'Tis the season, at home or away

THEY might have been in a caravan park, but it didn’t stop one family having a traditional Christmas in Port Fairy yesterday.

With a full-scale Christmas tree taking pride of place in front of the caravan, a plum pudding on the boil under the annexe and a turkey roasting in the barbecue, the Geelong family was ready to celebrate. 

The Castles — mum Amanda, dad Barry and children Imogen, 8, Gemma, 6 and Lucas, 4 — have been travelling from Waurn Ponds to spend Christmas at the Gardens Caravan Park for the past eight years, along with Mrs Castle’s parents Robert and Virginia Grant, from Newcomb, and grandmother Beth Grant, from Warrnambool.

Santa even managed to find his way to the park, delivering a raft of goodies for the children. 

Mrs Grant said the family had been visiting since Imogen was a baby. 

“It’s a lovely way to spend Christmas,” she said. 

“We are all in Geelong, but Robert’s mum is in Warrnambool, so this makes it easier for her to see us all.”

She said there was almost a disaster yesterday morning, with the caravan oven catching fire while the potatoes were cooking. 

“Imogen said she could smell something burning, so it was nearly a disaster, but that’s all part of the fun,” she said. 

Mrs Grant said the atmosphere in the park in the lead-up to Christmas Day was wonderful.

“There are a few other families that are here the same time as us, so we always catch up and have a bit of fun together,” she said. 

“We have a bit of a tradition where we have a Scrabble tournament. 

“This year we were lucky enough to win, so the Scrabble cup has pride of place on the tree.” 

Next year the whole family is expected to be on site, with Mrs Grant’s other son and all nine grandchildren planning on making the trip for Christmas. 

“It’s a lovely, relaxed way to be all together,” Mrs Grant said. 

“I actually think it’s easier doing it this way rather than being at home.” 

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