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Christmas is... family madness

Last updated 09:30 03/12/2012

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Christmas for me is all about family.

I have a large extended family spread throughout the country, and Christmas is one of the few times we are all in the same place at the same time.

As you might expect when 30-plus people get together, there is endless noise and laughter, an awful lot of Christmas presents, a huge turkey and wonderful family times.

Everyone has their traditional jobs - mine is to whip the cream for the pavlova and brandy snaps, and my dad's is to carve the turkey and make the gravy - which means it's all shared out.

Extra tables are made from trestles and boards (I seem to remember one year where a door was taken off its hinges to serve as a table) and every chair and stool in the house is pressed into service.

Before my grandparents moved house Christmas afternoon was spent in and around the swimming pool, which usually resulted in at least one person being thrown in fully clothed.

Christmas night begins with turkey sandwiches and leftover trifle, and that is followed by packing up the car and heading over the hills to Akaroa for the annual summer holidays to begin.

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