I'm feeling the need for a Christmas Eve post, mostly because Everyone Else is Doing It, and you know how I like to follow the crowd. Anyway, I haven't posted in over a month, so I feel a bit guilty about that. Honestly, I've been a bit depressed and just haven't had the enthusiasm. That isn't a bid for advice or attention, just an explanation. But I'm in a better mood now and I have some ideas to make my life a bit more interesting and pull me out of my funk.
Anyway, I thought I'd talk a little bit about Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, since everyone seems to ask about it. What I miss most has nothing to do with Australia; it's having family close enough to spend time with. My friends have been great about picking up the slack though, and we're planning on a Christmas lunch with our friend David this year.
How is Christmas different here? Mainly, it's hot, and in my experience, it's been humid. This makes the massive dinner less appealing. There are more barbecues and lunches, and people will go to the beach, but overall, it's kind of the same. There's still the lights and the trees and the Santas, all of which seem out of place in 25 (80) degree weather and under bright sunshine. As I learned in Alaska, the lights do so much to brighten those dark days of winter, and although the lights here are very festive, it's just not the same effect. Also, there's Christmas pudding, which is a glorified version of fruitcake. The Aussies have some lovely desserts, but this is not one of them. I'd rather have a Christmas pavlova any day.
December 26th is Boxing Day, which is also a holiday here. I used to think Boxing Day was named that because there was a big boxing match, but apparently it comes from Ye Olde England, when people used to box up their leftovers for the poor people. Nowadays, Boxing Day is the day all the shoppers hit the big sales, and the sports enthusiasts watch the big Boxing Day cricket test match (the test matches are the 5-day long cricket games). I have some interest in the Boxing Day match and I will try to sneak a peek on my break at work, but the fact that I'm not really sure who's playing shows that I'm still an American at heart. Still, it will be more fun to watch that than the weird foreign films the t.v. channels seem fond of playing around lunch time.
So that's it for Christmas. I'm looking forward to posting a year end/beginning post in another week or so. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and for those who don't, I hope you at least have a lovely few days off!