HAPPY NEW YEAR / WHATEVER

Wishing everyone best wishes for a  (somewhat belated)  :-

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR / JOYOUS SATURNALIA /  HAIL TO THE SKY CHICKEN / INSERT FESTIVAL OF CHOICE HERE

I am not a major fan of the Christmas season, let me say this outright.  It’s based on a lifetime of family Christmases where extended family who don’t see each other at any other time of year gather together to pretend to be Happy Families and No, Not Judging At All, So You Still Don’t Have A Boyfriend Yet, Jules, Oh You Are You Still Sick yadda yadda.

(Note:  I had plenty of boyfriends and three-week stands and flings and a Sugar Daddy even,  but was I going to introduce them to my family, let alone aforementioned extendeds?  No, No I was not.)

My aversion to all things Christmassy particularly Carols may also be explained by years and years and YEARS in choirs and small groups, singing at various gigs from hotel lobbies to cathedrals.  To alleviate the boredom of singing O Come All Ye Faithful 64 times in a week, I ended up learning ALL the parts from First Soprano down to First Bass, and throughout a performance would switch sections from one to another… disappearing from the second soprano section only to pop up amongst the tenors …

Obviously I also hate the gross crass materialism and hype and BUY BUY BUY STRESS STRESS STRESS because if you are not chucking around useless fecking wreaths and half an Amazonian forest worth of wrapping paper, ribbon, massively overpriced  presents to everybody you know, you are not a Happy Family and are henceforth DOOOOOOOOOOOMED to be the vegemite-al dregs of our Marvellous Perfect Utopian society.  (who, me, dramatic? Nah.)

Tux and I both have a preference for a low-key, friends-and-family focused Christmas (with lots of beer and cold white wine whilst sitting outside in the sun under a huge market umbrella).  This year’s was by necessity very, very tight.  Tux and I couldn’t even get presents for each other, nor for our closest friends.  That kinda hurt …. like a LOT.  We could get over the no-pressies-for-each-other thing, but I had major plans for special friends and when crunch time came around the end of November, when the realisation hit that financially we were up shit-creek in a barbed wire canoe with no paddles, I tried very very hard not to be upset and feel like shit about it all.

Okay, now we have actually done very well, making our savings last eight months to make up the difference that Centrelink payments just do not cover.  We don’t get ANYTHING unnecessary;  even clothes are a luxury item at the moment.  So Christmas pressies and so on were simply out of the question, especially after some huge outgoing bills (hello rates, strata levies, insurance, medical and pharmaceutical bills – oh yeah, and the cost of our Christmas Eve dinner party) wiped our bank balance. 

* * * * * * * * *

Viz a viz aforementioned Dinner Party:  Every year Tux and I host an Orphans’ Christmas Eve Dinner Party.  The “orphans” in question are people in the same position as us; who do not have any / all of their family living in Australia, or friends who have no other, better place to be than at an enjoyable, fun party with wonderful people, sparkling conversation, intellectually demanding debates,  spectacular food (IF I say so myself) and lots and lots of booze.

The Usual Suspects are a bunch of Scots to join we Irish (or Irish by marriage, which comes to the same thing), plus this year an Englishwoman to swell the UK ranks.  (We were expecting a Dutch/Indonesian and an Iranian couple but they were unable to attend.)  Professionally, between us we cover IT & communications, photography, journalism, graphic design and politics.  Conversation is indeed incredibly interesting, and while talking with a couple of people I am always trying to keep an ear out for what the others are discussing!

As well as looking after the food … By choice, I do a BIG turkey dinner.  I adore turkey and the associated tryptophan coma, and I adore cooking for people I love, no matter the size of the crowd.

The Food: 1 x Magnificent Roast Turkey;  Gluten-Free Herbed-Cashew-Apricot Stuffing (cooked and served in a baking dish, not in the turkey); Litres Of Gravy, made with all the roast turkey bits and pan juices, white wine, and home-made chicken stock;  Roast Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes; Roast Carrots With Thyme;  Steamed Beans and Peas … and because the guests were crying for mercy at this stage, the preferred dessert choice was strawberries and cream (I had a pavlova ready to go also).

The toast of the evening was:  “All Hail To The Sky Chicken!!!”  Um it’s a long story …

Number of bottles of beer and wine left in our fridge at the end of the night:  Unable to count due to aforementioned tryptophan coma, ongoing over following days as we got through the leftovers … mmm mmmmm.

 

 

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