I don’t know about other countries, but here in Australia (the land of the Christmas Beetle) you know that Christmas is here when you are dive bombed as soon as you walk outside……………or inside if someone didn’t shut the windows, doors, early enough. Yep, things are buzzing around Christmas time! In your hair, in your face, in your cup of coffee or glass of wine! In the morning you sweep up the remains, the ones who are no longer moving. Those who are moving are turned over so they can enjoy the rest of their lives with the feeling that they are actually going somewhere, even if it is into the cats mouth. Now that I think about it, I don’t recall Christmas Beetles in the UK when I was there. Snow, chilly winds, frozen toes yes, beetles no! I think the Beetles must be an Aussie thing – altho I could google and see if NZ has them as well (but why spoil your fun when you could do it instead). I do recall going to a Christmas Tree farm in the UK and choosing a tree with a fellow inmate – well we were living in the nurses quarters. The tree was dug up – no killing of trees for a celebratory day for us! Then we came home with the d@mn thing and had to work out how to house it. In the corner of the ‘common room’ yes. Definately! But in WHAT! It had a lot of roots (so we could plant it out in new years, of course. So we found a very large cardboard box, and a lot of plastic sheeting (not sure where that came from, I’m sure it was legal tho?) Well, pretty sure anyway, and the statutory 7 years is well over now anyway…………
Then we had to find some dirt! Strangely enough we did. Not in the grounds of the hospital, but just in the next paddock, oops I mean field. A pile of dirt next to a newly filled in hole. Woohooo you might say (we did), what a stroke of luck you might say (WE DID), what a lucky find! And we scooped it up into our containers (no we didnt have a wheelbarrow handy, I just didn’t think when I was packing to do midwifery in the UK – shame on me!) Anyways, a few trips later, dusting our dirty hands off, thinking JOB WELL DONE – and – AREN”T WE AWESOME!
We sort of noticed a smell………….ewwww a really nasty smell! And that was the beginning, of when we realised that the dirt we had brought back to the nurses home was from a recently repaired sewerage pipe (thanks guys, you couldnt have put a sign out to say ‘Really Pongy Dirt – Just Don’t Go There?) Yes, so that Christmas was just a trifle chilly – not just because of the snow, the sleet and the ice, and the wind. Mostly because we had to keep the window open because the smell was AWESOMELY NASTY! TG I had two days off and got to go to my cousins house and breathe.
What sort of Christmasses have you had?
I’ve had Christmass’s with family, mmmmm that can be interesting. With friends and enemies, pretty predictable really. And at work – work is always unpredictable. I’ve never been one of those people who think that Christmas is always about the food (ham, turkey, prawns, hot or cold?) or the presents. I’ve always liked the crackers tho, even if they have lame jokes and plasticky hats. I’ve solved that one tho, buy buying ‘make your own’ now I just need to google ‘good dirty jokes for Christmas’ and we’ll be set! I had one Christmas visiting a friend living in nurses quarters and she was also ‘on call’ for theatres. We put our stuff together. Two presents – one each. One bottle of wine – which we couldn’t drink – I was driviing and she was ‘on call’. One can of baked beans, one can of tuna and some bread………….cool – no can opener tho. Finally found one of those old fashioned ones that are a hazard to your safety, and managed to open the baked beans before she got called into theatres. Really hope they had good air conditioning – you know what beanz meanz dont you?
I’ve had many a hot Christmas here in Australia. One spent at Coogee Beach with a large pack of Pommies and Irish. And 20 month old twins.
One Christmas in the UK at my cousins. It was pretty awesome having a cold Christmas – it wasn’t white, altho our breath was. Luckily they had great central heating, and even greater Yorkshire Puds! Love them. Then an ‘after dinner walk’ on the beach at Kessingland with the dog and assorted people. In the burgundy quilted knee length, grey furlined jacket………….ok I couldn’t afford anything trendier on my wages! Somehow spending 45 minutes getting dressed into your warm gear to go out for a walk was just weird! Even weirder tho, was a freezing cold New Year’s in London – altho I did kiss a bobbie. My friend said that the police hated being rostered on for NYE due to all the drunken females who insisted on kissing them. And I’ve always imagined them going home in the morning and scrubbing their faces before saying Hello and Happy New Year to their wife!
I’ve had a Christmas where my youngest step daughter was probably an ‘unbeliever’ in Santa. And I have (as evil stepmothers do) chewed a carrot and spat it around, tipped over the bucket (messy reindeer) and watched her face while she tried to believe that I wouldn’t do such a bogan thing…………….was worth every minute! Rofl! I have heard about people who have gone out and burnt stripes up the lawn to show where Santa landed the sleigh so I’m not the only one!
Nowadays we have alternate Christmas’ with the children. Previously this meant having an early Christmas, often a little hard on the budget. But this year with everyone so much older its Awesome. I’ve sent them off, and I can go shopping in the After Christmas SALES! Its also good because I dont have to worry that they have already recieved from the other parent or their family, that which I could afford!
Lastly, what do you leave out for Santa? My step children had a milk and cookies thing……….well that went when we broke up. I did feel a little odd until my daughter told me that at school one of the younger children said you had to leave a 6 pack of beer out for Santa!
In our house it became a Shandy and some cheese and bickies (biscuits if you’re not an Aussie.) The reindeer get a bucket of water (which they knock over the messy creatures!) and one carrot per house – this is because carrots make the reindeer fart and Santa cannot be expected to get all around the world unless they are rationed! So have a Merry One!