Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas Downunder

Christmas for us in the lovely old land of Oz is a very different beast to what you in the northern half experience because down here, it's Summer.

For a long, LONG time, the old Christmas traditions were stuck too. So we went looking for greenery (although the typical colour of the bush around here by the end of December is brown). We cooked roasts and turkeys and puddings (even though the temperature can be upwards of 30 degrees (that's 86 farenheit for you USians)). I think about my poor mother, trying to put on the traditional Christmas dinner in that heat and think - doesn't say much for how smart Aussies are that we kept that going for so long.

Luckily, in the 80s came more confidence in us as a unique country and with that came the decision that we were OVER sweltering in the kitchen on Christmas Day. If you go into a lot of Australian homes this Christmas, you'll see salads and seafood (in fact, Christmas Eve is the BIGGEST sale day for prawns (shrimp) in the entire year). Desert is more about fruit salad and trifles than hot puddings. If we can, we'll be eating out on the verandah - unless it's either a) raining (which is the forecast for the south-east of Aus for Christmas Day) or b) you have airconditioning.

Christmas afternoon is for a lot of us spent outdoors - playing with presents or, if you're a true Aussie, having the annual family game of backyard cricket.

Cricket is, like baseball, one of those great sports that doesn't require a lot of equipment and can be easily modified to fit any situation. Just a bat, a ball and a bit of space. In backyards, rules would be modified so, for example, any ball hit over the fence meant you were out (because it would be a PAIN to go get it so we want to encourage you not to hit it there). Adults, particularly those who actually played cricket as a sport, were stuck with the 'must catch it one handed to be out' rule, while the young kids could get someone out if they caught it on the first bounce.

So as you in the US and Europe awaken Christmas morning, shivering and wrapped up in your winter woolies, think of us Aussies for whom Christmas is almost over. We're in shorts and tshirts, we're sweaty and tired, we've probably run out of beer (and the shops are closed) and we're finishing off the salads and getting ready to sit in front of the television until we fall asleep.

And here's a link to some Aussie Christmas Carols!

As for a Christmas present for you all - a week ago, I released a brand new gadda story! It's a thank you to everyone who bought, read and loved the Dream of Asarlai trilogy. You can get your copy here:

Share with me what you'll be doing Christmas day.


donnas said...

Ill spend Christmas day with my family. And yes it will be cold. But its not looking like a White Christmas this year.

Bonnie said...

We will be going to a movie in the afternoon then to my parents house for dinner. It will be freezing here.

Nicole Murphy said...

I'd love to have one white Christmas, I think. Was very strange growing up and hearing that song and wondering what it meant...

Have a great day!

Helen Lowe said...

Like you, Nicole, I am looking forward to sunshine (tho' not so hot as in Aus), cherries, strawberries & salads. My brother lives in Townsville and they were cooking a roast in 42 degree (celsius) heat one year: I just could not have done that!

Thanks for the gift story: I had one on my blog last Friday--'Nameless' from the Thornspell 'verse. :)

Brenda Hyde said...

So, not only do you get prawns for Christmas but you have TIM TAMS. I am SO jealous:) I do like our fluffy white snow though...

My husband has off Christmas Eve and Christmas (he's an RN) so we get to watch movies, eat good food and play board games. My oldest is 18 now and it's cool he's home from college:)

Merry Christmas!

SandyG265 said...

We'll spend Christmas with my boyfriend's family.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Snowed in. So, not visiting anyone. I'll be staying in keeping warm and teaching my doberman that snow is okay. LOL My malamute already knows it and is loving the weather!

Billie Jo said...

We are staying home and enjoying the day with our two little ones. Unfortunately we are on our last year of "Santa" believing. So we plan on enjoy this last year with the kids as we watch their eyes light up. Sigh

Sometimes being a parent is so hard.

Happy Holidays!!!

PS...I would LOVE to enjoy Christmas while it was warm :-)

Billie Jo

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Eleni Konstantine said...

And don't forget the pavlova, Nicole. Just had some. Yum.
Eleni - who is in an air-conditioned room.