A lot of people have asked us what Christmas is like here in Australia, so I thought we'd fill you in on some of our observations. In a lot of ways it is very similar to the US but there are some definite differences. Decorations are mostly the same, although I think they use a lot more tinsel here. Houses are still decorated with Christmas lights...not as much as in the US though...and they don't seem to match. Half of the house will be done with rainbow icicle lights, but then the other half is the white ones. It's very random. We sing most of the same Christmas carols...and you even hear songs like I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. I saw an advertisement for a Christmas Winter Spectacular where you would go ice skating and have a "wintry" Christmas. The food is pretty different. For our Christmas lunch we had a ham and roast pumpkin salad, a vegetable sausage couscous salad, prawns (shrimp) and chicken kebabs. A few typical Australian Christmas desserts are rumbles, rocky road, pavlova and trifle...all of which are quite delicious. It was really strange to not have the typical "Christmas" foods that we are used to back home. They have these things called Bon Bons (not the chocolate!). You pop them and a little crown comes out, a prize and a joke. They seem to be pretty popular around Christmas time. There's a picture of them at the bottom of the blog! Besides these things, the traditions are pretty much the same. Australia has adopted a lot of decorations and traditions from the US.
We knew that it would be difficult to be away from family, so we made sure that we kept busy so that we would not think about it too much. Christmas Eve is a pretty big day in my family. We always get together with my mom's side of the family and have Lasagna. Since we were spending Christmas day with friends here, we decided to have a special Christmas Eve celebration by ourselves where we made Lasagna! We went mini golfing and to a movie, then came home for a candlelit Lasagna dinner for two. It was a really special night! Then, on Christmas we went to church at 8am then spent the rest of the day at our friend's house. It was probably the most relaxing Christmas we have ever had! We are used to running from house to house and trying to please everyone. And for the first time we were able to be in one place all day and it was really nice. Our friends made us feel so at home and we had a wonderful day. Oh, and we got to go swimming in the ocean on Christmas! That was strange!!
One thing that I keep thinking is how blessed I am to have Sean. Yes, it was really difficult to be away from family for the holidays, but God has blessed me by giving me such an amazing husband. I love being married to my best friend and living in Australia together doing ministry. We are really learning what it means to rely on each other and it truly is beautiful. I feel so blessed that we are able to spend so much time together. We get to be together almost all day every day and we love every second of it! We know that life won't always been like this so we are really enjoying it while it lasts.
Here are a few pictures from the holidays. Enjoy! We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas!!
|Here is our candlelit dinner for two :)|
|This was taken after church on Christmas.|
|Here we are at Matt and Gemma's getting ready to eat our Christmas lunch. Her family joined us as well as one of our friends from church.|
|These are the crowns that you get out of Bon Bons.|