Mum and dad would load up the old Toyota, filling the back of the car to seat level with gifts and a months worth of luggage, then cover this mass with a doona or two, and sometimes ‘dusty’, everyone’s least favourite yellow foam mattress, creating a lumpy, yet terribly sort after bed that my sisters and I would then fight over.
Shifts would eventually be settled upon, and seeing as the trip was a good 10-12 hours, everyone always got a turn.
The only downside of the luggage bed, was that we had 2 silky terriers that would come along for the trip, Joey and Peppy. Oh we loved them to bits, but the luggage bed was also their spot for the journey. Peppy got car sick. Every. Single. Time. We eventually had to give her carsick tablets before we left. No one wanted to sit with Peppy. Poor darlin.
Seeing as we had no air-conditioning, and summer up here is akin to living under a magnifying glass, we would travel at night. At least was the reasoning our parents told us, now that I have 3 girls of my own I wonder if it was just so us kids would sleep.
We had 2 designated stops along the way, Duaringa and Ban Ban Springs service stations(greatest toasted sandwiches ever).
Otherwise it was straight on through to Grandma and Fardie’s (Dads parents) house in Redbank.
After a few days we would hook up our van and head down the coast to Potsville where we would camp up for our 4 week break.
And for Christmas itself, well Mum and Dad had a brilliant Christmas plan worked out. How they managed to agree upon it, and how it worked so well with such large families I will never know.*
We would have Christmas Eve at my Gran and Pops, (Mums parents) in Woodridge, with all my Mums family, then back to Grandma and Fardie’s for actual Christmas with Dads family, then head down to the coast on Boxing Day to chill out with our own family.
Lots of laughs, lots of memories, lots of food, lots of wrapping paper and lots of love.
I’d love to know, what’s your families Christmas plan? And how do you make it work?
*I think a Christmas plan should be put in place before signing any marriage papers. Like a Yule Tide Pre Nuptial agreement. I tell you it could save marriages!