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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Dear Olive,
In a few days, our family of three will make our third annual Christmas pilgrimage up the highway to my Dads house. Until I was about 11, my family did that drive every year, up to our then holiday house (which would later become our everyday home), for enormous Christmases with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. We'd pile into our yellow van that always over heated with the number plate that read 'herbs', with our thermos of iced water and our egg and lettuce sandwiches. Some of my most painful and boring childhood memories involve sitting in that car, quarrelling at a dead standstill in unmoving traffic, in heat so searing it would fry an egg. And without air conditioning for fear of over heating the car. Of course. One particularly memorable trip, Mum and Dad made the decision of our lives, finally caving at unrelenting nagging and pressure - we could stop at McDonalds for breakfast. Hotcakes! Hash browns! We'd get the lot! One of everything! (I'd only ever had McDonalds once before, when my friends Dad smuggled burgers into the theatre to see Sweeney Todds, but I was far too nervous about getting into trouble for breaking the rule of no eating in the theatre to really enjoy it.) We could barely contain our excitement as we drove up to window two to collect our food. At the last minute, I needed to go to the toilet, so while the rest of the family waited in the car, I ran in. It was busy that day, crazy christmas crowds busy, and I had to wait impatiently in a long queue. When I finally returned to the car, eager to indulge in the forbidden feast, I was greeted with the horrifying news like a slap in the face. A fight had broken out between Hayes and Anika, who were both now sitting red-eyed, weeping quietly. Dad, at the end of his tether, had snapped and tossed out our food. Our McDonalds, was gone. Gone? Even though I couldn't believe it, I knew it was true. Because I could see the crumpled, stomped on bags of untouched food staring at me from their sad resting place on the footpath outside my window. That was the last time we stopped at McDonalds. As you and Shane and I set off in the car this year, I’ll be thinking about the little Christmas traditions our family of three are forging for ourselves. I like it that one of them is following along the well worn path my own family trod for so many years. And there won’t be any McDonalds in ours, either.
Merry and super jolly Christmas wishes to all! Thanks for reading xx



34 comments:

ruby may said...

I wasn't allowed Mc Donald's when I was a kid either, but my parents just told my brother and I that they burned down the rainforest. So whenever we drove past one, we'd yell out "the big golden bum! YUCK!" brainwashing is such a good parenting tool

one claire day said...

So so cute - and the dress? bloody amazing!

...I love your childhood stories, this one even beats the gigantic pom-pom!

Happy Christmas you three - have fun making your memories! x

Lizeylou said...

This made me giggle. I can almost feel the heartbreak! Merry christmas to you guys. Hope Santa brings you lots of fun memories.

jodi said...

Hilarious! My parents drove a datsun - I sympathize with the overheating fear.

Olive looks festively fashionable - a shorties number?

Safe and joyous journey north you three. Can't wait to hear all about it x

Nell said...

That is the most fantastic festive outfit...oh Olive, what a style icon!

Brilliant childhood memories too. Reminds me if many a family car journey. We were occasionally allowed to stop at Little Chef with my grandparents & what actress that was!

Merry christmas to you all & safe journey xx

Katrina (capturing moments) said...

Gorgeous dress. Merry Christmas. You were better off missing out on the McDonalds anyway :-) xx

fast times in münchen. said...

Cute cute cute Olive. Sweetest dress ever. I also love your childhood stories Kellie. We were NEVER allowed Maccas either. But it was a little family tradition to always stop and grab an Oak milkshake somewhere near Newcastle.

Merry Xmas Kellie, Shane and lil Olive. Hope we get to see you Down Unda. xx

Greer said...

Merry Christmas to you, Kel. Hope Santa treats you well xxx

mama bear said...

Oh Kellie – the injustice! Love your story. I remember getting McDonalds on the way to a netball tournament once and spilling the syrup from the hotcakes everywhere and having to play seven games of netball with a sticky skirt. So gross.

Hope you have a safe drive with a cool car and a joyous and peaceful holiday.

Happy, happy Christmas. xxx

thejadeleaf said...

Merry Christmas Kellie. Olive looks so beautiful x

mamatribe said...

Drive Safely Kellie!

We're also planning a big road trip north to Brisbane, our first with a small passenger in the backseat. Am a teensy bit nervous how a 12 hour drive will go... No cheeseburgers planned, just some curried egg sandwiches, grapes, and maybe a sneaky bag of scorched almonds to snack on!

Have a wonderful christmas, hope you don't get caught out with the whoopee cushion too many times :P

Bianca said...

love the story! family car trips are just perfect for creating hilarious adult memories! love the little dress too :)

Madeleine said...

Love this story ALOT. And 'say Wha?" on the dress...its unbelievable!

I also love the small but well-thought out selection of presents from Santa (good to see he likes a fart joke as much as anyone). Its so true though, often present overload can be all too much for the little people.
Keeping it simple is what we are doing too.
Drive safely and hopefully see you soon! xx

The Franglaise said...

Loved your story. Merry Christmas you three and see you in 2012! Have a safe trip with that cute reindeer in the back seat. xx

Inês Seabra said...

This looks like taken out of a movie road trip, like little miss sunshine or something like it :)

Oh, Olive's dress is gorgeous!

Tash said...

Great story Kellie :) Something about family car trips that stay with us forever dont they? Enjoy the holidays and making new memories with your beautiful little family :)
x

Rachel said...

What a doll! Love the dress. :)

raisedbywolffs said...

Have a lovely safe holidays. Love the dress it's beautiful.

silvia in venice said...

oh your blog is so sweet and your daughter is fabulous!
thank for your comment on my blog, I hope you will return on it!
http://silviainvenice.blogspot.com/

bloom right here said...

Oh my gosh, road-trip McDonalds was the best! It was the only time we ever got to eat it, and the hashbrowns are a central part my childhood traveling memories. Thanks for bringing it all back.

All things Scrumptious said...

What a gorgeous read! Such traumatic memories at the time, what a laugh and great story now! Olive, as always looks adorable. Merry xmas to you all and a wonderful, fun New Years. Look forward to the 2012 stories and pics xo

ejorpin said...

We never went to McDonald's either, my Mum had a strict anti-McDonald's policy (my Dad on the other hand, used to take us to Red Rooster evey second week - what a treat!). Kind of funny then that I ended up working for McD's for most of my working life, and that I met my husband there, and that it's allowed us to travel the world and live overseas! Life is full of twists and turns!

Oh, and the road trip memories! Yes! I'm sure this festive season you'll be creating many wonderful memories for Olive. Happy holidays to you x

Winnie said...

Oh what a cutie! Hope you have an amazing Christmas!

Kaylovesvintage said...

have a great christmas time

Kaylovesvintage said...

have a great christmas time

Colette said...

Great story - have a wonderful time with the family - Happy Christmas.

Nicole said...

I like your Christmas memory!
Merry Chrismtas to you and your family Kellie. x

ClaireyHewitt said...

Oh Christmas dresses, how I love thee!

Suite Henry said...

My husband and I are beginning to have the "what will our traditions be for our family?" conversations.

It's something that's going to be especially important to us in the next few years.

Helena said...

omg she is way too cute! happy new year!

trishie said...

I used to get macdonalds as a treat when i was little too. hehe the memories.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and an even better 2012 ahead. x

kristi said...

she just gets cuter and cuter. merry christmas and happy new year may it be filled with plenty of magic.

Mama Mogantosh said...

The most tragic tale I have read in many a year Kellie...happy New Year to you and your sweet crew. xx

Life love, clutter and other beautiful things. said...

awww I am so glad I found your blog (via the Sunday Collector) your baby girl is beautiful as are your letters to her xox

 

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