I’ve seen a few people reading my blog from America and Russia, so it seemed timely to describe a WA Christmas, as it’s so different to any northern hemisphere Christmas. I grew up in Scotland so my childhood Christmas involved snow ( sometimes), cold and dark, with the excitement of the Christmas lights and trees cut from local forests. Time was spent inside, watching the James Bond movie on television, recovering from roast meats and Christmas pudding.
Western Australia is a little different !
Today was a pleasant 35C, we’d expected closer to 40C so happy with a slightly cooler day. We were at the beach by 7am, swimming in cool, clear water and watching the dolphins play. Food was casual and shared, cherries and strawberries, smoked salmon bagels, flasks of tea and coffee. There’s a tradition to wear ugly Christmas rashies ( sun protection tops) in which friends and I participate every year with glee.
Then a family and friends lunch which lasted 3 hours, using the barbecue to cook the turkey and vegetable side dishes … an Australian speciality, beer can turkey ! Literally, you open a can of beer, put it inside the turkey which is upright, and the liquid bastes the inside of the turkey as it cooks. It was beautiful, amongst the best turkey I have ever eaten.
The differences, other than the weather ? Well, it’s much more relaxed and easy going. Asking anyone you know at work or social to join your family celebration, if they’re on their own, is totally normal. Everyone brings a dish or two, and the food tends to be way more seafood and salad focussed. We still eat too much of course. No one really dresses up unless they want to, shorts and a t shirt are fine.
Santa wears shorts sometimes. I’ve seen this, and his elves are often very pretty and bikini clad!
I might go back to the northern hemisphere sometime for a cold, crisp and snowy Christmas when COVID is finally under control. But in the meantime, I’ll take our laid back easy Christmas.