Inspired by Birmo's post
1980 - 1996 : Parental Presents Breakfast & Cow Shed Buffet.
1997 - 2005: Parental Present Breakfast & Orphan Christmas
2006 - 2009: No pants week & Orphan Christmas
2010: New format!
Parental Presents Breakfast: Around the turn of the decade my parent gave up on trying to sleep in on Christmas day, and went with the 'crack of dawn' present opening excitement. This was generally done and we would sit around the tree, parents with child-made "Good Coffee" (not the usual daily instant) and children too excited to eat. Then we would pass presents around one by one, and the others would watch. Dad and the three kids would usually finish first. Mum, a much beloved nurse, would usually have the most number of presents, as her patients were very thoughtful. Then we would have a breakfast of fresh tropical fruit, poached eggs, and sliced Christmas ham. I love mine with whole seeded mustard. Once we were a little older, we would join Mum in having Champagne. The table would be set with "Christmas food" while was pretzels, rumballs, apricot balls, chocolates, apricots, plums etc. The kids would go into a present frenzy, and the parents would sneak back to bed till afternoon.
Cow Shed Buffet: My dad is on of 8, and in the afternoon we would go to our Aunt and Uncles who ran a dairy farm in Bald Hills. There was at least 50 people, and I think we got close to the ton (100) one year.The cooking adults ( not gender biased, sometime Uncles, some were Aunts) would all fuss about the dishes they had made, and get them ready for the mega tables. The non cooking adults would grab alcohol and talk. We kids would group up, usually roughly according to age. The farm & primary school next door had - motorbikes, horses, a tennis court, a cricket pitch, and milking. heaps for kids to do. The buffet included several roasts (turkey, chicken, lamb, beef), favourites like lasagna & mushroom lasagna, several types of seafood dishes, dozens of salads, dozens of fruit platters, and dozens of plates of roast vegetables. After this was demolished, the dessert table would be set, including Christmas cakes, plum puddings "plum duff" with silver sixpences, cakes, pavlovas, passionfruit, pears, peaches, bananas, ice cream, brandy sauces, chocolate sauces, custard, brandy custard, banana custard and various ice creams. It was awesome.
SCA Orphan Christmas: With the medieval club, we would have people who were far from family. Uni students, people far from parents, people estranged from their parents, recent divorcees, etc. We had a tradition of having a running 'lunch - dinner' buffet. The hosts would provide a roast, and others would bring the side dishes. Pavlovas, plum duff, salads, seafood, ice creams etc. And alcohol. Happy happy amounts of alcohol. Beers for the boys and champagnes/ whites for the girls was pretty standard. There would usually be some backyard cricket. What would I cook? Golden syrup dumplings.
No pants week - As a share house guy, I was in Canberra, 16 hour drive from family. I was the only one to stay in Canberra for Christmas. So I instigated no pants week. I would bum around the house and get all the little things done that never get done, happily puttering and enjoying the peace. I got more miniatures painting done in that week than most of the rest of the year. For those who might be distressed - I would wear pants when leaving the house. PS - A utility kilt is not pants.
New Format: I'll tell you after!