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How We’re Spending Christmas

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Dan Kuseta – Editor
My dad’s from Croatia, so I always spend Christmas Eve with his side of the family. Garlic prawns are washed down with eggnog and we rip open our gifts just before Carols by Candlelight. Christmas Day’s spent with Mum’s side of the family. She’s from a big Irish Catholic clan and each year lunch is held at a different relos house, with everyone bringing a dish. This year it’s up to Upwey for turkey (traditionally from a frozen Safeway loaf), Mum’s famous scalloped potatoes, bon-bons and a bit of backyard cricket.

Carla Sammut – Food Writer
I’ll be off to Sydney for the annual tradition of my brother and I watching Star Wars on Christmas Eve whilst the rest of the family go to midnight mass. Christmas Day, being the children of divorced parents, we alternate. This year it’s my Maltese family that consists of over forty immediate relos, centered around a pool with lots of small children, wet kisses and a ridiculously huge smorgasbord.

G. Raymond Leavold – Film And Sometimes Food Writer
Christmas morning for me is always formulaic: up late, no breakfast (unless you count the first beer) to save room for Christmas lunch, which usually occurs after a few beverages and some salty cashews round the dinner-table my mum has decked out in so much red and green it looks like game day in South Sydney.

The meal is always a traditional roast. At least three meats; beef, pork and chicken, thick gravy, roast potatoes the colour of sunshine and the crispy fat from the pork. Man, it’s great. Dessert is always unnecessary but ever-present. A Christmas pudding that my dad made 18 months prior is brought out of the pantry and topped with lots of cream. Lots of cream.

Then, at around 4pm when there’s nothing on the TV, I’ll have my ‘Merry Christmas Nap’. That’ll usually kill around an hour and a half. Then I’ll get up, grab another beer, make myself a three-meat-sandwich and, if there’s any left-over gravy, it’ll be a very merry sandwich indeed.

Tom Campbell – Film Writer
Ah, Christmas. The time to be merry and spend the day with family by the Christmas tree, eating, drinking, relaxing, unwrapping presents and hardly moving. I wish.

Being in a long term relationship with a fellow child of divorce has taught me that saving for Christmas petrol is just as important as saving for presents. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to be a scrooge and I love my family, but our Christmas sees us travelling from one end of Melbourne to another: Mt. Eliza to Werribee to Healesville. Maybe if the Zoos stay open we could hit up all three on our Christmas tour of Melbourne.

Dave Dreimann – Features Editor
Christmas day I am working at Triple 0 until 4.30 then I’m going to mum’s house for Christmas dinner with mum and my grandparents. Later in the evening I will catch up with friends for drinks.
Boxing day = Work

Gage Rossiter – Beer and Wine Writer
In my family, Christmas and wine are completely predictable. Ben brings a couple of bottles of sparkling shiraz. This bizarre Australian sweet bubbly red, complete with clashing tannins, only appeals to him, so he drinks both bottles then becomes argumentative. David can be relied to produce Moet, a bit unimaginative, but at least he brings a case.  Tamsin telephones for advice from the bottle shop and I suggest Tyrell’s or Yalumba.  Abigail is from Canberra and she will bring a bottle of her region’s finest, something from Lark Hill, Clonakilla, Helm or Mount Majura. Penelope will wait till she gets to Victoria and then ask me to accompany her to a bottle shop, I will select a Cote du Rhone from Chapoutier, Guigal or Vidal Fleury. Dad will produce a couple of thirty year old wines. I will take a bottle-aged unwooded Hunter Valley Semillon, (this year it will be the 2002 Mount Pleasant Elisabeth Semillon that cost me about $10 three or four years ago).  Always the same, every Christmas.

Leigh Cox – Music Writer
My parents live in regional SA and every Christmas we kids drive home from all around Australia a few days before the 25th to make home made Irish Cream – a rather sticky but yummy and delightful family tradition of ours.

We often end up making far too much and end up taking home bottles home we never actually drink. It’s become a running joke to see who has the oldest and biggest Irish Cream stockpiles in their house.

Kylie Fitt- Architecture Writer
Aside from the full dance card of family Xmas events, I have three small traditions of my own. Firstly, I decorate my presents with passion. This year it is unbleached brown wrapping paper embellished with origami butterflies folded from beautiful white vellum, tied on with sparkly red twine.

Second: I have a special xmas outfit. In the hangover fog of my annual shopping Olympics – all done in 2 hours – I managed to indulge myself with a Junya Watanabe shirt at 50% off, further proof that I shop well with a hangover.

The third is my newest tradition and perhaps the one I like the best – I have my own tree for the first time. I selected a sustainable laser cut plywood tree from the Melbourne design studio Buro North, and have since busied myself with origami decorations, and of course chocolate money. Breakfast of berries, banana pancakes and coffee, then off to the family to work up yet another Boxing Day hangover and kick off a great summer holiday!