28 December 2011

Christmas Down Under!

Season’s Greetings from the Land Down Under! I hope that you were all on Santa’s ‘nice list’ and had a great Christmas Day with family and loved ones. 

I thought it would be a good idea to tell you what it is like to experience Christmas here in Australia. Despite the obvious, (the weather) there isn't too much that is different between what Christmas is like in the UK and here in Oz. In fact, unsurprisingly, it is virtually the same!
For example, all the major department stores put up snowy Christmas scenes in their store windows. This includes fake snow in the shop windows, carol singers, a portly Santa and so on. It can be quite surreal to walk into a department store and see these 'winter images' when the temperature is 35C and sweat is dripping from your brow!

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 and 6ft long lizards are the norm! Carol singers will also do the rounds in most 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 Europe to see this.  And yes, they do sing “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” – presumably of the dandruff kind rather than of the snow kind…

When it comes to the 'Big Day' the Christmas Dinner is prepared as it is in the UK. No prizes for guessing what is generally cooked!  Yes it is turkey and vegetables covered in a nice gravy.  However, I should point out that seafood is getting very popular as are barbecues.

Every year, unless we are away visiting relatives, I will roast (or barbeque) a turkey. Now this can be a very trying event.  Especially when it is 40C and you don’t have any air-conditioning!! Trust me it's not a pleasurable experience!  However, on these occasions the amber nectar helps to keep focussed.
Most of you would have seen on the news at some time people celebrating Christmas on Bondi Beach.  It is a favourite thing to do for backpackers from the UK and other parts of the world.  In fact, hardly any Aussies will be there as they will be with their family and friends having a great time.

Boxing Day is a big sporting day too.  In Sydney it’s the start of the Sydney to Hobart boat race.  One of the most perilous yacht races in the world.  However, most sporting tragics will be turning on their televisions to watch the Boxing Day cricket test in Melbourne featuring Australia and a visiting nation.  The MCG will get up to 90,000 spectators for the first day of the test match. Even Manchester United would be envious of a crowd like that!  Naturally, I really enjoyed last year’s Boxing Day test.

Well I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of an Aussie Christmas! Have a great relaxing festive season and a wonderful Blogging New Year!

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