Tonight we finished getting all our Christmas lights up. It has gotten to be quite a task over the years, as we have added to our collection of lights. It is worth the effort though, they look so nice and really get me in the Christmas spirit. I’ve always loved Christmas lights, they capture the essence of the season for me. Even in Australia, where Summer is now in full swing.
Christmas comes from the Pagan celebration of Yule. Yule is a celebration of light, a celebration of the rebirth of the sun. Up until Yule, the Winter Solstice, the Sun is steadily moving further away from the earth. At Yule, the sun has reached its furthest point from the Earth. It sits at this distance for three days, then begins its slow return to us. It is still the deepest, darkest days of Winter. But we celebrate this tiny light in the darkness, the hope of the returning Spring. The rebirth of the Sun God.
In Australia, this is all backwards, but there is no escaping the spirit of the season. Here, Christmas is heat, sun, swimming, camping. A lamb roast on a sweltering forty degree day, a cold beer to go with it. It is exchanging gifts with your loved ones and spending time with family and friends. It is a celebration of the end of one year and the beginning of another.
Here the kids are on their Summer holidays, so Christmas and New Year are integrated into the holidays. The “Silly Season”, a time when most Aussie’s drink too much, eat too much and generally get a bit fatter. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Australia boasts a brilliant singer, Paul Kelly. He is able to capture the essence of our country perfectly. He can sum up an Aussie Christmas, and the spirit of the season, far better than I. A true Aussie Christmas carol, enjoy: