Christmas in July?
I don’t know who started it, but I was amazed when I was holidaying here in July 2004 to see Christmas decorations already on sale in the shops. “Boy! They start early” I thought. But no.
These decorations weren’t being sold in preparation of December, they were for Christmas in July. The thing is, when the real Christmas comes around in December, it doesn’t matter much where you are in Australia. It’s going to be hot! Something like 40°C.
Try cooking up roast turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, brussels, parsnips well, the full traditional Christmas dinner in those sort of temperatures. It’ll get even hotter. It’s not much fun.
So the average Aussie will get hold of some fresh fish and perhaps some Morton Bay bugs, fire up the barbecue and grabs some tinnies. Christmas dinner alfresco.
Somewhere along the line, somebody, rumoured to be the Irish, were hankering for a traditional Christmas with a traditional dinner, including the traditional overeating but without the overheating. Christmas in July was their solution. And it caught on!
This year we decided to have one ourselves.
So, we were invited around our friend’s house for “Christmas”. Now, I have to say, here in Brisbane this idea does not work as well as it probably does elsewhere in Australia. After all, it was still hot at 22°C and sunny. But we gave it a good go.
Those who really want to get into it travel to any one of the snowfields which I have mentioned in my post Australia Is a Big Country. But top locations would be Thredbo, Perisher Blue, Mt. Buller, Mt Selwyn, Falls Creek – all might get snow this time of the year.
Although it is hot here during the day, the temperature does fall dramatically at night to around 12°C. So we fired up a Christmassy log fire.
Our hosts had planned a five course meal for us which comprised of a starter….
Then, of course, we had a full traditional roast, just as I have described it above. That was followed by a chocolate fondue, we then had Christmas pudding before finally tucking in to the stilton. The whole lot was washed down with lashings of beer, wine and a sprinkling of port.
We even paid a small tribute to Scrooge by not buying each other any presents. (Don’t worry, we made an exception for all those aged five and under).
On the one hand we all had a really good time, but on the other hand I couldn’t help thinking we were all…..
But Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without this. Go on, treat yourself! Join in the fun. This is the greatest Christmas song ever written, introduced (in part) by the finest DJ the world has ever seen, the much loved and very much missed, John Peel.
“Look to the future now, it’s only just begun.”