Christmas of 2009 has forever changed me. I was in Washington D.C. and having my first white Christmas in the midst of a North American blizzard. The blizzard brought record-breaking snowfall totals to many East Coast cities, including D.C. where I was holed up with my family.

IMG_2192Christmas 2009

As a kid growing up in Australia, Christmas Day was always about BBQs and spending time with family and friends, trying to stay cool and sheltered from the usual 40-plus degree temperatures. We would watch movies like Home Alone and see the northern hemisphere awash with snow, but it was almost unfathomable for us in the land Down Under.

IMG_9558Toronto Maple Leafs!

Since that memorable day in 2009, which was spent sledding with Cam and my family in the Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington, Virginia I have been chasing another white Christmas. I was in Liechtenstein for Christmas 2013, Germany for 2014 and Canada for this past Christmas of 2015 but alas, there wasn’t any snow come December 25. In somewhat of a recurring pattern over the past three years, I’ve been told how crazy the weather is and that ‘it has never been this warm, ever’.

IMG_9839Christmas with the Hardings

I’ve been chasing a white Christmas because of how good and indeed memorable it was in 2009, but there is also something special and Christmassy about the snow towards the end of the year. It just feels right and makes Christmas seem more real. Maybe I’ve also been brainwashed by Hollywood?!

IMG_9378Jack guarding the Christmas Tree

Despite not having snow, this holiday period was incredible. I spent Christmas with Victoria and her family in Toronto, who welcomed me with open arms and more presents than I could have ever imagined. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever received more gifts in my entire life! They were so generous by taking me in and making me feel like I’m with family.

I rang in the New Year with my family back in Washington D.C. and it was great to spend quality time with aunts, uncles and cousins whom I seldom see. The best part was, we didn’t do much other than eat and enjoy each other’s company.


The Five Senses of the Christmas Holidays

Christmas Holidays feel relaxed. Being with family was so nice and relaxing; it was just great to hang out together and chill. Two nights away in upstate Maryland at a resort made for a nice little holiday too!

Christmas Holidays sound like propellers. This is a bit of a strange one, but I bought myself a drone for Christmas so I can take some aerial photos and videos. I spent a fair bit of time with it, and the sounds of the propellers whirring around.


Christmas Holidays smell like glüwine. Glüwine is hot red wine and usually mixed and ‘cooked’ with oranges. The smell is just as you would expect, a strong red-wine-citrusy odour.

Christmas Holidays taste like turkey. I was treated to my first Turkey dinner on Christmas and it was pretty good!


Christmas Holidays look like fireworks. We had a large stash of fireworks from Texas and set them off out the front of my uncle’s house in D.C. to ring in the New Year. Whether it was legal remains to be seen.

Spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family was really nice and refreshing after being on the road for so long. It’s always good to be in a home with loved ones, especially during the holiday period when ‘home’ seems like a world away. There might not have been any snow, but it was still pretty special and memorable. Maybe next year…