I was reading through Greta Christina’s post Seven Reasons for Atheists to Celebrate the Holidays about why atheists might be quite into holidays that have religious origins and nodding enthusiastically but finding myself having to gloss over references to winter. And then reason number 1 was all about winter and I really felt it was imperative that there be an Australian version of the list so that the enthusiastic nodding could continue uninterrupted.
So here’s my version, I’m not even trying to make it a universal Aussie list, it’s just mine and I was going to try and put it in some sort of order, but it isn’t.
1. SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!
No routine! No homework! (Unless you’re in year 12, in which case, my commiserations.) Look, I realise this is a mixed blessing for a lot of people, what with the childcare drought and having to spend 24 hours a day for 6 weeks with your increasingly feral offspring. But the good bits of it are pretty damn good. Even those who are past their schooling days and have no other link to the education calendar get to enjoy the relief from peak hour congestion and school zone speed limits on 6 lane highways.
It’s the giving presents part that I like most these days, but there’s no denying that as a kid the getting part was quite high on my list of reasons to love Christmas.
3. The Music.
I could probably have just posted Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun and called that my list. Plus, he and I agree about the songs.
On Sunday I took the kids to the Opera House to see Handel’s Messiah. Adam goes every year, usually by himself. But this year he was in the choir. Singing. I didn’t know my husband could sing. Strictly speaking I still don’t know that because massed choir etc. It was kinda cool. If this is your sort of music then Christmas has some of the best of it on offer.
4. The Food.
Mangoes and cherries and fruit mince pies and gingerbread and prawns and oysters and legs of ham and turkey roasts on hot summer days and Christmas pudding and Christmas cake and trifle and pavlova and candy canes and chocolate elves and sharing all of these things with all the people you love. There is nothing better.
5. The Movies.
Die Hard, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Robbie the Reindeer, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Love Actually (yeah, I know, #myfavesareproblematic).
Traditions are all about memories, recalling old ones and making new ones. They strengthen connections between friends and family who you might not see much or at all during the year but who you make the effort to catch up with because it’s Christmas time. They mark the passing of time and the changing of the seasons, and celebrate surviving another year.
On Saturday we will be hosting the 24th Adam and Mim’s Christmas Party. As is traditional, I’m not ready, which is obviously why I’m blogging instead of doing what I should be doing.
(You should probably go and read Greta’s post because it is much more thinky than mine and is worth reading.)