Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Aussie Christmas!

It's 85 degrees here. The weather is beautiful. Tropical cockatoos are feeding right outside the window, the warm smell of the ocean wafts in the front door from time to time, the occasional mozzy (or skeeter as we call em back home) nips at your ankle. It's summer in Australia...and it's also Christmas in Australia. I know, I know, I should be used to it because I'm on the other side of the world, but it's just not quite like the Christmases I've experienced in the past.

New England getting a 2 foot snowstorm securing their hopes for a "white Christmas" makes me incredibly nostaligic. I'm sure many of you in New England wish that you were somewhere tropical while trying to avoid the hustle and bustle and bitter cold of the holiday season, but there is really something to having Christmas in winter. A big pine Christmas tree, an open hearth fire, wool sweaters, mittens and hats. Egg nogg and hot chocolate. Er, not so fun in the heat. Can you tell I'm a little homesick? You expected it didn't you?! The holidays are always the hardest time for me to be away. I think I'm just a seasons girl. That's it plain and simple. I like change. Tropical Christmas however...not the kind of change I'm crazy about.

We've been doing a pretty good job of trying to adhere to my usual Christmas standards here. I make Mick and his mom Sue bake Christmas cookies (from scratch thank you very much!) here. They enjoyed it very much. Mick played the token boy role and made a hermaphrodite gingerbread man! We all got into the spirit with music, hats and the whole bit. What I failed to remember was that it's summer time, and turning the oven on for an hour in the middle of the day might not have been the best idea. Oh well! You live you learn! Maybe we should go for an ice cream cake next time! Regardless, we all got pretty creative with the cookies and they got gobbled up pretty quickly! Sue is really sweet and she's already made a big effort to make sure that the holiday is special for me. She loves getting creative and festive as well, so that's good. She bought me a cute little "Merry Australian Christmas" hat and even made me some Christmas PJ's and angel earrings!! She also got a bunch of the supplies for the cookies! She's too cute.

Today there is a Christmas farmer's market down the street so we'll be checking that out and seeing if we can't locate some festive lights (more likely to be blues, pinks and purples rather than the traditional red, green and yellow!) this evening.

I was thinking the other day how funny the Christmas cycles of life are. As a child, you can hardly sleep awaiting the arrival of Santa and his precious gifts. As a teenager, you can't wait for it to be over so you can go hang out with your friends. As a young adult, you appreciate the true meaning of Christmas and enjoy giving more than getting. And then as a 20-something, you just want to be with the ones you love, no matter what the circumstances, get a bit tipsy and have laughs about how bratty you were as kids opening gifts! I suppose when you have children, the Christmas cycle happens all over again. I must say, I'm looking forward to the next cycle. For now, I'll live vicariously through young mothers and their small children.

Merry Christmas to all from Down Undah!