Christmas in Australia is hot, darn hot. It’s time to don the bathers and jump into the swimming pool, or sit outside under the umbrella with a cold drink beside you. It’s time for tiger prawns, King Island crayfish and salads. It’s a of family gatherings, with what we hope will be great food, great wine, combined with sharing, caring and giving.
Most families decorate their homes with twinkling lights and a life sized figure of Father Christmas who waves, climbs ladders or is stuck halfway down the chimney with just his legs showing. Our neighbours opposite have tied a huge blow-up Santa to the railing of their second story balcony. When inflated, instead of having the usual cheery Santa grin. he has what we now call a bemused Homer Simpson look.
I can imagine the designers overseas thinking that the popular TV character would be an excellent model for their latest Christmas decoration. Later that day we noticed that ‘Santa Homer’ seemed to be clutching the railing and had a distinct lean to the right as if he had indulged in too much Christmas cheer. By the morning he was totally deflated and hanging over the balcony railing. Obviously the Christmas wine had been too much for him.
Every afternoon our neighbours pump Santa up ready for the evening festivities. Every morning Santa is lying over the rails obviously the worse for wear.
We can relate. We don our party clothes each night and set off in happy anticipation. the next morning, in tatty tracksuit, strong coffee in hand we slump in our deck chairs recovering from the night’s entertainment. If only someone could come along and pump us up so that we can be ready to party again. If ever I need a laugh to carry me through the rest of these hectic holidays I’ll just glance out of my window at the ‘tipsy’ Santa homer. If he can manage to survive and come up smiling, so can I.
I asked my writing friend Mairi Neil for a Christmas poem. She sent this acrostic poem for you to enjoy.
Caring for others and sending greeting cards
Happiness to spread around and love within our hearts
Ringing of bells in churches, and on Santa’s sleigh
Icing on Christmas cakes; fruit for puddings to weigh
Sleeping peacefully on Christmas Eve awaiting Santa’s call
Tinselled trees, fairy lights, decorations from kitchen to hall
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers wishing Merry Christmas to all!
Acceptance of gifts, sharing, and giving to please
Spiritual peace celebrating Christ’s birth, Christmas is
all of these.
© mairi neil 1994, small talk poems for children, Employ Publishing Group, St Kilda.