This is not a competition - it is a sharing. An opportunity to get to know each other better!
Christmas in Australia is a mix of European Traditions and a blend of Australian past times, while sharing the importance of love and being a family. In this piece, I have tried to show how Christmas was enjoyed among typical Australian families about 30 years ago. Today, our lifestyles have changed and modernized. Instead of the traditional European dinner, most Australian families will partake in a lunch of seafood and ham off the bone or maybe an elaborate barbeque. This works better with the climate we live in. Also now days, most Australian households have inbuilt swimming pools in their back yards, so the old fashioned wading pool is somewhat outdated.
HERE IS MY ENTRY - NO TITLE
Laughter could be heard radiating from the kitchen as the younger members of the family took turns to mix the Christmas pudding. Each child was allowed to turn the wooden spoon ten times in a circular motion to blend the fruit and nuts into the pudding mix. It was a family tradition, one practiced each year, a week or so before Christmas Day. As each member of the household mixed the pudding, it was a tradition to make a wish.
The making of the pudding meant Christmas would soon be approaching.
Earlier in the month they had helped to decorate the pine tree, which their father had brought home on the back of his beat up ute, with garlands and tinsel, carefully placing the glass ornaments among the branches.
Sally looked through the window, which was strung with a large collection of Christmas cards they had received from distant family and friends, wishing them well and Seasons Greetings. She called out to her mother, who was watering the front garden, they had not had rain for over a month and the weather was getting hotter. “Mum, the pudding is ready, we’ve all had our mix.”
Her mother walked back into the house, washed her hands and opened a small box. The younger children pushed one another, trying to get a glimpse of what was inside. Sally knew it was filled with sixpences and shillings to be mixed into the pudding base, before it was placed into calico and boiled on the stove for hours to cook.
Sally loved the smell of the pudding wafting through the house as it boiled on the stove top, but did not enjoy how it made the house even hotter than before. Sweat was mounting in small beads across her skin. “Mum, can I take the kids out to have a splash in the pool, while we wait for it to cook?”
“That’s a great idea Sally.”
We raced outside. The small plastic blow up wading pool was ready and waiting for them to use in the backyard. Sally gathered the hose and started filling the pool. The younger children stripped off their clothes and started running through the spray of water in their undies, as it made its way to the pool, laughing and giggling, enjoying the fun.
Sally’s father had just fed the turkey, which was housed in a put up wire fence, to contain it while they fattened it up for Christmas dinner. He was making his way over to the children. “That turkey’s going to be a beauty this year.” He said to Sally as he took the hose from her.
She smiled and stepped into the wading pool. The water licking her ankles felt warm on her skin, she had hoped that it would relieve some of her discomfort as the sweat continued to form on her body. Looking up at the sky, she could see storm clouds in the distance and hoped they would bring rain to alleviate the heat.
She squealed at the shock of the water hitting her skin, when her father turned the hose on her. The other children laughed.
Image courtesy of Personalised Stubby Holders