I am not sure how many of you know I am from Australia but I moved to the US to be with my darling S. It was a big decision to make but one I thought well worth effort. He has a lot of family and I brought mine with me. I just didn’t have the roots there that he does here.
There is the time difference, twelve hours to be exact unless it is daylight saving. There is also the seasonal difference.
My Christmases were spent in a bikini, a sarong and sandals. Where S. had a roast dinner for Christmas lunch I would have a BBQ or seafood.
Then there is the magic of snow. Oh how I dreamed of this fluffy white stuff, snow ball fights, building a fort, snow angels. Oh I really loved the idea of snow angels. What I learned was SNOW IS BLOODY COLD! Oh did I mention it is wet too? When you make snow angels the cold stuff gets down the back of your pants!!!!!!
Now the other thing is COLD. Now did I mention COLD? I am an Aussie that hates a fortnight of temperatures over 100 degrees which we get most February’s down-under. I end up feeling like a damp noodle. If it is a humid heat then I am feeling terrible. So I was looking forward to a cold climate. Now I can hear you all giggling, I had no fucking idea what cold meant. Sorry, but the F bomb is merited. Now picture this, me outside, in snow lots and lots of snow. Now see me getting dressed to go out in 2 pairs of socks, boots, leggings, jeans, singlet, T shirt, jumper, jacket, and finally my overcoat. Oh and hat, gloves plus a scarf. So now I look like a vertical Goodyear Blimp. I then present myself to S. by the front door and he checks me out and takes away anything I don’t need and tells me to go find something I do. My cool clothes have long since gone, replaced by functional, sensible clothing.
I can remember all the warnings S. gave me. Knowing exactly how I saw snow as romantic. When I said I want to make snow angels he laughed and said I will watch you from the window. When I said I wanted to build a snow man he said good you can use him as a target for all your snowballs. I thought he was a stick in the mud, he thought I was crazy. We sorted it all out He wasn’t and I was.
Now back to the subject of the silly season. First of all, to you people out there with different religions that don’t celebrate Christmas, I send you luck and love and also to say I’m sorry because this Christmas Season is all around the place and there is no way to get away from it. May peace and love touch your hearts.
Christmas here is wonderful because we can cook the whole shebang. Turkey (Aussie thing), ham (American, thing, Aussie too) with all the trimmings. In the kitchen we don’t melt in temperatures around 100 degrees. We can even roast chestnuts on an open fire if we want. We can sing ‘Dreaming of a White Christmas’ and mean it.
When in Australia we never did the church thing but here in America it is a pretty big deal. I love to go to church at Christmas because I don’t want it to just be about presents and food. It begins with why we celebrate the day. I kind of like this.
In Australia we got into the champagne breakfasts, swimming in the pool, making salad, preparing a BBQ, stressing about presents. ‘Will my gay friend love the pink shirt I bought him?’ Drink more, lots more, graze on snacks and get more and more stressed. When the day is over I feel I need three days of sleep. I really disliked Christmas down under.
Up here in the northern Hemisphere I feel part of a family and so much more relaxed. Christmas is now a time of peace and goodwill. It is time for family and laughter. It has nothing to do with making the best meal of the season it is time for everyone to muck in. We sit around the table with candles with flames flickering. After the late lunch we sit around the tree and open presents. We laugh, we kiss each giver and delight with every package we unwrap. There is time for a nap after all of that if you need one but the kids make the day far too good to nap. To me and also S. this is a time for children to enjoy themselves. Perhaps we spoil them a little but that is part of the day. Oh did I mention crazy ugly Christmas sweaters?
The thing you won’t see is booze. We never have it in the house at all and to be truthful I never miss it.
No matter where you are, whatever your circumstances we would like to wish you all the best for the coming season. May your family be happy and healthy. Please be safe and don’t drink and drive.
S. and k