Hanging off the end of the world down here, our forefathers ashamedly denied the reality of their own landscape representing Christmas by snowflakes, and holly, by robin red-breasts and log fires and insisting that Christmas dinner be served at noon with a roast and three veg, followed by treacle pudding (hiding thruppences) drowned in a lumpy hot custard. However, it is futile dreaming of a white Christmas or sleighing in a winter wonderland when outside the weather is 40C and sweltering.
Whether caused by cultural cringe or cultural imperialism, the Twelve Days of a Sydney Christmas endeavoured to show that the old ways have changed. We no longer hark back to days of yore, nor do we ape customs and traditions that belong to others. We live in the Southern Hemisphere. Our Christmas is celebrated in summer.
Welcome to one way we celebrate Christmas.
|The Surfer - Judith Wright|
He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea;
climbed through, slid under those long banks of foam -
(hawthorn hedges in spring, thorns in the face stinging).
How his brown strength drove through the hollow and coil
of green-through weirs of water!
Muscle of arm thrust down long muscle of water;
and swimming so, went out of sight
where mortal, masterful, frail, the gulls went wheeling
in air as he in water, with delight.
|Australian Christmas stamps - 1990, 1994 & 1997|