Christmas. I just know you’ve been stuffing yourselves with Quality Street, and Celebrations!
As for us, well, Christmas has been different this year. I mean, I knew it would be different, but it turned out more different from I expected. Please note, interpret nothing below as a complaint. I thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas this year. But it was, as those in the UK will quickly recognize, different.
1. The Food
When was the last time all you non-Aussies had no turkey on Christmas day? Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever went through the 25th of December without an overdose of turkey, a wad of stuffing, and a mountain of roast potatoes and mashed potatoes all smothered in gravy! However, I have now.
This year, we had seafood and salad.
2. The Weather
For those of us from the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas day is about sitting indoors in front of an open fire (or with the central-heating on full blast), wearing jeans and a new jumper, and not setting one foot out the door into the subzero temperatures.
This year, it was about 30°C and very sunny. I began by wearing shoes, jeans and a short-sleeved shirt, but later changed into flip-flops (thongs for you Aussies), shorts, and a t-shirt.
3. The People
This year was spent solely with friends. I’ve never had a Christmas with only friends. In fact, I’ve never had Christmas without my mum and (since she’s been born) my sister. Even last year, my wife and I stayed at my mum’s on Christmas Eve, just so my sister and I could open our presents together as we have always done.
4. The Activities
As noted in point two, usually I never budge from home. Well, unless it’s going to someone else’s home, or when I get a new remote control car, or mountain bike (Christmas was way more exiting as a child). This year, however, I not only went to the beach, I was on a jet ski!! No kidding! An awesome one at that, glancing off the waves at 90km/hr!
5. The Preparation
Not that big a deal (but I had to come up with a fifth). Usually, we’re able to wait until the last minute to buy gifts, and pass out cards. However, you need to give a few weeks at least to make sure cards and gifts arrive in the UK on time. As a result, I missed the Christmas Eve buzz in the shopping centre, running around like a looney wondering what to buy my wife.
Here’s a funny poem my wife came across a few weeks ago. Actually, I think it’s probably more funny to non-Aussies who have spent some time in Australia (like ourselves). The words are to be sung to ‘Jingle Bells.’
Dashing through the bush, in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust, esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side, singing Christmas songs,
It’s Summer time and I am in my singlet, shorts and thongs
Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut !,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.
Engine’s getting hot; we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard, he is welcome too.
All the family’s there, sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way, by the barbecue.
Come the afternoon, Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce, are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes ’round to go, we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through, before the washing up.