The greatest gift this Christmas has been taking time out  to really appreciate each moment. Family, friends and a trip to my hometown of Melbourne  recharged my soul.

Having lived in Queensland for many years it’s been the norm to spend Christmas with my husbands family.

This year I was determined to travel to Melbourne and spend time with my family. I don’t know when I’ll get this chance again and I’m not about to miss it.

Our family Christmas is Over the Top in every way. We love the festive season and my Mum and I would always decorate the tree together.

I even have a Christmas card collection dating back to my teens.

My Dad died on the 2nd of December back when I was four. He was only 38 and his death was sudden and unexpected.

I always like to think that Dad might be a little bit closer to us all at Christmas time.

One thing that I really miss is spending time with my family, it makes me sad that our children will miss out on growing up with their cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family.

Sadly this is a part of our planned expat life.

So we all headed to Melbourne, had the most wonderful Christmas lunch at my brothers house, and got to spend time with my family.

Ten days without any online time wasn’t the wrench I thought it would be in fact quite the opposite.

I found that really the gift of the season is Time…..given freely, celebrated and savored.

Here are a few moments to share.

images from the private collection of the Chiodo family x