Dear Family and Friends far and wide,
It is weird being here in New Zealand for an occasion that is so steeped in tradition and family. We both cherish our memories of Christmases passed, so to keep from being too sad about missing out on such great times, we have tried to celebrate Christmas differently… because, well, things are different.
We find ourselves on the other side of the world, in the middle of summer, without the people who normally surround us at this time of year. Although it is hard to be apart from loved ones, it also gives us the opportunity to experience Christmas in a new way.
Joining with our friends who find themselves in similar circumstances, we decided to make ourselves a night to remember! We first set out to make a feast of perogies (which are virtually impossible to find here in NZ). Kristin found a nice polish recipe, and we selected the choicest of ingredients to fill the pockets of love.
We worked hard fashioning what seemed like hundreds of pretty little dough sachets, and were in true christmas cheer, with Boney M’s enchanting tunes adding to the festive atmosphere.
At long last, after hours of preparations, boiling, then frying, our masterpieces were complete, and the feast was on!
If we may say so ourselves, these may have just possibly been the best perogies the world has ever known. We knew of another Canadian-born soul who would be similarly overjoyed by these Ukrainian treats, so we decided to make a surprise visit. Posed as carolers outside her door, we serenaded her with a lovely rendidtion of “Let it snow!”, before presenting her with a package of fresh perogy goodness (complete with carmelized onions and sour cream).
The evening finished off with a round of “dessert” perogies, filled with tasty combinations such as white chocolate, blueberries and cream cheese, and M&M’s and cream cheese. The thought of a sweet perogy may sound a bit odd at first, but give it just one bite, and you may just change your mind.
Mark and Laurel invited us down to the Mount to have Christmas dinner with them and Laurel’s family visiting from Canada. We were grateful for the chance to be amongst a family of cool people who are so welcoming and comfortable to be around.
We enjoyed a ‘feast of geniuses’ which included a lovely ham, and all the fixins!
Later that evening, we enjoyed a stroll down the beach, just the two of us. Quite a few other other people were out, tossing around rugby balls, wrapping up family picnics and sausage sizzles, and strolling on the soft, luscious sand. This was certainly a much different Christmas to any Christmases of the past.
We miss the warm beverages and conversations by the fire, the heavenly taste of Flannigan Fancies, Taffy Tarts, and White Chocolate Crunch, and the memories that familiar Christmas decor hold. Christmas is certainly a special time of year, and we look forward to the times when we can once again be home with family to enjoy these things together.
We hope our families and friends are still able to find comfort and joy in the meaning and traditions of Christmas, and enjoy the time spent in each other’s company.
We would also love to hear from you! Tells us of your Christmas highlights, traditions- new or old, or questions- if you have them.
Merry Christmas and Much Love,
Brendon and Mel