Christmas time conjures images of snow, mistletoe, Santa Claus’s sleigh leaving the north pole and children in their jackets ice skating or throwing snow-balls – well not for people in Australia! On Friday the 25 December 2015 in Melbourne it was 36 degree Celsius and in place of the winter jackets people in Melbourne are wearing T-shirts and shorts or whatever else they can stay cool in! Melbourne really comes alive in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with people starting to loosen up after a long year of work and the city coming alive with lights and decorations.
So as I wrap up my studies for the year I look forward to summertime in Melbourne and in my role of supervisor for Trinity College’s Edith Head Hall Girls Hostel and Unilodge, I have been given the task of planning and hosting Trinity College’s very first Christmas Dinner! For many student studying at Trinity College, the Christmas break is not long enough for them to return home, and for many celebrating Christmas is not a tradition. So while the rest of Melbourne shuts down for their holiday I get to work to bring together those students who are left without a meaningful way to spend this holiday.
So in the day leading up to Christmas I head off to the Footscray market to get the supplies I need to prepare a feast for 42 Trinity College students to celebrate Christmas – Australian style!!! Come Christmas morning, with the festive spirit alive in Melbourne I got to work preparing for the Christmas Dinner, cutting, slicing and marinating, fortunately with 42 guest, there were plenty of willing assistants who were prepared to help to ensure that the evening went well! We transformed the dull and boring dining hall into a beautiful and festive venue with arts decorations and Christmas ornaments. The creative team also prepared paper crowns and Christmas cards for everyone.
We then gathered around the barbecue pit, tossed and turned the sausages and a variety of marinaded meat including beef, pork and chicken fillet. The divine smell of grilled meat got everyone’s tummy excited! Within twenty minutes all the food was gone, except poor sandwiches – Who cared about sandwiches in the presence of delicious BBQ meat and fresh salad!!!
The Christmas dinner finished off with cheesecake and traditional puddings for dessert, topped with vanilla custard and berries. Much love and thanks to Eddie, a member of Trinity College’s ACE program who volunteered to bake a lovely yummy cheesecake that was seriously sought after by everyone! Well done Eddie!
It was such a wonderful night where new friendships were established, laughs and stories were shared and beautiful memories were made. For most students, it was the first time they have ever celebrated Christmas away from home, which made this Christmas dinner special and meaningful.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! I wish you a new year filled with happiness, luck and success!
From Anh Thu with love.