Monday 8 December 2014

A Christmas Dinner

(warning: this post's a long one)

If you know me at all, you would know I am a planner. I plan everything. My weeks are planned months in advance, I am never late to anything, I have everything sorted into folders and subfolders, and subfolders within subfolders. I like knowing what's going to happen and when it's going to happen.

You see, I have been planning this Christmas dinner for the last few months. I sent out invites 2 months before, my mother has been collecting antique plates and cutlery, I hired chairs and tables, I meal planned, I made cloth napkins, I cleaned my garden, I helped my dad put up fairy lights, I made a seating plan and place cards, I borrowed a fire pit and bought fire wood and I bought a tarp just in case, you know, it rained.

I thought I had it all sorted.

(...have you figured out where the story is going yet?) 

5am on Saturday, I woke up to go the flower markets. I came home and helped my parents put up the tarp because the weather man said it might rain. Better safe than sorry right? I set up the tables, the chairs, the flowers. I made brownies and cheesecakes. I had everything ready and I was just about to get ready until...

...the storm came.

Turns out we're not very good at putting up a tarp and (to cut a long story short) the tarp gave way and my outdoor entertaining area became a flooded mess of dirt and a crying Sam. Everything was wet, I wasn't ready, the food wasn't yet put in the oven, there was water coming down from everywhere and guests were arriving in 45 minutes.

What happened next was a bit of a blur. In less than an hour, in pouring rain, we managed to clear out all the furniture in my lounge room, bring in all the tables, wipe them down, set them up, put out the entrees, light all the candles and get dressed.

Safe to say I was a bit of a wreck. In my eyes, all my hard work was for nothing. Mother nature had won and I had lost and I started to acknowledge that my night would be a failure.

Turns out I was wrong about that too.

My friends started to arrive and to them, they didn't see anything wrong with the scene before them. They were happy. They chatted and mingled and drank nice wine. More and more of them arrived, and even though all I could see were the flaws, no one else seemed to notice. They were having fun.

While I did spend most of the night running around like a headless chicken, it was wonderful to know that the people I love were happy with whatever we did, wherever we sat and whatever we ate. They just wanted to bask in each others company and enjoy the night with each other, rain or shine. Isn't that what Christmas is all about after all?

I think I spent too much time worrying about the details that I forgot that this dinner was about so much more than that. It was about togetherness and laughter and merriment.

We spent the night laughing over childhood memories, writing Christmas cards to each other, eating great food, and playing with sparklers. It was good and I'm so grateful I have these photos to remind me of that. It's been a while since I was reminded how much I love my family and friends, and I feel this was the perfect situation to show me how wonderfully patient and supportive of me they are.

I've learnt that not everything goes accordingly to my plan. Sometimes you just have to trust that everything will be okay because you know what? 

It usually is 

p.s. This is what my dinner would have looked like if the storm didn't come raining down on my parade. I think I like it better inside :)
p.p.s Huge thank you to my parents for being absolute legends this weekend. They worked so hard for me and I am forever grateful. Thanks to my cousin Rachel who was a gem in the kitchen and for being my shoulder to cry on as I was having a major freak out. Thanks to Tash for coming to the flowers markets with me and designing the invitations. And thanks to my Stephen for being my rock and constant support - Ah I love you!


  1. I always said to myself, if something goes wrong, you have to ride with it because you never know, what may happen next may be better than what was supposed to happen and like they say "everything happens for a reason".

    I'm glad in the end every thing worked out. I would love to do this one day with my friends too, and I am so happy you got to experience this. :)

  2. Who put that text below those beautiful, dreamlike pictures that hold the smiles, happiness and closeness. Seriously? (-:

  3. I'm proud of you for pushing through it all! I really genuinely think it looked amazing inside...! Exposed brick is a winner 10 times out of 10! Looks cosy and happy and warm inside.

    Congrats on what seems like a very successful Christmas dinner party :) xx

  4. Oh, the magic! I must say, I think I like it better inside too. You're such a pro at shooting in low-light, oh my goodness, props to you! Happy holidays to you and yours. :)

  5. what a beautiful magical gathering! kudos to you and your parents!! and beautiful pictures! i love that smile of yours!

  6. It looks incredible both inside and out! What a lovely night to remember, having so many close friends and family- so very blessed!

  7. Gosh Sam, that looks so magical - I'm in love with those fairy lights. Good job, and stunning pictures!


  8. Sam, is this your house/your parents house? It looks so beautiful with its exposed brick and it went so well with the party that you planned out. I wish I had your planning skills and I wish you lived closer so we could plan something together.


    1. It's my parents house which I happen to live in :)

      I'm glad people are enjoying the exposed brick. I never used to like it

  9. this is absolutely magical. oh my heart.

  10. as hard as it may be to not have control over everything.. (trust me i know) sometimes things do work out. look like a great party.

  11. it usually is :) this is a wonderful post, the photos are amazing!

  12. Seriously you nailed it... and those smiles in the photos show everyone enjoyed it too!

  13. Absolutely stunning! Looks like a fabulous party. Everything is beautiful, especially those twinkly lights!

  14. As someone who is a crazy planner, I can only crazy relate to this and wanting things to turn out as planned and beautifully :) It's a nice reminder that when plans don't go to plan they can still turn out beautiful, even more beautiful perhaps! Looks like it was an amazing dinner!

  15. Shame about the weather but it looks like all your planning paid off, how fun this all look inside! Well done to you and your fam. Perfect. Lovely blog by the way.

    Buckets & Spades

  16. What a lovely Christmas dinner gathering, Sam! You should be incredibly proud. :) x


  17. Gosh Sam! Those table settings, what a legend you are! I think they look so much cosier inside but they also looked lovely outside. I wish my friends would do something like this, how wonderful!


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