Monday, 3 December 2012

A relevant Christmas

Three years on and I'm still getting used to steamy days and stormy nights when Christmas is on everyone's lips. On the one hand I quite like it: swims in the ocean and hose fights on the decking are the furthest thing from my mind when I think of Christmas, so I've been happy to ignore all the festive chaos and just go about our days. 

On the other hand, it feels a bit muddled. CafĂ© menus are decorated with snow flakes and songs sing of a white Christmas. I've been pondering this lately as creamy sweat drips down our faces. Of course, it's not muddled at all for Graeme who grew up in New Zealand: we weren't confused when we were kids. We knew Santa was slowly making his way from the snow.

Yes, there is that.

I've always said I prefer a cold Christmas, but I might be changing my mind, especially as this will be our first Christmas in this house. I like the bright days. I like talking about what meat we'll cook in the barbecue on Christmas Day and the prospect of plenty of room in the oven. I'm liking glasses of bubbly outside to the sound of our neighbour's Christmas music (even if it means rubbing bite cream when we come inside). It's different, but that doesn't mean it isn't equally joyous.

Still, now that we live here, I'd quite like the celebrations to be grounded in our season, to be about our here and now. To be relevant. Holly sprigs and log fires aren't so relevant.

I'm looking around me to see what this time of year means to me. Tomatoes, slowly ripening in our garden, hydrangea blooms and bursts of purple colour on every street. Stone fruit in my co-op box and big, bright yellow sunflowers.

Christmas sings colour. Just like this tomato wreath.

Graeme and I have a tradition of adding something new to the tree each year – one year it was a playgroup creation from Luca and last year was a vintage buy I couldn't resist. This year, Luca and I sat down and played with air-dry clay. He stamped with buttons and I experimented with the end of a rounded pencil. Hearts, stars, angels and flowers – I left the snowflake cutter in the tin!

Some were hung on the tree and some will be making their way as presents to family around Australia.

What about you? What does Christmas mean to you? Do you like it to reflect what goes on around you or couldn't you care less?


  1. We had a cold christmas when we were travelling a few years back and I'd have to say it was magic! It sometimes does fell a bit hard to be festive when you're sweating madly in the humidity. Your christmas decorations look so very lovely! Christmas is similar here...simple crafty projects, baking and pottering around. Gift giving is kept low key and there's alot of talk about those less fortunate. I think Bijou is old enough for a toy cull to donate to charity. WIshing you the loveliest of week. Keep cool :) x

  2. These are so beautiful! Do a giveaway ;)
    PS My song 'winterman' made it onto the new ABC Christmas album, ha! I thought to myself... hmmmm.... but decided to just go with it!

  3. oooh they are gorgeous Vanessa! the lacy ones- just lay a doily over the top of your rolled out clay and gently roll over the top with the rolling pin. Peel away the doily, oooh pretty. Christmas is a dusk swim on Christmas eve, walking home from mass with my mum pointing out the reindeer in the sky, summer pjs, cicadas, pine tree smell, tacky glittery decorations, waking up in the middle of the night to gaze at the lights on the tree, racing out into to street to show and share gifts with the neighbor kids, jumping in the car after breakfast for a full day of visiting, arriving home fast asleep. not sure if that reflected my very suburban aussie childhood environment? One year we did get spray snow in a can. that was the best. these days, the sea is featuring more heavily. christmas morning is for a beach swim, with or without a santa hat. feast cooked on the bbq. simple handmade gifts. gathering. hubs really wants a white christmas, but i fear i would miss the heat- i can't even comprehend the different season. and besides, santa comes here first. ;)sarah (the other, not so cool and talented one)

  4. Love your decorations - what wonderful additions they'll make to your gifts. I've always thought that snow and wintery weather seem to suit Christmas better when staying indoors opening gifts with family and having a meal together would provide perfect opportunities to do so. But I guess, outdoor barbecues and fun are equally Christmassy in these parts. Our Christmas is very much like Steph's above - baking, crafting, gift choosing and making and wrapping etc.... all centered around family and loved ones x

  5. We will be celebrating our first non-snowy non-frosty Xmas this year, having just moved to Dubai.. It's kinda strange, having grown up in Norway. Someone told me to crank up the A/C and put on a woolly pair of socks, hah!


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