Novel Conversations

Celebrate Christmas in Australia!

It is likely you have noticed, after all if you go to the shops they are decorated in holly, baubles and snow. 

You may have even noticed some reindeer and elves here and there.  This month a jolly looking chap in a red fur trimmed suit, fur rimmed hat and distinct white beard will be appearing throughout shopping and community  centres.  Known throughout the world as Father Christmas, Santa, St Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Baba Chaghaloo (Afghanistan), Hoteiosho (Japan), Julenissen (Norway) and Swiety Mikolaj (Poland).

Christmas cards, paper and gift tags are beautifully resplendent in iconic images of red robins on snow covered branches, reindeer frolicking in snow, snow men and decorated fir trees. Bing Crosby is singing White Christmas and Frosty the Snow Man.

It really is a wonderful and magical time of the year.

Do you wonder, though, how the European/northern hemisphere images have emigrated along with our forefathers and remained with us still?

Here we are in Australia, our hot, dry continent with no signs of snow or green outside our windows, not to mention Father Christmas (or one of his alias) dons his winter woolies and fur trimmed attire more suited to the northern hemisphere temperatures.

I am musing though in a general fashion, occasionally we do see Australian images displayed at Christmas – although most visibly on overseas Christmas cards!

I remember when I was a child my grandmother who lived in the hot, dry Wheatbelt region of WA would have a dry sheoak branch propped up and decorated with colourful baubles. A uniquely Australian version of the Christmas fir tree. Consider a little bit of Australia on Christmas cards such as the Australian magpie, red flowering gum or wattle?

Why is it that we hold dear those traditions from generations ago? A sense of nostalgia I suspect as it is passed from generation to generation regardless of whether we identify these images with our Australian culture.  In any case we each celebrate the festive season in our own unique way with our family and loved ones and carry forth our own traditions for generations to come.

On that note Eaton Library wish all our patrons a safe and peaceful Australian Christmas.

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