Last Christmas was different. I spent it with my sister and her in-laws in small town Cowra, inner west of New South Wales. The drive up there was long but beautiful. It was hours and hours through cotton-candy white clouds, endless countryside estates, more-than-occasional kangaroo sightings and of course, cows. I don't think I had ever seen that many cows of milk carton-ad quality before.
Upon arriving in Cowra on the 24th, we were all exhausted but I was extra keen to give the presents I had wrapped. However, it was much to my surprise when everyone turned into bed early. Unlike Filipino christmases, it seemed like Christmas Eve isn't as big in Australia. Admittedly, it had me scratching my head cluelessly and feeling a little homesick. Come Christmas morning, everyone gathered around the "fruity Christmas tree" picking grapes and strawberries from it as the turkey was being carved. Then it was time to feast! Wine glasses clinking plus ham and turkey aplenty across the entire table, it was a wonderful Christmas lunch. Then came the opening of presents--all had me gushing! But the highlight of the entire day was definitely the pulling of our Christmas bonbons! Originally an English tradition, it's a novelty I'd be happy to add to my future family's Christmas. I'm all about the lame jokes and cheeky toys, really.
In the four days I spent in Cowra, I was able to enjoy three generations of fabulous cooking by the Berrys (Grandma's macadamia tarts have since then held a permanent seat in my stomach), dramatic 8PM sunsets, and the most stunning views from the guest room bedside window. Nothing was amiss despite the absence of the lechon and my Lola's leche flan. But in all honesty, I am very excited to be spending the holidaze in the Philippines with the rest of my family and friends this year! I don't know why, but I've never really grown accustomed to white Christmases.
Here's to counting down the days (and saving pennies for holiday gifts)! xx