As the temperature heats up we start to see decorations of snow and men in oversized red coats. Every time you walk past Santa you think, You poor bastard, wrapped up like a sore toe, totally covered in a heavy fleece and hat, in Australia’s hottest period. But this isn’t the only crazy tradition we seem to celebrate here in Australia, a hangover from Christmas with our colder sisters.
I was originally a country boy/girl, growing up in central Queensland, though when I say country kid I really mean bush kid. We didn’t have a front lawn often -“ mostly it consisted of either burrs or dirt. And when our family did actually get a lawn happening, God help you if you went anywhere near it.
In the country you are very attuned to your environment. We were never allowed to have a candle for Carols by Candlelight. I can still hear my mother’s stern words as we begged her for a cheap candle, so as not to be the only candle-less kids.
Quite obviously whoever decided on this candle crap never had to put out a bushfire. Open flames in the driest seasons -“ ridiculous! So we were sent off to share someone else’s candle, one that was given out by what mum termed irresponsible parents. Mind you, first chance to spark up a barbecue there was no hesitation. I never really understood that.
On Christmas Day my mother would always have salad lunches and cold foods, whereas my grandmother just loved the fuss of cooking hot traditional lunches in the 40-degree heat.
We’d be all sweating it out inside the house, a cast of thousands, crammed around every table our family could muster. The whole time we would have mum muttering under her breath, Your grandmother is bloody crazy.
We were served ham, roasts, vegetables and trifle, all washed down with an overly sweet raw egg concoction of eggnog. Once the feast was finished there was a quick break and then we’d start again. Amazingly everything still stayed as hot if not hotter than originally intended.
Ridiculous as it seems, those sweaty Christmas times still bring a smile to my face, with a 5am start for unwrapping of presents and then basically eating for a 36-hour period, usually with some sort of argument erupting along the way but all cleared up by the next meal.
With only a little over 10 days till Christmas, I’m sure Christmas plans are in full force. You will probably see me on North Bondi with my close mates, perving at sexy boys. I have been asking Santa for years to put a sexy boy in my stocking but I mustn’t have been good enough to receive one yet. Hopefully this year I have.