Christmas well spent!

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So it’s that time of the year again; where the jolly man in the red suit pays you a visit and leaves behind an abundance of presents underneath the iconic Christmas tree;)

For us living in Australia we do not have the pleasure of experiencing a White Christmas in fact quite the opposite actually! Christmas for us is all about wearing our Santa hats, having a barbie (BBQ) going with beers in our hands, attempting to escape the summer heat. However this year things were slightly different…we still had our beers, but the weather was surprisingly cooler than normal and instead of our usual BBQ my Aunty and Uncle served up a very traditional Western Christmas feast complete with roast ham and turkey. Though I must admit they did have their Chinese twist on some of the dishes- for example instead of traditional breadcrumb stuffing, they made it out of sticky rice, chestnuts and Chinese sausage (larp cherng), which- if you’re familiar with Chinese cuisine (or even ‘yum cha’) you’ll know that this is the same as a dish called Lor Mai Gai or glutinous rice.

As for gifts this year I was very happy in receiving a Kindle along with perfume and other feminine hygiene supplies!

Post Christmas day I learnt a very valuable saying from a friend of mine via facebook; she posted a heartfelt message including the quote

It’s not about what’s underneath the tree, but what’s around it

To me this is a very important thing to remember in order to keep ourselves grounded and put things back into perspective; too often we are caught in the materialistic world of handbags, shoes, clothes, technological devices etc…that we forget what the true meaning of Christmas- or any other celebratory occasion-is. I never fully understood this until this year, when I ‘moved out’ of home to live with my great Aunt and Uncle and although they are really humble and accepting of me…nothing beats the feeling when I come home every holiday and spend those two or six weeks with my parents and siblings. Beforehand I was in such a hurry to be on my own and gain independence that I neglected to think about the fact that I only get to spend- lets say- 20 years max at home. Thereafter I am living either by myself or with a spouse and then eventually my own family…these slowly diminishing years of my youth are all I get to spend with my family on a day to day basis. After this time it’s going to be a matter of making time to visit my parents and sisters; it may even be a case of seeing them on major holidays (like Christmas and New Years). This is exactly the situation with my grandparents and their children, having 5 children you’d think that one would visit at least once a month but the truth is they only see each other if it’s Christmas or if my Grandparents drive the 3 hours to go see them.

It’s these things that I wish I could tell my 16 year-old self; but I suppose my naivety and immaturity got the better of me. So I guess after much rambling, my point is to treasure the time your spend with your family and loved ones for these moments are too often taken for granted.

Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy and successful new year.

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