A Family Gap Year Christmas in Port Douglas Australia
It's hard to find Christmas Trees in the tropics.
Warning – bad Australian insiders joke coming:
“What is the last thing you want from Santa for Christmas in Port Douglas?”
A pair of Crocs!
Port Douglas for Christmas.
I have to say this was one of the most memorable and nicest Christmas’s.
It was relaxing, enjoyable and low key. I didn’t have to worry all month about what I was going to buy everyone and who was on the list. I got to celebrate Christmas with my family and we even made it to Christmas Eve church service in downtown Cairns.
I feel burdened with to do lists and retail confusion most years. I’ve been wanting to set aside all the gift giving for a long time and just focus on what matters most.
All that being said, we did do a one stop shopping at K-mart for gifts for the kids and for the kids to get in the mood of doing something for others.
Out of K-mart in an hour and a half and it was all done!
Layla wrapped the parent gifts and all were happy on Christmas morning.
We didn’t have a great kitchen to make Christmas cookies so Santa got a plate of crackers covered with Nutella on top (he must of liked it because they were all going in the morning).
Lucca fell asleep on the car ride home from snorkeling so Layla and I put out the reindeer food Lucca had made a few night before. Oatmeal with sprinkles and Santa’s kangaroos where able to find us just fine.
St Monica’s Cathedral
After snorkeling we met a nice navy family from Guam. Both were nurses traveling with 3 kids, they were on holiday.
We ran to the mall in Cairns for what is now known as “50 cent” ice cream but they had just closed. Hungry Jacks was the last one open and we were able to get Stephen some food and the kids an ice cream bar. The young man in front of us even gave us his ice cream bar because the one we did get came with Stephen’s meal, the ice cream machine was all out and she wouldn’t sell us one individually. The young man noticed our dilemma with two small kids and graciously gave us his. I was so touched. Of course he had a small brother and understood all too well that one ice cream cone between two kids just wouldn’t do. We ran out of there just in time to catch two carols before mass started.
Layla was grumpy the whole time during Christmas mass sad to say. The incense annoyed her, she didn’t have a shiny new Christmas dress like all the other little girls, she felt bad about her hair since we had just came from snorkeling and she was frustrated she couldn’t read the program enough to sing the carols.
In the end she controlled herself pretty well with a silent scowl planted on her face. You could see the inner turmoil inside and she just couldn’t put on a happy face.
I decided to compliment her on her self control, since she did most of the pouting in silence. My normal reaction would to tell her how rude and inappropriate she behaved, but she did control her grumpiness.
The kids wanted me to sit in the back with them so I squished myself between the two car seats and by doing this she bounced back on the car ride.
We enjoyed the hour drive back to Port Douglass with pleasant conversations and appreciated the night sky and all the beautiful stars.
Lucca got a Spiderman motor cycle which he played with all day and a Teenage Mutton Ninja Turtle movie. He loved it!
Layla got the watch she had been wanting, and the kids got fresh underwear, sunglasses, books, and a few new shirts for Lucca and new “jammies” for Layla.
Dad got shaving cream, a rain poncho, chocolate and a new T-shirt and lets not forget his introductory dive the day before.
I got a new hat, hair clip, T-shirt, and chocolate. Our stocking were our Santa Hats’s we’d picked up for free in Sydney and I bought a koala Christmas ornament to take home with us.
Twice in the pool today kept us busy and plenty of down time for the kids to play with “the babies”.
My turkey ended up turning out great. After 4 hours of cooking time and a few adjustments with the foil baking pan, I realized I had the temp set too low.
5 hours later though it was a great turkey complete with the best gravy I’ve made so far. I thought it was way too salty but everyone enjoyed it.
Sadly, I failed on the stuffing and it turned into a soft mush. Can’t mess up mashed potatoes, sparkling cider in champagne flutes.
Just missing the apple pie, pumpkin pie, and broccoli salad. Also missing the extended family but it will probably be the only Christmas we’ll ever have with just the four of us.
Layla even said the thing she liked most about Christmas was giving to others, way more than receiving her gifts. Instant hug and kiss!
So many wonderful things the kids said today, I wish I had the time to write them down in the moment. I love my kids with all my heart and I wish I can be a good mom to them.