Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Aussie Christmas

Many of our Avalon readers and writers are American. I, however, am an Australian from a town called Perth in Western Australia. I thought I’d share my Christmas preparations on our blog because they may be a bit different to some of yours.

Christmas is usually horrendously hot in Perth. So most Aussie Christmas feasts consist of cold meats, salads and plenty of fruit. Ham is a big favourite, fresh prawns and also turkey but it’s usually served cold. There’s always the option of having a BBQ but my family did that last year so we’re going with tried and true this time. Everyone usually brings a plate. This year, I’m bringing a garden salad and a coleslaw, so I probably won’t be too concerned about food preparation until the day before.

Instead, last week I went shopping with my kids for clothes. I love buying a new outfit just for Christmas that makes me feel festive. This year I will be wearing a sleeveless red top and a white knee length lace edged skirt. I also bought a new pair of sandals. The Roman look seems to be in at the moment. As for my two little boys, their Nan had already bought them some cute short sleeve shirts that will be nice for the day. What they really needed though, was bathers.

Every year, directly after Christmas my husband and I make the trek south to Yallingup to visit with his parents. Most businesses close down for at least a week. This year the people I work for are closing for two just because of the way the dates work out. I’m looking forward to an extra long break. My husband’s parents have a large property including a great big dam to swim in. Yallingup is also right on the beach. So bathers are a must! We are lucky to have an easy place to stay. The little town books out months in advance this time of year. Most students are enjoying their summer break, so the place is riddled with schoolies and people just hoping to be beach bums for a week or two. In this heat, the only thing that is really enjoyable to do is swimming.

After purchasing bathers, I rounded off my shopping day with a new bottle of sun cream, hats for the kids and more wrapping paper. Returning home, I kicked off my shoes, switched on the air conditioner and tried to decide whether I should wrap gifts or write Christmas cards. Cards won out and I pulled out my stationary box. I had to laugh when the first unused card in the pack depicted a cute snowman smoking a pipe and wearing a Santa hat. Despite the weather, some of our cards still depict snow flakes, snow men, roaring fire places and cabin’s hopelessly snowed in. My thought is, it’s probably just wishful thinking...


I.J. Parnham said...

Thanks for making my day. That was a brilliant post to read having just spent the last half hour trudging through the knee deep snow while walking the dog in -15C. It was so cold my beard froze up and I felt like opening the freezer door to warm up before I lit the fire. I get the feeling that snow and roaring log fires and fat bouncy robins only make you feel festive when you haven't got 'em.

Oh and why oh why did you lot in Perth not spend the pre-Xmas time stuffing turkeys instead of stuffing us at cricket? I spent most of last week sitting up in the middle of the night enjoying the sunny delights of Western Australia where it's hot, hot, hot and the Ashes were going, going, gone!

Sandy Cody said...

Loretta, I didn't know you were from AU. I know that Lis is. How great that there are 2 of you. My all-time favorite vacation was when we went to AU with good friends. We went in the spring - November.

Thanks for sharing your traditions.

Zelda Benjamin said...

The holidays in S Florida have always felt a little off without the cold weather. Coming from the NE it took some adjusting. Now I see the charm in palm trees with lights and Santa's on the beach.

Beate Boeker said...

Wow, Loretta, that is truly a very different Christmas! We are also ankle-deep in snow here in Germany, and it does feel cozy as long as we're not forced to go outside. We still have to buy the Christmas tree!

Enjoy the Christmas - swimming!

Loretta Brabant said...

Thanks guys!

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Fascinating, Loretta. I was sure this was from Lis! I love knowing about the culture and practices of other countries. Please, what is a bather? I'm guessing what we call a bathing suit?