Finally, after all the waiting, Christmas was upon us. The leading indicator was the house down the street.
Moonbug playing with her presents. Simon loves his toys too but was much less cooperative in allowing photographic evidence. Thanks Elena and Steve!
The sisters and Simon.
Now anyone who knows the Jacksons, knows they go all out on Christmas. Tons of presents, tons of wrapping paper, it's barely controlled chaos. On Christmas Eve the most important tradition is The Sorting of the Presents. All the presents are taken out from under the tree and seperated into piles based on who they are for. We have been told that when we are not there, this takes about three times as long. This is for two reasons- the first is so they can be put back under the tree in an order that allows for a more even dispersion of present on Christmas morning. The second, and far more importantly, is to determine who wins for most presents and biggest presents. This year, Greg was the winner for most presents, and it was determined that everyone won biggest present for "Trip to Australia."
Christmas morning! Oh boy! Santa came!
Simon, of course, presumes that all presents with ribbons on them are for him.
We incorporated the Australian/British tradition of Christmas poppers into our holiday this year. They are paper tubes that make a loud pop when you pull them apart and generally have a small toy, joke, and paper hat inside. We were good Australians and wore the hats. Bob is seen here styling his pretty pink one while he inspects his new Camelbak backpack.
It's a Christmas of backpacks! Laurel and Greg got backpacks from Olivia for our upcoming camping trip to Uluru. Very exciting!
Phew! All that present opening makes you hungry. Time for the feasting! Take a look at Laurel's awesome new apron.
The feast! We kind of went all out this year trying to make a more Australian holiday dinner. After an appetizer of oysters on the half-shell, we feasted on grilled leg of lamb, potatos, tomatos, and onions on the grill, sauteed grean beans, and to really make it Aussie, plenty of cold salads. We had three- a mango and blueberry fruit salad, a grilled pumpkin and pine-nut salad, and a prawn and avocado salad. Delicious!
Oh my god, it was so amazing. Look at all those happy faces!
On Boxing Day we drove down to Pebbly Beach. We found a giant goanna just lounging in the sand. He looked like he was recovering from a big meal, too.
We have a new favorite tradition. Picnic lunch on Boxing Day eating all the leftovers from Christmas. Sadly, we don't think this tradition will be very successful in the Northern Hemisphere.
After the beach (the water was way too freezing to actually swim), we drove down to Bateman's Bay for a little shopping and to take a walk by the water. Very pretty.
What a great way to spend Christmas. We had so much fun with the family, it was a wonderful holiday.