Very Aussie Christmas

When I was a child I desperately wanted to experience a white Christmas, with snow and candles and twinkly lights in the dark, and crisp cold and knitted sweaters with hot chocolate.. and all the other trimmings and trappings of story book northern Christmasses, but now I think I might just pass on all those things, and keep enjoying our lovely Aussie Christmas season. I really can't imagine it would be properly Christmas without cricket, a BBQ and a glass of wine at the school oval for the school Christmas carols as the children sing about Christmas Among the Gumtrees, as well as Dashing Through the Snow.. then there is seafood for Christmas lunch, and dark chocolate pavlova drenched in cream and fresh raspberries out in the courtyard under the umbrella, and all the dads and kids in the pool after lunch, while the mums drink martinis under the pear tree (this year the recipe included lime juice and pomegranate juice, cointreau and vodka. We try a new one every year..). Then all the kids bash the gingerbread house with the wooden meat mallet and we all sit around on the lawn eating gingerbread and the dads have little naps until the children come and sit on them...
and of course, after the guests go home, the grown ups get to have another little nap, because who needs dinner? and there are always Christmas chocolates if one is getting a little peckish..

Hope your Christmas was as cruisy as ours. Now of course, I have promised to redecorate the girls' bedrooms as part of their Christmas present. I think I will just have another Christmas chocolate. For energy..


Anonymous said…
Sounds divine. All of it. Seafood, martinis, relaxing under the pear tree (that alone sounds so exotic), pav (but I prefer a normal pav), pool for kids and dads, napping, Christmas chocolates.

One white Christmas would be nice, and a German Christmas market. But I love how Christmas for us marks the true start of summer holidays. We don't have to rush back, bloated, to work. We can sloth around, nibble on left-overs for days, adding fresh, in-season fruit. Time to play with new toys - I got Miss Fisher Cluedo, lost the first game to my eldest who always wins Cluedo. And time to read new books and watch DVDs.

And then, maybe, disappear for a trip somewhere.
Anonymous said…
Merry Christmas Jo!
I've experienced a winter Christmas although it was far from white. I've had a white Christmas too but that involved a freezing cold Melbourne Christmas and hail thick enough to hide the grass (they got snow on the hills though). The cold Christmas is fun - hot chocolates, thick coats, scarves and gloves as you say but I tell you what I could not comprehend? A cold New Years! New Years for me (back a little while now) involved skimpy clothing and running around barefoot, half drunk and smoking a cigar. This particular year the skimy clothing simply did not work, barefoot was a killer and although I was more than ust a little half drunk, the cigar had to be smoked outside on a rather chilly midnight. Nowhere near so plseasant as a balmy summers evening. ;)
However, I could no longer survive without an ice cream plum pudding at Christmas. Much like the prawns, cherries (although they were a little price prohibitive this year), fresh local stone fruits and of course, the rest of an Aussie Christmas lunch. :) Nothing like a snooze in the shade either. :)
Jo said…
Lucinda, new books for Christmas are a must (I got three, lucky me!), and I do agree about the wonderful slothfulness.. I do hope your holiday planning includes a wee trip to the South Island!
Jessie, I am loving the image of you smoking a cigar on New Year's Eve. Hope you have kept up that tradition! And I remember the year of Christmas hail. It hailed here too, just on lunchtime. We toasted our first white Christmas, and lit the fire so we could have photos of the Christmas tree next to a lit fireplace for the first time ever. Had to take all the Christmas decorations out of the fireplace first though!
Anonymous said…
That sounds wonderful, Jo, much like the family reunions we would have in July or August (up here in Canada). Although our Decembers are usually just above zero, we get rain for Christmas more often than not, and the heavy snows start for New Year's! This year we had 2 snow storms the week before Christmas, then 4 days of rain, then 5 cm of snow on Christmas Eve. And we've had a bit every day since. The novelty has worn off! Makes for a pretty Christmas, though.
Linda said…
Loved your description of an Aussie Christmas. A few years ago my husband and I were lucky to spend Christmas with our lovely friends In CRONULLA (near Sydney). We were determined to swim in the sea on Christmas Day and we did but it was rather a grey day and the sea was COLD! However we have spent several Christmases in New Zealand and experienced seafood cooked on BBQs etc. Great memories. Had a great Northern Hemisphere Christmas this year at our daughter and son-in-law's ( who live very conveniently round the corner!) enjoying the excitement of our almost 4 year old granddaughter. More happy memories to store away.
Jo said…
anexactinglife - I'm glad you had a pretty Christmas. We get snow on a local mountain in winter, and to be honest, as a parent, I just think of snow as very hard work. Bundling up the children into snowsuits, then wrestling them out again to go to the loo has been my experience of snow for many years now. I hope you have much more fun in it this winter!
Linda, we were very lucky with the weather this year. As you may have read in the comment above, often it is a bit chilly, and once it hailed to give us a white Christmas! So glad you had a lovely Christmas, bet the 4yo loved having her granny around. My kids had their grannies here this Christmas for the first time in many years, and they were right chuffed!
Katie said…
I live where we have whire Christmas's - for a long time it never occured to me it could be any other way! I am learning so much about Australia though- although there are plenty of places in the US that do not habe white Christmas's either. Thank yu for sharing yur traditions!
Heather said…
It was 80 degrees where I live on Christmas day. A lot of my relatives were complaining, but how could I complain when there were people in the midwest who were enduring ice storms and a week without power on Christmas?

It sounds like your family had a lovely Christmas. I enjoy hearing about other people's Christmas day. Everyone celebrates in such different ways, and every way sounds like so much fun.
Anonymous said…
Your Christmas Day sounds lovely. Just enough booze to render you happy and just enough chocolate to ensure you stay that way :). We had a Christmas in the U.K. back in 2005 and although it was cold, and it did snow a teeny bit it was quite lovely to experience actually enjoying a hot meal for once at Christmas ;). Jess is right about New Year’s Day. We flew back home on New Year’s Day bedecked with a plethora of clothing (that we couldn't fit into our suitcases). 3 coats on a minus 4F day suddenly become something horrendous when you step off a plane in Perth W.A. to 45C heat! We shed the coats faster than a snake sheds its skin! ;). We watched movies ate too much and had our very own kind of Christmas and you can't ask for more than that :). Can't wait to see how those bedrooms go and cheers for Zippy and Harold, they were delicious...keep recommending those books; I am enjoying rediscovering fiction all over again after many years in the fiction Gulags :)
Tammy said…
I love hearing about Christmas traditions in other parts of the world. I'm so glad to hear that you have some regional Christmas songs as well.

Being from Southern California, I don't have the traditional white Christmas either. It was high 70s (25 C) here. A beach run was definitely in order. The Spanish language "Feliz Navidad" was all over the airways here - I am 20 miles from the Mexican border.

I think our regional Christmases are unique and special in their own right.
Unknown said…
Thanks for sharing your Christmas Jo. I also received books for Christmas and even better, vouchers so i could go choose my own. Talk about a kid in a lolly shop. Ive read 5 in less that two weeks and more to go. Saving Colleen McCullough's Bittersweet for my holiday later in Jan. I've spent time in Africa as a new colonial wife and as a young girl in England learning to fly spitfires during the war. Im currently belong to a sugarcane dynasty in the 60's with flashes back to my grandmothers era in the early 1900's. I love reading and im only sad that the stories end.
Anonymous said…
Jo, Mr Sans and I are abandoning the children and heading to NZ for two weeks. Tassie is still on my wish list and will have to be Jan 2015, unless we make it to Europe! But don't declutter your couch, we will be there one day.
Joanna said…
Just popped over to wish you happy new year! I have enjoyed 'meeting' you this year and hope 2014 brings you many blessings.
Jo said…
Happy New Year all!
Katie, hope you enjoyed your white Christmas. I might like to experience one once, just as a novelty!
Fran, I'm loving the image of you returning to sweltering Perth in 3 coats:) Reading lots of lovely fiction to recommend to you.
Tammy, your Spanish-inspired Christmas sounds fun. Our very southern summer weather is exactly the same as your nearly-south-of-the-border winter!
Lynda, like you, I absolutely live the books I'm reading. eave a recommendation of any good ones:)
Lucinda, what does NZ have that we don't? We can offer you all the sheep, rain and mud that your heart desires, and we promise not to kill you with an earthquake or live volcano. Tempting, no?
Joanna, have loved 'meeting' you too, and always enjoy your very thoughtful posts.
Here's to another year of sharing thoughts with strangers who are now friends:)xx
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Jo! Where I live, in the southeastern part of the U.S. (North Carolina), we rarely see a white Christmas. Our Christmases are usually chilly and quite often cloudy with a little rain. I was thinking this year about how so many of the Christmas songs are about cold weather and how that might feel odd if where you lived it was summer. A bit of a disconnect--but I hope an unimportant one.

Me, I'm glad that Christmas is over. One day I'll have it simple and plain the way I'd like, but I suspect that will be when the children are out of the house, living their own lives, and I'm not really wishing for that day to come any time soon ...

Anonymous said…
Hobbits? Geysers? Volcanos?

Cousins! That's it. That's what I was looking for.

Oh, and an Art Deco town. Really looking forward to seeing Napier. Am I the only one who wants to visit NZ but who doesn't want to Bungy jump, jet boat ride, white water raft or tramp for days?
Jo said…
Frances, yes, lots of carols about snow! And I hear you on the simple Christmas.. ours will be simple when everyone leaves school and stops graduating from things and having ballet concerts. I'm pretty sure Christmas will be much simpler then. At least they have all grown out of toys. I won't have to buy any more toys until I have grand children!
Lucinda, there are an awful lot of cousins in Tasmania. Most of them are married to each other. Are you sure I can't tempt you?

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