It’s that time of the year where life in Australia feels really different to me than life back in Switzerland. It’s probably really the only time where it kind of sticks out. And it gets me every year. Not in a bad way. Not in a homesick way. It just feels different. Because it is crazy different. So I decided to post something I wrote just about a year ago as a blast from the past. Don’t worry, a proper Christmas post will come too…
I guess the one thing that is still weird living over here in Australia is Christmas.
Christmas feels just so different here…
We went from this:
It does not feel weird because of this huge change. It is not just because we went from celebrating Christmas in winter with snow and cold temperatures to celebrating Christmas in summer and most of the time in pretty high temperatures. That is actually something I kind of like. Although, I admit, I am still dreaming of a white Christmas…
But Christmas on a beach has its good sides too, you know.
What I honestly struggle with is the fact that it does not get dark until 9.30pm-ish… And therefor all the beautiful lights are not really doing, what they used to do back in Switzerland.
I miss that feeling of it being dark outside and you are inside, lights on, candles on, and you sit there and reflect on yourself, your life and the past year. I is kind of different to do that here in summer… It is hard. Maybe it is just because I am used to the other way. After all I celebrated Christmas for 33 years of my life “up North”, on the other side of the World… And I am not even starting about baking cookies when it is hot outside. So thankfully for today the weather forecast promises rather low temperatures. Cookies here I come!
Something I have found down here is, that the Christmas decorations are not a big deal. The suburbs are not really getting out there doing a big thing and although you see a couple of houses decorated, it is again not the same like back in Europe. Or in the USA. You need to go out and look for the decorated houses… Kind of sad.
When we moved all of our Christmas tradition were kind lost. As much as we wanted them to still be there, they did no longer really belong or were just not possible any longer…
So we started a different little tradition here. Of course we decorate the house. Nothing over the top, after all we are still Swiss (kind of) and that is what you do… you don’t go overboard… But we decorate and I love it. I love when the lights are on, even if it is late. And I am happy for the kids to stay up. It is school holidays soon, also for them. So they should be able to enjoy the lights too.
And we usually take our tree out (a fake one) and put it up on December 1st. From then onwards the kids are allowed to put up two ornaments each day after day. And just like this the tree “grows into shape” and gets prettier and prettier. And the excitement! Of course they want to put up more but we don’t let them… But they so want to! And that is what I like! They get excited about Christmas. Not because of the gifts they will receive but for the fact that they want that tree to be done and beautiful. And it will be their tree. They decorated it.
Another little tradition we have is that my MIL (mother-in-law) cooks for us on Christmas Eve and we celebrate at hers and then my hubby cooks our Christmas day dinner. But not this year. This year we will break the habit a little bit. This time I will be in charge on Christmas Day. And I am so looking forward to this!
What are your traditions? Are they the same as the ones you grew up with or did you have to change them slightly? What is the one tradition you don’t want to break with?