christmas days.

image-0-02-06-2c2e7b6df94ff732f501ec806b75a4aa0017966d1428e647931e8b1b9dba72c2-vMERRY (belated) CHRISTMAS LOVELY PEOPLE ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

In New Zealand, our Christmas celebrations pretty finish up at the end of Christmas day – every year, in the couple of days after Christmas, my family packs up as many Christmas decorations as we can bear to and then we head off to go camping at the beach. Basically the entire country takes a holiday until at least the 4th of January, so there’s this sudden transition from Christmas to beach holiday! My family also celebrates Christmas to the fullest – so our Christmas day is the most jam-packed celebratory time you can imagine, as we try to fit all of our celebrations into one single wonderful day.In Singapore, Christmas arrives and lingers in a more gradual way. From Christmas Eve until the end of December, there were a whole bunch of Christmas dinners and celebrations, and the Christmas carols only just finished playing in the shops this past weekend, because we were still in the 12 days of Christmas! Pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚

I always knew that being away from home over the Christmas season was going to be a big challenge, but I don’t think I’d fully realised how hardย it would be to be away for Christmas Day itself. Christmas Day turned out to have more than a few curve balls thrown in such as a) many panic attacks and b) Glen’s dog Strider ending up in the emergency vet (I’m happy to report that Strider is now home and doing well! ๐Ÿ™‚ ). The spread out celebrations of the Christmas season here threw me, since it meant Christmas Day was pretty relaxed, and I’m used to something more along the lines of (delightfully) hectic.

So Christmas Day turned out to be a rather difficult day that Glen and I sort of survived our way through. But here’s the thing – I wouldn’t change it. I love the Christmas traditions I’ve grown up with, and of course, being surrounded by my family – but after the event, I realised that this tumultuous Christmas was filled with buckets and buckets of the most important thing: love. The love of my family, who showed so much thoughtfulness in helpingย me to feel at home away from home. The love from Glen, who is starlight in the dark times, and whom I feel so lucky to have been able to spend a Christmas with; and his family, for welcoming me into their celebrations; and their love for Strider, who is a seriously loved dog. The love that a baby born in a stable brought into the world, that joins millions of people together acrossย time and distance, and that reaches people anywhere and everywhere, whether they are at home or not.

So, that said, here are some photos of Christmas Day and the days around it ๐Ÿ™‚

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Glen and I cooked a chocolate meringue cake on Christmas Eve for theย family dinner that night!

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I was very excited to LIVE MY DREAM of cooking with a Kitchen Aid mixer :O :O :O SO PRETTY.

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Then Glen made a label for the flour jar and Auntie Carol was not impressed: a) because she knows that it’s flour already and b) because of the enormous strips of brown tape that may or may not have affected the jar’s aesthetics.

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Glen, Cavin and I at midnight on Christmas Eve!

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After everyone left, Glen and I did our gift swap. Glen does not like wrapping presents, but I like both the wrapping and unwrapping of presents so we created our own “new tradition” of having a newspaper wrapping time and then doing our gift swap! It was very fun ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then it was Christmas morning in New Zealand, so we spontaneously skyped my fam and did some surprise gift opening over their breakfast! It was really lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

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Turns out Santa is very clever and he can visit even when you’re on your OE ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I got up to find a funny Christmas card from my Dad with the traditional Christmas scratchy inside!

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Glen opening presents from my family!

 

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Tina making the Christmas chook fly ๐Ÿ˜†

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Then we got ready for Christmas mass! This lovely vintage dress was part of Glen’s Christmas present to me ๐Ÿ˜Š

Later in the afternoon, we went back to church! This time, we had a choir practice, and then sung in the Christmas choir. It was really lovely ๐Ÿ™‚ Being part of this choir was Glen’s idea, and I’m so glad he thought of it – all of the rehearsals leading up to Christmas and singing with the choir on the day were such a wonderful part of my Christmas here ๐Ÿ™‚

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Us with the choir!

Christmas evening was pretty rough, with Strider falling so suddenly sick. There wasn’t enough room in the car for me to stay with Glen when they took Strider to the vet, and the dinner party was still going on at the Pois house. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, but then I realised that Tina had a mountain of dishes to do and so I just started washing. Keeping busy stopped me from being too anxious, and also from having to small talk (which makes me anxious), and also meant that I could be of help to Tina which was good ๐Ÿ™‚ Poor Strider’s stomach had somehow got twisted, but they were able to operate, and after a few days spent at the vet, he is home now and slowly getting better ๐Ÿ™‚

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Some clean things ๐Ÿ˜›

The next dinner we had was with Glen and Vera’s church friends, who are really nice! It was at this really adorable place called Little House of Dreams where there were many cute cakes but also dinner ๐Ÿ™‚ We did this very funny gift swap where everybody rewrapped a gift that they’d received but that they didn’t think they’d use, and we switched them around randomly!

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Before the swap!

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After the swap!

The restaurant is in Dempsey Hill, which is this really cute little area that has a lot of Christmas lights!

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It was a somewhat tricky Christmas, but filled with several pockets of wonder and joy, and so much love, and really, that is all that one can ask for ๐Ÿ˜Š โค

 

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2 thoughts on “christmas days.

  1. Julie Wilson says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m guessing you’ve had heaps of people respond to your Xmas blog. I’ve always found Christmas a tricky affair – only one brother in nz and all other family in Aussie and they don’t get excited about Christmas the way I do… Sometimes it’s a rather lonely event as celebrating alone or in my case with my flatmate is far less lonely than being the third wheel at someone elses family event. I enjoy the lead up to Christmas and boxing day bargain shopping! The day… well… mostly it’s just OK. I think there is a good chance that this is the experience of many people. We just don’t talk about it :).
    Love Julie

    Like

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