My First Christmas Away From Home

At Christmas, all roads lead home – Marjorie Holmes.

For the past month, it has been exactly like last Christmas – working in retail with the hustle and bustle of Christmas cheer and stressed out customers. Once 6pm hit on Christmas Eve, I was off, trundling home on the tram, a glass of prosecco with my name on it waiting for me. At that point, it felt like Christmas. I had the entire day off the next day (yay!) and so Alice, Ben and I celebrated with two bottles of fizz, food, and a wander down to some local bars in St. Kilda. Let me tell you, it felt fantastic to have disaronno and cokes all night long. Well, until just before 12am because we were craving a maccies. As per. We’re so wild. Another thing that was an amazing feeling was wearing something that wasn’t black!

I was pretty excited for bed at this point and the pending lie in that I was obviously going to have as it was my day off…

I woke up at 5.55am on Christmas Day. My bladder decided it was a good time as any to bug me, despite my brain trying to force me back to sleep. So, feeling like a child again, despite really not wanting to, I got up at 6am on Christmas Day. At least it was sunny out and not pitch black. Then, I found a spider in my room – one of those thin long-legged ones and popped my head around Alice’s door to let her know, obviously. She was already awake anyway.

Soon enough, all four of us were awake bright and early and it was time for presents! Yayy #bestpartofchristmas – only joking. I absolutely loved every one of my presents. They were so thoughtful and made me think mine for the others were pretty crap, although I have been assured that they weren’t. I cried. Twice – because they were that thoughtful, especially from people who (yes, I know extremely well now although) I haven’t lived with them for that long considering. Travel friendships are very unique in that way.

We were all very emotional after that. I set the train of tears off. Whoopsie. Facetime, whatsapp call and skyping to family occurred after that which was another bout of emotion. Then, it was time for the beach! I hadn’t put a bikini on in over a month, which for Australia, is pretty bad. It was boiling, yet the sea was freezing. We all immensely enjoyed the two hours of relaxing in the sunshine before it was time for food.

No Christmas roast this year – it was an Aussie barbie instead where our friend Beth joined us with two bottles of bubbly. Bubbles galore for me this year; not normally like that, especially on Christmas Day. But, this year was quite a different Christmas for me, full of brand new traditions and people that I will never spend Christmas with again, which is quite sad really – it was a Christmas like no other; one that I will definitely remember forever. The food was incredible. Ben was Masterchef as always and cooked the burgers and sausages to perfection. We also had salsa dip and humous alongside salad, prawns and brie. I definitely enjoyed every part of the meal the five of us had. Plus, a game of Heads Up made us giggle until we cried. Silly jokes and games are a British tradition afterall.

I had one too many glasses of fizz and snoozed on the sofa for half an hour and then woke up feeling really disoriented. I instantly missed the smell of Mum’s cooking on Christmas Day. You know that smell that your kitchen has on Christmas Day? It always smells different to a standard Sunday roast. I felt weird and emotional again. It was a complete rollercoaster all day long.

I skyped Mum and Dad as it was their Christmas morning. They made me roar with laughter. They are the dynamic duo of parent comedy, especially when their act consists of making hats out of wrapping paper. The good kind of tears were streaming down my face at this point.

A little later, Dan, Alice and I watched the sunset. It was beautiful. Colours of red, orange, purple and pink cascaded the skies above the ocean – it was the perfect end to an Australian Christmas Day.

Before bed, I wrote in my new goals diary whilst watching Shrek The Halls.

Although I enjoyed the day immensely and had so much fun with my friends, I am excited for a traditional Christmas at home next year. It’s strange to sunbathe on Christmas Day when Shakin’ Stevens is singing about snow. I wouldn’t have survived this day without my Melbourne hunz as I like to call them. We’re an Aussie family this year and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my Christmas in Melbourne with anybody else.

How was your Christmas? Were you away or at home?

Love, Faye x

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