It’s already Christmas Eve Down Under, so all of us at pixels2Pages.net want to wish you and your families the merriest of Christmases!! We thought you might enjoy hearing a bit about our holiday celebrations and traditions, so sit back and join us for a little holiday tour around the world.
As you know, Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, which means it is SUMMER down there (you always knew those geography lessons would come in handy someday, didn’t you?).
At Shelley’s house, it’s due to be about 27 degrees (Celcius – now we get to use those math lessons, too!) which is about 81 degrees F and a bit cooler than normal for Christmas Day. Justine will be spending the day with her extended family. The temperature will be about the same as at Shelley’s, and it could rain both places, which is very typical for summer.
Jenny is spending the holiday with her son. She is used to a HOT Christmas Day in Western Australia, where the hottest Christmas was a steamy 42 C (107.6 F)!! We’ll find Janice hosting her family gathering, where the weather should be near 80, even though it’s been chilly recently. Janice tells me that it wouldn’t be Christmas without summer dresses, shorts, T-shirts, thongs (the flip-flop kind!), and sandals! Not far from Janice is Kerrianne’s home, where it should be warm and sunny – finally!!
Over in North America, we have a bit more variation in temperature and weather! Up in Canada, where Marilyn lives, it is snowy and cold! Carolyn reports a similar forecast for Indiana, and Tameka and Jeannine (in NYC and south Jersey) will have cold weather, but snow is still iffy! However, it looks like Anne may see some white stuff down in North Carolina, which is not typical AT ALL!! Kim is California, where it should be sunny and 70 (21 C). Here in Texas, Mary and I are expecting temps in the high 50’s or low 60’s, which is chilly (even cold, according to the weatherman here!) for Texas.
As you might expect, we all have some favorite Christmas Day traditions. See if you can match the tradition with the pixie! Here are the pixies: Shelley, Carolyn, Tameka, Mary, Jeannine, Justine, Janice, Kerrianne, Anne, Jenny, Kim, and Jan. (Pixie Marilyn did not get a chance to share, but I’m sure you’ll see pages about her Christmas traditions!)
A. This pixie’s family has a “traveling Nativity”. The camels and kings start in one part of the house and Mary and Joseph in the other and they slowly travel to the den aka “Bethlehem” and arrive Christmas Eve. Baby Jesus does not arrive in the manger until the kids wake up on Christmas morning.
B. This pixie’s family has a big Christmas Eve party with the whole family, then a big Christmas Day brunch with their kids. Oh, and this pixie watches and records every Christmas special and old movie on TV!
C. This pixie makes Chocolate Truffles, Apricot Balls, and Cheese Biscuits, as did her mother and grandmother before her. This year, she will make them with her grandchildren!
D. This pixie and her family always watch “The Santa Clause” on Christmas Eve, quoting lines from the movie as they watch. On Christmas Day, they’ll open presents and just enjoy being together. Oh, and did I mention Disney???
E. This pixie’s family decorates their tree on December 1, they watch Carols by Candlelight on TV on Christmas Eve, and Boxing Day is a big deal for cricket.
F. This pixie and her family always travel to the heart of their hometown where they enjoy being tourists and taking in the sights of the city.
G. Every year this pixie spends Christmas Eve with her best friend and her family. They have a few drinks, order pizza delivery for dinner and all go to the local church for the Christmas Eve children’s service together. After that we take about two hours to get home and drive around looking at all the homes that are decorated with Christmas lights. Her children put out some cookies and beer for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer.
H. This pixie’s family has many traditions, but the one she cherishes most is that they all still want to be together on Christmas. She is blessed with a family that gets along, doesn’t tolerate drama, and truly loves each other. She can’t wait to see her sisters and her Mom, and her children can’t wait to see their cousins.
I. This pixie gets up at 3 AM on Christmas Eve to go to the Fish Market to buy seafood for Christmas Day! She reports that she is not alone, even at 3 AM!
J. This pixie loves that the youngest child chooses the first present for someone, from under the Christmas tree, and then everyone gets to see that person open their present. When they are done, they choose the next one (without looking!). She says that it’s a long process but you get to see everyone’s presents and really savor it all!
K. This pixie and her family make cranberry pies for friends, followed by church on Christmas Eve, after which they enjoy a special Christmas
Eve dinner. After dinner, everyone gets to open one present, and then they leave cookies and beer for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Christmas Day starts with Mimosas and Bloody Marys while presents are being opened, after which they enjoy a gigantic Christmas brunch (still in their PJ’s). The rest of the day is spent playing games (that Santa brought!), watching TV, and napping.
L. Every Christmas Eve, this pixie and her kids bake a batch of cookies with extra sprinkles. They put some extra sprinkles out for Santa’s reindeer- and of course milk and cookies for Santa. They eat the leftover cookies on Christmas morning while they open their gifts! And of course, jammies all day are required for all who attend!
What would a Christmas post from me be without some mention of the delicious food we’ll be eating?! In no particular order, (you can try to match these, too!) here are some of the dishes we’ll be piling on our plates:
Christmas Eve has typically been our ‘big’ meal, and is usually beef tenderloin, twice-baked potatoes, Beth’s salad, rolls, and Christmas cookies. Christmas brunch is usually a make-ahead egg dish, French toast casserole, or coffee cake along with spiced bacon, fruit, cranberry pie, and hot chocolate if it’s cold. Much later in the day we’ll have ham, potatoes, carrot soufflé, green beans, rolls, iced tea, some special Christmas cocktail (last year it was peppermint martinis!), and whatever desserts happen to be there.
Ours is simple – turkey, ham, salad, followed by Christmas pudding and custard.
Traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls and gravy. Probably my most favorite part is the gravy and rolls. I am a “dipper” when it comes to food. I like the turkey most the next day in a sandwich (white bread and mayo). And, I love most any dessert as long as it doesn’t have coconut. I have a hard time picking between chocolate or lemon pie – probably a small slice of each.
All cold – Seafood, cold turkey, chicken, beef, and more seafood. Several salads. My Mum makes a favourite dish with egg, sour cream & caviar Dessert varies – last year I made a black forest torte with fresh cherries. Yum!
Turkey with all the fixings. The hallmark is always the selection of fresh vegetables… nothing canned for my brother-in-law (the chef!)
Christmas Day is cookies and snacking all day!
Hot Christmas lunch is always the best! Turkey, pork, chicken and ham. Lots of yummy vegies and dressings. Dessert is what I look forward to th
e most! Darren’s mum makes the most amazing strawberry mousse and a traditional family plum pudding with custard. So you just have to have two desserts to get a bit of both!
BREAKFAST WILL BE DELICIOSO… FRENCH TOAST BAKE WITH PECANS AND REAL MAPLE SYRUP, SALMON CROQUETTES,PORK SAUSAGE, PORK AND TURKEY BACON, HOME FRIED POTATOS, GRITS, HOT CHOCOLATE MADE WITH REAL HERSHEY’S COCOA….YUM YUM YUM…………….. LUNCH DOES NOT EXIST AND DINNER WILL BE MODERATE… BAKED ZITI, FRIED CHICKEN, CANDIED YAMS, COLLARD GREENS, TURKEY WINGS AND A FEW MINOR FIXINS … AFTER ALL, WE MUST SAVE ROOM FOR THE DESSERTS…. FRUIT CAKE, NUT CAKE, RED VELVET CAKE, COCONUT PIE, APPLE PIE…YUM YUM YUM
Christmas Day would not be Christmas Day without Mum’s Plum Pudding (well, it’s really Great Grandma’s recipe). If we have Christmas at my mother’s it’s cold meat & hot veggies – if it is anywhere else, it is hot meat and yummy salads. Then we bring out all the yummy baking like shortbreads, fruit mince pies, special slices and chocolates
Some of our family favorites are homemade Chex mix with pecans, cheese ring with strawberry jam, carrot souffle, Peppermint Bark from Williams Sonoma (got to figure out how to make that!), pumpkin cake, turkey sandwiches – but not all at the same meal!
Even though it’s usually hot, we still like the traditional roast chicken, pork, cold ham, and roast veggies followed by fresh fruit salad, trifle, pavlova and ice cream. Sometimes we add turkey, but not often. This year should be different while we try some Lebanese food. Our DIL is of Lebanese origin and her father is going to give us a taste of their culinary delights. We have no idea what we are in for.
Turkey, gravy, bread and cornbread dressing, pies (chocolate pecan, apple, cherry and chocolate, all homemade) sweet potato casserole , green beans, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, homemade potato rolls, tea (of course) and wine
Okay, now I can’t write much more because I’m too hungry!! But all of us at pixels2pages.net agree that this has been one of our best years EVER, and most of that is because of you and the reception and feedback you have given us. YOU inspire us to keep trying new things and to find innovative ways to encourage you to complete your pages and books. It has been our pleasure to serve you for the past nine months, and we look forward to another fun, exciting year!
See you next year, if not before….oh, did I forget to mention we’ll be hosting a marathon crop for you? Get your photos and stories ready, and stay tuned!! And remember, download those blueprints and freebies before the new year starts!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!
Jan, and all of us at pixels2pages.net!