Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent.



So, here we are in Advent . I am keeping up to posting, although rather infrequently, only my third post since starting, in August.













Christmas time is my most favourite time of the year. I love decorating the tree, hanging the green boughs and wreaths, the Christmas lights and generally making our home look festive and welcoming. There are gifts to chose or make, then wrap, for loved ones and friends, always a special treat to find the perfect item. There are the cards to write and baking to to do, while the Carols are playing. Then the special Carol Service in the city. It is held in the beautiful, Wellington Town Hall, built around 1906 in the exquisite architecture of the period, also with superb acoustics. The Salvation Army bands' vibrant red blazers, are a great foil for their sparkling brass instruments. The music and the singing are so very uplifting, adding to my spiritual experience of Christmas.


As we await the celebration, joy and family togetherness I have been contemplating a different type of Christmas. Perhaps a white Christmas would be the perfect backdrop for me, however living in the southern hemisphere, it would be a rarity in summer although, today's temperature was only 12C. I am accustomed to searing summer temperatures, cloudless blue skies and sometimes, raging bush fires at this time of the year. In Australia, I would expect to have a floral arrangement of Christmas Bush & Christmas Bells, both native flora, adding touches of blue from Hydrangea and Agapanthus, along with the white of Shasta daisies. These flowers are all reminiscent of wonderful Christmas times, shared at my Grandparent's home, with extended family. Here in New Zealand, there may be Hydrangea and Agapanthus, but they usually bloom after Christmas. The Shasta daisies will certainly not be out for a couple of weeks. The beautiful New Zealand, native Pohutukawa, also known as a Christmas Bush, is bursting forth all over the city. The rich red blossoms and two tone green foliage, will provide a perfect floral greeting for family and friends. I wish for you all the joys and blessings of the Christmas Season.
On Christmas morning, we welcomed family from near and far being blessed with a visit from our DD#2 from Sydney. Later our friends arrived to share lunch and we all enjoyed a happy day.
Photos below in order,
DD#1, DD#2, Gingerbread House made by Nicholas & Joshua with the help of their wonderful Au Pair Christin, from Germany, along with the entre of fresh avocado topped with succulent prawns. Last, but not least, our Christmas pudding, a marinated fruit and berry delight sandwiched between layers of pavlova, an Australian specialty.