference among cultures...
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:59 AM   #7
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It is nice to hear how people who celebrate from different places, we are very multicultural here and respect each others beliefs. 80% of our population live close by the sea and the beaches are always over crowded. Needless to say there will be lots of life saving and surfing carnivals. The only other sport played in summer is cricket and this year we host the English in the traditional test match starting on Boxing day.
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:17 AM   #8
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Beer figures greatly on Christmas Day in NZ too Attie!! I wonder if we are all related. I dont drink the stuff myself you understand, too fizzy for me.

We were going to have turkey again this year, Pomegranate glazed with Cornbread stuffing, an Aussie recipe actually.
But....the stepsons and families have decided they would rather go to the beach with friends than spend Christmas with us this year. The link below shows why, and I guess I cant blame them! They do live at the beach in Tauranga anyway but the chance to stay at another is too great!!

http://www.hahei-newzealand.co.nz/photogallery.html

So, I have decided we are going to have duck. How, I dont know yet but after my peking duck sammie a few days ago ( I know!!) I decided that duck it will be and on the BBQ. Crayfish and paua will figure somewhere, maybe in the evening.
Hubster and I will go visiting some of my family in the morning, then have our lunch of the duck ++ whatever then a few friends are coming for dinner. A casual dinner! The pooches will be thoroughly spoiled and our big boy may even get a oven roasted pigs ear if he is good. Poor pooch is on a strict diet right now, I avoid his eyes I can tell you!! The begging looks are hard to take.
One thing I will be doing is having my post prandial nap under the magnolia tree, in the shade, with the fragrance of the beautiful blossoms filling my nostrils.
Sigh.......bliss!!
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:33 AM   #9
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Lyn?, have you forgotten that there will be a fine southern gentleman knocking on your door, he leaves the US tomorrow to terrorise you good people for a couple of months.
Beautiful beach, but I bet the water's cold from all those icebergs that headed up your way.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:52 AM   #10
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Yes! Billy is arriving in NZ tomorrow evening to go stay with Ellen. I know the two of them will be telling you all at DC about the food they eat, where they visit etc and I hope to get to meet Billy. I WILL meet Billy!! Somehow we will sort it out.

Those icebergs were at the bottom of the South Island a looooooong ways away from our East Coast Nth Island beaches but hey...how wonderful to see them this close to us! A once in a lifetime sight. OK, I only saw them on TV but that was good enough. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....summer is 4 days old and I have turned the heating back on, should I blame those bergs?? lolol

As long as summer has herself sorted for the Christmas break, I'll cope with this in the meantime.
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