December 25th, 2022Just Sayin’…
By Donna Kelly
SO, this is our last edition for the year. But don’t worry, despite repeated attempts we failed to win either Powerball or Tattslotto so will probably be back next year.
I say probably because there is a big Tattslotto draw happening on December 31. And I have always said, as much as we love connecting this community, sharing stories and supporting our fellow Central Highlanders, if we win a few million we are out of here. Jokes. Maybe.
Anyway, it’s been another roller coaster of a year with Covid still refusing to bugger off, and the rain. Rain, rain, go away, come again another year. But I have been loving the memes on Facebook. Things like “I hope summer is going to be on a weekend this year” and “Rebooting summer, upload failed”. People are so quick.
I haven’t really thought much about Christmas yet. Been pretty busy with The Local and getting out the summer visitor guide and that last edition of House.Land.Home.Premium. No wonder I am tired.
I remember Christmas Days as a young kid. Hot summer days, tables groaning with food, ovens doing overtime despite the heat, adults all in various states of cheer – depending on what they were drinking, dogs wandering around looking for scraps – of which there were many. Halcyon days, perhaps.
As a teenager it was all a bit naff. Crowding into the car for the trip to my mum’s brother’s family in Kangaroo Ground. Over-zealous relatives leaning in for kisses, the same old ‘boring’ food, trying to snaffle some booze without being sprung, smoking cigarettes with the cousins, retreating to bedrooms to listen to some ‘decent’ music away from the incessant carols on the tapedeck.
In my 20s I had one white Christmas in Tokyo with Canadian friends who cooked a whole turkey in a benchtop oven and tried my first eggnog. Loved it. Another one was with Kyle in Cairns. So humid, we headed to Crystal Cascades with chicken and champagne (probably not the real stuff) and then managed to terrify ourselves so much that there could be salties in the water, we ended up at a Chinese restaurant. Followed by the latest James Bond at the cinema.
Into my 30s and it was lots of family Christmases with Mum. She was getting older so I felt we should be with her. So Frankston and Glenlyon gatherings. Oh, and one at Wheatsheaf with Jeff and Carol Glorfeld and some of their neighbours. Mum went for a walk with one who asked her if she would like to have a bit of chuff, you know, marijuana. Mum said thank you, but no. Could have started a whole new tradition that day. Stoner Betty.
We managed a real family day for 2019 after I coerced my sister and her sons, and my brother and his wife, to come to Glenlyon for the day. It was a great day although Mum had misgivings about how we would all get along. Somehow, for Mum, we managed very well and a good time was had by all, as no journalist ever should say.
Mum died in May 2020 and so Christmases have been pretty small. But this year we are back. It will involve family, friends, lots of kids, dogs, seafood, pavlova, booze and that dreamy chilled late afternoon bit where the food coma kicks in – the one that only happens on Christmas Day.
And then, a few days later it will be 2023. Wow. I remember looking around Myer Frankston in 1999 for an outfit for the turn of the millennium.
Anyway, whatever is your thing, my thing is to wish you a joyful Christmas and all the best for a safe, healthy and happy New Year. See you in 2023. Maybe.