Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Sydney Christmas - Summertime


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

40 comments:

Steffe said...

I'd like to celebrate Christmas down under some day. A bit different from all the snow wea re having at the moment. Merry Christmas!

Tulsa Gentleman said...

Surfing on Christmas Eve, now there is a nice custom for you. WOnderful photos Julie. I can smell the salt air.

Olivier said...

en regardant des superbes photos, on a envie de chanter les Beach Boys ;)) Elles vont rêver en cette époque

Dimple said...

Yes, Christmas is not a northern hemisphere day, it is a world day. Remember that Jesus was born (probably NOT in December) and the reason for His birth. The remembrance has little to do with the season and everything to do with the reason.

Lois said...

Wonderful pictures Julie! The water is such a beautiful shade of blue. I grew up on the beach, but I never got to be very good at surfing.

Susan said...

I think Christmas down under would be a lovely change! Hope yours is wonderful Julie, Merry Christmas!

lizziviggi said...

Wonderful photos, wonderful poem, and a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas! Traditions can be traps, too. It's good to create your own.

TheChieftess said...

SoCal may celebrate Christmas during winter...but winter in SoCal is closer to Sydney's weather than the winter wonderland's always depicted!!!

sunnymama said...

Awesome pictures! Looks very different to christmas here. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy christmas. :)

Gunilla said...

Great pictures.
Here in Sweden we have ice on the water and a lot of snow.

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Gunilla

cara said...

Fab shots - surfing is beautiful to watch - the shapes of the waves and a perfectly balanced person complimenting eachother. I just finished reading Breath by Tim Winton (great book!) so these surf pics have added significance.

It's taken me 4 years but I am finally starting to adjust to feeling festive in the heat.

Off to the fishmonger now!

J Bar said...

Great to see these Australian Christmas scenes. Thank you for your kind words on my blog, Julie. It's been a pleasure working alongside you this past year. My blog opened up to the whole world after I joined City Daily Photo about a year ago. Wishing all the best to you and yours over the festive season.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

freefalling said...

Yeah - stuff ya christmas turkey!
That water looks sooooo good - I can almost feel it.

(hey, I don't have your email address anymore now you've "moved" - can you send it to me pls?)

Virginia said...

Sort of like celebrating Christmas in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, which we did for 3 years. Your photos are just fabulous Julie. WOW!!!
V

Johnny Nutcase said...

excellent. really nice lighting on all these!

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

I cheer for your declaration of place in your Christmas celebration! Not to mention the good text and gorgeous photos through the "days". Thank you!

Ann said...

Well done! Especially like the silhouette and frozen drops in the last one.

Marka said...

As long as the reason for the season is remembered and honored, it's all good. Cheers!

ρομπερτ said...

Balance, probably the most difficult, yet most successful mean of movement.

May you have a blessed Christmas.

Shelle said...

Now that's what I call Christmas...ave a good one! Cheers

Petrea said...

I've been looking for a new tradition. Maybe surfing's it!

Autumn Belle @ KDP said...

Wishing you a blessed and wonderful Christmas!

Vera said...

I would like to have had a go at surfing, but the waves on our local beach were mere pimples compared to those in your photo, unless a storm was brewing in which case one wouldn't want to have a go at surfing anyway!
Hope you enjoy the holidays, and looking forward to reading your blog during 2010.

Vogon Poet said...

I liked your 'days' very much and this is the perfect way to show what is it real and what is hollow. Great post!

Bergson said...

a dream Christmas on sun
Merry Christmas

diane said...

Great Aussie Christmas pictures. Enjoyed your Christmas days. Have a good day tomorrow.

Davine said...

Hi Julie, It is a bit weird isn't it - we celebrate with lots of Winter traditions while boiling in 40c - go figure. Wishing you and yours a great Christmas and a happy and healthy 2010.

Birdman said...

Now, that's a different 'take' on Christmas Eve. Surfer Julie?
ps. Julie, I had to repost this morning 12/24 on my cite and lost your nice post. So sorry! Enjoy the holiday 'down under' with those you love.

brattcat said...

This post is pure delight. Viva la difference. These are marvelous images paired with an excellent poem. And Christmas, for me, has become bigger because of you.

Nefertiti,deesse NiLuNoah adoratrice d Aton said...

tout mes voeux prends bien soins de toi et de ta famille ;O)

JM said...

Great photos! I have been to Angola, South Africa and northern Argentina on Christmas season, so I know the feeling and I love it!
Happy (summer) holidays and a great 2010, Julie!

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

LOvely photos of our Aussie beaches.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and all the best for hte year ahead.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Jilly said...

When I lived in Australia, I knew a few Brits who still did it the British way but most of us didn't. I have such great memories of living in Cairns - Christmas lunch was usually lobster and prawns and champagne and time spent on the beach, of course.

Your shots, as always, are simply fabulous.

I wish you a very happy Christmas, Julie.

wenn said...

merry christmas!

TheChieftess said...

I definitely could get used to a Sydney style Christmas...especially if lobster and prawns and champagne were for lunch!!!

Spiderdama said...

Love this pictures and I looking forward to the summer:-)

Joan Elizabeth said...

In recent years I've been doing the cooked dinner on Christmas Eve and something cool on Christmas day ... mostly because these days I choose to travel out there in our wonderful land at Christmas time and make the most of summer ...just like your surfing shots.

The Judith Wright poem is a favourite and I like the 1990 stamp.

Joan Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glduro_marieloupe said...

We in Rio really know what is Christmas under 40 ° C! At this time, after Christmas, we are about 39 ° C... We need a lot of Christmas spirit!

AB said...

Much of the North European Christmas seems to be a mid-winter festival. It will take great Ozzie resourcefulness to turn it into a mid-summer festival. But you seem to be doing well in your endeavour.

So does Santa come on surf-board?