Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wonderful – and WET – Christmas Day & Party

First of all a belated Merry Christmas to everyone!  I trust your Christmas Day was filled with love, good fun and good cheer with everyone you care for.

Our Christmas Day/Party was terrific!  The culmination of weeks of planning and preparing it was a roaring success with great friends, lots of food and just the right amount of cheer….and for the first time the event was at our house.

It all started a couple of months ago when Mr. G and I went out for dinner with our friends Keith and Jenny.  I had been thinking about being retired with, unlike any year before, the time available to host Christmas lunch at our place. 

By mid-December the numbers were looking like 15 people for lunch with everyone bringing something for the banquet.  We hadn’t hosted a big event here since my 50th birthday and then I had the benefit of caterers to take care of the food.  Not this time.

I put up my hand to provide the seafood… easy - with prawns and oysters; veggies – easy again; and the turkey for 15 – not so easy.  Mr G and I don’t eat much meat…no red meat at all actually.  So the traditional turkey roast is not my strong suit.  That was my main concern.  But after talking to my best friend/sister Jae in Atlanta, downloading endless recipes online and watching and recording about 5 Jamie Oliver cooking shows – I felt ready to tackle the turkey.  Or Turkeys since I thought for 15 people we would need 2 turkeys.

It seemed like Mr G and I cleaned the house and the yard for about 2 weeks.  Why is it you can only see things when you really start to look at them?  One window that seemingly just needs a wipe turns into realising all your other windows and the window frames are so awful you’re embarrassed about anyone who’s been to the house and seen it in the last year!  God we are PIGS! 

So there was a flurry of activity.  When Mr. G finally spit the dummy and threatened to withdraw his labour I did some more cleaning on my own.  I told him, “Big events are the catalyst to get the jobs done that are too easy to put off”.  He wasn’t moved.  But he bounced back at the finish line to get everything done.  Our most excellent friend Leona came over to spend Christmas Eve with us to help get it all together.   She worked unselfishly and happily.  Thank you so much Leona!!!

We planned to eat in the backyard and had organised with the next door neighbours to use their pool since they were planning to be away.  Christmas in Sydney is usually very warm and sunny.  Unfortunately the weather turned nasty and we had THE MOST RAIN on Christmas day in over 70 years!  Not to worry.  We moved to the carport ….and the rain kept coming.  At the last minute Mr. G devised a way to block the windward side of the carport with an old sail.  Eventually we had a dry place to eat together….our feet were a bit wet but after the 3rd champagne it didn’t matter.

The party was great fun.  Everyone brought wonderful food and beautiful wine.  The hit of the part was the table football game Peter brought.  There was tournament after tournament with everyone migrating down to Mr G’s “shed” to play darts or hang around the football games.  Isn’t It ironic that we spent so long getting the house looking good and then the whole party ends up in the not-so-spick and span shed.  Who knew?

Molly is a good football player.  She can catch the soccer ball and dribble it back to you time after time after time.  By the end of the night the soccer ball was heavy with rain water, she was soaked and so tired she could hardly walk!
The perfect finish to the day was Peter getting out his guitar, joined by Pete and John, and playing some terrific music.  Great times, the best of friends and an outstanding day!   Thanks everyone!

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