Monday, December 03, 2007

2007 Blog Tour - Day 3

Today you have not one, but two stops on the Advent Blog Tour. The first is at Lady Tink's blog, and the other is right here!

When I lived overseas, one of the things that amazed most people was the thought of having a hot Christmas. One thing that can be a little different is the food. My mother never cooked a hot Christmas lunch. The first time I ever had roast turkey was when I lived in England and had to cook it for ten people! Of course, now that it is other people who are doing the cooking she is more than happy to eat a hot lunch! One of the great things about Christmas lunch in Australia is that there is inevitably some seafood somewhere on the menu! Yum!

For me, it is of course normal to have a summer Christmas, but lots of people would ask if we spent Christmas at the beach. I can safely say that I have never spent all day Christmas Day at the beach. I have been down there at sunset on Christmas Eve with friends, which is always pleasant, but not during the whole day. Besides, how would your turkey taste if it was chocful of sand! Having said that, we do quite regularly end up in the pool on Christmas Day, which is great, especially when it's hot! One of the big advantages of having Christmas in the Australian summer is that you get to do lots of great outside activities. I spent my teenage years heavily involved in Salvation Army activities, so we used to go Christmas carolling around the streets, ending up at one of the church member's houses for a swim and a barbie!

That long introduction was leading up to me talking about something that is an Aussie tradition - Carols by Candlelight. Each of the major cities has a Carols by Candlelight service, with the ones from Sydney and Melbourne being televised across the country. Thousands and thousands of people crowd into a major park, bringing blankets, food, champers, and good company and spend the late afternoon waiting for it to start to get dark enough to start the carol service and most importantly, to light the candles, and at the end of the night....fireworks! Lots of famous singers participate (as well a few celebrities who would like to think that they can sing), the audience sings along, all the while helping to raise funds for some major charities.

However, even more fun are the local services that are held all over the suburbs. They can vary in size between really small, and quite large events depending on the area. One of the ones in my area is held at Werribee Mansion. The gardens become a huge picnic ground for several thousand people. The ice cream van does a brisk business, Santa inevitably makes an appearance and everyone goes home full of Christmas cheer. It is a perfect event for families to get together and spend some time together, although you do need to ensure that you remember the sunscreen and the insect repellent!

There were so many videos up on Youtube that I struggled to know which ones to choose, but in the end I have gone with Jessica Mauboy (runner up in Australian Idol last year) singing one more traditional carol, and a poppy Christmas song.

In closing,this is a fun sitewhere you can make yourself into an elf. It takes a while to load, but it's fun once you get it! So from my son and I, Merry Christmas!

Click here to Elf Yourself


  1. I have never been anywhere warm during Christmas (okay sometimes it gets up to 8-10 degrees Celcius but that's not short and t-shirt weather) so the idea hits me funny.

    For us it's about cutting yourself off from anyone but family and holing yourself up with gifts and food. I have heard that other families will go to the movies on Christmas day but I learned young that for my family it was all about family. Kind of explains those movies where the families are all pinned in a house together.

    That Mansion is beautiful and it sounds like you have a wonderful day planned. Swimming sounds like Heaven!


  2. It's very hard to imagine a hot Christmas but I love reading how you do it. Merry Christmas!

  3. I have Stephanie from The Written Word in for the 15th

  4. Carols by candlelight, now that sounds wonderful!

    My boyfriend is Brazilian, so for him Christmas was always in the summertime too. He's used to it, but for me the idea sounds so strange. Anyway, like you, he has never spent Christmas at the beach.

    In Portugal it's cold at this time of the year, but the Christmas menu includes seafood too. Some families have octopus, but mine always has codfish.

    Thanks for that link to Ekf Yourself! A friend had sent it to me last Christmas, but I'd forgotten all about it in the meantime.

    Merry Christmas! :)

  5. Carols by Candlelight sounds so wonderful! I'm all about music and singing - my choir concert is this Wednesday - so I found the Australian carol custom so moving, really. Thanks for introducing me to Jessica Mauboy - she's great!

  6. Thanks for mentioning me here! Hope you have a Merry Christmas even if you do get to be warm doing it! :)

  7. Marg~How old is this little girl? She's very cute. I liked the second one best.

  8. Nymeth, seafood for us could be fish, but for our family it inevitably means prawns!

    Lisabea, I think she turned 18 this year. Or maybe 17, but she's not very old either way!

  9. I've certainly had my share of warm Christmases, but for me, living in the midwest of the U.S., that means 60 degree temps. I much prefer cold snowy Christmases as that is what I grew up with. However, if I lived in a warm climate it certainly wouldn't stop me from celebrating and I'd probably be in the pool as well! :)

    And being a seafood lover, if seafood was on the Christmas menu I would be one happy camper!

  10. I've has some relatively hot summers in sicily and last year in tuscany was so warm and lovely that I went to the beach on the 25th and was only wearing a t-shirt!!! Miracles of global warming...

    And we also have seafood for xmas lunch, usually spaghetti with vongole (seashells) prawns and mussels...yummy!!

  11. I think I could easily get used to a hot Christmas. We've had a green Christmas the last few years, and it didn't bother me at all. Looks whilte this year though.
    All I know about Australian Christmases I learned from the Wiggles!

    And seafood chowder or lobster are very common Christmas Eve food around here.
    Merry Christmas!

  12. When I was young, I would read this book put out by UNICEF about celebrations from around the world. My favorite -- by far -- was the Australian Christmas. I've often wondered what it'd be like to have Christmas in the summer. It sounds wonderful! Merry Christmas.

  13. Thanks for sharing your Australian Christmas traditions!

  14. I grew up in Indonesia (practically next door to Australia), so a warm Christmas seems totally normal to me. What's up with all this cold weather we have this time of year in the States? *g*

    The carolling sounds lovely!

  15. Living in California in the U.S. sometimes means a sunny and warm Christmas. :-) Usually it's not so warm, but compared to other parts of the U.S., I imagine it is. Of course, it's still winter here then, whereas you are in the beginning of summer.

    I love the idea of Carols by Candlelight! That sounds like such great fun. I wish we had a tradition like that here.

  16. Love the idea of Carols by Candlelight and the fact that it is such a widespread event.

  17. Interesting tidbit about Christmas in Australia. It warm here at the moment even when it Christmas season....

    I love Christmas caroling, and it fun singing a song when ever I'm with family or friends :)

    I hope you have good Christmas season. I enjoy reading your Blog Tour and can't wait to read other participates Blog Tour :)



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