It’s Christmas here in Oz…or is it?
Gloria Jean’s and Starbucks are cranking out peppermint mochas in red decorated cups, there are Christmas tree towers of Ferero Rocher chocolates at the supermarket, and festive display including a evil-looking kangaroo looks down on us from above the K-Mart entrance. But it still doesn’t feel like Christmas! It’s not the warm weather…I’m used to that after living in Southern California my whole life. It just doesn’t feel like it’s as big of a deal here. At home, the world stops the day after Thanksgiving and then starts again, this time rotating to a hectic medley of “Jingle Bells”, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”, and techno-house remixes of “Silent Night.”
I hated it while I was there. I hated not being able to find a parking spot at Target from November 21st to January 5th. I hated the panicked shopping for Christmas gifts, and the uncomfortable squirminess I felt when I wondered what others were getting me, and were my gifts for them proportionate? Or the awkwardness of gifts for and from coworkers, or those acquaintances you are not quite close enough friends to really know what to do with, present-wise. But that pulsing, pounding awful beat of Silent Night during the least silent moments of the year, the irony of the rushed giving and panicked generosity and fights over parking spaces and Tickle Me Elmos, are what bother me the most.
And now here I am on the other side of the world, where everything is flipped upside down and we’re in our first few days of summer and I have nothing to give the people I love even if I want to. Hopefully we’ll have a good barbeque and beach day on the actual holiday. Welcome to my Aussie Christmas.