28 December 2009

Christmas morning

We had a beautiful Christmas morning.  It wasn't too hot, there were clouds blocking the sun and when we left home at 6.15am, there was the promise of a wonderful day ahead.  Hanno and I drove to the Centre where, along with a few others, we packed our cars with tables, chairs, equipment and food, and headed off to the local park.

 Hanno and some of the volunteer chefs cooking up a feast for everyone.

The Centre where I work as a volunteer invites the town to share breakfast every Christmas morning.  For the past few weeks I've been organising this and I wanted it to be the best yet.  Santa had contacted me to let me know he'd be there, we had a lot of volunteers to help set up, cook and tidy up, all we needed was a crowd of people.

Well, they didn't let me down, I think we served about 700 breakfasts.  The toughest part of organising such an event is that you never know how many people will come along.  We ran out of bacon late in the morning, but had sausages and eggs left over.  We also served cooked tomatoes and mushrooms, bread and butter, fresh tropical fruit, organic muesli and yoghurt, cereals with local dairy milk, fruit juice, spring water, tea and coffee.  I've already bagged up the leftover sausages, they and the eggs and bread will be given out to people needing food assistance over the holidays.

It was a lovely morning.  Homeless people mixed with business leaders, children came along with new toys, people who might nod in the street during the year, sat down and ate breakfast together.  I feel blessed being part of it.  As usual, my faithful sidekick, Hanno, was with me to help.  He loves cooking the sausages so that is where he was for the first few hours, then he had a break and sat chatting with a paramedic under a tree, sipping coffee.

There were a couple of short downpours of rain but no one cared.  It's all part of living in the subtropics at Christmas time.  Many people came over to me to thank the Centre for hosting such an amazing event, we received lots of donations and Hanno and I came home happy people.  It really is the best part of Christmas for me.

I am taking a break for a short while to rest and get ready for a busy new year.  I have a few ideas for the blog in the coming months and I'm eager to share them with you.  Thank you for your visits here during the year.  It never fails to astound me that people keep coming!  Thank you for the warm friendships many of you have extended to me and for the many wise and wonderful comments.  A special thanks to Sharon who helps me here, the forum and at the simple, green, frugal co-op blog.   Warm hugs, Sharon, I appreciate you very much.

I hope you're squeezing every bit of joy out of the festivites and that your new year opens with optimism, hope and desire for continued change.  I know mine will and I want as many people as possible to be walking along this chosen road with me.

Take care, friends.  I'll see you soon.

ADDITION:   There is an online sale at American Yarns - 20% off everything in the store.  Starts 26 December and runs for five days.  Use the code 'bdaysale09' at the checkout to get your 20% saving.  Click here to go to the store.



  1. I'm a long time reader of your blog and don't often comment but I just wanted to say a big THANKYOU for sharing your life with us and being such a huge inspiration for living a simple, but very satisfying, life.


  2. Good morning Rhonda. The almost forgotten sound of constant rain woke me this morning so I gave in and got up early. How lovely to find your post before Google Reader had even picked it up -- I actually came across to look at Vegie Stock. Enjoy a well deserved rest and congrats on the successful breakfast.

  3. Good Morning to you.
    The community breakfast is a fantastic idea, and to me, aligns beautifully with the true meaning of Christmas. I would like to partake in a similar act of service next year, as I think it is good for the soul to contribute to others via charitable works.
    I very much look forward to reading about your ideas in the new year. Take care good care.
    Tracy (Brisbane)

  4. you have a lovely break Rhonda! I am looking forward to 2010, reading here and the forum and creating simplicity and joy in my life ~ blessings, Robyn

  5. Like most of the others, I'm a long time reader, and a woman inspired by you.....WONDER WOMAN!
    At least in the eyes of many of us, you truly are wonder woman.....Don't be gone long, you will be missed!

  6. You are such a wonderful inspiration. Thank you for all the hard work you put into your blog and in every area of your life. Have a wonderful holiday season. See you in the new year. :)

  7. Looks a little different than our Christmas. We have about a foot of snow!

  8. What a lovely way to spend Christmas, sharing with others. You deserve more than the standard pat on the back.

    Have a great break, looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the new year.

    Happy New Year.


  9. Thankyou for sharing your journey with us. I feel like I am growing as a person every time I read your blog and will continue to join you in the New Year. Have a restful break and enjoy some special time with Hanno, you both really look like a wonderful couple :)

    From a teenager I really wanted to do something special like your breakfast at Christmas but here in Japan there are no 'celebrations' as such. I am proud to say that my parents like you organise a Christmas lunch for 250 people in their town for those who don't have much. It really is the giving season.

    To you and your valued 'assistants' thankyou for all you do, I look forward to reading in the new year.

  10. Now you can both breathe out and relax and just take care of each other for a little while. You truly deserve it. What an inspiration you are to all of us. Thank you for all the thoughts and effort you have put into your blog. Literally, you have touched so many readers of all nationalities with your words and deeds. Just think of all those crocheted and knitted dishcloths hanging up at sinks all over the world.........and many other examples of course. All due to you
    I am looking forward to your return.
    Ramona K
    Sweden where "the snow is lying thick and white and even..."

  11. Oh what a mammoth task.....breakfast for 700 people. But your blog was full of satisfaction and gratification in the knowlege that you have done something for the community in a very positive way. Good on ya Rhonda...Christmas in the truest sense.

  12. Many thanks to you Rhonda, for sharing your life with us through your blog and the forum.

    Enjoy your break and we will see you in the new year.

  13. Thank you for all of your thoughtful and well-written posts. Your blog is one I enjoy reading every day.

  14. Hello Rhonda & Hanno
    What a wonderful thing you do for your community and those in need. Our town has an Australia Day breakfast but a Community Christmas Breakfast is something else. I feel proud to be an Aussie knowing people like you are out there spreading the joy to those not as fortunate as us.
    Enjoy your break and rest up for 2010 which I know will bring us more wonderful fellowship from Down to Earth people like you and Hanno.

    Cheers - Joolz

  15. What a wonderful thing you, Hanno and the others do on Christmas Day and it's obviously appreciated by the township. What a bonus for you all to get some much needed donations for the Centre too.

    Have a good rest for a while and we'll all be waiting here and on the forum for your return.

    Happy New Year to you and Hanno.

  16. Have a good break Rhonda and Hanno. Looking forward to your posts next year.

    Blessings Gail

  17. As I am stranded at home due to heavy snow and bad driving conditions, it is always fun to read blogs from your part of the world and remember the sun is shining elsewhere. :)

  18. Enjoy your rest and enjoy the cricket. See you in the New Year.

    Love to you and Hanno. x

  19. What a lovely way to spend Christmas.Well done to you,Hanno and the other volunteers.

    I am looking forward to a new year after having some down times this year.Hopefully it is all behind me and I can start the year afresh with new plans,hopes and a new blog.

  20. sounds like a lovely morning! merry belated christmas to you and your loved ones. thanks so much for your new bread making tutorial, some of the tips really improved my latest loaf!! xo m.

  21. I really like that picture of Hanno!
    It looks and sounds like it was a great day. I know all who attended appreciated what you and the Centre have done for them.
    Happy New Year to you and Hanno. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us all!

  22. Hi Rhonda
    Long time follower. First time Commenter!
    This is what Christmas is all about! I don't buy the literal religious significance, but I do see it as being a time when we can specifically remember to appreciate our friends and family (because sometimes we forget that) and to reach out to help those less fortunate than us. I applaud your efforts! And thank you so much for your hard work on this blog - I have learned a lot from you over the time I have been reading and hope to continue to do so in the coming year.
    Have a great break and a healthy and happy 2010 to you and Hanno!!!

  23. Hi Rhonda Jean :) A very Happy Christmas to you and Hanno! I love this town Christmas breakfast idea - what a neat thing to do. So, so glad that all went well.

    Have a lovely week. I hope that it is one filled with joy. Love to you & hugs, of course! Q

  24. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas, sharing with so many people!
    Maybe in the new year, you could tell a bit more about the Center, how it is organized, what you are doing there etc? I really would love to learn more.
    Now enjoy your well deserved rest. I am looking forward to your blog in 2010!
    Blessings, Hilde

  25. I've been reading your blog for little over a month (have even read a bunch of archived ones) and i love it..keep on blogging. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you from Southeast Tennessee, USA.
    Anna Fee

  26. Our center did a pre-christmas thing with food, stalls, Santa, dress ups, music and all the other things that make for a small local carnival. Great fun. Our group made a large quilt for the raffle this year as our contribution to the local newsletter and co-ordinator.

    Christmas was a very laid back affair at my sisters. She is a great cook, organiser, etc and has the space to have us all without being crowded. (We all contributed of course.)

    The men have promised to try setting my bench up for my birthday at the end of January. Then I will have something to photograph for you. At present I only have the laundry tub.

    viv in nz

    ps. have a wonderful New Year :)

  27. Love reading your blog. What a wonderful Christmas you helped others have.

  28. Mery Christmas! Looks like you had a wonderful time. Hope you have a restful week. Looking forward to your thoughts on your blog for the New Year!


  29. What a lovely event to provide for your community! Wouldn't the world be a wonderful place if we all gave a little more time and effort to extend a smile and a simple meal? Have a lovely New Year! Thank you from the bottom fo my heart for your blog! You truly inspire a lot of people!

    Kristina in Nebraska

  30. just found you recently and I am thrilled. thank you so much for you thoughtful, heart centered blog. It is so inspiring to me and the life I want to live.

    Many blessings for the year ahead!

  31. What a very lovely way to spend a Christmas morning. I am sure that was very rewarding.

    Happy New Year!
    We will be watching your Country's Fireworks. My husband worked for a company that developed launch systems and we always enjoy seeing them at work over Sydney.

    Becky K.

  32. I'm a new reader this year to your blog and have learned alot from it. I wish you health and happiness in the New Year!

  33. Thankyou Rhonda and Hanno for introducing me to a world of new skills and a return to confidence in my own abilities. I can't begin to express what a difference you have made to my life. Blessings to you both for a lovely well earned rest and looking forward to travelling through 2010 with you. Jen xxx

  34. I forget that the seasons look so different, my being in western Canada and you in Australia. Santa brought a dog sled for our son, and we spent the morning enjoying watching him and the dogs. Everything covered in white...the hoar frost was unbelievable...a true winter wonderland. Wish I could send you photos too.
    I was inspired to see how you spent your Christmas involved in your community. I hope you are blessed in the new year.

  35. What a wonderful way to spend christmas! I've been thinking about doing something in that spririt for a few years, but couldn't fin the right idea, nor way of doing it...but the "just do it' post above, is pushing me in the right direction, I think.
    thank you for being such an inspiration, Rhonda!

  36. Oh it sounds like you helped many people have a wonderful Christmas day! I'm taking a break too until the beginning of January because I have so much to organize and get ready, but I couldn't resist stopping by your blog- I hate to miss it!
    Wow, rain on Christmas! And warm weather! Up here in Canada we got a blizzard, it's been continuing for about 4 days. The roads are closed and a snowplow goes by our house every 2 hours. It's amazing how different the world is.
    I hope you have a lovely break and a relaxing holiday season. Thank you so much for faithfully writing your blog, I enjoy reading it and it's always helpful, even peaceful. Hope you have a Happy New Year!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  37. This is a wondeful opportunity to share the Christmas spirit with so many people.
    I have enjoyed visiting and seeing all the items that I love featured on your blog. I will be returning often.
    Enjoy this Christmas Season

  38. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas - you are putting fire in my belly and thats exactly why I read your blog. Community is like a garden - we just have to pe patient while it grows. :-)


  39. What a wonderful occasion - spirited, filled with laughter, happiness...what the season is all about...for ALL!
    Good new year wishes to you!


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