Monday, November 26, 2007

Lead up to Christmas

I'd love to experience a beautiful, cosy winter Christmas one year. It's totally different for us but just as lovely in its own way I suppose. A bit weird at times. For example, I was getting into the Christmas spirit with my Amy Grant Christmas album. Singing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire and building snow men in the meadow while there's a blistering heat wave outside. All the shops buy into this madness. Fake snow spray is sprayed over windows everywhere. Sometimes I wish it'd make us feel cooler while we're shopping. We have our share of Christmas cards with the traditional winter snow scenes, although there are more Aussie ones available too.

Here are some of the annual highlights of our Christmas.
1) Pageants. The Adelaide Christmas Pageant is said to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. I'm not sure if that's still the case, but it's magnificent, with hundreds of floats that all have their own themes. There is always a pageant queen, with a retinue of fairies. Two little girls get to ride the horses, Nipper and Nimble. Whenever we don't go into the city to see it, as it's often hard to find a park and then easy to get lost in the crowd, we watch it on TV with the bonus of the commentary. At the end of the procession, Santa Claus always arrives, dressed in his full regalia. Once, a couple of years ago during a very hot pageant, the poor guy had a fainting spell.

When I was little, there was only the Adelaide Pageant, but over the last decade there have been increasingly more and more local pageants happening in the suburbs. Emma is going to be involved in our church float, dressed as an angel, along with other children. That'll be this Friday night. Then there'll be another one, in our own town, on Saturday morning. It's a great chance for local businesses to let their hair down, get dressed up and give themselves a bit of free advertising.

2) Attending beaches and swimming pools after finishing a year of study are always popular pastimes.

3) It's always great to go at least once to the movies, where it's cool and dark to get out of the heat.

4) We enjoy driving around to see people's electric light displays at night. One local town, Lobethal, has such huge displays on most of their homes that tour buses drive up from the city just to see it. Blake still remembers and chats about last years light displays, when he was still only 2, so it must've made a lovely impression. One street around the corner from us is always very well decorated and lit, so I'm grateful to them for the display. I might even post thank-you letters in a few of their letter boxes this year.

5) "Carols By Candlelight" are popular in all the suburbs. Ours is held in the local part one night in December, with guest artists and vending stalls. Once again, the Adelaide one in Elder Park by the River Torrens is the biggest. These nights are always very pretty when the sun sets and then thousands of little flames of light appear all over the park.

6) This year, there's going to be a German festival in our nearby town of Hahndorf, which was settled by the Germans. Saint Nicholas will be arriving, and there'll be displays of dollshouses and trees and gingerbread houses. Emma & I are looking forward to that one.

7) Traditional Christmas roast turkey and plum pudding is still a favourite on Christmas Day. But cold Christmas ham and salads are just as popular, especially in the evening.

8) Every year, the Adelaide Brewery sets up such a wonderful display of Christmas attractions on their back lawn that people set up food and drink stalls and sideshows just to get in with the crowds. Shows how much money the Brewery makes each year. Last year, some years trespassed over the fence very late at night and stole baby Jesus from the Nativity feature! Although they were caught on film doing it, he was never recovered and they had to produce a new one.

9) Christmas Day itself is always very tiring for us. After church we whiz off to either my family or Andrew's family party, then go to the other side's party in the evening, and we try to alternate lunch and dinner each year. This gets exhausting, kids get tired and grouchy, and I'd like to think of a different system, but it's hard to change a tradition that's been set like concrete since before we were even married.

I'd love to post some Christmas card O/S this year, so if you'd like to receive one from me and I haven't got your postal address, please give me an email! I guess late November is late enough to think of details like this.

God Bless,


  1. Well Paula, if you ever want to spend Christmas in the rain, you are certainly welcome to stay with us! We'd love to have you :-)

  2. oy!!
    I can't believe it's coming so quickly!!
    It's raining here right now. Cold and dreary. I'm no where near finished with my shopping...though I can't imagine what it might be like to shop with fake snow on the shop windows. :-)

  3. I wish we still lived in Minnesota so you could enjoy a virtual "white Christmas" via the internet. But if you came to visit now, you'd probably just have a "wet Christmas".

    Thanks for sharing about celebrating Christmas "Down Under". Other than the weather, it doesn't sound much different than Christmas north of the equator.

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  5. They think THEY'VE got rain!! Well, o.k., so our friends coffee mom and leingangs share the same storm front as I do - I can't make it sound worse than it is, can I?!! Actually, it snowed here all morning but turned to hail/sleet/etc. I just finished ordering online for my out-of-state family gifts - it was madness but now it's done.

    Your Christmas sounds like fun though I can imagine how tiring Christmas Day would be, running around like that. Hopefully, all the fun things you get to do before Christmas help make the actual day go better.

    It's so strange to think of being really hot at Christmas. December was usually warm where I grew up but not like summer. I remember always wishing it was cold enough to wear a Christmas sweater. Not anymore!! Now I'm wishing I had thicker skin!

    Enjoy your December - may the Lord send a breath of cool air your way soon!


    P.S. I enjoyed your last post about your elections. I actually heard a little about your elections a few weeks ago. I know it's a three party system, but I couldn't remember what the third party was. Chad also likes to follow any election going on here. We have a major one next year, I pity the one who wins!

  6. Hi Paula!

    Sounds like you are even hotter then us! We do get some slightly cooler weather in December.

    Thanks for sharing your life!
    Please post pictures of your little angel? Have fun at the parade!

  7. It's already snowed here three times! Brrr! Send me a warm current of air!
    My family was very excited to receive their first ever Aussie Christmas card! I love it! Yours is on the way. I was upset that I had to use one of my older designs because I lost the design I had made for this year right after I inked it in! Must be a side effect of turning 39...
    Anyway, I wanted to be sure my Australia card reached you in time, so it's in the mail, old design but one of my favorites. Hope you like it!
    Peace and Laughter,