Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

A couple of weeks ago, I was tagged for the "7 things people don't know about you" meme. Again. Sheesh, you guys are going to know me better than my best friend if you keep this up! Anyway, thanks, Suzy - sorry to keep you waiting for this.

Since 'tis the season to be jolly, I thought I'd make it my theme for the meme:

1. I've experienced Christmas in 3 vastly different countries in my life. Australia, obviously, where the summer heat often seems to kick right around the end of December, and the smell of suntan lotion and insect repellent go right along with the aromas of ham and roasting turkey, and lazy post-Christmas lunch afternoons often end with splashing around in a pool or the beach.
India, where I lived (aged 8)with my mum and little brother for a while, is a predominantly Hindu country, and Christmas was only an a adopted tradition for a few. Somehow, my mum created the magic of Christmas for us in the little cabin we lived in - parcels by our bed on Christmas morning revealed treasures (a little hand-painted wooden tea set lingers in memory), and a little piece of home (a card from Dad). Dust, incredible heat, flies, the multiplicity of odours and colours are a strange backdrop to that memory.
England was my home for the early 90's, and I thrilled to my first white Christmas. Invited to my then-boyfriend's family Christmas, I got it all - the Christmas dinner, complete with English touches like Yorkshire puddings, the family togetherness as they drew me in and made me feel at home, and the magical wonderland outside the window. I felt like I'd stepped into a storybook. With the arrival of the first snow earlier in the week, I was out catching snowflakes with all the toddlers who, like me, had never seen it fall before.

2. My earliest Christmas memory - I think I was about 5. We lived in Melbourne, which can get very hot, but this was a cold one. Dad chopped a real baby fir tree down from the lot which adjoined our backyard - it seemed enormous to me, and I adored the fact that one of my favourite smells was brought indoors. Everything seems large in this memory - the pile of presents seemed tremendous, and I think I was awake and trying to get my little brother up at some inhuman time of the morning (5am-ish) to begin the present-ripping frenzy.

3. Best ever Christmas present? All my life, I will treasure the memory of the boxes that came from my grandmother (my father's mother) in Tasmania. I was everyone's first grandchild, and I was the catalyst for a frenzy of inspired creativity by both my grandmothers, but Gran's boxes were really something special. I think they actually came at birthdays and Christmas. She made everything by hand. There would be clothes, modelled on the fashion of the day but pint-sized for me; hand-made cloth dolls with beautifully embroidered faces and layers of elaborate hand-stitched clothing; cloth books; hand-painted dolls furniture - she was immensely talented, and I adored opening her boxes for the treasure trove of love they represented. No-one seems to do anything like that anymore - an incredible shame.

4. Strangest present? The Big Feller left me speechless one year. Some years we do buy presents for each other, and sometimes we don't - it really depends on the state of our finances. That year was a good one, and I knew by the way he walked about with a secret grin that he had something special in the offing. I had been long coveting a digital camera - I had certainly dropped enough hints. He gave me....a rainstick. It's a beautiful, hand-crafted, very unique and rather expensive piece of artwork, with a mysteriously hollow interior that makes a lovely crystalline tinkling sound when tipped up (and the damn thing does seem to have a strange correlation to rain - we rely on good weather for the Big Feller's work, so are always cautious about when we handle or demonstrate it!?!)...but it's still a stick.

5. Favourite Christmas food? Here in Oz, many people are ecstatic about the opportunity to eat the glorious and abundant seafood available at this time of year. Not me. Pass. Give me the full Christmas roast turkey, and yorkshire puds and all the trimmings. But most of all, give me the Christmas pudding and custard....mmmm Oh, and fruit mince pies, and shortbread biscuits, and .... someone else to make it all!

6. Dream Chrismas destination? Somewhere cold. It's about 32 degrees Celsius and humid as I write this - and I'm dreaming of a white Christmas again. Switzerland sounds nice - good chocolate, too!

7. Favourite Christmas movie? "Love, Actually" - forget Hugh Grant, though I think it's one of his better films. No, it's the scene of unrequited love where Keira Knightley stands in the doorway while her husband's best friend plays Christmas carols on a tape as he silently displays placards telling her how much he loves her but will never do anything about it that does my head in, every time! People are just NOT noble like that these days...but we can dream.

So, there you are. Hardly likely to change your life, but a little more insight into the wonder that is me...hahah.

We're off to my mother's on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow. Probably not back till Boxing Day. Have a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are! Don't forget to vote in my Apallingly Cute poll, too...thanks.

2 comments:

JCK said...

You've had a very interesting life and chock full of fun memories. Hope your Christmas season brings more good memories and joys to come! Happy Holidays.

Joh Blogs said...

Love Actually is my favourite Xmas film too! And that scene, it's just moving to the max. This is my first visit. I found you on the Australian Bloggers Forum.

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