Christmas Down Under

 

Number 16 through St Kilda

I’m not feeling at all Christmassy, I’ve been based in Australia for the past few months launching our Delivery Quote Compare Australian website. So I sat down outside a bar in 38 degree heat looking at the Christmas tree in St Kilda, Melbourne while the bar speakers blasted white Christmas just didn’t ignite the festive mood for me.

Mind you, it’s not all bad, I missed the Christmas party so have saved myself a years’ worth of apologising for drinking too much and breaking the photocopier. I also haven’t had to have the usual hushed family discussions about who is having who over for dinner because we did it last year etc.

Australians do embrace Christmas even with some overlap in traditions, they have turkey but quite often as a cold cut rather than the full roast, and obviously decorations. The Christmas card are more likely to have Santa in a deck chair drinking a schooner than in the snow.

For a couple of years I lived between Holland and Germany. The Germans certainly have their own spin on Santas naughty and nice list with two horrific characters Krampus and Perchta. Krampus will put you in a sack and drag you away if you’re bad, however Perchta will slaughter and gut naughty children! I don’t think either of these two have a grotto at the local mall.

In Holland they celebrate Christmas throughout December with Sinterclauss arriving by boat on December 5th with his “helper” Zwartepiet or Black Peter. I won’t put a picture of this one up and each year there are protests over its possibly racist nature of the character.

Lots of countries have their own spin on the season, in Norway they hide all the brooms as Christmas is when the witches arrive and in Japan the festive dish is KFC. Really KFC, the Japanese often have to book their festive bucket meal months in advance and queues can be hours long on Christmas eve.

Of course, the British aren’t immune to weird Christmas celebrations just look at the odd bunch who go swimming in the Serpentine in freezing conditions.

I’m coming home for Christmas and I’m sure will get in the mood, I’ll certainly be hanging a stocking and leaving Santa a chilled Gin and tonic with some crackers and cheese…..

 

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