Thursday 24th December '09

Lunch at Work
Fennel & Orange Salad

Yep, it was leftovers for lunch today. I made this salad last night with thinly sliced fennel, the fennel fronds, slices of orange, avocado, halved grape tomatoes, sliced onion and dressed with olive oil.

Tonight is our twin cousins' annual BBQ to celebrate both their birthday and Christmas. It's mostly a family event and often the only time we see our cousins and their children for more than a passing wave hello. The kids grow up so quick. One year they're up to my waist...the next year they're taller than me.

We arrived at about 8pm and we missed the roast pig that they had ordered. *sigh*

I love those paper decorations!! They're like fluffy clouds.

Quite surprisingly, I only ate just this one plate of food!

Back at home, our house is so empty. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got bric-a-brac piled to the ceiling, but emotionally this house is bare. Each year I love to listen and sing along to Christmas carols. Not just to get into the spirit of Christmas, but also to appease the child in me. Gone are the days of celebrating Christmas with the whole family together. We haven’t had a family get together for almost a decade now. I still miss those days when I was younger. Jocelyn, Christina and I would wake up and rush to open our presents under the 2m tall Christmas tree that we would have helped Dad to assemble and decorate.

We’d listen to the cassette tape with the Disney Christmas carols. Tonight I tried to find it and couldn’t. I dread the thought that it’s been thrown out. After failing to find it in the very few places where it could be, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. This is the first Christmas I haven’t worked for several years, so it’s strange being home. Dad’s home from working away but he’s so tired he’s fallen asleep infront of the TV. Mum’s still at the BBQ that Jocelyn, David and I were at earlier, and now Jocelyn and David have gone to his house so they can be up early for his family’s Christmas plans tomorrow.

I’m preparing lunch for work tomorrow and listening to Christmas carols. It seems so futile trying to conjure up the spirit of Christmas in a house so barren of love or family spirit. I felt more alive and happy at work today, bopping around and singing carols to myself. Since we don’t celebrate Christmas at home, it’s become a tradition that I spend Christmas with friends. However, this year everyone is overseas. Christina’s also working in Canada. It’s just really hit home how irreversibly torn apart my family is.

I know it won't always be like this.

I’m going to down my fourth beer and sing carols out loud.

“Fiiiiiiiive goooolden riiiings!”

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