Christmas in Summer
I have to thank Maria for the suggestion to talk about an Aussie Christmas. To me, celebrating Christmas with sunshine and beach weather is normal. I grew up in a small semi-rural area about a mile from the beach and on Christmas Day a “Santa” would ride around in the back of a truck and throw lollies for the kids. I think he was actually a friend’s dad, but we never questioned this tall, lanky Santa’s visit.
If you want to imagine an Aussie Christmas feast, just think of your favourite celebratory summer treats. Then add more seafood! My neighbour is going out before dawn catching (or trying to catch – they’re evading him and his traps this year) rock lobsters – or what I call crayfish.
But I don’t want to talk about food – which is what I always end up talking about. What can I say? I love eating!
I popped into Fremantle, Western Australia, to show you the church where I like to attend a Christmas service – forget Midnight Mass! When it’s a sticky, hot night and you’re crowded into an unair-conditioned church, the magic vanishes. Or faints. I like to attend the very first mass of Christmas Day at St Patrick’s Basilica, Fremantle. It’s not my local church, but it is where my great-grandparents, nana and mum all attended. For me there’s a wonderful sense of belonging.
Christmas makes me nostalgic.
So this is St Pat’s. It has dragons on its presbytery roof. The red brick building is the presbytery. The photo is taken looking into town. Olive trees provide the shade.
This is St Pat’s.
Just down the road from the basilica is the port. Fremantle is a port city. You can see a cruise ship docked there in the next photo. Wind back sixty odd years, and this is where my great-grandparents, grandparents and mum disembarked from a ship from Germany and touched Australian soil for the first time. They were displaced persons, Poles transplanted from home to Germany by WWII. They came here to start new lives. Being in St Pat’s I remember all the people who’ve come here with desperate hope and I pray that somehow we can build a better world, one where people aren’t forced out of their homes by war.
Fremantle port – or part of it.
They’re not the best pics – sorry.
I was also hoping to share a video of our city’s Christmas pageant, but couldn’t find one. It’s normally broadcast. Think of a 4th of July parade but with a Christmas theme, or Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on a smaller scale with Aussie craziness, and you’ll have an idea of the Perth Christmas Pageant. Floats, marching bands, dance schools. It’s fun.
Sorry I forgot to mention these two giveaways earlier! Both are running till Christmas. The first gives you a chance to win a $100 giftcard. Woohoo! Thanks, Romancing the Dragon. The second from Paranormal Romance Lovers has a different couple of authors offering different prizes each day.
Trying to Catch Up
I hate having to share some photos and run – I’d love to hear your Christmas traditions – but unless I want to rely on chocolate (and for the sake of my waistline I don’t dare) I need to catch up on my writing before I hit some deadlines hard. Then chocolate will be inevitable! Chocolate, the secret magic of writing.
Consequently, I won’t be sending a newsletter next week. You’ll hear from me when Phoenix Blood comes out December 27, and after we’ve all survived the festivities. MERRY CHRISTMAS!