Make hay while the sun shines. This saying dates back to Medieval times, when peasants were busy binding, hedging, ploughing, sowing, thatching and generally toiling on their masters land. There’s plenty to not be envious of the quality of life for many in Medieval times, but consider this, Medieval man had 150 days a year for feasts, holidays and rest! Life was governed by a liturgical calendar that attached great important to festivals long forgotten nowadays.
The pace of modern life is significantly faster, and our celebrations and traditions have much changed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t establish small, regular rituals that give us and our children things to anticipate, look forward to and look back on with satisfaction. Every tradition, whether small or grand, starts because one person decided that it was important enough to continue and remain a means of connecting with family and friends over the years. Family celebrations and traditions strengthen bonds, enrich the life you share together and create lasting memories.
When you have your own family, you can start new traditions too. A few years ago we celebrated Halloween in Chicago. Never before had we seen such dress up en masse and experienced trick or treating with so many enthusiastic families up and down the same street. It was so memorable for us that when we returned to Sydney, it was a family tradition that we decided to start.
This American tradition has us quite captivated and so it’s always interesting to hear what traditions other families partake in over the course of the year. One of these that I’ll be partaking in for the first time this year, is Christmas in July.
Christmas in Australia is a little different to the winter wonderland of the Northern hemisphere. Come end of December, we swelter in the mid summer heat. This is how it goes for some of us…it’s too hot to roast, so we turn to cold cuts of meat, salads and a fruit laden pavlova. After lunch the kids are let loose to run through the sprinkler as the adults slump on the couch, overfed and relaxing under the aircon unit. There’s sport on the tele, some prefer to clink beer necks, whilst others toast long stemmed glasses with a cool, crisp, Chardonnay to the year that’s past.
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I can see the appeal of Christmas in July. Rugged up in a reindeer jumper by an open fire place, eating roast turkey and plum pudding followed by a glass of brandy tippled eggnog, all the while crisp white snow flakes drift by outside. Now it seems that hotels and restaurants from the Blue Mountains to Thredbo have cottoned onto this appealing idea and are selling sumptuous six course dinners served up snow side. My Christmas in July celebrations won’t be so luxe, but nonetheless, it will be interesting to try on a new tradition and see what I think of it. Baubles, bubbly and tinsel in July, it can’t be all that bad, can it?
Have you celebrated Christmas in July and what do you think of it?