Hello all

I’ve had an Advent hymn going round and round in my head since I came home from church on Sunday night. And yesterday as I was hanging out some washing I was moved by the beautiful sunny day … still not too hot for this time of year in the sub-tropics. I looked up at the glorious blue sky and saw our Poinciana tree with its red blossoms towering over me …  and I felt so peaceful. It was then that I began humming that same hymn again:

“Let there be Peace on Earth … and let it begin with me.”

Our Poiciana tree in bloom.

Our Poinciana tree in bloom.

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? I love its sentiment at this time of year. However, our little granddaughter Madeleine (1) had no peace in her heart when her mother took her and brother Isaac (4) to have a photo taken with Santa. Isaac was as happy as a pig in mud to pose with Santa but Maddie would not have a bar of it.

She screamed so loud you would think she was being murdered! I believe I will soon receive a photo of Isaac and Santa without Madeleine in it. Perhaps next year?

Oh well, it seems that Peace on Earth … Goodwill to Men, doesn’t extend to Santa Claus where Maddie is concerned. And spare a thought for Santa himself all done up in that red and white suit complete with fake beard in our hot Australian climate. There is no peace for Santa in that get-up!

Thank God for air-conditioning or else Santa might just faint from the combination of heat and the European-inspired Santa outfit! Why do we find it so hard to accept that the Santa we know and love, does NOT fit into our Australian Christmas scene?

We want THAT European Santa … and we want the snow too. We want Christmas to be cool so we can enjoy a European hot dinner as well! But we do not have any of these things dear friends. We have heat … we have flies … we have thunder storms and we have cyclones at this time of year.

This is the type of Santa Claus we need here in Australia

This is the type of Santa Claus we need here in Australia

Oh well, perhaps if Santa was done up in red shorts and a floral shirt with thongs (flip-flops) on his feet, he wouldn’t have frightened Maddie so much? She might have embraced this Australian Santa? But, we will never know will we? I don’t think our Santa is going to dress like that any time soon.

Then early this morning, as I was baking shortbread for Christmas (I was avoiding the heat which ruins shortbread: see, another European thing!) I was listening to Kenny Rodgers singing that lovely Christmas song: Christmas Every Day. As I pottered away I listened carefully to the words … perhaps for the first time.

I was a captive audience in the kitchen folks … so of course I listened and I heard that northern hemisphere thing again: “We remember Christmas Day when winter days grow cold” and then “It’s not the bells and it’s not the snow.” It seems I cannot escape this theme!

I was reminded of the screen saver I put on my computer for Christmas. Of course, it was a landscape covered in snow! I felt a little sad that I didn’t have a landscape that was reminiscent of an Australian Christmas.

But do you know what dear friends, as I write this post, I am reminded of Kenny’s song and I realise that there is something that we do share with our Northern Hemisphere folk … and it doesn’t involve heat, flies, cold or even Santa. It involves the coming of the Christ child.

As Kenny sang the song, ‘Christmas Every Day” I saw that the secret is to keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart regardless of snow or heat or flies or cold. Christmas is a time to remember to “Let there be Peace on Earth … and let it begin with me.”

Let’s get rid of any excess ‘stuff’ that takes us off the track from what is really important.

Thank you Kenny for reminding me that the Christmas star shines once a year and then it fades away. But… we should keep the spirit in our heart and it will be like it is Christmas EVERY DAY. You don’t need to have a white Christmas or a hot one either, to do this dear friends.

Therefore, as I close this post, I am reminded to keep my eyes on what is really important during this season of Advent leading to Christmas Day and the birth of the Christ child.

However, this is not going to stop me working on getting an Aussie Santa with a nice floral shirt sitting in our department stores one day in the future!

Meanwhile, enjoy the verses from Christmas Every Day and feel the spirit of the season:

Christmas Every Day

He was born so far away
So the story’s told
We remember Christmas Day
When winter days grow cold

With the time it passes by
We put away the trim
Then we live and wonder why
We can’t remember Him

The Christmas star shines once a year
And then it fades away
Keep the spirit in your heart
It’s Christmas everyday

It’s not the bells and it’s not the snow
And it’s not the gifts we get
But He was born so long ago
It’s easy to forget

Peace on earth, good will too men
But men can’t go alone
We get lost along the way
But He can bring us home

Remember Him throughout the year
Without the star above
He left us all a Christmas gift
He left the gift of love

The Christmas star shines once a year
And then it fades away
Keep the spirit in your heart
And it’s Christmas every day