Making the most of Christmas no matter where you are

I SPENT last Boxing Day on the road, driving back to Gladstone from the Sunny Coast. That's where I grew up.

My family lives all around the country now. Dad is in Sydney. My little sister is in Perth.

But we all went "home" for Christmas last year. It was our first one together for three years.

Since Dad traded the house in for a 68-foot sailboat, we stayed at Uncle Trev's place.

Uncle Trev is my Dad's best mate. I've known him all my life.

He can be a pain in the butt, but he is also an amazing sounding board and an incredible support. He's family.

Christmas lunch was a fairly motley affair. It was the Youngs plus Uncle Trev's wife Om.

His daughter and her little son also joined in. We had the obligatory turkey cooked on the Weber.

And since Om is from Thailand she prepared a slew of amazing Thai fare. It was nice to be together.

But I try to make the most of Christmas no matter what.

The year before last I was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I'd lived there for a few years.

Some mates from high school visited and we went to one of the fancy hotels and ate a buffet lunch, with free-flow champers. Delicious.

Yesterday I spent most of the day at work. But you know what? It was fine.

There were plenty of other Gladstone locals working too.

I talked to the lovely lady rostered on at the police station.

"Merry Christmas, Observer," is how she answered the phone. We call a lot.

I received similar greetings from the firies, ambos and hospital staff.

A little Christmas cheer goes a long way. Hope you had a great one too, Gladdy.