post christmas roundup 2011

the christmas tree just before i left in the eveningSo this is Christmas... as some wise man once said. And something about another year being done.

Although, in all honesty, I could just refer you to just about any of my Christmas Day posts for the last several years and it would just about cover it. We're creatures of habit at Christmas, never more so than on the day itself. Details change, but the major items are the same.

For example...
I was awake fairly early this morning, partially because it was so fucking hot on Christmas Eve and when I woke up my apartment was still stifling, so after dozing somewhat for another half an hour I got up at about 6am, opened up the door and tried to pump some of the cooler outside air indoors given that I was going to be out for the majority of the day.

Eventually after some faffing about I had my shower and got dressed in my thematically green Christmas outfit (green polo, green Aussiebums, green "grass" thongs), I messaged Ma to find out if she was up and about. She was, so after some overly verbose texting back and forth, I "tetrised" the car (to tetris: the art of fitting as much stuff as humanly possible into the available space) and set off by about 7am.

I like the streets at 7am on Christmas morning... there's nobody really about... although I did see some of those "godless heathen types" selling fruit and vegetables outside the Gepps Cross Drive In. If I'd known they were going to be there I might have stopped... but I was in the wrong lane, etc.

When I got to Ma's place (which would have been just after 7:30 or so) she was up to her eyeballs in puff pastry, cheese and ham making the last of the Ham Hearts to take to La Cousina's place. Didn't help to make her kitchen any cooler, but I do love the hammy cheesy flaky goodness when they're fresh out of the oven.

After the last of the baking was done Ma got ready while I wrote mushy things in her card (which I intended to do since about Wednesday, but kept forgetting... so much so that I only realised I hadn't done it once I got to Ma's place... but fortunately the words just flowed out of me perfectly when I did start writing it), chucked the croissants in the oven and set the table for breakfast.

Brief Christmas related side note: Cranberry sauce makes a great spread for croissants!

Once we were done with breakfast we packed up the car and headed off to La Cousina's place. I swear I must have some recessive bogan DNA or something because otherwise I don't really get how we're related. I kinda have the feeling that Miss Oh is going to end up feeling very similarly... she just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of them (but in a good way, if that makes sense).

And I know I've said it before, but every year we (well, Ma mostly) give them a bunch of stuff, and we leave with a couple of tiny things. I know Christmas is about giving, but giving and not getting back anything even remotely in the spirit of what you gave makes you not want to give anymore. You know?

I did get a $30 movie gift card though.

Anyway, we probably spent less than the usual amount of time there, gave them all their presents and then, extended familiar obligations over for another year (at least on my part) came back to Ma's place.

And of course that meant PRESENT TIME!

my presentsGiven that I've been working for such a while now, there isn't really very much I wanted or needed this year... and a bunch of my presents (everything with an asterisks next to it) are stuff that I've bought for myself but put away for Christmas (and mostly had Ma wrap up for me).
  • Howard Roffman/Bel Ami Paradise Found 2011 Calendar *
  • Corbin Fisher Pura Vida 2011 Calendar *
  • Lego Minifigure Display Case
  • Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 years of the Lego Minifigure
  • Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection (it came bundled with the other Lego book)
  • Viking*, elf* and geisha Lego minifigures
  • Collins Classics Macbeth *
  • Manga Shakespeare Macbeth graphic novel *
  • Popular Penguins Vile Bodies *
  • Futurama Season 5 Part I
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • How To Train Your Dragon
  • Kung Fu Panda *
  • Tintin and Asterix coasters
  • Lunartik vinyl figure (The Earl) *
  • Joe Ledbetter Chinese Zodiak Tiger mini figure *
  • Nutcracker nesting dolls
  • Salt&Pepper Nutcracker bowl with candy cane pate knife
  • Toy soldier snow globe pencil
  • Tinkerbell Christmas snow globe
  • AHW Creation Raw Aesthetic pendant (from The Rocks Market in Sydney)
  • $20 iTunes card * (actually this was what I was intending to give Ma, but she got one as her Secret Santa present at work, and I'd already given her one when she got her iPhone, and I needed one, so I lifted it back)
Since I didn't really have that much stuff to unwrap, I was more than happy to sit back and watch Ma unwrap the seemingly neverending stream of little red bundles from her big bag of stuff. Oddly, even though I only wrapped it all on Wednesday night, I didn't remember what the hell was in some of the parcels when she took them out. So it was fun for everyone.

I have to say that I'm disappointed in the Bel Ami/Howard Roffman calendar this year... not the photos, they're as excellent as always, but the paper is much flimsier than in previous years, and it doesn't even have a thicker front or back cover...

Once the usual orgy of unwrapping was over we started on preparing lunch... which usually involves a lot of waiting around for heatbeads in the Weber to come up to the right temperature and wrapping a bunch of stuff in foil.

In between that I also set the table and took the usual present related photos. So, you know, the usual stuff.

We tried a different kind of turkey breast loaf thing this year... without the stuffing. Turned out quite well actually.

And I made a quick and dirty BBQ version of Smashed Broccoli... and we discovered that cooking the baby potatoes and chunks of sweet potato in the microwave for five minutes before oiling them up and putting them in the Weber made them pretty much perfect... although I should have turned them when I went to put the bacon on the sausage meat.

Have I ever mentioned that we consume more meat in this one meal that either of us would usually consume in a couple of days?

While we waited for everything to cook (which only took just over an hour rather than the usual five hundred hours it takes for a whole turkey) Ma watched the first half of the So You Think You Can Dance finale from Christmas Eve (since she was out) and I footled around on the netbook.

seven years of photographing the christmas table and it hasn't really changed that muchThen... lunch!

We didn't do too badly time wise... it was about 2pm by the time we started eating, which for Christmas Day is pretty reasonable... I honestly never quite know what happens between us unwrapping presents and sitting down to lunch. Hours seem to vanish, and really have no freakin idea where they go exactly.

Lunch was pretty much the same as always... variations on a theme of the stereotypical Christmas dinner. And it's usually sometime around, or directly after, lunch that I usually make some statement to Ma around the fact that that's it for another year.

And, as always, we were stuffed by the end of the meal.

Then we did what we usually do after Christmas lunch... or the current version of it anyway. I wrote this post on my netbook while Ma watched the end of SYTYCD and half of one of the Discworld mini-series.

And by the time I got to this point in the post it was around 4:30pm. I really have no idea where the hell Christmas Day goes...

The rest of the day wasn't much of anything really.

Ma watched the other half of the Discworld thing, I swapped between watching that and reading through my Lego minifigure books... I swear that I remember/have/had some of the very, very, very early version of the minifigures... no idea if they're still around though. Or even if Ma still has all my Lego. I have an idea she may have given it all away to somebody, but I'm not completely sure.

After that was done, we poked about in the fridge, had a little bit of the Chocolate Rum & Raisin Christmas Pudding with brandy custard and picked at some bits of fruit while watching half of a Spicks and Specks Christmas episode repeat before I started packing up everything for the journey home.

The part of that that takes forever is Ma sorting out food to send home with me... there's lots of rummaging in the fridge and pulling out various containers and whatever the hell she generally does that ends up with me having a bag full of left over goodies to take home.

I left slightly more than twelve and a half hours after I arrived, and got home with no dramas. And my house was still there...

And I spent the remainder of the evening playing around on the laptop and downloading updates on the netbook.

Merry Christmas indeed... see you same time next year!

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