white christmas

Day 356 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

As I write today I can see that FINISH line up ahead folks. I am now approaching the last ten days of writing on this blog and I can hardly believe that I have written every day for 356 days … so far. But, enough of that already.

Christmas is drawing near – with “only four more sleeps to go” as the children say – I am very busy but not too busy to continue to write every day so here I am! Today in the heat “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” as Bing Crosby sang so nicely in the 1954 movie “White Christmas.”

How I loved that movie! In fact, when I first saw it as a child, I longed to be able to experience a white Christmas of my own. However, as I lived in a sub-tropical climate in Australia, it was NEVER going to happen … but it never stopped me dreaming of it through the years.

One day, I told myself,  I would go to Europe or America during the Christmas season and have a real white Christmas! So far, it hasn’t happened but there is still time. I do believe though, that those of us who live in the Southern Hemisphere and experience heat at Christmas time, long to have at least one white Christmas in our lifetime.

This is a sand man not a snow man!

This is a sand man not a snow man!

In fact, people actively talk about it, buy cards with snow on them, put snowflakes on their Christmas trees and look longingly at the snow pictures they see online as they try in vain to keep cool during the hottest part of our whole year. We long for the beach in a desire to cool down and in fact, a lot of Australians do go on holidays to the beach after Christmas for this very reason.

This is the time when schools are shut down for six weeks because the school year is over. Most trade and manufacturing businesses shut down also, as it is just too hot to work during this time of year. It is the complete opposite to the Northern Hemisphere when holidays tend to take place in the middle of the year.

But folks, as I said before, we still dream of  having “A White Christmas” one day. People who emigrate to this country from the other side of the world say they never quite get used to being hot at Christmas time or to the food we eat here. Some people eat everything cold on Christmas Day like prawns, cold chicken and salads but really, it just doesn’t cut the mustard with my family.

We still like to have some hot food (and cold prawns too) with salads thrown in because baked vegetables are just too much when you are hot. I will give you a run-down on what we eat here in Australia at Christmas on a later blog but suffice it to say here, it’s too hot to have a roast meal!

So now, getting back to the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”, I want to give you some details. White Christmas is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting . According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.

And so through the years from about 1940, an awful lot of very well-known singers have recorded White Christmas, including Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Elvis Presley and in more recent times, Bette Midler and Michael Bublé, Taylor Swift, Boy George and in this current year Rod Steward and the Glee cast also recorded it.  The whole world loves the song “White Christmas!”

the Christmas tree in Brisbane city.

the Christmas tree in Brisbane city.

But not to be outdone by the Northern Hemisphere, I found a Brisbane web-site giving us ideas for a White Christmas in Brisbane. I mean … really? www.seebrisbane.com.au/have-a-white-christmas-in-brisbane

“Although Australian doesn’t have snow like its northern cousins, it is still possible to enjoy a white Christmas – with sand! There are many places you can visit and lots to do over this Christmas period in Brisbane.”

There were suggestions like: “head to the Gold Coast for a beach day; take the kids to see the Brisbane City Christmas Tree” and this one seemed interesting: “race along to Winter Wonderland at Eagle Farm Races”. The blurb says:

“Looking for a European Christmas? The Winter Wonderland races on December 8 are the perfect solution. The Brisbane Racing Club hosts this annual event, featuring Alpine ski lodges, mock open fireplaces, Christmas stalls and much more. Sit down with a bit of roast beef and enjoy the horse races along with live music and have the traditional Christmas you want without flying halfway across the world!”

christmas in julyHow funny is that? I live here and had no idea that a racing club hosts such an event. See, you can get your “pretend White Christmas” just by going along to the races but there is another way also. In recent years, a lot of hotels and restaurants are having what we call here “Christmas in July” during our winter and it actually does snow in some parts of Australia at that time (but never in Brisbane).

I have not attended a Christmas in July event, but all the food that belongs to a European Christmas is served up … complete with mulled wine and all the things that warm you up. It is a compromise of sorts for those people especially, who still miss “home” when Christmas comes along and they battle the heat. At least it is one way of experiencing a cold Christmas with a hot feast.

In the meantime folks, let’s just hope for cooler weather next week for Christmas Day and not a heat wave as is often predicted. And because I have been born and bred in Australia, I simply cannot imagine what Christmas would be like without the heat but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to experience it JUST ONCE in my lifetime …