Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Days of Christmas - Number 11 - Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve wasn't a big deal when I was a kid, it was just a day of waiting. Now though it's taken on a new significance, for two reasons.
Firstly it's the day of preparation, make sure we have all the ingredients for tomorrow's food, make sure we have the wine and drinks for tomorrow and make sure that we've got gas for the barbecue and presents for each other.
That makes it a busy day. Shopping, sometimes battling through crowds, and it's nearly always hot. Today wasn't so bad, it was around 30 degrees C but very muggy and humid. I did my last minute present shopping and then it was on to the food shopping for tomorrow. We're having a simple day with a menu that's based on Thai snack food, rice flour pancakes, satay sticks, prawns, mussel pancakes, green papaya salad. Seafood is always a feature of our Australian Christmas. Not for us the big hot Christmas dinner, the weather doesn't suit it and anyway, the seafood is always so good.
Tomorrow is going to be very low key - just four of us. It brings memories of one Christmas a few years ago where our extended family all stayed at a conference centre near the beach. Four of us started cooking at 5:30am and at 1:00pm we served Christmas lunch for 56 people - the extended family, including 99 year old great grandma. I felt like an afternoon nap after that.
With the food, presents and wine laid in it's home for the second part of Christmas eve. Our small family has had a tradition for the last few years of having a low key evening meal on Christmas Eve. Sometimes we have friends over, sometimes we don't. We eat a simple meal, decorate the tree and lay out the presents. Sometimes we watch a movie, sometimes we just chat. It's a low key, relaxing preparation for tomorrow.
I'm sitting here right now with the first glass of bubbly, looking at the decorations and thinking about tomorrow and thinking about the snow storm in the US.
A happy evening.

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