Daily Archives: December 17, 2014

Christmas in Australia

Beach bauble-

Christmas in Australia is hot, darn hot. It’s time to don the bathers and jump into the swimming pool, or sit outside under the umbrella with a cold drink beside you. It’s time for tiger prawns, King Island crayfish and salads. It’s a of family gatherings, with what we hope will be great food, great wine, combined with sharing, caring and giving.

santa blog

Most families decorate their homes with twinkling lights and a life sized figure of Father Christmas who waves, climbs ladders or is stuck halfway down the chimney with just his legs showing. Our neighbours opposite have tied a huge blow-up Santa to the railing of their second story balcony.  When inflated, instead of having the usual cheery Santa grin. he has what we now call a bemused Homer Simpson look.

homer2

I can imagine the designers overseas thinking that the popular TV character would be an excellent model for their latest Christmas decoration. Later that day we noticed that ‘Santa Homer’ seemed to be clutching the railing and had a distinct lean to the right as if he had indulged in too much Christmas cheer. By the morning he was totally deflated and hanging over the balcony railing. Obviously the Christmas wine had been too much for him.

Every afternoon our neighbours pump Santa up ready for the evening festivities. Every morning Santa is lying over the rails obviously the worse for wear.

We can relate. We don our party clothes each night and set off in happy anticipation. the next morning, in tatty tracksuit, strong coffee in hand we slump in our deck chairs recovering from the night’s entertainment. If only someone could come along and pump us up so that we can be ready to party again. If ever I need a laugh to carry me through the rest of these hectic holidays I’ll just glance out of my window at the ‘tipsy’ Santa homer. If he can manage to survive and come up smiling, so can I.

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I asked my writing friend Mairi Neil for a Christmas poem. She sent this acrostic poem for you to enjoy.

CHRISTMAS IS

Caring for others and sending greeting cards

Happiness to spread around and love within our hearts

Ringing of bells in churches, and on Santa’s sleigh

Icing on Christmas cakes; fruit for puddings to weigh

Sleeping peacefully on Christmas Eve awaiting Santa’s call

Tinselled trees, fairy lights, decorations from kitchen to hall

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers wishing Merry Christmas to all!

Acceptance of gifts, sharing, and giving to please

Spiritual peace celebrating Christ’s birth, Christmas is

all of these.

 

© mairi neil 1994, small talk poems for children, Employ Publishing Group, St Kilda.

Love, not Fear: Hope, not Despair

The train to Melbourne is packed with Christmas shoppers. Men busy tapping on laptops, women chatting, children laughing. Santa is coming and the city is celebrating. In Federation Square there is an abundance of red bows, ribbons and green Christmas trees. But the images that fill my mind are not of peace and goodwill but of a sea of flowers in Martin Place in Sydney.

flowers martin place

This morning, as I watched the scenes unfold on the TV I remembered how years ago, when something bad happened there was always Mum, with love in her heart, ready to kiss the pain and make it better. How I wish that simple act of love could be applied to the world. In the train I find myself reciting the Global Peace Prayer

We are one global family

All colours, all races, one world united

We yearn for peace, and the healing of our planet

Peace for all nations

Peace for our communities

Peace within ourselves

Let us connect heart to heart

Through our diversity, we recognise our unity

Through our compassion, we recognise peace

Love is the power to transform the world

Let us send it out. Now.

Will my heartfelt nondenominational prayers to the universe help? I like to believe that like a pebble in a pond, the ripples will spread and people of all nations will begin to find their voice. I imagine that tiny ripple becoming a tidal wave that washes away injustice, hatred, anger, fear, misunderstandings, terrorism and war. That what happened in Martin Place will never be repeated. I know. It is naïve. all I know is that I have to believe that attitudes, beliefs and people can change. That peace is possible.

Christmas Cheer

Christmas is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may flow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. (Agnes M Pharo)