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A bit of light humor for Christmas. May it be a wonderful day of love and family, and of course, good food for everyone….

Christmas in Esperance is such a delight! What a wonderful day to spend with family and friends…

Of course, the fun starts when you put up the tree. You’ve decided to go for no plastic this year, so the hubby is sent off to ask the neighbour if he can cut a branch off his pine tree. The kids are making decorations. Bliss! You can sit down with a cuppa while you wait for the magic to take place. Half an hour later, hubby is still chatting with the neighbour over the fence, and you’ve had to break up four fights between the kids. Someone’s fingers have been stapled, and you think it might be safer to just buy decorations. You go and talk to the neighbour’s wife, and the two of you saw off a promising looking branch before the men have even noticed. You leave hubby chatting about the cricket, and go to untangle little Tommy from the Christmas lights. The kids have made exactly one decoration between them, so you pull the store bought decorations out of storage. Four hours, seven fights, and one near miss when the tree fell over and almost squashed the dog – and finally, you’re done! It’s lopsided, and looks like it was decorated by a blind person with bad aim, but the kids are delighted. It’s beginning to feel like Christmas.

The next thing to organise is presents. You and hubby divide up the list, and head out to the shops. You carefully choose just the right present, taking your time, buying local and hand made where possible. Of course, you try to get useful gifts. Everybody loves new socks for Christmas, don’t they? You’ve barely started choosing new tea towels for Aunt Mary when hubby’s all done. He’s ignored all of your suggestions, and blown the budget on wildly impractical presents. You sigh, and agree that yes, surely Grandma will love a drone for Christmas.

Then it’s time to plan the Christmas day menu. Grandma wants roast chicken, Uncle Barry says it’s not Christmas unless there are prawns, and Cousin Lucy requests pavlova. Why did you agree to host Christmas lunch? Hubby suggests just getting takeaway, and you consider crossing him off the invite list. Aunt Sally phones to remind you that Cousin Nina is a vegan now, and Aunt Edna is deathly allergic to seafood. You curse silently, and add a couple of bottles of wine to the shopping list. You find a fantastic recipe for a vegan salad, and then rearrange the seating plan so that Aunt Edna isn’t seated next to Uncle Barry and the prawn salad. That means Uncle Gus will be seated next to Uncle Bill – you wonder if they’re on speaking terms this year? Hubby asks why you’re muttering under your breath, and you send him to go buy more wine. You swear never to host Christmas lunch again.

Christmas morning dawns bright and cheery in Esperance. The children are up before the sun, looking around for signs that Santa was here last night. They find dirty boot prints in the hallway from where hubby forgot to wipe his feet, and race to tell you that Santa was here last night! Oops, you forgot to eat the cookies that the kids left out for Santa – fortunately, the dog has found them in the night, and there’s nothing but crumbs left behind. The dog didn’t eat the carrot that the kids left for Santa’s reindeer though. Hubby explains that that’s because Santa’s sleigh is pulled by kangaroos here in Australia. It’s a good save, so you forgive him for the dirty boot prints.

Christmas lunch goes smoothly, and everyone complements your cooking. You notice Cousin Nina helping herself to the roast chicken, and she announces that she’s not a vegan anymore. It doesn’t matter, because everyone loves the special vegan salad. Aunt Edna asks for the prawn salad to be passed down – no, she tells you, of course she’s not allergic to seafood. You kick Aunt Sally under the table. Everyone loves the presents – especially Grandma! It turns out she’s always wanted to try flying a drone. The only disaster of the day occurs when someone puts the red creaming soda on the kids’ table. You wonder if there’s any way to harness their energy. It would be enough to power the whole town for weeks. You pull little Tommy down from where he’s climbing the curtains, and suggest it’s time to hit the beach.

Now comes the hard part of the day – deciding which perfect beach to go to. Not Twilight, everyone agrees. Much too crowded at this time of year. Why, last time I went there, there were about twenty people on the beach, Uncle Barry exclaims. Everyone is shocked, except for the cousin who comes from Sydney, who seems quite puzzled. How about Wiley Bay? West Beach? Heading out to Warton? The argument goes on for half an hour, and finally, you load the kids in the car and announce that you’re heading to Twilight. Of course, everyone agrees. Why didn’t we think of that to start with? Twilight is absolutely perfect, and after half an hour lathering the children in sunscreen, you can finally relax. Grandma takes the drone for a test run, and surprises everyone by being a natural at it. That’s it, next year hubby’s buying all the presents. Someone has to rescue little Tommy, who’s paddling out to sea on a bogey board. Apparently the red creaming soda hasn’t worn off yet. Then the sea breeze is in, and after you spend a few minutes chasing down everyone’s hats, you decide its time to head home for the day. Everyone’s so complimentary about the lunch that you agree to host Christmas again next year. Why not!? It was a breeze….

Happy, sun kissed children, lots of laughs, food galore, and fun on the beach. You’ll never get all of the sand out of the car, but you still have to agree – there’s nothing much that can beat Christmas in Esperance.


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