One of the major factors in our Aussie Christmas season is the weather -if it is not bringing fire or floods it is most probably hot. Some people ignore the heat, and continue the northern hemisphere traditions of hot roasts and gravy and pudding. Often we sing carols from the other side of the world -about snow and frost.
When I found myself, as a young wife, away from the family traditions, DH and I decided we didn't care for all that food, and instead started experimenting with our own Christmas traditions. We have most often had seafood, salad and fruit, with a generous glass of champagne-style Aussie wine. We focus on what is in season and most often we sit outside on the patio to eat. Wherever possible we recognise that we are celebrating Christmas the Aussie way. That means we put up the tree and have an Advent Wreath, but I have to keep the candles in the fridge and have enough to replace them should they melt. We sing carols outdoors -my choir is going to sing at the beach this evening.
So far, the weather forecast is, after a hot Christmas eve, we will be a comfortable 32 C maximum for Christmas Day.
The garden will, so long as I can keep a few things alive in the heat, provide us with tomatoes and basil, lettuce and chillis, oregano and lemons and parsley and mint. I am turning to my favourite recipe books from the Mediterranean regions for inspiration. We are planning a low-key celebration on Christmas Eve with just the three of us who live in this house, because the next day my son and daughter in law are hosting Christmas lunch at their place in Ellenbrook. They are relishing the fact that this year, they are not working on Christmas Day! No need to rush anywhere, no need to drag the kids away from their toys. We are just going to have everyone's favourite foods served buffet style -no need to nag the kids to eat, or make anyone feel uncomfortable.
In the past, we have been away from each other on Christmas Day and often for months each side of it. This year has, despite all the problems, been a blessing because we are just 30 minutes apart. We are enjoying all the sharing of our lives and celebrations.
(I have added a very simple Nutella Mousse recipe to the "From My Kitchen" page - it is so easy and yet so, so nice! You might find it just the thing for a no-stress treat during the festive season this year).
Many people are having a very strange Christmas, and will be feeling a bit at a loss this year, due to COVID 19 restrictions. Parts of Australia are now back in lockdown and that is sad. Some will be alone, and that will be quite a challenge. I am wishing all of you, no matter where you are or who you are with, a day in which any sadness and loss can be met with some conversations by technology with those who are dear to you. I hope you can remember that the first Christmas was also a difficult time for Joseph and Mary and their baby, far away from support networks and homeless. They were able to support each other and find their way through it, and I hope you do, too.
Is your Christmas going to be the same this year, or very different?