Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

2011 has been a very eventful year to say the least. We wouldn't change any of it though. Before we sign out for 2011 and begin 2012, I better post Christmas pictures. (Otherwise it might be June before I get around to it.)

New PJ's for Christmas Eve

Tracking Santa using NORAD Santa Tracker.

Santa found us.

After dinner we went on a walk along the beach.

It was a little windy. (All together now... Ahhh.... so sad....)

The next day was Boxing Day and we went to a friend/distant relatives home for that. It was a BLAST!!! Her whole family was there and they were just as fun as my family... made me not feel quite as homesick. Oh and for those that are wondering what Boxing Day is? Nobody knows... it's just another day off work to drink and play. Ya' just gotta' love the Aussie life.

Do I have to come home in two years?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's the same, but different

The main question I'm asked right now from friends and family back in the States is, "Is Christmas the same in Australia?"

The short answer?

Yes, but not as much drama.

Let me try to explain...

When we arrived in Brisbane at the first of September I noticed Christmas decorations in the stores. (similarity) Friends started to put up Christmas trees and decorations at the end of November. (similarity) There was a big Christmas festival up the road from us one weekend and then one across from our apartment the following one. (Christmas festivities-similarity) Shopping centre's/malls are busy. (similarity) There are Christmas carolers all the time. (similarity if we had lived someplace warm)

BUT there was NO 'Black Friday' to start off a spending frenzy. Stores are not staying open late. (We found that out the hard way.) And those that will stay open late for two nights this month? It's not that late. There are Christmas decorations, but not that many. All the drama seems to be so much less here. It's really hard to put into words.

When we were preparing (and I use that term loosely because I hardly feel like I had the time to prepare for anything) to move here, we found on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection site that Christmas ornaments were especially troublesome because they may have touched a live tree and be harboring pests. So we decided to just leave it ALL behind in storage. And, because we are only here for two years, we don't really want to purchase a lot of items. So, we bought an artificial tree and a box of ornaments and one string of lights and some Christmas-ey scrapbook paper. And then we let the kids loose with the decorating. Every day they seem to add something new to the tree or walls. Oh, and I can't forget to share two fabulous websites here and here on how to make Star Wars snowflakes. Jonathan and I have had a lot of fun making these.

My favorite is Yoda and C3PO

This is 1 of 4 that I made using 3 inch circles. It is obscenely large compared to our little tree so the plan changed and I used MUCH smaller circles for the tree ornaments.

The main question is 'Does Santa come to Australia and will he know the kids are here?'

This years decorations may just be my most favorite yet. Merry Christmas!!!