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