Friday, July 09, 2010

Christmas In July

I promise after today I'll stop gushing about winter. It seems many of my blog posts these last few weeks have focused on the glories of this season. How could I not, when we have enjoyed/endured (take your pick) one of Australia's longest cold snaps in years? 

This month, many Aussies who yearn for a Northern Style Christmas, will gather to celebrate Christmas in July. Together with all the usual Christmas fare, bonbons and eggnog, we get to shiver our way out of coats and toast ourselves by the fire while we wait for the cook to call us to the table. 

This tradition is thought to have begun when a group of Irish tourists took a holiday in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney in July of 1980. Overjoyed at the sight of snow during their own Irish summer, they convinced a local hotel owner to hold a 'Yulefest' party. The concept fired up the imaginations of others who instantly fell in love with the idea of a White Christmas in Australia. The proprietor knew he was on a winner and jumped at the chance to make this an annual event. 

Fast forward 30 years, and Christmas in July has become a well known Aussie celebration. Restaurants, clubs and churches cater to those who yearn for a full Christmas dinner in winter. Perhaps these Yuletide diners like to revisit their childhood days in 'the mother country'. Maybe, they sweltered through Christmas last December with BBQ'd shrimp, cold salads and sorbet, and hunger for roast turkey and plum pudding. 

They may even be like my little friend Emily, who I suspect has a few favorite Christmas movies. Her mum Lillian, posted the following Facebook status this week, and is the Ink Dots Facebook Friday winner for the week.

Lilian (at the snow) - "Ohh look Emily it's snow!
Emily - "ohhh.... is it Christmas time already?" 

That is pretty cute, but.... no Emily, it's not Christmas. Winter is a celebration all it's own but sometimes we can pretend. While some may say Christmas in July is a mockery of our Lord Jesus' birth, the precise date is unknown and worthy of celebration anytime we choose. So go ahead, catch a snowflake on your tongue. Join in with the carolers and smell the gingerbread. It's never too early or too late to falalalala, la la la la.

Ask my other friend Paula from the US. She wrote the runner up status of the week, and I think she secretly wishes she were in Australia this winter too.

Paula - curled up in my fuzzy blanket. had two cups of tea. thinking about baking. loving feeling like December in July.