Merry Christmas from our family! For the first time in twenty six years of marriage, we are not getting Christmas or New Years cards in the post so we thought we would send our love via blog!
This is our first Christmas away from home. Because our life is packed up and in storage in the United States and since we just moved into a new rental this weekend, we kept this Christmas super simple. Just a small artificial tree decorated with Aussie ornaments we found over the past few weeks. Without a chill in the air, it has been quite hard to get into a festive mood. Fortunately, we are able to share this Christmas with two of Sophie’s university friends! Doreen grew up in Hong Kong and Peggy grew up in Taiwan so this was their first Christmas! Getting to share in the wonder of their first Christmas has helped so much with getting in the Christmas spirit!
We began Christmas Eve celebrations with a wonderful meal prepared by Peggy and Doreen! It was a feast of Asian delicacies! A wonderful blend of east and west!
After dinner, we made our way to St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in downtown Brisbane for Christmas Eve services. St John’s is a mixture of French and English Victorian Gothic Revival styles and is home to 12 bells which were ringing as we made our way into the church. It has the largest stone roof cathedral in Australia! The service was a festival of readings and Christmas carols. On a humorous note, we were the Americans in the back row furiously fanning ourselves with our programs. While outside a nice breeze rustled through the trees, inside the church was a bit like a sauna in spite of all the doors being wide open. As I looked around the packed church, it was clear others were prepared for the heat with their lovely decorative fans! So this is Christmas Down Under!
“Fear not, glad tidings of great joy I bring you and all humankind”!
On the ride home, we caught one of the Christmas buses! There are a few of these buses around Brisbane that the drivers decorate to help celebrate the holiday’s. This was our first Christmas bus to catch this December and the perfect night to catch it!
We awoke this morning to our tradition of stockings first! Watching Doreen and Peggy open their stockings from Santa was a delight!
Then it was on to Christmas cinnamon rolls from Miettes Fine Breads and Pastries in Graceville which is near the Queensland Tennis Centre home of the Brisbane International Tennis Championships coming up in January. It is hard from the photo to tell exactly how massive these rolls are!
And, then there are the games that await us…all with an Aussie theme! And, of course our traditional holiday meal later in the day once things cool down a bit (will we ever get used to the heat for Christmas?)!
The fur babies love having a full house to celebrate Christmas! They wanted to be right in the thick of things while gifts were being opened!
Felix was our Christmas present three years ago and remains the best gift ever!!!!!
Karo kitty and our old girl Dalai tired out of the celebrating pretty quickly! Too much eggnog! Just kidding!
One of my favorite lines from a hymn last evening was “All glory be to God on high, and to the world be peace; goodwill henceforth from heaven to earth begin and never cease.” During a time of so much upheaval, may peace on earth truly remain a hope within all our hearts!
We leave you with our wishes for a very Merry Christmas to you all! And, with a little Aussie Christmas flavor!!