Being from the Northern Hemisphere, I’m not exactly used to the idea of spending much time outside at all on Christmas Day. Granted, in 2004, it did snow on Christmas Eve in Houston, but generally, our weather is just disgusting—neither hot enough nor cold enough to have any motivation to move from beside the Christmas tree. However, when I came to visit James for Christmas, it was an entirely different matter—it was around 30C on Christmas Day, so where else to go but the beach?
After opening presents, we got all suited up and headed down to Mooloolaba. You could tell from the parking situation that it was totally packed, which was confirmed when we made it to the beach and it was crawling in families. We dumped our stuff down on an empty plot of sand and were all ready to follow James’ mother, brother, and sister into the water when I thought it would be a great idea to get pictures with James. Unfortunately, this ended with me being picked up and thrown into the surf!
The water was beautiful and perfect for the number of people that were there, since there weren’t very large (or dumping) waves. We swam behind the waves and enjoyed floating there for awhile, every once in a while catching a wave into shore and then trudging back out again. I was forced to try this as well, and managed to catch a few good waves without being totally destroyed by them, although in one case I did manage to find the back of some one's head with my mouth. While it did split my lip, it didn’t turn out to be all that bad—a very good thing, since I didn’t want to meet all of James’ relatives looking like I had gotten in a fight!
After I had swallowed enough sea water for all six of us, we went back to James’ house and enjoyed a nice, cold Christmas dinner—yet another thing that was foreign to me. Christmas has always been the time for ham, possibly turkey, and lots of other hot dinner items. Instead, we had an assortment of very good salads, like crispy noodle salad and pineapple salad. For dessert, we had Christmas pudding—not plum pudding, like I was expecting, but James’ mother’s own ice-cream-and-goodies creation. Again—ice cream on Christmas Day? Not something I was used to, but very good.
Like many things on this trip to Australia, Christmas Day was in many ways the complete opposite of what I was used to. However, that just added to the fun and definitely made it a Christmas to remember!