At this time of year, we appreciate the retreat of camping in the bush where we’re far from the frenzy of marketing and merchandise. As we’re planning on staying here for about a week, we’ve been setting up a well-planned camp-site in a paddock not far from a creek.

We don’t celebrate Christmas as a family, and so physically removing ourselves from the reminder is a way to ensure that we don’t become infected by the buying frenzy that has overtaken the nation. Our girls understand that many people do celebrate Christmas, and although we may be in the minority in Anglo cultures, we’re in good company among the worldwide population who don’t mark it as a special day.

One benefit of the holidays is that other people are temporarily not tied to their work commitments. We’re hoping to entice some friends and family out here to the property to camp with us in this special spot.

Camp-site at Glendon Brook, December 2011
We're parked on a level piece of ground above the high-water mark of Glendon Brook.

Camp-site at Glendon Brook, December 2011
Our set-up includes an borrowed tarp that provides shade behind the truck and out the front of the trailer.

Calista playing, December 2011
Calista decides to ride the guy-ropes as a horse, making the trailer rock as she jumps up and down.

Because we’re staying here for a little while, we decided to do a little green-keeping around the place. We borrowed a lawnmower and whipper-snipper from Lloyd’s friendly neighbours so we could tame his garden, and now they come in handy for cutting out paths in the long grass. And I think the exercise is just what I needed!

Lauren mowing the paddock, December 2011
I'm mowing an old cow paddock! This is one of the craziest suburban/camping cross-overs I've ever experienced.

David on the whipper-snipper, December 2011
David uses the whipper-snipper to cut a pathway all the way down to the creek from our camp-site on higher ground.

David and Delaney playing in the creek, December
We're not far from the creek — perfect for washing, swimming and playing! The girls love coating themselves in sand and then washing off in the cool water. David has cleared the rocks from the pool below this little waterfall so acts as a natural spa if you sit with your back to the flow of water.

Making a fire as a family, December 2011
Our girls love helping to start fires, so David made a little one on the edge of the creek after chopping up a tree for firewood.

Elijah sleeping in his box, December 2011
During the day, Elijah is sleeping in his box in the trailer — safe from *most* interfering hands.

Aisha and Elijah, December 2011
Aisha has discovered that she can still reach Elijah by crawling underneath the far end of the bench-seat.

Elijah and Calista, December 2011
When he's awake, there's a bevy of admirers lining up to cuddle Elijah.

Elijah Rainbow, 4 weeks old, December 2011
At four weeks old, Elijah is starting to have longer periods of wakening, and he's also started sleeping longer during the night too!

It’s relaxing to be out of the house and in the bush again. There are so few chores to do when away from a house, that our time can be spent playing with the children, reading and writing.

Although being here, in this location, at this time was not our original desire (we wanted to be back in New Zealand at this time of year), if I’m to take full advantage of our present circumstances, I need to be thankful for them. So we’re here in Australia a bit longer, and the kids will make good memories during our camping times and visiting family and friends. I’ve accepted the fact that until we get Elijah’s passport, we’ll be stuck in this country, and it’s not a bad place to hang out! We may as well make the most of it, like in this special camp for the holidays.