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Friday 14 December 2012



This is a Holiday Spirit blogfest, excerpts of up to 800 words involving fiction or non-fiction stories of family tradition, favorite/unique recipes, inspirational articles, etc.; that involve the essence of the holiday spirit are to be submitted.  (Recipes and news articles do not have to adhere to the 800 word limit.)

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Australian households have inbuilt swimming pools in their back yards, so the old fashioned wading pool is somewhat outdated.



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


Angela Brown said...

The family merriment linked its way gently through this piece and I just couldn't help smiling.

Very lovely, Carolyn :-)

And Merry Christmas!

Denise Covey said...

Hello Carolyn! This brought back memories of the way things were-so much has changed. Even Christmas Cards-not so many sent these days and virtually none have that nice, thick letter telling of the year's doings.
Thankfully we've rejected the hot lunch these days. Our poor mothers 'slaving over a hot stove' all day, dripping sweat, no air con! Today it's much better.

Thanks for sharing ye old Aussie Christmas for the blogfest!!


Unknown said...

Angela - Thanks, I am glad you found the piece enjoyable.

Denise - Yes, I am so glad things have changed. Merry Christmas.

Cherie Reich said...

Aww! Love this! It's neat to see how different places have their Christmas traditions.

Unknown said...

Cherie - Thanks, I enjoy learning how others spend Christmas as well.

dolorah said...

That was wonderful Carolyn. A perfect family memory; and so different than here in the colder US. Do you still cook the pudding? What a great way of bringing the family all together.

And I'm smelling turkey dinner again :)

Thanks for joining in the fun.


Ciara said...

I started laughing about the blow up pool. I grew up in Florida and spent many Christmas holidays in a pool. Love the fun of this flash.

Anne said...

I've always wondered how Christmas is celebrated in Australia as it falls in the summer. After reading your post though, I realize Christmas is always made up of wonderful family traditions, wherever we are and whatever season it falls.

Unknown said...

Donna - Thanks for dropping by, I am glad you liked learning about an Aussie Christmas!

Ciara - Thanks Ciara.

Anne - Glad I was able to shed some light on a traditional Aussie Christmas! Thanks for stopping by.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I love the combination of Aussie Christmas and old school tradition. I'm making my pudding tonight. First time I made them I used recipe's from an English cookbook - make the pudding 6 weeks earlier and hang in calico -- they wen't mouldy in the Brisbane humidity!

Have an awesome Christmas!

Scheherazade said...

Enjoyed hearing about the Aussie Christmas traditions and imagining the heat. I've had Christmases in California that were hot and sunny, but lately the climate seems to be changing. December has brought cooler weather in the last couple of years along with gray skies and occasional showers.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Carolyn,


What a sweet holiday memory. Lovely description and I really enjoyed reading about a very different kind of Christmas.

Coming for the cold north, it was fun to read about an Aussie holiday memory.

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