Today’s post comes with a warning to readers: if you live in a climate where it is cold at Christmas time this post may contain confusing material. This will also be my only serious note for the silly season so catch it while you can!
I feel like I have done my pariotic duty today by making a Christmas-themed table runner that features Australian birds. While this project was prompted by having a couple of large strips of fabric left over from making fabric bowls to wrap Christmas presents, it became a patriotic statement after a trip to the shops the other day…
I went to my local large-ish shopping centre last week and was surrounded by: Christmas carols about ‘dashing through the snow’; pictures of classy, elegant looking snowy winter scenes; and, to add insult to injury, snow domes.
Now for those of you who live in the colder zones of the world this is probably perfectly normal. That is fine with me. But, it isn’t what Christmas is like in Australia.
My experience of Christmas, while it typically includes a family affair and a roast or ham of some kind, also involves sitting around in stinking hot weather, eating salad, soft drinks, ice cream, drinking cold beer and doing our best to not get sunburnt. This year our celebration will be taking a drive and a picnic or going to one of the pubs in a town nearby if its open.
This is hardly “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” 🙂
As I look out over the paddocks/fields around our house I can see that summer is here. In the last couple of weeks, the green grass of spring has become the dry hay of summer. The water in the dam is going down so fast it seems like someone didn’t put the plug in the bath properly and the water is escaping down the plug hole. The sheep’s fleece has turned from a freshly shorn comforting cream to a grubby beige colour. And, the rabbits have somehow weaseled their way into the house paddock.
Its about time that DownUnder got less colonial about the festive season with more:
- summer-y carols and cards,
- barefaced Santas in t-shirts and board shorts with the six white boomers (instead of beard and wooly suit with reindeers),
- scenes in the advertising of families on the deck outside having a BBQ and swimming in the pool (rather than in huddles round a fire),
While this may seem a rant, I think it’s about time that Australia started to publicly appreciate its landscape and broader heritage, and celebrating the festive season our way, is one way we can do that. This can be by having a climate-relevant celebration. We can also reflect our cultural diversity by including celebrations from multiple religions and cultures. I love the American saying “Happy Holidays” it includes everyone regardless of why they might be celebrating. Supporting constitutional recognition of our indigenous peoples is another way we can be honest about who we are as a nation.
So as you read blogs today, wonder about what people on the other side of the world are doing, ponder what people might be celebrating other than Christmas and whatever you do, enjoy the generous spirit of the season.
Wishing you a climate-relevant festive season and “Happy Holidays” – only 8 more sleeps to Christmas!