I have never experienced a white Christmas. I have no idea of the skating rinks, roaring log fires, sleigh rides, eggnog, the glittering lights in the shops displaying traditional Christmas scenes, the snow blanketing the countryside and cities in a cheery winter wonderland.
No, I am dreaming of a typical Australian Christmas. We will have seen Santa in the weeks leading up to Christmas sweating in a ridiculously big red outfit on a 30 degree day. Santa never looks terribly happy. The real Christmas tree will start drooping as soon as you put it up meaning the thought of a plastic one looks pretty enticing.
On Christmas Day, it will be inevitably hot and often unbearably so. It will not rain probably. The light will be sensational, as the sky remains blue and shining for 13 hours of the day. It certainly will not snow. It is beach weather for a typical Australian Christmas.
Many people have now eschewed the Anglo Saxon precedents and gone to cold seafood’s, champagnes and beers, often as a picnic down at the beach or at the very least outside on a verandah or patio and more often than not with a pool in the back yard. The exceptionally long queues outside the fish markets on Christmas Eve are testament to the divergence from the traditions of our parents and grandparents.
A few traditionalists still go the whole British/Irish/Scottish route and have all the trimmings. The Christmas pudding hangs from the Hills Hoist and the oven keeps the temperature in the house at beyond acceptable levels as pork, chicken, turkey and lamb bake along side roast vegetables. The fridge is stuffed with trifles and pies, while the sideboard is laden with Christmas cakes and with other ‘snacks’ that occur throughout the day as visitors drop in and out. The esky remains full, as does the bathtub with beers, wines and drinks of any other description.
Being as we are so very multicultural you will find that depending upon your ethnicity, Christmas will be have a number of variations, generally to do with food.
We don’t know any other way than a hot Christmas day, replete with food, family and fun. And that is really nice, and we do have a very good time.
But one day … I am going to have a very white Christmas with all of the trappings. I want the cold, I want the snow and I want the lights. I just need to get the entire extended family to come overseas with us.