The happiness of this life depends less on what befalls you than the way in which you take it.

~ Elbert Hubbard ~

Christmas Difference

December 24th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 17 secs

Santa kit?

Santa kit?

Snow or shimmering heat, it’s still Christmas. Be it a somber tall conifer or brightly lit eucalypt, it’s Christmas here, there, and pretty much everywhere (wherever and whenever people choose to celebrate it).

I know, if you are from the Northern Hemisphere, it’s hard to get your head around a shimmering heat haze in the air come Christmas Day. And instead of reindeer kids think about flying roos. Well it ought to be odd to thinking of this. But for we Antipodeans, it’s expected. Besides which, we celebrate everything.

That means that when it’s over 40 degrees C (over a hundred in the old measure and then some), we have a hot Christmas meal, complete with Christmas pudding, silver threepences hidden within and goodness knows whatever else served up on the side.

These traditions of place and culture mean a lot to many. But it’s funny when, here in Australia, a whole slew of them don’t make any sense.

We are happy to play cricket on the beach come Christmas Day and have a “feed of prawns” (gross imagery, but you know what I mean). Oh, and for the record, we call shrimps tiny little creatures that look like prawns. While, real prawns are big. Paul Hogan was fibbing because no Aussie would ever toss a shrimp on the barbie. That would be like an American tucking into a solitary Twinkie for lunch.

But that cultural difference is what makes the world interesting and fun and it’s particularly noticeable come Christmas.

My German heritage gets twitchy around Christmas time because, to me, Christmas is a Christmas Eve affair, the next day being secondary. But Australians, like all other English-speaking natives, do the lion’s share of celebrating the next day. Sigh!

Naturally, seafood is popular at Christmas here. People look forward to a seafood feast, and while they are happy to relax with a beer, ice cream, and thongs (flip-flops to the uninitiated – don’t get too excited) you still see images of snow, sleighs and reindeer most everywhere you go.

Confusing? Not really. Just typically Aussie. We don’t mind contradictions at all.

Of course for those folk in lands where Christmas isn’t the tradition, it’s often celebrated just for a bit of fun, and I suppose there’s no harm in that either. After all, celebrating is something most of us don’t do enough.

So whatever your habit at this time of year, relax and enjoy yourself as much as you can. Try not to shoulder all the effort, and treat people well. Because events can be a mixed experience for some and you never can tell.

If Christmas is a faith event for you, then you know what to do. But if not, then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the blessings of family, friends, and helping others where you can.

That is to say, turkey, vegetarian, goose, ham, or prawn, the diversity that we display is also what we share. Whatever your traditions, make it a time to do good, be kind to yourself and others, and look for every opportunity to be thankful. For while Christmas diversity is great and well worth celebrating, keeping your relationships close has got to be one of the best bits.


(But tell me: what do you do at Christmas?)


Comments are closed.