18 November 2007

Is it Christmas already?

"It is quite surreal to walk into a department store and see these 'winter images' ... Try cooking a roast turkey with all the trimmings when the mercury is nudging 40C! It's not a pleasurable experience at all!"

This morning I took my two daughters to the local supermarket as we had to pick up a few odds and ends. Although it is our local supermarket I had not visited it for a few weeks. Partly because I had been overseas, and partly because, well, I hadn't!

Anyway, as I walked into the store, straight away my eldest spotted some Christmas candy sticks (sort of striped walking sticks - but obviously not on the same scale!). Immediately she said 'Dad, I think we should get some for Christmas". My reply was "not today, Christmas is many weeks away yet."

When we got home, I realised that Christmas is not a long way off at all but only five weeks away. My second realisation was that I need to start seriously thinking about the family Christmas - but this thought soon passed.

The subject of an impending Christmas gave me an idea for a blog. The main reason being that I didn't have anything else to currently write about. Even though I do not seem to suffer from bloggers cramp, akin to writers cramp, I had not come up with any topics. So I thought it would be good to describe an Aussie Christmas compared to an English Christmas.

Despite the obvious, ie: the weather, there isn't too much difference between both Christmases. In fact, aside from differing religious views at this time of year, it's exactly the same! Now I know you are thinking this cannot be the case - but it is! I have the evidence to support my views on this as well.

For example, all the major department stores put up snowy Christmas scenes in their store windows. The fake snow, carol singers, a portly Santa and so on. Exactly the same as in England! It is quite surreal to walk into a department store and see these 'winter images' when the temperature is 30C!

All around Australia, major cities and towns will erect Christmas trees decorated with baubles, angels and tinsel etc. I have to admit that this can look strange when you are in the tropical part of Australia where palm trees are the norm! Around the base of the trees you will mostly find a scene from the birth of Christ, or a winter type theme.

Carol singers will do the rounds in some parts of the country. However, these ones will not be rugged up against the winter cold, but will be wearing a t-shirt, shorts and thongs (flip flops). It can be slightly amusing to new migrants from Northern Europe to see this.

When it comes to the 'Big Day', assuming that you have been a good boy or girl and had some pressies, the Christmas Dinner is prepared. No prizes for guessing what is cooked!

One recent Christmas I thought I would cook a turkey with roast potatoes, veggies etc and cover it with a nice gravy sauce (yummy). Well there was one thing I totally overlooked, and that was the weather! Try cooking a roast turkey with all the trimmings when the mercury is nudging 40C! It's not a pleasurable experience at all! I have to admit the food was nice, but the amount of sweat dripping down our foreheads was unbelievable!

Most British people will see on their news programmes that at Christmas there are lots of people celebrating on Bondi Beach! Well, I have to advise you that the vast majority of these are backpackers from Britain and other countries around the world. The typical Aussie will be at a family gathering somewhere eating turkey while drinking a nice cold glass of beer or wine.

As you can see from the from the few points above there are huge parallels between England and Australia where Christmas is concerned.

Well, I am off now to make a list of Christmas presents....

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