How We’re Spending Christmas

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Dan Kuseta – Editor
My Christmas has always been divided into three parts: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Christmas Party. On Christmas Eve my dad’s side of the family, the Croatians, always meet up. There’s lots of garlic prawns, eggnog and the Neil Diamond Christmas Special on loop. Christmas Day is a big lunch with mum’s side, a big gang of Irish Catholics and there’s a riot if mum doesn’t bring her signature scalloped spuds. Backyard cricket and Chinese Chequers follows.

At night my friend Yuri has an awesome Christmas Party where a few hundred people rock up to let off some Yuletide steam. The theme this year is toga.

Luke Applebee – Features Editor
Morning: Sleep in! When we crawl out of bed my siblings, partners and child (that’s you Lily) rally at Mum and Dad’s house for a lunch of mostly homemade meals from lasagne and frankfurts to apricot chicken and potato salad. And then there’s the coconut ice—this year there’ll be mango sorbet too. Afternoon: everybody complains about bloated stomachs so we’ll play boardgames (hopefully Space Hulk this year) and challenge grandma at Wii bowling.

G. Raymond Leavold – Film and beer
10.00am: Wake up.
10.30am – 12.30pm: Beer and cashews.
1.00pm: Lunch; consisting of three meats, veggies, roast potatoes and gravy made with the deliciously fattening meat-juices.
3.00pm: My father’s famous Christmas pudding.
4.00pm-6.30pm: Christmas nap.
7.00pm: A few more beers.
8.00pm: Three-meat sandwich.
9.30pm: A glass of cognac or two, which means that bed isn’t far off.

Brett Hamm – Film and Arts
Growing up in Saskatchewan, Christmas was preceded each year by a descending thermal run beginning round October and ending with -20c weather and three feet of snow on everything.  Fireplaces, tobogganing and snow forts. That was Christmas growing up.

I’m only just getting my head around summer Christmases. Not that I’m complaining. Combining two of my favourite things is sheer genius. But I do have to consciously remind myself it is, in fact, really, truly Christmas.

Robert Clark – Food
Our Christmas has evolved over the years: no longer the dramatized guerilla-style raid to cut down a roadside pine tree, with wide-eyed boys keeping watch in case we’re caught, followed by struggling to get it into the car and the squashed, pine-scented drive home, watching out now for creepy crawlies.

They won’t be in it any more, and it’s no fun without them, so that’s dropped. Turkey and ham stay. Prawns are a must. Rock lobster’s getting ridiculously expensive. Derek now makes the Christmas pudding and Christmas cake. Craig brings the mandatory sparkling shiraz. Culinary expectations are high, and food critics hold no quarter. But the best is the yarning. I look forward all year for that.

Jenn Winterbine – Film
This year I’ll be doing lunch with the family and then working at Emergency Services in the evening. I want a pet dinosaur from Santa and my Christmas wish is for Sonic Youth to announce a reunion tour.

Jennifer Curcio – Food
In true Italian style our Christmas, or Natale will feature a minimum of eight courses; including antipasto, a seafood platter (notably Mum’s signature creamy spicy Lobster), veal schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, the fattest Turkey within 100 km’s of Elsternwick, Christmas pudding, chocolate cake and a fruit platter that could feed Australia’s entire bird population.

This and Mum’s mandatory request of Sinatra and Rod Stewart Christmas songs played on repeat, getting spoilt with an inconceivable amount of presents that featured on our Christmas lists, all while celebrating our Mother’s B’day wraps up a Curcio Christmas. And just before I go I will note that this year we have one new family member, my 3 month old nephew Harry. So everything I said before…double it! Merry Christmas guys!

Nola James – Food
Christmas brings a monumental first this year (and considering it’s my 30th Christmas that’s saying something). I am going to a Christmas brunch hosted by my two younger brothers – two people that have never hosted even so much as a tea party in their lives. It’s going to be hilarious for everyone but them I suspect.

Alex Switzky – Film
For Christmas, I’ll be joining my family for our traditional Yum Cha lunch, trying not to be self-conscious about being the only white people in an absolutely packed Chinese restaurant. After gorging myself on pork buns, I’ll head to the cinema and get a head-start on all the poor saps who have to wait till Boxing Day to see the blockbusters.

It’ll just be me, the Indian family, the other Jews and some quality cinematic entertainment. Happy Hannukah, everyone!’ That is exactly what I have done for the past decade or so, too. Good times.

Ellen Fraser – Food
Ours tends to be a fairly standard family lunch – an abundance of cold beer and wine, and big platters of food to share. Prawns & lobster served with homemade aioli up first, along with oysters mignonette and fancy pants champagne to stop a few hangovers in their tracks.

Platters of cold ham and turkey are next, with maybe a salad of fennel and orange or panzanella. Or both. Then, dessert – something easy involving fruit. Then, food coma.

Jade Kelly – Food
‘Tis the day known as Christmas, and all through that day
I’m watching the clock, for the right time to say
‘Thanks for the meal, it was lovely, I must go.’
Then back in the car I breathe deep and slow.
See, my parents are divorced, and so are my boy’s
so 3 separate meals leaves no time for toys.
It’s always a rush, the old eat ‘n’ run
Need I mention the effects of eating a tonne? (literally)
Worst are the fibs- like saying you’re starving
Pretending you didn’t just eat a feast of lamb carvings.
We try not to vom, and eat to be polite
Then we breathe a sigh of relief as we pass out for the night.

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