Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Xmas Retrospective

Just to finish off Christmas, this meme from PC:

1) Do you have a tree, and if so what is hanging on it?

I'm staying at my sister's in Melbourne. She's been in Europe all year, and her tree is covered in wonderful baubles. Each time I ask, 'Ooh, where did you get this?' she says, self-consciously, 'Oh Czechoslavakia... Croatia... Spain... Moscow...'

2) What's the most successful bit of Christmas cooking you've done so far?

Uh - all the stuff I cooked was good (it usually is - I'm a good cook). Buttermilk pancakes for breakfast with Dad, yummy little smoked trout, avocado & cream cheese hors d'oevres and a kahlua egggnog - with a non-alcoholic version for the teetotallers.

3) And the least successful?
The eggnog did have an unusual texture this year. It wouldn't go thick. It still tasted good though, and was polished off quickly.

4) Which bit of your Christmas shopping are you happiest with?
I suggested Lovergirl buy my sister ten metres of Daintree rainforest which was the most successful gift of the whole extravaganza. I bought Lovergirl a delicious thick fluffy pink dressing gown which seems a fitting representation of the state of our relationship - gorgeous and comfortable. I gave my mother-in-law a book by Women's Weekly journalist David Leser - stories of twenty-one inspiring women - she said she loved it then bought a copy for one of her own friends.

5) Have you opened any of your presents yet? What was it / were they?
Next year's diary from Lovergirl - a stunning photographic publication - a subscription to the Monthly, and an Italian phrasebook. A necklace from Dad that definitely looks like something a nice Maltese girl would wear - just a little bit too much. A Women's Weekly cookbook from Mum - oh, and that ticket to Bali. Crocheted flannels - no Christmas would be complete without them.

6) Do you have any bad Christmas associations that will have to be tackled?
Oh, it's all too close to the bone to relate right now. Just the same as always. See below.

7) What's your favourite carol? Why?

I don't know what it's called but it goes,
'Said the little lamb to the shephered boy
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky shepherd boy?
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the sky
It will bring us (something something hum hum)'

Do you know it?
It has a great swelling last verse and I think the very first time I heard it, it was sung by a mighty choir. Ever since then, when I hear it sung by creaky old voices, my mind's ear hears it sung properly, perfectly.

8) Which part of your Christmas plans is most likely to go awry?
All the family dynamics were definitely a risk. My strategy is to sail through obliviously, like Mr Magoo. Then fly back home 2,000 km away.
9) What's your most favourite thing about Christmas?

The hope. The kernel of goodness in everyone. Feeling part of something bigger. The idea that we could do this for longer than a week a year - feel good, and hopeful, and kindly-disposed. Walking to midnight mass smiling and greeting other church-goers.

10) What's your least favourite thing about it?

How it always lets me down. Christmas is over in a morass of holly-sprigged paper and we all snap back to default position.

11) What Christmassy thing have you seen or heard in the street or on the teeve or in the blogosphere that has
(a) touched your heart

Watching Lovergirl's nephew in his Christmas pageant (see photo at top of entry). Again - it's the hope. Naked hope always makes me cry.

(b) hit a nerve
All the stress and overconsumption. I'm swept along, but a part of me berates myself. I'm eating and buying twice as much as I need to while children in other countries... (you know how the rest goes).

or (c) made you want to barf?

Christmas carols stuck on permanent repeat in my mind after too much time spent on aeroplanes. 'Do They Know It's Christmas' and 'The Little Drummer Boy' are particularly intrusive.

12) Who do you wish you had contacted to say Happy Christmas but haven't so far?

A woman I lost contact with years ago when a mutual friend of ours died of ovarian cancer. I saw her at the Melbourne Writers' Festival earlier this year, she gave me her address and I meant to send her a card. Now I've lost the address.

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