That’s 2023 Christmas all wrapped up!

From left: Respite from the fray: Hannah W, James W, Troy M, Alex F, Kyla M and David W. Photo: Sarah W.

Our community Christmas party on Saturday 9 December saw a great turnout with a number of new faces among the well-known ones.
With about 60 adults and children overall, we were comfortably wall-to-wall in our extended shed.

Table 1 (nearest camera):
Back to camera, from left: Zali O & friend, Patty D (standing), Tony S (half shown). Facing camera, from left: Tarlo O, Karolyn O, Damo E (obscured); Kylie E, Mark S, Peter K (half shown). On this table, out of camera: Meredith T, Belinda H, Sally K, Laeli H.
Table 2:
Back to camera, from left: Kim B, Mark N, Mrs L, Peter C. Facing camera, from left: Suzanne L (obscured), Gertraud N (obscured), Danny L.
Table 3:
Back to camera: from left: Gareth E, Kane F, Judy H, Rick M, Jenny M. Top of table: Andrew S. Facing camera, from left: Dennis H, Sarah W, Caitlin F, Kate A, Liz S.
Table 4:
Back to camera: from left: Darko K, Michael G, Leonie H. Facing camera: Andrew S, Petts R, Katerina K, Samantha.
Table 5:
From left: Kyla M, David W, Alex F, George W, Tim W
Outside the shed: James & Zach W. Photo: Neville

It had been a rare hot day but by the time Santa dropped in on a fire truck under lights and sirens, the temperature had eased to a balmy, still summer evening, perfect for adults to kick back in and kids to make the most of the inspired gifts Santa brought for all but the littlest – water pistols!

We made short work of the 35kg pig that Michael spitroasted for us and the magnificent offerings everyone made to the community food table.
It doesn’t happen without a lot of work (see Behind the Scenes), but with everyone doing a little bit, it doesn’t fall on the shoulders of a tiny few, either.
A few days out from the party, one parent disclosed that their older children, party veterans, had been regaling their younger siblings for days about how good brigade parties are.
No pressure!
Fortunately, we understand we managed to live up to those exalted expectations.
Great company, delicious food, perfect weather, good music, Santa, happy children, who could ask for more.
As our president, Judy, says: “A HUGE thank you to all in our little Yass River–Nanima community for making it a resounding success.”

Alex about to receive his present, Hannah waiting her turn (centre), Kyla tearing her present open (right). PhotoL Sarah

Thanks to Neville, Patty and Sarah for the photos we have of almost everyone. Just a few managed to dodge the cameras completely – but we know you were there, if only some of the time in some cases! – David M, Leanne E, Peter J and Rosie C.

Behind the scenes
The committee kicked off the Christmas party planning at its meeting in late October. The invitation leaflet was designed and distributed in the first half of November (Sally, Judy and Liz).
The shed bling, including fabulous table decorations, was thanks to Liz and a few creative souls who spent a crafternoon or two in the weeks beforehand making them.

Patty was similarly creating the musical soundtrack for the evening.
On the morning of the party, Rick and Jen arrived first with the trestle tables, with Liz, Andrew, Suzanne and Dave M joining them as the morning progressed. The trucks were moved out and floors washed before setup began in earnest, indoors and out: tables and chairs, decking the walls, signposting the parking and even restoring a fallen bench seat to an upright position.
Meanwhile, Kim was off shopping for the things that need to be bought on the day, including ice, bread rolls and barbecue chickens.
We weren’t fortunate enough to find a member or other local to donate a beast for our spitroast this year so Michael sourced a 35kg pig and did all that was necessary to produce that beautiful pork on the night.

And the icing on the cake – literally in the case of Rosie’s beautiful gingerbread discs – were the wonderful salads and desserts everyone brought to the table.

George receives his present – let the games begin! Photo: Sarah

Drenched – and loving it! The big Christmas water pistol fight. Photo: Sarah

Hannah holds her breath as Santa confirms her name. Photo: Sarah

Rosie’s beautifully iced, individually wrapped RFS gingerbread discs.

Santa’s driver, John, keeps a benevolent eye on proceedings. Photo: Sarah

Around the table, from front left: Leonie H, Michael G, Darko K, Andrew S, Petts R, Katerina K, Ric D, Samantha. Photo: Patty

Around the table from centre front: Andrew S, Jenny M, Rick M, Judy H, Kane F, Gareth E, Laeli H, David H, Sarah W, Caitlin F, Kate A, Liz S. Photo: Patty.

Newcomers Meredith T (back to camera) and Belinda H (centre), deep in conversation with Sally K. Photo: Patty

Facing camera, from left: Tony S, Neville M, Zali O’s friend, Zali O. Back to camera, from front: Peter K, Mark S, Kylie E, Damo E, Karolyn O and Tarlo O (both mostly obscured). Photo: Patty

To the delight of every young heart, Santa’s chariot came up the driveway with lights on and sirens blaring. In the shed: Sarah W, Michael G, Darko K (back to camera), Samantha, Ric D (partially obscured by red helmet), Petts R, Patty D (against the western wall).
On the gravel: Tim W and Bron G (backs to camera, holding twins, Tommy & Alex), Jenny M (mostly obscured), Zach W (mostly obscured), Hannah W, Troy M (fully obscured, except for his shoes!), David W, Kyla M, James W, Judy H (Santa’s assistant), Santa, John S (Santa’s driver).
Photo: Neville

Around the table from front left: Peter C, Mrs L, Mark N, Kim B, John S, Suzanne L, Gertraud N, Danny L Photo: Patty


Sally Kaufmann | February 2024