Well, we actually celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, on 24th December.

We called Australia after they all came home to Babi’s from the church, which was Sunday morning our time. The Holt Street Church traditionally has a family mass at eight o’clock at night on Christmas Eve. Nearly all the family had come to Babi’s. We talked, they filmed, I greeted everyone, including cousin*, with her husband and son*. Then Christoph sent a video clip via WhatsApp.

Boys were working in the Imperial Palace, accompanying the mass where the Vienna Boys Choir sing. One* is working at the ticket office and the others* are ushers, guiding the tourists to their seats in the Imperial Chapel for the mass. It was an acapalla mass, that is, no musical accompaniment, just vocals. They* said it was not even full, even though it was sold out. Hubby* and I were home alone until they arrived.

There had been a train accident in Kritzendorf on Friday night. It took me three hours to get home from work on Friday. (See diary entry Friday 22nd December 2017.)

When son called from Franz Josef’s Station to say they would be home around three, hubby asked me whether I still need anything. Billa at the station is open on Sundays, but will be closed on Christmas Day. I suggested a packet of biskotten, some tinned corn and a cucumber. 

The 24th is the last day of my metabolic diet stabilization phase. Since our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is fish and potato salad, I wanted to have some alternative to the potatoes. I should not have any carbohydrates or sugar until tomorrow, Christmas Day. So I asked for a second cucumber. I wanted a tsatsiki type salad, grated cucumber with sour cream and garlic. We had one for Christmas Day, but then sonny* helped me make one for Christmas Eve as well. I also boiled some carrots. I boiled the potatoes and made the potato salad the way my mother used to make it. I finished making the potato salad and put it on the cold balcony.

Then I started making the trifle. Red jelly on the bottom. I mixed up a packet of sugar free jelly for myself to have today. I need the gelatine for my joints and nails and it is a substitute for the trifle which I will not have today. Finally, the fish. Hubby bought some fresh fish from a local fish breeder at Stetteldorf. I wrapped them in foil with onions and garlic and put them in the oven. The guys* decorated the tree. Then after everyone* had put their presents under the tree we had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We sang at the table, and then again in the living room after dinner. I was so happy we began singing some carols as karaoke, after I tried to follow along as the boys were reading the words off their mobile phones. I got out my phone to film and then Oneson* took my selfie stick and turned the phone sideways, trying to get a better picture. I was happy we all sang together and had some fun. Then we shared our gifts.

*Hubby, Boys, cousin, son, One, the others, They, sonny, The guys, everyone, Oneson = pseudonyms for family members names