Monday, 21 December 2009

Let the festive preparations commence!

Whilst the UK enjoys / suffers freezing temparatures and snow in the run up to Christmas, we are also busy preparing for the festive period. I feel like I need to make an additional effort in order to get into the festive spirit this year, as the warm weather, whilst beautiful, doesn't contribute (and in fact rather detracts!) from that Christmas feeling!

This is the first year that Tom and I will be hosting Christmas Day, and there will be a party of seven of us here in Melbourne. I have been decorating the flat and have had lots of fun creating our own Christmas tree from twigs collected from the Dandenong forest. I spray painted them silver and added red and silver baubles, which I think creates quite a nice effect, albeit rather different from a traditional green tree. I hope the landlady doesn't notice the slightly silver sparkle that our balcony now has after my spray painting episode!

In what Tom could only describe as his nightmare before Christmas, I visited Melbourne's only 22,000 square foot Christmas Warehouse to purchase our decorations. Luckily for him I went alone, and whilst this was good for Tom's sanity it wasn't so good for his bank balance! He has been very tolerant of my obsession with scouring Melbourne for the best red baubles available, only to go and buy the tackiest ones possible from the warehouse of Christmas nightmares.

We have a large collection of Christmas cards that many of you have sent from the UK - thank you so much for making the effort to send cards to Australia and we really appreciate you thinking of us at Christmas. We are planning a BBQ on Christmas Day, and I hope you're thinking of us then too as you're all cold and stuffed with turkey!

I have also stepped into baking overdrive and made lots of Christmas edible-indulgences to see us through the festive period. I never really realise how much I like mince pies until I take my first bite, then after Christmas is over I promptly forget about them again for another 11 and half months. Christmas baking is of course just really an excuse for me to re-stock our kitchen with lots of new kitchen gadgets. I wish I had shipped more from the UK, as I do feel as if I'm buying duplicates of things that are sitting in a box back home, but given my love of kitchen shops I don't mind! Tom thinks I'm attracted to anything plastic.. I wish he thought I desired more sparkly things however!!

Here are some photos of us getting into the festive spirit:

Christmas tree looking a bit spindly! (I promise it looks better in real life!)

A little bit of tinsel goes a long way in Australia!

Mince pices in front of the tree

Chocolate muffins which got turned upside down and smothered in icing to look like little Christmas puddings! They looked better than they tasted if I'm honest.

Getting good use of my silicone bakeware - expensive but it did three rounds of baked goods this Sunday alone!

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