Xmas in July

Three of us have booked to go on the Nova Xmas in July cruise round Lake Macquarie in July.

Christmas in July as I know it started back in the 80s and it is only coincidence that I had said to the Branxton Inn proprietors that I wished we could have a full Xmas dinner in July when the weather is coldest because many of us from Europe really miss a winter Xmas but cant face a hot oven when the temperature outside here in Australia is 30C.

Over recent years seafood and salad picnic or barbeque on Xmas Day has become a new tradition, with fresh prawns replacing turkey, and the option of hot Xmas dinner in the chill of July.

The best ever traditional family Christmas dinner I ever had was at the home of Rita and the late John Rayner when I went back to Worksop, UK. It had everything a Xmas dinner should have, including the flaming brandy on the Christmas pudding, but that is a story in itself! The crisp white tablecloth on the dining table, candles and cystal. Wonderful roast dinner. Lots of laughing. A storybook lovely Christmas Day in frosty December.

The other best family Xmas dinner I remember was just after my parents died a year apart and Anne and Richard Backhouse of Worksop invited me to join their grown up sons plus some Asian visitors in their warm and loving Christmas Day. The visitors had never experienced this event and loved it.

My sister in upmarket Chesire does a very impressive modern take on the day that starts with champagne and orange juice wonderful brunch to keep us going till turkey time, which is a separate feast. Absolutely worthy of an entire spread in Horse and Hounds.

So in July, around 1980, the Branxton Inn put on a full Xmas Dinner, Xmas tree, decorations, crackers and all, and it was wonderful! Each year they were booked out. The event started popping up everywhere, and is now an established tradition.

Karen,Paul,Pam and I did a lovely Xmas in July once at a country resort at Wyong. Log fire and all. Country walks by the lake. Xmas Party in the Hall. Nice memories.

Last year my ‘nearly-daughter’ and former flatmate, Angela, did the Xmas in July cruise round Newcastle Harbour. It is not a big boat but just a big enough crowd to be relaxed and friendly. The meal was turkey and ham buffet which was easy to handle. We tootled around the harbour and up the channel in perfect weather for a couple of hours watching the view mainly from inside the saloon while a cruise-style entertainer did his bit. Great fun!

This year Nova cruises are offering the same here on lake Maquarie on my doorstep for only $63! $59 for concession holders.

Karen Ang and myself are already booked.

Helloo sailor! Sorry…Helloo Santa!

Ñote: photos are taken through tinted windows.

Published by Eunice C English

FormerFreelance journalist. Poet, writer, artist, photographer. Retired and coping with Parkinson's Plus, macular degeneration and other boring stuff but life is still interesting, if a bit of a challenge!

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