Being forever transient, somewhat delusional, and restricted to the penniless pockets of backpacker life can sometimes mean enduring an “Orphans Christmas”. It’s not often that your internship/part-time wages will cover the cost of a long-haul flight and it seems the jolly fat man doesn’t always deliver the favors hoped for.
While the thought of missing out on the family BBQ’s and becoming a beached whale post-feast can leave your bottom lip dragging for the 12 days of Christmas, there plenty of fun ways to avoid the blues and have yourself a merry little Christmas.
The first choice is to embrace in the big orphanage titled “Hostel”! Hostel Christmases are notorious for being the most rowdy and festive celebrations you’ll ever come across, and there’s no time for sobriety or loneliness. Everyone knows the spirit of hostels is ‘Community’ so why not make a change from the traditional family Christmas and transition into the travelling gypsy circus for a change? Who knows? You may learn some new traditions which you can share the following year!
The second choice is to adopt a family, or be adopted. This was our choice for 2013 thanks to a good friend we’ve made in London. Why wouldn’t you want to get amongst the culture you’ve come so far to see? Maybe you wont be able to eat your grandmas raviolis or enjoy your dads home-kill pig, but there’s plenty more delicious food out in the world you haven’t even discovered yet – especially during the festive season.
While our orphan Christmas began with Christmas eve at the gaming arcade (not so bad really) and a picnic of cheese and wine on the floor for breakfast – our induction to the life of the “Frank’s” was a rather colourful affair.
We’d been warned of the odd aunt singing overtly and perhaps some flamboyant speeches, but nothing could prepare us for a Christmas that catered to all senses.
A polite afternoon began with salmon canapés, mulled wine, Christmas sweaters and debates over the cricket (as I had morphed into an honorary Australian by accident). But as the numerous magnums of free flowing wine became more shallow, the hosts became more jolly and welcoming and the serenades of Waltzing Matilda and excessive cheersing commenced.
Turkey’s on steroids were produced, plates overflowed with heavy winter goodness and all was washed down with stunning NZ wine that left me beaming with pride and settling into the familiar amongst the unfamiliar.
Post meal was where the festivities really got wild. Picture your mum, your dad, your gran, your cousins, all united in shared passion, festivity, and intoxication, standing on their seats at the dinner table and belting out traditional national classics at top volume to frighten the foxes and piss of the neighbours. It may not have been the national choir, but singing is a right… right?
By far the most wild Christmas I’ve ever experienced, and one of the most fun – one to be talked about for many Christmases to come. Cousins doing jigs on the dinner table like a right ol’ hoe-down, and crying requests for the likes of Rocket Man as the sing-song proceeded well into the night. All topped off with an all-inclusive game of beer-pong!
Amen to British Christmas, and much love to the Frank’s for taking in a pair of sad orphans!!! Definitely kept the home-sickness at bay.
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