With the majority of inhabitants immigrants, or the children of
immigrants from many different countries and cultures, Australia could
arguably be said to have one of the most successful multi-cultural societies
in the world. But whether they are recently from Asia or
second or third generation Chinese, Indian or Scot; Budhist, Christian or Agnostic,
all seem to love the
wonderful celebration we call Christmas. Time has seen many changes for
the better in Australian society and each nationality and culture has added
its own unique flavour to what it is to be Aussie.
Christmas is a doubly happy time for most of us as it is also the end of the school year and the start of
the long summer holidays. The
beaches and caravan parks fill up with holiday makers, the
airplanes fill with people travelling back for family gatherings.
We seem to be a people who love to move about, as if the
magic of the Aborigines' 'Walkabout' and the spirit of the 'Jolly
Swagman' himself lives on in us all.
In recent times the Boxing Day celebrations has seen two uniquely Australian events come to the fore. Both appeal to our Australian love of sport. In Melbourne it is the tradition of cricket fans flocking to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) to watch the "Boxing Day Test". While in Sydney it takes the form of the "Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race" and sunny Sydney Harbour packed with pleasure boats of all kinds. Those of us not lucky enough to actually be there watch these events on TV for Boxing Day is also part of the Christmas Public Holidays here in Australia.
In Australia we seem to live a curious
double life, at least as far as
Christmas is concerned. While enjoying the sunshine and the outdoor
living of an Australian summer, at Christmas time we still surround ourselves with
the trappings of an icy Northern winter.
fake snow adorns our windows and snow filled Christmas cards line up
over our empty hearths. Our Shopping Mall Santas' swelter in artic style red suits while
flushed children in shorts and tee shirts line up to put in their
Christmas orders. This situation is no doubt due to the vast numbers of us who
either immigrated from Northern lands or had parents who did
and grew up listening to them telling tales of childhood Christmas' spent
gathered around blazing fires while winter snows artfully decorated the landscape