Where are the flannel shirts, egg nog and polar bears?

As children, we received books from our grandmother whom lived in Australia.  We didn’t know much about her, aside from the fact that she sounded funny.  Australian christmas books crossed the pacific ocean to surprise us in Canada.  There were images of kangaroos on the beach, Santa on a surfboard, wearing surf shorts; all the while exposing his round jolly belly.  There were waves and wombats suntanning on the beach.  My early 5 year old thoughts were of disbelief.  What the heck was going on in Australia?

Surely they get snow down under?  Surely!

Let’s now skip ahead 23 years.

This will be my third holiday season living in Australia (technically one of these was in New Zealand).

Christmas in Australia feels very foreign to me.  It’s the time of year that I am reminded most of the fact that I am far, far away from the land flannel shirts, egg nog and polar bears.

I’ve gotten used to the fact that our lawn won’t be covered in a blanket of crisp clean snow.  Though there are times when the burning hot sand might be mistaken for snow.

Without a doubt we aren’t getting snow this Christmas.  The white fluffy stuff wouldn’t last a hot second.  It will be 40+ degree’s.

DSC03672What Western Australia does offer as a consolation are these stunning, flaming orange “Christmas Trees”.

We’ll miss out on turkey crammed to the neck with hot stuffing, and creamy garlic mashed potatoes, slathered in gravy.  I’ve not yet managed to see eggnog (if you can find it in a store here let me know!), or thousands of houses covered in colourful lights.

The Australians celebrate by indulging in a cold meal of prawns and crayfish.


Seriously though it is really too hot to have the oven on for 8 hours while all the family sweats together.  It makes sense.

Mike hails from New Zealand.  He mentioned to me, that while we were living in Canada, he felt that Christmas wasn’t right.

We have polar opposite expectations of what Christmas traditions should be.

My sisters and I used to have snowball fights and build tunnels inside forts in the snow, while mom and dad cooked up a turkey for us.  One lucky (or rather unlucky) girl would get to be the captive inside the fort, while the rest of us jumped on top of the dome.  Mike looked at me in horror when I told him of our “fun times”.

Mike and his brothers and sister would boogie board at the beach.

Perhaps we can meet in the middle and build a sand igloo’s?  Getting a “sand ball” in the face, does not have the same appeal.  Out of all the silly little traditions we have over the holidays, I must admit… Snow, I miss you most.

Maybe one day when we’ve got children of our own, my sisters and parents will send us Christmas books from Canada.  Books, where Santa’s wearing less sunscreen and more clothes.   Where, snow flakes fall on rosy cheeks, and polar bears, reindeer, and egg nog prevail.

4 thoughts on “Where are the flannel shirts, egg nog and polar bears?

  1. Wow that photo is stunning! Such amazing scenery. I have to get back over there to WA to visit you. I have seen eggnog in Coles. The Christmas I spent in Canada was a wonderland, like being in a movie. I did love seeing all the decorations with the snow. But I’ve gotta say I do love the Aussie summer Christmas and the family backyard cricket sessions! Your third season over here?! Wow time flies!


    • Come baaaaaaack! Backyard cricket? But most Australian’s over here don’t even like cricket! We’ll probably go caving again this year, which was pretty hilarious. Eggnog in coles, yes we’ll have to pick up a few litres, it would take me back home.


  2. I would miss the lights most of all. Our street has a real National Lampoon’s style rocking. I must have 10 different strands up all over my house. It’s tacky as anything, but I love it. I was talking to a guy from New Zealand last night at a party and he said we didn’t know how to do Christmas up here, it was not warm & sunny lol. I hope we get snow, it’s green right now and it’s disgusting!


    • Oh I hope it snows for you! And what’s with the non snow in Ontario?

      Perhaps, it is a sign of the times, global warming? OR the sun is about to explode and is giving off more heat that usual. Supernova? That’s my guess.

      They definitely don’t do lights here, though there are more than enough holiday ads on tv.

      Getting a pine tree almost feels wrong here too….it’s unnatural. Ps, your girls looked super cute in that suitcase!


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