MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR TLSE FAMILY TO YOURS...




In a year of complete uncertainty, we can always be sure of one thing - Christmas! Here at TLSE, it's no secret that we are BIG lovers of the festive season - I mean, can you blame us? Candy canes, carols, sparkly lights, and cute decorations - we could spend all day listing everything we love about the holiday season - and even though this Christmas might be a little different, we couldn't be more excited to be ending the year in such good spirits. So, crack the bubbly and raise a glass with us to the year that was. 2020 certainly has been full of ups, downs, twists and turns - and to say we're sad to see it come to a close would be a lie. BUT, with that being said - it is a little bittersweet! For all the challenges, hardships and lessons this past year has brought us, we could not be more grateful for all the good that's come from it.





Despite all the obstacles this year has brought about, we wouldn't have picked anyone else to get through it with than our little TLSE family. In the true spirit of Christmas - we thought we'd share a little love from our family to yours, and give you a sneak peek into what the festive season looks like for us. So, sit back, grab some hot chocolate (or maybe iced - it is summer after all), and chat with us from Christmas presents to our strangest family traditions.


HEIDI


What does your Christmas morning look like? Tradition for us is an early morning swim, panettone, (Italian sweet bread), kourabiedes (Greek Christmas biscuits) and coffee. One present before the beach and the rest after. I love the feeling of Christmas morning, everyone is in a great mood and it just feels like a special day.


What's something you're extra grateful for this year? We all came out the other end in one piece. Zali finished the HSC, TLSE survived, Douk and I bought a holiday house.


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? It's simple for us, seafood and champagne, some great tunes, a good dance and a giggle.


Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? This year I don’t feel like I need gifts. I am so grateful to be able to just take some time out. I love Christmas so much, as Zali is getting older it's changing but it's all about hanging out and being together.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? Never had a white one… don’t think I will be for some time. Summer all the way for me!


FIONA


What does your Christmas morning look like? Usually, my parents come over and stay the night on Christmas Eve so they are there to wake up with us on Christmas morning. As my boys get older we don’t have to wake up so early, so we enjoy a bit more of a sleep in than the 5 am frenzy that used to happen when they were little. After we exchange gifts, my husband usually goes to work and prepares a Christmas lunch feast for all the backpackers at his hostel so we then take our time to have some breakfast while listening to Christmas carols and bake our yummy Christmas ham and get ready for the rest of the family to join us for Christmas lunch.


What's something you're extra grateful for this year? I am so so so grateful this year for the incredible support I have received from my friends and family. Health issues have been big in my family’s life this year and I honestly could not have made it through the year without the incredible love and support of Heidi and the TLSE team as well as my amazing friends who have all been there for me to pull us through.


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? Ooooh that is a hard one but probably the baked ham. It is so good I also need to bake 3 hams for my husband to take the Hostel on Christmas Day and everyone loves it.


Who’s the hardest person to shop for? My husband.

Who’s the easiest? My boys - because they always have a wish list a mile long!


All I want for Christmas is... For everyone to be back to good health and 2021 to be a year full of happiness (and we can travel again)


Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? When I was a kid I remember sitting at my bedroom window watching my parents (who were very ‘jolly’ after returning home after a Christmas party) trying to put a swing set together for my brother and I. They spent a lot of time trying to work out the instructions in the dark, a lot of time laughing and perhaps a few more beers and glasses of wine along the way. I loved it and thought it was the best fun but the next morning when they told me Santa had delivered a swing set (and I knew otherwise) I was pretty devo’d.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? Most definitely summer - I spent a Christmas in the snow in Colorado and it just didn’t feel like Christmas.


What’s your funniest TLSE Christmas memory? That would have to be last year when Hides and I snuck out from our Christmas party and re-entered as Wonderwoman and Batgirl. Our capes were flying in the wind and then I ended up tangled in mine in fits of laughter. So much fun.



LUCY


What does your Christmas morning look like? Usually, my sister Izzy and I will agree to wake up at the same time to go for a walk before we look in our Santa sacks (which Mum and Dad use instead of wrapping paper) - ‘coz you know, we’re adults. Then the morning will consist of coffee, present giving within our immediate family, and usually board games before we prep and prime our stomachs for a big lunch. What's something you're extra grateful for this year? I think, like many of us, I’m extra grateful for almost everything this year. Family, friends, my beautiful work girls, solo time, giggles, time to recalibrate, the outdoors, kindness, walks, yoga, big squeeze-y hugs. Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? The issue here is that I CANNOT choose. I usually skip breakfast on Christmas Day just for the extra stomach space because I know I will get carried away and go overboard! Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? I absolutely love giving presents. There’s something about finding something for someone that you know is SO “them” and watching them unwrap it that is so exciting. Who’s the hardest person to shop for? Who’s the easiest? Hm… I don’t really find anyone hard or easy to shop for. I usually start planning and buying Christmas presents in October because I’m so excited by my gift ideas. All I want for Christmas is… Time to sleep and relax! I don’t know about you, but although many of us had some form of forced time away, I feel more exhausted than ever! SO ready to take some of my leave (that I usually try to stockpile otherwise). Strangest Christmas tradition you/your family has? We have Christmas in Goulburn, usually on my cousin's or aunt’s property. Every year on Boxing Day we have a “shed party” in an old shearing shed where my Dad sets up his disco lights and speakers and my little cousins perform their yearly “Better Boys” concert live. And yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? They’re all pretty amazing, but one that sticks is Christmas in Husky when I was in primary school. One year my parents gave my sister and I beach themed presents - the towels were the wrapping paper and we each received our own colour co-ordinated blow up beach pillow - SO 2000s. White Christmas or Summer Christmas? I’ve never had a white Christmas before! Although I’m not one for the heat (ask any of the TLSE girls and they’ll tell you), I don’t think it would feel like Christmas if it wasn’t summer! What’s your funniest TLSE Christmas memory? It would have to be the same as Fi! I cackled when I saw her and Hides in their Wonder Woman and Bat Girl costumes last year with their capes flapping around - hilarious.



HANDE


What does your Christmas morning look like? This year will be spent at home with my two sons, very low key and casual.


What's something you are extra grateful for this year? Health and happiness… cliché but after the year we’ve had, it’s all I need.


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? Barbequed prawns with a glass of rosé.


Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? My 18 year old son – he gets super-excited about Christmas so it's always fun!


Who’s the hardest person to shop for? Who’s the easiest? The hardest would have to be my extremely picky 22 year old son. The easiest, my new 6 month old niece.


All I want for Christmas is... a Border Collie!


Strangest Christmas tradition you/your family has? Hmmm don’t have one for this, maybe we’re pretty ‘normal’!


Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? Waking up at sunrise on a crystal clear warm day at Belongil Beach in Byron and going for a swim with my family.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? Summer!


What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen since working here? The constant talk about the quality of the fan in the studio!


AMY


What does your Christmas morning look like? It’s never the same! This year I’ll be having a Christmas brekkie and opening presents at my boyfriend’s family’s house, before heading to my dad’s place for more food and pressies.


What's something you're extra grateful for this year? Living in Australia - I feel luckier than ever to live in this beautiful country. And starting a job at TLSE, of course!


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? Allllll the cherries.

Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? Well, I should get onto starting my Christmas shopping and then I will know the answer!


Who’s the hardest person to shop for? Who’s the easiest? Dad is the hardest because he’ll always “let me know” what he wants. The easiest would be by brother - a bottle of alcohol it is!


All I want for Christmas is... Time to relax at the beach and spend time with friends and family. (A puppy would also be appreciated).


Strangest Christmas tradition you/your family has? I like to buy chocolate advent calendars and eat them all in 1 week. Is that really strange, though?


Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? Going to Forster every year with my family as a kid. Fishing, swimming, dolphin spotting, Uno games every night, and eating lots of ice-cream.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? I’ve never experienced a white Christmas, although I think I would love it. Ugly Christmas sweaters and hanging by the fireplace sounds like a dream!


What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen since working here? Some of the lunchtime conversations go hilariously rogue when you have a team of all girls!



HANNAH


What does your Christmas morning look like? Every Christmas I like to buy Krispy Kreme donuts + coffee for my husband and I. We go to an early Church service and celebrate Christmas with my family!


What's something you're extra grateful for this year? I am very thankful that I get to work with our team and we've made it through such a difficult year.


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? Pavlova!


Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? I bought Hamilton tickets for my parents - can't wait to surprise them.


Who’s the hardest person to shop for? Who’s the easiest? My Dad is impossible - he already has everything.


All I want for Christmas is... Can't wait to have a rest and to see my best friend for the first time all year.


Strangest Christmas tradition you/your family has? We decorate a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus.


Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? My family used to always go camping at the beach every Christmas - I used to love waking up with the sound of the ocean.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? Summer!


What’s your funniest TLSE Christmas memory? Fi giving Heidi the most sparkly hat (that she will never wear!) for secret Santa.



XANTHE


What does your Christmas morning look like? My Christmas morning 'routine' has hardly changed since I was younger. My two brothers and I wake up and go check if Rudolf has eaten the carrot we left out the night before and pour out the goodies that Santa has left in our stockings. My elder brother who lives with a disability believes in Santa - so it's exciting for us to all go along with it and really enjoy the Christmas spirit - were still trying to figure out how Santa will find us this year because we will be away!!


What's something you're extra grateful for this year? I am extra grateful for Christmas this year being a time to stop and really relax with family - not having to worry after such a long year of so many ups and downs - between renovating, coronavirus and the forever busy TLSE for all of us it's a well-deserved break.


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? Prawns, prawns and more prawns.


Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? My boyfriend - he's had to deal with my crazy side a few too many times this year!


Who’s the hardest person to shop for? Who’s the easiest? Mum's the hardest!


All I want for Christmas is... A lot of sleep and hopefully an iron!! I have never owned an iron and desperately need one!!


Strangest Christmas tradition you/your family has? Maybe not so much a tradition - but this year my mum's Christmas tree for the family - she has made it out of Who Gives a Crap toilet paper and has made a sign that sits above is saying MERRY CHRISMYASS (aka 'kiss my ass’….) - referring to this crazy year that was I assume! Maybe this will become the new family tradition…..


Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? going up the cats with my family and coming back just the day before Xmas ready for all the celebrations.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? Summer Christmas!


What’s your funniest TLSE Christmas memory? Lawn bowls last year!



BRITT


What does your Christmas morning look like? Pancakes for breakfast and then a Christmas movie (usually The Grinch)!


What's something you're extra grateful for this year? My friends! Feeling very lucky to be ending the year with them - not sure how I managed to find such good eggs!


Favourite thing on the Christmas lunch menu? Definitely the trifle. I could eat the whole thing. If I could, I would have it for every meal. I spend the whole year waiting for it!


Who are you most excited to give a gift to this year and why? One of my best friends is spending Christmas with my family and I this year (!!!), and a lot of deliberation went into what the perfect present for her was. I'm excited to see her reaction, fingers crossed she likes it!


Who’s the hardest person to shop for? Who’s the easiest? Hardest is definitely Dad. Easiest would be my brother because his interests haven't changed since we were kids!


All I want for Christmas is... A planner! I think Hannah might be getting sick of me stealing her notepads all the time.

Strangest Christmas tradition you/your family has? Putting beads on the Christmas tree. Definitely thought this was normal until a couple of weeks ago.


Favourite Christmas memory you can think of? My dad (attempting) ice-skating. Definitely not a sight for sore eyes. Sorry, Dad.


White Christmas or Summer Christmas? I'm a huge sucker for Christmas sweaters but think I have to go with summer.


What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen since working here? A few strong contenders for this one, but think it might have to be the time Xanthe found a wall-plug in her underwear. The funniest part was that she made it all the way to work without realising.



And that's a wrap! We hope you've come out better on the other side of this year, and that your Christmas is filled with great food, friends, and most importantly lots of dessert! We can't wait to see everything the new year has in store. We'll be taking a little break over the Christmas break, but don't worry, we will still be updating the blog regularly and have just published Issue 02 of our Digital Mag - so if you're looking for some summer reading to keep you occupied while you're lying on the beach - we've got you covered.



Merry Christmas!





WORDS | Brittany Ross

IMAGES | TLSE

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