Dec 20, 2010

Christmas Planning!

Reading: (actually rereading) The Passionate Pen by Rachel McAlpine
Watching: MasterChef (I'm such a foodie and my hips show it)
Making me smile: the birdsong I can hear as the sun goes down

Yeehaa, Christmas is less than a week away. I am so looking forward to my step daughter and her partner coming home for four days. Not so sure about the three dogs they're bringing with them. We haven't yet told Boss that he might be sharing his kennel.

We've also been phoning around friends organising a New Year's Eve party. It's all very traditional stuff but I love it. The same friends come to stay with us every year too. There's something to be said for traditions. New Zealand doesn't have many but we do love to celebrate, and luckily most are in summer when we can get outdoors to swim, enjoy berries and get a suntan. And I'm sure there's a lot of romance going on too.

What is everyone else doing for the holiday break?
Have a great Christmas everyone.


  1. Hi Sue,

    Sounds like you're going to have fun. :-)

    Traditions? Speculaas spice, and the fragrance of pine needles always transport me to Christmastime any month of the year.

    I grew up where the extended family dinner--up to 50 people for lunch--was the highlight of the Season. This has changed over the last twenty years as the older generation have moved away, passed on, or chosen nuclear over extended family celebrations.

    This year we're settling for Christmas on our own, with one dog. We're hoping for fine (but not hot) weather, and affordable strawberries on Christmas Eve. But while I don't have room in an RV for a pine tree, I'll still be baking Speculaas. :-)

  2. Hi Gracie
    Yes, that wonderful pine scent. We are lucky to have a pine forest behind us so on Saturday we cut our tree - a wild one from the many seeds that grow - and so our house is smelling beautiful.
    Boss was curious as to why we'd bring a tree inside, but fortunately not interested in the parcels under it.
    Have a good one.

  3. I love that pine scent of a "real" Christmas tree, too, Sue. Brings back memories of childhood Xmases. We've got the plastic fantastic up - not quite the same but it still looks good!

    The feast is at our place this year - I've been "practicing" the mocha rum truffles so they taste just right. Several attempts were "needed" and the neighbours kindly volunteered to help with the taste tests! ;)

    Got the "list" of things to have for the day... my lovely m-i-l is bringing the plum pudding, a friend is bringing the ham. The temperature on the day is going to be a pleasant 27 degrees - so all that cooking won't be a problem!

    I hope the invasion isn't too traumatic for Boss!
    Have a lovely Christmas.

  4. Hi, one of the christmas traditions for us is to cook food in underground oven. Lovo/Hangi in Maori. But it's been raining so much so it seems this year there'll be no lovo.
    I loved Christmas in NZ, because of the floats and processions in south Auckland. All the old couples in classic cars!

    Merry Christmas!

  5. I too love the scent of pine in the house at Christmas time but alas we have a plastic tree that was decorated by the grandchildren I do love it although it would never win a prize LOL.
    I have done the Chrissy Pudding and Cakes I picked up the ham today and I will get the pork and turkey on Friday and get them cooked on Friday so as on Christmas Day with all of my family here I will only have to cook the vegies gravy and re heat the pudding and make custard to go with it. Then eat all day and rest all day Boxing Day LOL.
    Have a wonderful Chrissy and New Year everyone

    Have Fun

  6. I love the sound of all those truffles, Sharon. Especially the taste tests. Straight to the hips for me, I'm afraid. But I will be making mine over the next few days too.
    Nas, I think the rain is supposed to clear in time for the big day so you might be lucky yet.
    Isn't it funny how the scent of pine evokes so many memories. Of course the down side is all the needles that keep falling off.
    Helen, you sound very organised.

  7. Gosh, I haven't really thought much about Christmas -- I'm still trying to get through this week at work, which is insanely frantic! I am (if I find the time) going to make a very alcoholic berry trifle, which has become a bit of a tradition, and I'm going to try for a hint of Swedish midsummer tradition, with pickled herrings and hardbread. We'll see how successful I am!

  8. Christmas is time to catch up with family. A little bit sadder this year with my last grandparent no longer with us for the day. And my sister is working so it's just my parents and I.

    But one tradition we celebrate is the good old warm Christmas pudding and custard (minus the coins now that us kids have grown up).

    As for New Year's, this year I'm hosting a BBQ and cards night with friends from around the village. Hopefully with the cooler weather it'll be a lovely night, instead of a sweaty night. LOL Nothing like a good meal and games with close friends.

  9. Hi Sue!
    My daughter is home from college. This is her first year away and I miss her so much. (She's in the kitchen cooking while I type!) Since I celebrate Chanukah, which has been over for a few weeks now, this holiday season is very relaxed for me. We'll be spending Christmas Day and New Years Eve with friends. Very low key. But I am considering going to a Carrie Underwood concert. That has me VERY excited. Happy Holidays!

  10. Hi Sue, Merry Christmas to you :)

    We chop down a pine tree (gotta have the smell) and decorate it with home made trimmings (so it looks rather hobo-ish) and celebrate with our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. Even though they are forecasting wet, wet, wet I can't wait.

  11. Hey Sue.
    This year I'll be reading when I'm not in the kitchen - at least, that's the plan Got the books, thanks, Sue and Emily. And being a royalist, I will definitely watch the Queen's Message, especially in light of Wills and Kate's engagement.
    Have a fab, hopefully not too humid Christmas.

  12. Hi Sue
    The real Christmas tree for the scent. Got to have ham and Christmas mince pies too. All else (other than chocolate) is optional.
    The biggest thing I'm looking forward to post Christmas is the return of my daughter who's been away for a year on a student exchange. I've been stockpiling hugs. The other thing is READING. I have your book at the top of my pile and can't wait to dive into it.

  13. Hi Sue,
    sounds like you'll be having a lovely christmas!
    I'm looking forward to spending time with family, a few drinks, lots of food and a few laughs =)

  14. This year will be a smaller one, with just me, dh and my mother (plus the dogs!). The advantage of a quieter Christmas is the catering is on a much smaller scale, so we can have all our favourite things and splurge on some treats (like triple cream brie on the cheese platter!).

    Some things are always the same at Christmas in our family though, starting with slices of mango in champagne to start the day. Heaven!

  15. Yo, Rachel, I have mangos and bubbles so will have to try your morning starter. Sounds delicious. Having just had the rain storm to beat all rain storms I suspect there won't be many berries available when I go to Nelson tomorrow. Plan B - find some other equally yummy fruit.
    It sounds like everyone's going to have a great Christmas. happy eating, drinking, family and reading.