I'm spending a few days with the family I work for and their extended families at the country house they have. On Christmas Eve we all hung stockings on the main stairwell banister. Even I got one to hang. That was fun. My first ever Christmas stocking. I saw Father Christmas that evening in various shapes and forms around the banister.
My Christmas day began when I forced my body out of bed at 6am so I could go online to 'have Christmas' with MY family back home in Australia where most of them were gathering for a Christmas barbeque tea. It was lovely to spend a couple of hours chatting with video (when it worked), and three way conversations with my brother and his family still in Sydney. They waited to open my presents so I could watch which was really nice. It's one of my favourite Christmas traditions to sit around together opening presents. Eventually it was tea time for them and time to get dressed for me. We had an appointment to gather at the top of the stairs to check out our stockings!
We sat around in one of the lavishly decorated rooms with a little fire going. After a while a quiz box came out and we were answering questions that were read out. That was fun. Made me feel right at home too. It's one of the things I enjoy doing with my family on the odd occasions we do it. I got a number of questions right. There was also plenty I had no idea what the answer was. And I excitedly announced the answer (with some armraising for cheer) to the question, 'In which country do you find the Barossa Valley?' With the sons telling my boss' mum to relax and go with the flow, we were quizzed for quite sometime before we moved on with the next planned Christmas tradition. The lighting of the Christmas tree. Their huge tree, wonderfully decorated in silver and white, also had candles clipped to various branches. Real ones soon lit with real flame. Another first experience for me. They sung a french Christmas carol (my boss' mum is french) and then some english ones.
Boxing Day mid morning I joined them for a trudge across the muddy fields to where they'd set up to do some clay pigeon shooting. That was interesting to see live. I stood with everyone else for most of it watching the shooters hit and miss.