God Jul och Merry Ozmas!

Friends and family in the Northern hemisphere always seem fascinated by the idea of a summer Christmas, so I thought I’d show you what ours is like.  I’ll admit that in my heart Christmas should be in the middle of winter, preferably with snow, a fireplace, and glug (the mazariner goes without saying).  However there are perks to an Australian Christmas.

In Australia, Christmas is an odd mish-mash of traditions.  Most traditions are British, so the ‘traditional’ Australian Christmas still has wintery decorations and roasted turkey and/or ham lunches with Christmas crackers at the table settings.  However it is becoming more common to have seafood or a BBQ accompanied by salads; it can be unpleasant having the oven on to cook a big roast meal in the middle of summer!  Individual sized mince pies are very common – and a sure sign Christmas is on the way (although they seem to start appearing in shops earlier and earlier each year).  Christmas pudding is still a common Christmas lunch dessert, but pavlova with fresh summer berries is also popular.  People decorate houses with Christmas lights, however the long summer days mean younger children aren’t awake at hours when they can see them.  But the decorations can be solar powered at least, saving having extentions cords all over to power them.

Our Christmas is a mixture of these Australian traditions and those from my childhood.  Mazariner are the most important part of Christmas.  😉  For Christmas lunch I usually cook a turkey with roasted veggies and stuffing.  This year there was a ham as well, but I didn’t do saurerkraut as we already had so much food (much of the ham will go into the freezer and be accompanied by saurerkraut later – and the bone used for split pea soup).  Our garden is full of berries to forage – so many we are sharing with the birds and didn’t net them, and they are still plentiful.  For dessert I’m usually required to make chocolate mousse, but this year I made a homemade ice cream cake shaped like a Christmas pudding.  The ice cream cake was a real winner: the ice creams were all homemade.  The centre was spiced cherry sorbet made with cherries I preserved last summer, with vanilla the next layer, and a chocolate ice cream outer layer.

This is Eskil’s 3rd Christmas (he’s 28 months old), and I feel a bit like it is our job to brainwash him to love Christmas.  After weeks of taking him into the sitting room to show him the Christmas tree, he now asks to go in to see ‘KriKi twee’.  Since it doesn’t get dark until after 9 pm and Eskil goes to sleep at 7, he doesn’t get to go visit Christmas lights yet as he would be too tired and cranky to enjoy it.  He only realised there are blinking lights on the Christmas tree on Christmas day, but he’s quite excited by them now.

Scott and I usually exchange our gifts on Christmas eve while we drink champagne and eat mazariner and I wrap Christmas gifts.  On Christmas morning after Eskil opened his gifts (an ‘ogre hut’ play tent and wooden trains), we went to Scott’s daughter’s house for breakfast with her, her husband, Scott’s mum and brother, Scott’s older son Julian (Alexander was unfortunately quite ill), and Julian’s girlfriend Molly. After breakfast and present opening, we gave Molly a lift to her parents’ house.  We went home so turkey, ham, and veggies could be roasted.  Mid afternoon Julian came, and we had a relaxing late lunch outside in our courtyard.  After Julian and Eskil played while Scott, Lottie and I relaxed.  We wandered around the garden picking berries, and we eventually had dessert.  It was a lovely warm day, and we stayed outside until the mosquitos came out for their Chrsitmas feast.

The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, is also a holiday in Australia.  We celebrated it by not doing much at all – relaxing around the house, Scott going to the playground with Eskil, and all of us taking Lottie for a walk to the oval nearby.  Scott’s sister, Donna, came for dinner – lots of leftovers for all!

Milk amongst the presents

Milk amongst the presents

Eskil playing with trains

Eskil playing with trains

Eskil realising there are blinking lights on the tree!

Eskil realising there are blinking lights on the tree!

An elf jumping on my bed?!

An elf jumping on my bed?!

As much as I love a Northern hemisphere Christmas, how can you not feel merry on a day like this!

As much as I love a Northern hemisphere Christmas, how can you not feel merry on a day like this! It was sunny and warm.

Playing with trains

Eskil showing his new trains to Julian

Christmas Lunch

Christmas lunch in the courtyard – even for Lottie dog!

Berries

Berries

Drawing with Julian

Drawing with chalk

The relaxed end of the courtyard

The relaxed end of the courtyard

Ice cream cake WIN!

Inside the ice cream cake

Monkey the schnauzer jockey

Monkey and Lottie having fun at the oval

Donna and Eskil

Auntie Donna and Eskil in his hut – BOO!

 

3 comments for “God Jul och Merry Ozmas!

  1. Edith M. Singleton
    28 December 2013 at 12:16 am

    I just learned today that you are in Australia? May I ask where? My husband Jack and I spent Christmas, 1980 in Queensland . We camped on Christmas Eve in a campground, under a large tree with kukkaburra birds overhead. They were noisy! I corresponded with a pen pal in Australia for years but when we went to her home, she was on holiday so we didn’t get to meet. We had rented a Hertz station wagon and left Sydney, heading north and made a tour of Australia. We loved it so much over there that in 1988 we went back again. This time we spent most of our time in Sydney. I am Edith Marie Olsson Singleton. My Dad was Carl Olaf Waldemar Olsson. I was born in Newport, RI but Mother, Daddy and I moved to Miami, FL in 1922 and I’ve lived in Florida ever since.

  2. 28 December 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Fun to see the differences… The warm oven and kitchen would not be nearly as pleasant on a hot day!

    I was hoping to have another white Christmas here but it was not too be and I grudgingly accepted the (relatively) warm and sunny weather. Merry Christmas from the north side!

  3. 9 January 2014 at 12:43 pm

    What a lovely Christmas! So glad you all had such a special day. Eskil is so cute as the Christmas elf!, the little darling! Here in our area of California the temps were in the 70’s. The family got together Christmas Day at Maria’s in Gilroy & we had beef roast on the barbie & ham, with everyone bringing side dishes & desserts. Had my fill of Daneen’s choc silk pie & mazariner! We all ate too much & sat around in a stuper, except for Ethan & Sada who were in another world, where one needed to run fast & laugh loudly; it was so good to see their high spirits & their having so much fun. I guess next year little Timothy will go squeeling & ‘race crawling’ after them. Seems like just a couple of years ago TS & our kids did the same! MorMor Ohlson

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