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Christmas Musings

USA | Tuesday, 8 December 2009 | Views [574]

Thanksgiving is past, Christmas and the New Year loom. Strange enough - it doesn't feel like it.....

I don't know about you, but I find that usually when you get to this time of year, you start to feel a change. There’s a buzz of excitement in the air. Kids are looking forward to holidays, lollies, and presents. Adults start to dread the terrible traffic and congested car parks. Me - I feel the beginning of something new.

Christmas and New Year; the time of love and fresh beginnings and all the potential that it holds. For me this time of year also holds my birthday. Another year older, more memories, lessons and experiences fill my mind. December for me is truly the beginning and end. One chapter of my life closes and another begins. Adventure is imminent. 

Life, as always, throws its curveballs. You end up in places you may have dreamed of but never thought possible. [Who ever imagined that I’d be a cowgirl?] The impossible becomes possible as new and different excitements explode your mind.


Just how does that excitement get in the air - what generates it?  The passing of time? The seasons? The events happening around you? Something ethereal? Chemical Χ?

Everyone gets that feeling at some point in time, many around Christmas. "It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...." Songs talk of it, the media plays to it. But this year I don't feel it. 

Normally, come the first of December, I am there - the Christmas tree will go up (never earlier then the 1st) the carols sneak their way into my playlists, the planning begins. The finalisation of presents, how to post said presents. And of course you can't forget the plans for the day itself. All 3 of them. The who (everyone possible) the where (at home waterside is most preferable) and the food (BBQ & salad/roast/or Italian most often top my list). 

Now it's the 7th already and I don't feel that buzz. I've hardly thought of what will happen for Christmas, let alone my birthday/New Year!

Granted much of the decision making is spread upon others shoulders this year - Ralph and Sara will make the most. It still doesn't take away the fact that plain and simple – it doesn't feel like Christmas is merely weeks away. 

I've been thinking over why. Being far from home, outside of my normal season pattern and temperatures. A new and surprisingly different culture has had its effects.

November through February, what is meant to be my summer; beautiful hot days followed by balmy nights, lazing by the waters side as the sun beams down, running its graceful touch along my back. This is what my body and mind is expecting. Yet my reality is far different. I’m faced with chills: shivers run down my spine in place of the sun. The winds still come from the north – but these don’t carry the balmy tropical breezes to which I am accustomed. No these winds bring arctic air, frosts and freezes. Just this last Friday snow was predicted [and fell] in Texas. Texas, the state whose climate is meant to be closest to home.

Already this winter [which has barely started] is colder then the dead of a Queensland winter. Today hovered around 10°C, the dew point around the same. It was a damp and cold day, one where you could always see your breath. {see the 'Christmas lead-up' gallery} Nothing like the Childers winters day in which, by lunchtime, {on a clear still day} you would have removed your jacket, even at times wishing to have worn shorts in preference to trousers. 

For all of my life so far, when the weather is this cold it means that Christmas is months away. The traditions here are also far different than home. Sometimes we (ok - I) forget that even though Australia and America are similar in many ways - there are many more in which we're different. Though through globalization Australia is inundated with American media [mostly TV] that we think we understand Americans. But we don’t. Not even close. As Ralph says, there’s the right way, the wrong way, and the American way of doing something. Subtle nuances that manage to change the meaning of a sentence or bring confusion to a situation.

Never before have I experienced Halloween or Thanksgiving. Hot apple cider, choosing a live tree - cutting said tree, all of these are a part of their culture here but aren't a part of mine.

I participate in, and enjoy the festivities as we prepare for Christmas. No matter if you can't feel the change in the air, you'll always find delight in decorating a tree with children. It just feels like something’s missing.... and it’s rather hard to place your finger on what it is. There are many small things, which if someone where to ask for, you probably couldn’t easily list. But it’s the small things of home that make the holidays. When you’re in a new home it can be hard to blend the traditions of your locality with the traditions of home.

There’s no place like home” well, home is where the heart is; home is where the love is.

 I’ll be home for Christmas – not just in my dreams.



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