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Seasons Greetings and Why I’m Thankful

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of December 2008 ProBlogger Site News 72

christmas.jpgIt’s just ticked over to Christmas Day here in Australia and I wanted to take a moment from the normal rhythm of this blog to stop and wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Here in Australia we don’t do ‘Thanksgiving’ as a holiday and so in our house Christmas is a day where we not only reflect on our Spirituality, spend time with family and friends, exchange gifts and eat too much food – it’s also a day that we try to stop and give thanks for the good things in our lives.

One of those good things in my life is blogging – an in particularly ProBlogger.

It seems like yesterday (it was actually September 2004) when the first posts went live on this blog. When I hit publish on those first posts (mainly posts that I’d imported from my previous personal blog) I had no idea what was to come.

I knew that I wanted to connect with other bloggers who were looking to take their blogs in a more professional direction – but had no idea how blogging would continue explode and expand as a medium in the years that followed. I also had no idea how many amazing people I’d ‘meet’ through this blog.

4,782 posts and 125,995 comments later I can safely say that this blog and its readers have changed my life. The changes have been both big and small.

This blog has opened up some amazing friendships and business partnerships, it has supported my family financially, it has taught me so much about communication, community and emerging technologies, it has been responsible for bringing about some wonderful opportunities to travel, teach, write for and connect with many millions of people…. and it has been a lot of fun.

Much of this is simply a result of people like yourself – for that I’m thankful.

I know not all of you celebrate this day but do want to take a moment to acknowledge the part that many of you have played in this blog and in my life and wish you a happy holiday period.

PS – My Aussie Christmas

I am always asked how an Aussie celebrates Christmas so here’s a quick synopsis of the day that we’ve planned ahead.

For starters the weather will be warm. Last time I checked the forecast is for 28 degrees (Celsius – which is 82 degrees Fahrenheit). So it’ll be a shorts and tshirts kind of day with quite a bit of time outside.

We start the day with our little family exchanging gifts (probably in bed). Our eldest is two and a half so is just starting to get into parties, presents, Santa etc. He doesn’t quote get what is about to happen but he’s excited anyway.

We’ll then have breakfast together (probably french toast) and then head to church. After that we’ll head to V’s (my wife) family for Christmas lunch. This will be outside by the pool and we’ll probably do a little swimming and playing of cricket in the backyard (a great Aussie tradition). I think the menu includes a roast (pork I think), lobster, prawns (BBQ’d) lots of vegetables, salads – followed by Plum Pudding (it’s a feast).

After lunch we’ll swim, sleep, play, exchange gifts and have a nice time. We’ll then head to my parents for dinner. The menu will be lighter – probably a selection of cold meats and salads. We’ll attempt to get the kids to sleep there and will hang out with my family until into the evening before heading home. Luckily we live 5 minutes from each of our families so there won’t be much driving.

That’s our day. What are you up to?

Image by Chris J

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Merry Christmas to you, Darren, and your family.

  2. I want to wish you and your family a blessed Christmas! Darren, you’ve helped so many of us learn this process of blogging and I want to personally thank you. Since it’s only Christmas Eve morning here in Arizona, we are just getting prepared for Christmas. Candlelight services at church will be part of our evening and then home to sit in front of the fireplace and the tree, enjoying bagels and lox. How’s that for a new tradition?

  3. Your achievement is amazing and well deserved a trully excellent source.

    Merry Xmas from the UK

    The Flipsem team.

  4. Merry Christmas Darren. Enjoy your day with the munchkins! :)

  5. Merry Christmas to you and your family Darren.

    Your plans sound spectacular when compared to my own… basically spending the day indoors due to cold snow/rain in the Northeast with family and a Christmas ham dinner.

  6. Wow, that sounds like SUCH a lovely Christmas. I hope that you have a wonderful day, and may the Lord bless you and your family.


  7. Darren-
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from very cold and snowly Iowa! Thank you for sharing so much with us each day on your blog and Twitter.

    I started blogging just a year ago, and there is so much to be grateful for. Blogging really is a great equalizer, allowing us to connect to people we may not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet.

    Regardless of professions, background, or position, this is a space where great minds from everywhere can come together in some way make this world a better place!

    Wishing the best for you and your family!

  8. Merry Christmas to you and yours. We’ll be going to church this afternoon for a Christmas eve service -and then heading to my in-laws house for some serious eating! And of course presents. Can’t wait. It has truly been a rough year, but at our house a very blessed one. We’re thankful for our health and for family.

    God bless Darren, and good wishes for 2009!

  9. Merry Christmas Darren, to you and your family. :)

    Here in Canada, we’re under a lot of snow, pretty much from coast to coast. Everyone is coming to my house, including my mom, and I’m cooking Chinese food for Christmas Eve dinner. It’s a long story. :D We’ll exchange one present tonight and the kids all get new jammies.

    The celebration will continue all day tomorrow as we call all the family who is not here with us, and even to boxing day, when more family visits.

    There’s enough food here to feed them all and then some. This time is the best time of the year. :)

  10. Sounds like a wonderful day you’re going to have! Just wait til next year when your oldest understands what’s going on – SO much fun!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)

  11. Happy, happy Christmas to you and all those you love, Darren!

  12. Merry Christmas, Darren. I am very new to blogging and you have been a huge help to me. I have family in Australia (Adelaide area), and it was very special to read what you and your family will be doing to celebrate. It is Christmas Eve Day in the US where I live, and I’m looking forward to speaking to my reletives on the phone later. I miss them very much. God bless you and your family!

  13. Darren, a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. I would like to sum up your blog in one word…INSPIRATIONAL.

    Without it I would not have started my blog earlier this year.

  14. Merry Christmas from Bali to you & your family.

  15. Merry Christmas! Thanks for all of your help!

  16. Merry Christmas from the Philippines to you and your family Darren!

    I’m an avid reader of ProBlogger. I know I don’t comment much but you did help me a lot.

    Wishing you more successes in your amazing blog!

  17. Darren,

    Sounds like a fun holiday. Since it always snows, or is at least very cold, in the Midwest around this time, I can’t imagine swimming outside for the holidays but it sounds fun. Happy holidays to you and your family and I wish you continued success with all your blogs.

    Thanks – Tom

  18. Hey Darren!

    Merry Christmas man. You’re an inspiration to all of us and your contribution to the world is enormous. You are giving people a chance for freedom, and expression on an unprecedented scale. Keep up the good work!

    – Parth

  19. Merry Christmas everyone. I hope everyone gets what they wanted.

  20. As someone who grew up in upstate NY, I have a hard time envisioning a warm Christmas with swimming and cricket! Christmas for me has always been characterized by snow and winter! I think it’s neat to hear how people across the world celebrate the birth of our Lord!

    Being from the NE United States, weather is snowy/rainy so a day by the pool is def out! I’m spending Christmas Eve working and then dinner at my parents’ house. Tomorrow, on the “Big Day,” we’ll spend time with my wife’s family (they’re normally in Haiti as missionaries but snuck home for a few weeks to suprise us!).

    A classic NY Christmas: Snow and family (oh and food!)

    Merry Christmas to the readers (and writters) or!

  21. Wow, your Christmas plans sound fantastic!

    I have an awesome sinus infection, so I think I am going to spend most of the day in my jammies with my kids and husband, sniffling away…Hopefully, there will be lots of food, presents, love, and Dayquil tomorrow!

    Happy Holidays,


  22. Hey Darren,

    Sounds like an exciting christmas day! I wanted to take a moment to wish you an great holiday and a great new year! I know this coming new year will be filled with more exciting things for you..

    To the readers of htis blog and my fellow commentators….seasons greetings, happy holidays and happy new year!

    -Ruben Ricart

  23. Merry Christmas Darren!!

    Have an amazing day with family and Love to ur kids.

  24. Christmas eve morning here in California… tonight we will go to Grandma’s house for dinner and exchanging of gifts, then home (4 houses away) too bad that we have to drive or there would be no way to hide and return with all the gifts. This year I expect the gift haul to be much lighter.

    Christmas morning will arrive at 4am when my 5 year old son will wake up everyone after Santa’s arrival and we will spend the rest of the morning preparing to receive the afternoon guests, as we are hosting Christmas dinner this year.

    After much eating and devouring the Christmas cookies we will sit around and play games as a family (we expect 20 guests this year). Inevitably it will digress into boys vs girls in a marathon game of guestures.

    In a personal note, I’ve had to miss Christmas in the past when I was working overseas and just being together is the greatest gift of all.

    Merry Christmas and God bless you all.

  25. Hey Darren,

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Also, as someone who is about to shovel another six inches of snow… after shoveling ten inches a few days earlier… I say we all celebrate at your place next year, in 82 degree weather in shorts w/ a bit of swimming after (sigh).

  26. One thing I’m thankful for is your help in understanding blogging and how to build a business. The book and the website have been invaluable tools for me.

    Merry Christmas from very snowy Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

  27. Carole says: 12/25/2008 at 2:43 am

    Merry Christmas and I hope your New Year is as wonderful as your last.

  28. Sounds like a wonderful day filled with lots of blessings!!!!! Thanks for letting us know what Christmas is like Down Under! I love your blog, and am also thankful for it. Thanks Darren!

  29. Merry Christmas to you too Darren!

    Have fun swimming on Christmas. Lucky!

  30. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Darren!

    It’s been a great year and have learned so much from new people I’ve encountered in 2008, including yourself.

    Here’s to a great 2009!

  31. Merry Christmas to you, Darren…

    the cricket part I like ;) I love it myself :D

  32. Darren — sounds like a great Oz Christmas.
    Found you through twitter. Am thankful for your insightful blog tips..

  33. Darren, that is exactly what we in South Africa do for X-mas.(Cricket in the backyard is always a feast) Thank you for everthing and a jolly festive seasion for you and your family! To all the ProBlogger readers, happy X-mas!

  34. Merry Christmas, Darren! Have a wonderful day with your family! Your plans sound simply perfect! The image of you guys on your bed with your two sweet little ones opening gifts is just precious!

    You are really so nice, and for that, I am thankful. :)

  35. Merry Christmas, Darren, and a happy new year to all fellow blogger, wish all of you have a nice happening on this new year.


  37. Backyard Chricket, BBQ and swimming! That does sound like the normal Aussie Christmas! Merry Christmas!

  38. just trimming the tree and waiting for some of those presents i bought myself to come in the mail box

  39. Happy Christmas Darren… and congratulations on your remarkable achievement with ProBlogger.

    ProBlogger is a constant inspiration to everyone that wants to improve their blog and their business.

    Best of luck for 2009!

  40. Wake up, open gifts, eat a delicious dinner (most important part) and watch a movie with my family.

    The only disappointment is that it might not snow this Christmas . It’s cold in Philadelphia but not cold enough for a winter snow storm.

    Cheers Everyone


  41. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you and all your readers have a good one!

    — Andrew

  42. A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and your family Darren!

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me to keep on blogging!

    We’ve had some challenges this year, but God has kept us going, and used great people like you to encourage us.

  43. Brandon Harshe says: 12/25/2008 at 10:01 am

    Have a great Christmas! Love the blog!

  44. I have got a foot of snow around here and it will be bitter cold.

  45. May your home be filled with blessings of peace, love and joy this Christmas season brings.

  46. Hi Darren…great name btw…Merry Christmas.

    For my family, the big celebration day is Christmas Eve, the extended family comes over and we fill our bellies full of delicious food and alchohol and make merry. Christmas day on the other hand is a much more pruned down affair, it is mainly spent with my immediate family or my girlfriend’s family. Much like your day, we open presents, go to church and sing carols and go home and have a nice quiet lunch.

    Also wanted to mention, I bought your book a week ago and I have been reading and enjoying what you and Chris have written. It is easy to understand and the simple english is very readable, delivering jargon-free information.

    You’re a real inspiration and I hope you continue to prosper in your online and offline endeavours.

    From one Aussie to another, cheers and be merry.


  47. In our case, we visit a relative’s house for a big family reunion. It is one of the rare occassions every year that we get to to such. Happy holidays Darren!

  48. Merry Christmas to you too Mr.Daren! :)
    Best wishes for the future and the new year

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