Christmas. Somehow, this year, I've had a pleasantly extended and not too frantic lead-up to Christmas. I'm visiting Brisbane for Christmas and so other than buying (yes, buying - shameful) a Christmas pudding, I haven't (yet) been involved in shopping for or baking seasonal food. Anyway, we'll have a small, very informal family lunch so there won't be too much fuss.
There's been a number of Christmas parties and gatherings which have all been pleasantly low-key and fun. Gatherings with knitters; parties at work including a yummy yum cha in Chinatown yesterday with my immediate work colleagues where we found lots of vegetarian and vegan friendly foods to enable everybody to participate; and the annual year's end party for the building I live in where the courtyard was magically lit with candles and lights in the shape of Christmas trees.
And I've also caught up with old friends with whom I spend noche buena (on Christmas Eve) when I'm in in Sydney. We had a wonderful lunch of pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with fresh tomato sauce, salad, and cheese - all locally grown and produced courtesy of the Eveleigh produce markets, Veuve Cliquot I'd saved from my birthday, and pavlova with mango, berries and passionfruit sauce, courtesy of my guests.
Even though I'm going to be away for Christmas I did feel the need to make a nod in the direction of a Christmas tree. I bought some twisted willow and have hung it with the few Christmas decorations I kept when most of them migrated to my daughter's house.
This year I'm not knitting any gifts. Maybe that's added to the lack of stress. Whatever the reason, it's so far a very enjoyable Christmas season.