One Christmas memory that stands out
is from when I was around 11 years old. I
was desperate to have a camera of my
own. Opening up my Kodak Instamatic
Camera on Christmas morning I was so
excited. After loading the film I took a couple of photos
then asked my older brother to take some photos of
me. He ended up snapping away and used up all of the
film in a matter of moments. I couldn’t wait to get them
developed and after having to wait what seemed like
eternity (with the Christmas rush) I finally picked them
up. My excitement soon turned to disappointment as I
flicked through the photos. My brother had taken the
photos of me with my head chopped out. I remember
being so disappointed at the time, but we laugh about
it now!

Christmas lasts a whole month for us.
One highlight in the church calendar is
the Carols in the Playground at
Thurgoona Public School. Last year we
braved torrential rain and wind that
made things pretty wild, wet and cold to say the least
(who remembers when the Hume freeway was cut
off?!). We still had a great turn out and the kids had a
terrific time with live music and the incredibly popular
“Dunk-a-Teacher” event. My son still boasts that he
dunked one of the favourite teachers! Looking forward
to better weather this year!

We usually have a big family get together
at my parents’ house on the edge of the
Yarra Valley. My mum likes to play host
and will be frantically running around for
a week beforehand cleaning the house
and planning the menu for Christmas lunch. I have a
vivid memory from years ago when, in the rush of
preparing the pavlova, the multiple cups of sugar were
mistakenly replaced with cooking salt. Presentation
wise it still looked like a 5-star dessert but after one
mouthful we all had to politely decline (even the dog
wouldn’t touch it!). Mum was mortified but can look
back now and laugh. She triple checks when making
the dessert now!

For a long time we had Christmas at my
Nan & Pop’s farm in Delegate NSW, not
far from the Snowy Mountains. The
Delegate river formed one border of the
farm and after Christmas lunch all of the
kids would pile into Pop’s landcruiser and make our
way down to the river for a swim. Once there, we would
procrastinate for an eternity about who should get in
first, as the river was FREEZING! We would jump in,
hyper-ventilate from the cold, quickly get out and then
see who was brave enough to go again. Looking back,
that water would have been snow melt at that time of
year so no wonder it was so cold!