Ah, Christmas. I love this time of year. I’m even accepting that it’s a summer holiday now, and somehow it’s just never going to snow and I won’t get to wear sweaters. And I’m like, almost ok with this.

This year, Joel’s mum’s place is undergoing rennovations, so we hosted Christmas lunch. Neither Joel nor I have ever hosted Christmas before, and it’s something I’ve secretly wanted to do for like, EVER. So when Joel’s mum asked if we’d be ok to have everyone over, I jumped at the chance. Then I asked Joel. haha

It was a crazy busy week leading up to Christmas, and it seemed before I knew it, it was Dec 23 and I still hadn’t gone shopping. Wtf. And then we both woke up on Christmas Eve miserably sick with fevers and aches and death – and there was still heaps of food shopping and cleaning and baking and sweating in the summer heat to do.

BUT – we persevered. And here are the pics.

I did my annual Santas Turner Christmas Box Schlep – except this year I had to take a cab home. I heart my family.

Since Joel woke up so sick, Santa decided that he should get his big present early. Because, as we all know, nothing soothes man flu better than video games. Also, score for me for managing to get him something he really, really wanted a) without him knowing and b) before he got it for himself. *high five* Bonus, I got to bake and watch trash TV without complaint while he played.

Nothing like sweet World War 1 heals

Even though I felt like garbage and was losing my voice, I got some Skypes in with some of my friend family back home – my sweat pants soul mate Kristin and my oldest friend Cara and her family. Cara and I spent so much time at each other’s houses between middle and high school that we became our family’s extra daughters. When I saw her mom on screen I got teared up. I love them big much.


After a gigantic grocery trip, and a smaller grocery trip to get everything we missed on the first round (pro tip: don’t forget your list, folks), I made rolls from scratch (so much fun!) and wrapped presents and tried to prep as much as I could for the next day. Then it was time to shower and get ready for dinner at Joel’s dad’s house.

Joel’s dad has made pork loin with cracklin’ every Christmas Eve since I’ve been here. And I have no complaints about this. Joel’s dad got him a drone (!!!), and Joel’s brother got me a waffle maker. Heck. Yes.

Heeeeey piggie
The last photo before Joel basically died

I had planned to come home from dinner and scour the house so that Christmas morning wouldn’t be rushed with getting ready. What actually happened was me trying to convince Joel that I should take him to the emergency room, since one of his eyes was basically swollen shut, he had chest pains, a swollen, aching throat and a hacking cough. It was the most unwell I’ve ever seen him and I was genuinely scared. But we stuffed him full of flu medicine and lozenges and he played Battlefield until he fell asleep and I passed out – yet again – without cleaning up. And it must have been the cure because he woke up looking like nothing happened.

I jumped out of bed super early on Christmas Day thinking FUCK I STILL HAVEN’T CLEANED HOUSE and I let Joel sleep off his flu while I got to work cleaning up. I’m glad I woke up early, because my family surprised me with a Facetime call and I got to see everyone, including my brother Josh, and it was basically the best.

Josh takes the Michael Jackson parenting approach to protecting his online presence. Jk, my nephew Henry insisted he wear it.

Once Joel woke up, it was present time.

Ohh Crrimbus Tree


my new favourite salt and pepper shakers from my sister, Mary
This is two gifts in one – Joel loves cook books and fried chicken, and I love Joel’s fried chicken. Truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Joel wants to eat this pie for dessert. I don’t blame him. Also, DRESS AND PUZZLE AND TYPOGRAPHY AND KIITCHEN GADGETS YAAAAY

Joel got me the most awesome present – a self-guided screen writing master class designed by Aaron Sorkin. I’ve wanted to sign up for classes or get involved in a workshop in 2017, so I’m very, very, much excited about this.

Fuck yeah!
Thanks, Santa!

After presents, it was time to make cobbler and start lunch. We were in a crunch so unfortunately there wasn’t time for the french toast and bacon brekky I had planned. Womp womp.

Even crippled by flu, Joel slaved for hours over the stove making a cous cous salad with asparagus and brocolini, roasted potatoes, chili brussels sprouts, gravy, and the best roast chicken ever. While he took command of the chicken, I cleaned the apartment, set the table, prepped the presents, and took half an hour to get dressed (I’m terrible). There was much sweating and rushing around, and one destroyed kitchen, but it all worked out and surprisingly, everything was ready by the time we said it would. *high five

A (roast chicken) artist prepares
My contribution, haha

I loved the table – mix in match vintage linens and antique elephant planters. I splurged on the roses because hey – it’s Christmas. It was fun to pretend to be a table designer for the day. And Joel wants everyone to know that he did not approve of me using a beach towel as a table cloth. But I didn’t have a big enough cloth to cover both tables and I wanted to keep the yellow going. #classy

I finally got to use my table linens – the napkins and the actual table cloth have been in my family for eons.
Also, I finally got to use my gravy cow – heck yes.
Ta-da, the perfect roast chicken

Joel’s family showed up armed with presents and food even though they didn’t need to – God bless ’em. We ended up with so much food that our fridge is literally stuffed with left overs. The weather cooperated with us, and it wasn’t as murderously hot as it has been the last few Christmases. We had a great breeze come through the patio, and as long as you didn’t sit in the sun or sit inside, it was pretty comfy.

Thank god for outdoor spaces.
Joel’s family brought MORE flowers and bon bons and bubbly.
Spy glasses
so much food. Joel did such an amazing job, and the extra sides that his mum and family filled everything out really well. Also we have food for like, ever.
Joel’s Nan got us a dog. “This one is less messy.” He’s surprisingly life-like, and because he’s actually a door stop, he’s heavy like a real dog. We have named him Bernie and he now lives on the arm of the couch.
more presents
I’m obsessed with Christmas crown photos.

After everyone left, we collapsed. Then it was time for strong coffee to combat the champagne + food coma so I could get my shit together and clean up the disaster zone kitchen. We rounded out the night with dessert for dinner while watching Home Alone 2 and almost falling asleep on the couch.

So, despite all the jibba jabba of life, the weekend was still a great success. There were presents, laughs, coughing fits, comparing diseases (seriously, this was one sick Christmas), champagne, and much love. Hosting and feeding Joel’s family was a great experience. Our little place really felt like home.

I hope everyone had a great holiday with their loved ones!

Merry everything xoxo

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