My favourite Christmas song is Bing Crosby's White Christmas.
Every December, I play it over and over which is a little 'delusional' given that I live in Australia where it's summer and Christmas Days are always warm.
I haven't let a lack of snow get in the way of living the dream. Snow is just a small detail that can be overcome......with white sand.
Strangely, Bing's dulcet tones don't seem to have the same effect on my neighbours, friends and family. In fact, he seems to make them lose that loving Christmas feeling. I don't have a problem listening to Bing 400 times a day so why should they? By the time the 25th rolls around we've all probably heard White Christmas close to 10,000 times. Hardly excessive is it?
This year, White is part of my Christmas theme. Yes, you read that right. I colour co-ordinate most things in my life, even Christmas. Clothes, food, decorations.... I'm kind of peculiar like that. Most people cannot understand my need to do this. It's just me. I'm not sure that this is the kind of White Christmas Bing was intending either but....inspiration comes how it comes. We're all different.
So over the weekend I was busy creating....after all, I had some serious catching up to do. There wasn't a hint of tinsel, glitter or razzmatazz in sight.
These pictures are a glimpse of my White Christmas efforts. After my redistribution mishap with the glass doors, I can safely tell you that I've bounced back. In fact, after my baking weekend, with its obligatory taste testing, I have bounced further than I had hoped and I now resemble a Christmas bauble. Probably another session with some glass doors, post Christmas, may be in order. Just click on the picture if you want to see a bigger version. No, not of my new shape, I mean my Christmas efforts.
1. Getting into the Christmas spirit.....finally. Caught in mid song ...well you know what I would have been singing while decorating the tree 2. The Angel that sits on top of the Christmas Tree 3. I collect one, and only one decoration each year which means I have 25 in total from all round the world (that number could possibly be stretching the truth considerably). I only collect white, silver, gold or crystal decorations. The only exception to this is the family name baubles. There is a bauble for each family member with their name on it (even those no longer with us like grandparents). 4. Christmas tree - I have used a combination of real, and 'fake' green and white trees through the years. I love the big Blue Spruce tree which is outside, the best. 5. Presents are wrapped in the same theme of white, silver and gold. 6 My baking, a Coconut Cake 7. A small fruit cake. 8.9. 10. Gingerbread biscuits in many different shapes 11. Cupcakes iced in white with a white rose. 12. Meringues 13. Snowman (he is deadly, the ingredients are to die for). 14. Snowman family 15. Rum balls 16. White Christmas 17. Chocolate covered sultanas and nuts 18. White chocolates 19.Marshmallows 20. Candlelight, silver and crystals everywhere.
So what are our Christmases like in Australia then? Just the same as yours I expect. With different weather.
Up until about 30 years ago our celebrations were heavily influenced by our original Anglo-Celtic influences. The English style of Christmas served as our model for celebrating Christmas.......right down to the traditional roast turkey and steamed pudding in over 35 degree (centigrade) heat. Common sense is prevailing today in terms of weather. Traditional dinners have been replaced with family gatherings in back yards, picnics in parks, gardens and on the beach. Our typical Christmas menu could include seafood, glazed ham, cold chicken, duck or turkey, BBQ meats, cold deli meats, pasta, salads galore, desserts of all types, fruit salad, pavlovas, ice-cream plus Christmas edibles of all varieties such as mince pies, fruit cake, shortbread, chocolates, coconut ice etc.
Christmas Eve for me will involve Christmas Carols and then attending mid-night Mass with family. Christmas Day will involve a long lazy breakfast, gift giving, then a mad scramble to call my sister and her family and various friends who live overseas. Then we will have a big family seafood and champagne lunch outdoors which somehow will extend, after a bit of rest and backyard cricket, into a BBQ dinner and more of everything. Simple and relaxed. Jingle all the way!
I have spent Christmases in other countries and have experienced a white Christmas but to me, it's the people you spend the holiday season with and being at peace (with yourself, others and the world at large) that are important and that really define Christmas Spirit.
I sincerely wish everyone the happiest of holidays and I will see you in the New Year. Des sends his best wishes to you too. He is busy counting his presents under the Christmas Tree apparently .
Go on, have a listen to Bing, I know you really want to.........
Update: Some really exciting news is that a friend of Rhondas just arrived moments ago from Canada to spend Christmas with us in Australia before he heads off to see Betty in Paraguay in the New Year. It's like a bloggers tour!!