Tuesday, December 24, 2013

His: Living in America - Reflections on a Cold Christmas

What comes to mind when someone says the word "Christmas" to you? Most likely it is spending time with family, having a great meal together and opening gifts from your loved ones. These are the things I look forward to each year but Christmas now is very different to how I celebrated it when I lived in Australia. Some things are the same but there are also many things that are different. Here are some that immediately come to mind:

1: I still am not used to this whole Christmas is cold thing.
Australia's seasons are the opposite to what they are in America so that means Christmas is in the summer time. Most Christmas mornings were pretty warm, if not just brutally hot. Sometimes it would be well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas day. It doesn't get nearly as cold in Virginia as it does up in the northern parts of the U.S but it's still pretty cold and it's not unusual to be close to freezing on Christmas day. Even after 12 years I am still getting used to having to bundle up to go to Christmas dinner.

2: Christmas church services are not on Christmas Day in America.
When I was a child we would normally wake up and go to the early church service on Christmas day before we went to my grandparents house for the day. In America it is more common to go to church on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day. The only time I saw a service on Christmas day was when it fell on a Sunday. There may be churches that offer Christmas Day services but it not common where we live.

3: Christmas dinner is just not the same.
Since it was hotter than in the inside of a oven on Christmas day in Australia, the menu for dinner often included a variety of cold dishes including chicken, deli meats and various salads. There were not very many hot dishes on offer. In America the more traditional meal includes a turkey fresh from the oven, baked potatoes, green beans and other warm dishes.

4: I don't get Boxing Day off anymore (I get Christmas Eve off instead).
Most people in Australia get Christmas Day and the day after Christmas off. December 26th is known as Boxing Day which is an old British Holiday. A lot of times we would go off somewhere and have a picnic on Boxing day which was a lot of fun. In America, Boxing Day is not recognized (though it is in Canada) and most people get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off instead. It's nice to have Christmas Eve off but it doesn't make getting up for work on the 26th any easier.

5: There's no backyard cricket or swimming on Christmas Day anymore.
We used to get a ton of cool outdoor gear for Christmas so we would often head outside after opening presents to test out our new stuff. Sometimes we would play cricket or ride our bikes and if it got really hot we would go to the nearest pool or lake to cool off. In America it is way too cold for swimming and often too cold to go outside for any length of time.

This is just a short summary of how Christmas is different from when I celebrated it in Australia. I wrote about them in more detail last year so if you want to read more of my stories check out the following blog posts.
Christmas Eve in Australia
Christmas Day in Australia
Boxing Day in Australia

Amanda and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! May you have good times and may Santa bring you all sorts of goodies. How are you spending your Christmas?


1 comment:

  1. These are so interesting. Thanks for sharing! I can't even imagine Christmas in the summer weather. It was warm enough when we lived in FL (& now in NC), but to go swimming?! That must have been a huge shift for you, for all the holidays/seasons.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...