December 24 – 26, 2011
My very first Christmas away from home.
Of course I knew that being away from family and friends for my most favorite time of year was not going to be easy by any means. But I think the sadness of it was alleviated by two things:
1) It didn’t feel like Christmas. At all. It was warm and sunny out and there was absolutely no snow (or chance of snow, for that matter).
2) My sister and I were surrounded by wonderful people that went out of their way to make sure we had the best time possible without being with our Canadian loved ones.
On Christmas Eve, we ventured over to Mary’s parents’ place for an afternoon of suntanning, swimming, great company and delicious food (Mary and her father were part of the Tongariro Crossing expedition). Marjo and I brought citronfrommage – a Danish dessert that is part of our Christmas family tradition. We hid an almond in it and the person to find it wins a prize.
Mary’s dad won the prize – which was a gargantuan, novelty-sized gift bag (you could seriously house a family of possums in it), filled with the most random stuff. Glowsticks. A light bulb. Truffles. Baby food. A ruler. Which could have been used to measure the french baguette – hilariously enough, it had gone limp in transit.
On Christmas morning, Marjo and I drank mimosas, Skyped with our family, exchanged presents, made crepes (served with the pure maple syrup my Frenchman had sent over with me from Montreal, which I had been hoarding for that “special occasion”), then suntanned in our backyard before heading over to Mary’s for the orphan’s Christmas bbq. I got sunburnt and smashed on Christmas Day. Believe it or not, both were firsts for me!