Merry Christmas!

Christmas this year was full of firsts: first Christmas with Joel and in Sydney, first time away from my family, first time eating Christmas Pudding, first time wearing a paper crown, and more. And it was fabulous!

Between Christmas Eve and Christmas day, we were spoiled with family, food, gifts, and storms. Joel’s family was incredibly welcoming, making me feel like I’ve been celebrating with them for years. I didn’t take many photos, mostly because I spent about 90% of my time eating, but here’s a few for the record:

We had Christmas eve dinner with Joel’s dad, and while we were there, we got to meet Tibs and Kota, the two kitties rescued by Joel’s brother.

Christmas Eve was spent at Joel's dad's house, where we played with Joel's brother Jack's rescue kittens.
Tibs on the left, and Kota on the right. These two melted my heart.
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They played with this rotating laser pointer tower for just about ever.
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Joel made Tibs into a kitty burrito, or purrito. She looks paralyzed with fear, but trust me, she was laid back and having a good time.
Sweet Jessie face.
We also got to spend time with Joel’s childhoo Boo, Jessie. I have a soft spot for old beagles, and Jessie is such a sweet heart.
We got to open crackers! Crackers look like big card board bon-bons, and two people each hold an end and pull the bon bon apart. There's a big crack noise, and a toy, a joke, and a paper crown fall out. The toys and jokes are typically crap, and the crowns rip easily, but it's still hella fun, as Joel demonstrates.
We got to open crackers! Crackers look like big card board bon-bons, and two people each hold an end and pull the bon-bon apart. There’s a big crack noise, and a toy, a joke, and a paper crown fall out. The toys and jokes are typically crap, and the crowns rip easily, but it’s still hella fun, as Joel demonstrates.
Christmas Pudding a flambe! This was cool. Joel's dad lit a ladle full of brandy, and then basically poured fire over the pudding. Incredibly dangerous, but the effect was so cool. The pudding wasn't bad either.
Christmas Pudding a flambe! This was cool. Joel’s dad lit a ladle full of brandy, and then basically poured fire over the pudding. Incredibly dangerous, but the effect was so cool. The pudding wasn’t bad either.
Sweet Jessie Face.
Sweet Jessie Face.
Santa came!
Santa came!
Christmas tea time
Christmas tea time
Joel helped me bake a Pumpkin Crunch cake to take to his mum's. My mom is famous for this cake, and my attempt at it wasn't too bad!
Joel helped me bake a Pumpkin Crunch cake to take to his mum’s. My mom is famous for this cake, and my attempt at it wasn’t too bad!
Joel opening his stocking stuffers, Christmas towels and American flag duct tape. Not pictured: Reese trees and brown gravy packets. My stocking had gossip rags and Reese cups because Santa Turner loves me.
Joel opening his stocking stuffers, Christmas towels and American flag duct tape. Not pictured: Reese trees and brown gravy packets. My stocking had gossip rags and Reese cups because Santa Turner loves me.
I got Joel a signed print by Steve "Espo" Powers. It's going to start our gallery wall.
I got Joel a signed print by Steve “Espo” Powers. It’s going to start our gallery wall.
Our tree's annual white house ornament!
Our tree’s annual white house ornament!
Choo choo, America!
Choo choo, America!
We were pretty excited to figure out what was in the mystery Duct Tape present.
We were pretty excited to figure out what was in the mystery Duct Tape present.
and then we got hints, and then we got EXCITED
and then we got hints, and then we got EXCITED
CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH! We can't find this cereal here, so this is an extra special treat.
CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH! We can’t find this cereal here, so this is an extra special treat.
I made this racoon pillow for Joel as a joke gift, and it turned out just a bit special looking. We parked it on the couch, and it just looks evil.
I made this racoon pillow for Joel as a joke gift, and it turned out just a bit special looking. We parked it on the couch, and it just looks evil. #success
the Christmas carnage. You can see the digital drawing tablet that Joel got for me. I'm so jazzed about that!
the Christmas carnage and spoils. You can see the digital drawing tablet that Joel got for me. I’m so jazzed about that! Also the Simpsons bar set. Heck yes.
YEsssss! My MS Paint adventures are going to get better and better.
YEsssss! My MS Paint adventures are going to get better and better.
For breakfast, we had animal pancakes and bacon
For breakfast, we had animal pancakes and bacon.
My dinosaurs, and Joel's Maine animals (that's a fox, a bear, and a moose. Thank you, Ikea cookie cutters!)
My dinosaurs, and Joel’s Maine animals (that’s a fox, a bear, and a moose. Thank you, Ikea cookie cutters!)
yummmm (that odd pancakey mass is the pancake edging. waste not want not, and all)
yummmm (that odd pancakey mass is the pancake edging. waste not want not, and all)
I want pancakes and bacon so bad right now.
I want pancakes and bacon so bad right now. Also, pretty sure this breakfast made Joel a diabetic.
Pumpkin Crunch Pie, in all it's glory. Naomi Judd would be proud.
Pumpkin Crunch Pie, in all it’s glory. Naomi Judd would be proud.
When we got to Joel's mum's for lunch, it was about 90*F. /kill me
When we got to Joel’s mum’s for lunch, it was about 90*F. /kill me
Christmas grill day*!
Christmas grill day*!
So stuffed. But everything on my plate was delicious. Except I was too full to eat the kebab. Damn. Also, that's a cracker above my plate.
So stuffed. Everything on my plate was delicious. Except I was too full to eat the kebab. Damn. Also, that’s a cracker above my plate.
The traditional Christmas storm finally showed up, and mercifully lowered the temps.
The traditional Christmas storm finally showed up, and mercifully lowered the temps.
Joel made more lorakeet friends.
Joel made more lorakeet friends.
I traded in my ugly sweaters and snow for paper crowns and sundresses.
I traded in my ugly sweaters and snow for paper crowns and sundresses. Not too shabby.

It was a great day, all around. I got to see and joke and laugh with my family (minus my brother Shayne and his wife and kids, who were in Wisconsin), on Skype, and that made me feel better about being away from them. And spending time with Joel’s family was a nice substitute. It’s just good to be in a loud, crowded house with good smelling food on the holidays. It definitely makes it feel more like home.

We were stuffed and tired by the time we got home, which fit in well with our plans to pass out in front of Netflix. We did manage to fit in a cup of Swiss-Miss before we fell asleep, though. It was such a fat day of domestic bliss. I discovered that Christmas pudding is the best with ice cream and hot caramel sauce. And pavlova is not my thing. And that a summer Christmas isn’t terrible. I can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

But for now, I have to get back to more of this:

Ah, important news.
Ah, important news.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! I hope yours was as fat, happy and sassy as ours.

*Australians call grilling out “barbecue”. So going to a barbeque means going to have food made on a grill, not a barbecue feast. I’ve given into “to-mato”, “zed”, and centigrade, but I can’t acquiesce to this. I’m too American, and to me, Barbecue will always be a style of meat prep.

One thought on “Merry Christmas!

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