Australian Christmases and Floridian ones are so much alike!
Cindy Tomamichel is a multi-genre writer. Escape the everyday with the time travel action adventure series Druid’s Portal, science fiction and fantasy stories or tranquil scenes for relaxation. Discover worlds where the heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.
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An Australian Christmas
by Cindy Tomamichel
Christmas in Australia must seem very weird to people in the northern hemisphere. The traditional Christmas of snow, robins, reindeer and mulled wine is something that we never get Down Under. Not even in winter does it get that cold – in places like Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory it is shorts, t shirt and thongs (flip flops) all year round.
So what heralds Christmas in Australia? It is the beginnings of Summer. Daylights savings and magpies nesting and swooping, plovers screeching and nesting in strange places. Baby galahs screaming for food. Nature is waking up from our brief winter and getting things done before it’s too hot. Mysterious and alien looking cicada shells appear overnight, perched on trees, walls, fences with the shell burst open along the back. With the first warm day, they start screaming, so loud a local café could not hear the takeaway orders.
And it keeps getting hotter. The warnings come out about locked cars, babies and dogs. The asphalt melts, black dribbles run into the gutter. Flying foxes come back from their winter holiday, timing their arrival with the first of the nectarines and peaches. The first hints of smoke in the air makes every one uneasy. We talk about bushfire season, and worry, and plan our escape. Fresh fruit is abundant in the shops and in backyards as the first mangoes, peaches, plums and nectarines push aside apples.
Christmas shopping is a nightmare (probably in any country) but shops are full of sweaty, cranky people. But there is also the blessed air conditioning, a balm to ragged tempers and bright red enraged toddlers. Ice cream drips on shirts and children’s faces. The first ice coffee of the season. TV adverts have Santa in a pair of board shorts, thongs and on a surfboard. Instead of reindeer we have cartoon kangaroos in Santa hats. The carols have been playing in the shops since October, so we can hum along to songs about snow and sleigh rides and get into a car with seats that burn your legs, and the steering wheel your hands.
Christmas day can vary, from a lovely warm day to a blazing inferno with hot winds that smell of smoke. Years ago we feasted on wildly inappropriate foods such as pudding and roasts, now most people do a more relaxed and Australian Christmas feast. The beach and backyard (if you have a pool) are ideal places to celebrate.
The table will still groan with food. Cold ham, or a chicken roasted in the early morning. Many people stick with seafood, prawns, salmon and crayfish, dished up with salads. Devilled eggs usually pop up in amongst dishes of cherries, chocolates, and rum balls. Desserts include pavlova (a large meringue with mango, kiwi fruit, peaches, berries and passionfruit) or a huge trifle. Fruitcake and shortbread are relegated to the sideboards, hoping for a spare bit of stomach space.
But strange as it seems, we enjoy it. It has become an especially Australian way to celebrate with salads and the BBQ, forgetting the cold heritage our forebears would have known.
Cindy takes with the a book that’s so cool!
Druid’s Portal: The First Journey by Cindy Tomamichel released a few years back in the time travel, ancient world romance.
A portal closed for 2,000 years. An ancient religion twisted by modern greed. A love that crosses the centuries.
An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love – but are they a promise or a curse?
Her fiancé Daman hurts and abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.
In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain, and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves – Janet and the Empire.
Time is running out – for everyone.