Christmas is that wonderful time of year, when everything slows down for a little while and you finally have time to find yourself again after work and life has taken its toll for another year. Christmas is muggy, overcast weather, with a shower or two, and temperatures over 30 degree celsius. Christmas is quiet streets in an otherwise crowded, noisy city. You stop in the street and look around for a second, feeling like the only person in the world right here, at this moment. Suddenly everyone seems to be away, perhaps at their beach house or interstate, and you walk into your local cafe to find it strangely deserted and for the first time in the whole year you have a proper chat to the owner, who smiles and cheers and makes cafe lattes while you read the Sunday Age and munch on freshly baked banana bread. Christmas is walking to your local shopping village to buy cold meats and fresh bread, the silence around you as intense as the muggy, hot air, and the only sound to break your thoughts is a train in the far distance. Christmas is looking up and smiling at the people passing you on the street, because it is, after all, Christmas, and that season where everyone comes together, just for a little bit, to share in on the universal need for belonging and peace. It is stopping at all your favourite shops in the street, because you finally have the time to do so, unlike the rest of the year when you rush into the most important ones because time is never on your side and you always have to be somewhere else, really, and what about all the preparations for the week to come…..
Christmas is sitting in a backyard watching relatives play cricket, smelling the sweet scent of beer and wine, mixed with fruit cake and perhaps a turkey or ham on the go for dinner later. Christmas is havaiana thongs and shorts, sunnies and hats, singlets and 30+, cricket on telly, eskis and prawns and a dog running amok in the yard. It is seeing a girl in a pretty dress pick up a big bag of ice from the servo in the late, muggy afternoon. Christmas is laughter and hugs, inner peace and time to reflect, lazy days waking up after 9 am, watching Australian classics on SBS ’til late and sleeping with a thin blanket in the warm, balmy summer nights. It is waking in the morning and saying ‘I love you’ and then saying it another three times that day, just because you can. Christmas is breakfast at 11 am, lunch at 3.30 and dinner at 9, all while not really keeping an eye on time at all.
Christmas is seeing friends you hardly saw all year, coming together for an annual catch up, and realising that your friendship is what you always thought it was – strong. It is counting your blessings as your realise how many great people are in your life, and how good the coming year will be if you manage to hold on to this realisation.
Christmas is beers at the pub and walking home in the dark, strangely full of life and anticipation, knowing that this special feeling will stick around way into January and the new year to come.
I hope everyone has a magical Christmas, regardless of whether it is white or warm!