Darwin Blog


Christmas in Darwin
Wednesday, 2 January, 2008, 7:38 am
Filed under: Observations

As the festive season starts to wind down and the monsoon sets in, I am thinking how glad I am, that we decided to spend Christmas at home in Darwin this year.

There is something magical, calming and sedative about having Christmas in Darwin.

During the lead up, yes, we are all a little testy and cranky and there are many expectations from family who also reside in Darwin, but this year it was different for our family.  I also decided to take nearly four weeks off to assist in looking after our child while the six weeks of school holidays dragged out, to try and relax and get in better health for the coming year.

For the past two years, we made the decision to be overseas for Christmas, mainly due to the meltdown I have at the thought of entertaining my family for Christmas and three years ago, Christmas Day was such a humdinger that I think we all ended up in tears at some point during the day!  So the choice to be overseas wasn’t that hard to make.

We celebrated Christmas differently, but we were all much happier and calmer.  Although my family always rang us on Christmas Day because they were missing us!  Never mind when we were together there would be tears.  While we spent Christmas overseas we made the decision to not do presents for people at home, but rather donate the equivalent money to charity.  Therefore the only person who we did presents for was our son.  This too, worked a treat as there was no need for family to buy the obligatory gift for us and particularly if it was something that we didn’t necessarily want.

So this year, we decided to notify our family in advance that we would host Christmas lunch.  Instead of preparing all the food they loved, I decided to put together a menu that I felt totally in control of cooking and could manage with ease.  There was absolutely no need for anyone to bring anything as we would cater for everything.

I also put in place everyone preparing a list of six items they would like to receive for Christmas as a gift and this circulated amongst that family, ensuring everyone got something they wanted, but there was still an element of surprise!  This worked a treat.  This year I enjoyed shopping for people’s gifts, it wasn’t hard and I think we were able to please many.

Lunch was from 11am to 2pm – gave everyone time in the morning to have breakfast, do presents, go to church and time for me to make sure the roast was cooked and salads prepared.  The defined time bracket made sure that everything stayed cordial and no one overstayed there welcome and also let some of us have a nice little nanna nap in the afternoon.

So what did I cook?  I did a large roast lamb, smashed potatoes, a roast pumpkin, baby spinach and pinenut salad, cameo ham, roma tomatoes and Jarlsberg cheese, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and dinner rolls followed by individual white chocolate cheesecakes with milk chocolate topping and one of the best looking trifles I have made to date – and it didn’t taste all that bad either.  Usually there are leftovers with my mob, but not this Christmas, they devoured the food.  I meant to take a photo of the table and the spread for the blog as I must admit I was somewhat impressed myself.  We dined outdoors on the verandah at my new 12 seater dining table and it looked picture perfect.  It was a gorgeous overcast day, the humidity was there but there was a light drizzle and a cool breeze – making it very pleasant for being outdoors.

After all that, Christmas Day was quite easy and one of the better ones to go down in our family history.  As for next year, we aren’t too sure what we will be doing – though staying home might be quite tempting.

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