Classic Christmas Images That Make No Sense in Australia (But We Use Them Anyway)
As we discussed last year, Christmas looks very different in the Land Down Under.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t get on board with the Christmas traditions that our convict ancestors brought with them along with environment destroying rabbits. We have plastic Christmas trees, blinking lights and awful music playing in crowded shopping malls. But some of it…it just doesn’t make sense. What must tiny little Australians enjoying their first Christmas Down Under think when they see the following?
This gets the first mention because I saw one down at the community swimming pool today. We were cooling off in defiance of the summer sun and noted the lovely Christmas display they’d put together. It featured, among other things, a snowman carved out of styrofoam.
Clearly this was not intended to be a local house with a snowman standing proudly in the front yard. Because if there was snow here it would last around two minutes. The heat is merciless during summer. But during winter…we still don’t get snow. ‘Brisk’ is the coldest we get. The devil would be skating to work before we got snow in these parts.
Snow in General
Santa is a given. Kids love Santa. Seeing him in a pageant or a shopping Santa is a highlight of any holiday season. And there would often be a snow motif or fake know all over the little hut or sleigh. We really don’t get snow down here.
Santa in the Chimney
The aforementioned display also saw a pair of Santa legs sticking out of the chimney. Do you know what we don’t have a lot of in these parts? Chimneys. Because it is HOT. During the Christmas season it usually hits the 40-45C mark (112F to you Americans) and although some houses do have fireplaces it’s not a standard feature. Most people around here have never lived in a house with a chimney.
Sweaters, Scarves and Socks
The traditional ugly sweater and pair of socks is for some the tackiest of gifts. For some the kookiest, the most ironic and even the most fun. Gaudy and decorated with little bells or felt mistletoe…love it or hate it, it’s always there. We get them here, but we don’t wear them because of heatstroke. They get packed away until mid-year or a hipster party.
I heard some places in Europe and the States will get live reindeer in for their Santa Village of Winter Wonderland. I know what reindeer look like because I see them in Christmas displays and Christmas wrapping paper. Also Sven. But I’ve never seen one in person. Not exactly local.
Cosy Roast Dinners
So the sun outside has turned it up to 11 and the air con is not working (everyone turns theirs up and the power company crashes out). To get a traditional Christmas feast happening we need to crank up the oven and run it for hours on end. No. We’d die.
That said I will stay up during the slightly cooler night hours to make different types of cookies and shortbread because DAMNED if we’re not having that.
I don’t even know what that is. It’s something to do with fireplaces and we don’t do that at Christmas. Because sanity.
Pine Trees and Holly
Pine trees are the traditional Christmas in part because it’s an evergreen. Even in the middle of long, bleak winter it will retain it’s cheery green look. Not even the sturdy pine tree can survive the Australian summer. Our indigenous trees can barely manage it. Still, we get out plastic trees from Target and set them up as a totem to the holiday. Holly features heavily in decorations and whatnot…we sure don’t get that though.
The rest of the holiday season does make sense to us though. I’ve got Benny’s Spaceship from The Lego Movie, a Nerf bow and arrow set and a couple of Anna and Elsa dolls stashed away in the cupboard ready to go under the tree (luckily the kids aren’t old enough to read yet). I’ve ear marked a bunch of new cookie recipes to try out. We’re watching Elf tonight (under-rated) and next week with be Christmas Vacation. We’re ready for a good month even if some of it makes no sense.