sydney-based artist and creative gabrielle penfold invites us inside her inner west home to share her favourite festive memories, how her family comes together to celebrate christmas, and how she’s giving back this year.
a very bassike christmas with gabrielle penfold
what are you most looking forward to this holiday season?
attempting to slow down and not get caught up in the craziness of the season. that means delicious long lunches, ocean swims, afternoon siestas, a good book, and lots of painting.
what is your favourite christmas tradition?
every year my family hosts baking day. our house fills up with family and friends who form a kitchen production line making indian sweets, christmas biscuits and festive decorations. it’s a team effort but if i’m honest, i don’t think my brother tom or i have ever done much of the baking - we manage to get out of it by playing with my little cousins.
what is your most cherished holiday memory?
my friend micky always reminds me that i once tried to use blue cheese to glue my family christmas wreath to the door when i was seven. more recently it’s morning surfs and watermelon daquiris.
every year my family hosts baking day. our house fills up with family and friends who form akitchen production line making indian sweets, christmas biscuits and festive decorations.
i try and think carefully about gifts that are thoughtful, practical and beautiful. for people who have everything, a good bottle of local olive oil is always a winner.
how will your family be celebrating this christmas?
my cousin renee is hosting a big family christmas with all the traditional trimmings and a backyard filled with my favourite kids. i’m usually the one revving them all up and then passing out after a big slice of christmas pavlova.
what will you be giving this christmas and how do you do so in a conscious and sustainable way?
i’m conscious that christmas can be a time when we mindlessly rush to buy gifts that end up in landfill. i try and think carefully about gifts that are thoughtful, practical and beautiful. for people who have everything, a good bottle of local olive oil is always a winner. this year, i’ll also be donating to the nsw rural fire service.
what is your favourite dish to prepare for christmas lunch?
the trick is not cooking much at all and avoiding the heat of the oven on a summer day. i love a crustacean christmas with plenty of prawns, fresh oysters, bugs and a beautiful leg of ham from feather and bone.
what is your approach to holiday dressing?
i’m an olive oil and lemon kind of girl… ;)
gabrielle's gift edit
photographs by claudia smith