We are in the middle of winter school holidays here in Australia. Typically, for our family, we have just been on a beach holiday! Sounds crazy but the kids and I had a delightful time swimming and playing in the warm winter sun! I don’t think it got below 23 degrees.
This time I took only three of my kids! The other members of the family went to friends’ or, in the sad case of my husband, work. It was a total treat! We’ve never split like that before for a holiday. I loved it, all the kids loved it, I haven’t seen my husband since we got back, (I’m madly preparing this post before he gets home, so I can give him my full attention when he does,) but from all accounts he loved it too! “Headspace galore!” he said.
We won’t miss winter all together. At the end of this week the kids, all 5 of them, and I are off to experience real winter! My husband is working again, but, at least now we know, it’s kind of a break. We’re heading inland to the mountains to stay on a farm, at Barrington Tops. I’m so looking forward to some cosy time by the fire, wet, crunchy underfoot, bush walks, skimming stones across the sluggish, almost freezing, but still very Australian river on the property, patting the animals and wandering the countryside with our breath out in front of us. I’m especially looking forward to family time with my Mum and my Aunt and Uncle who own the property. Delightful, especially because there will not be a pram or a highchair or a cot in sight!
Thinking about these two holidays, sitting crazily, side by side in July, made me think about an Aussie tradition, called ‘Christmas in July.’ Many people here in Oz, in July, head to cold towns, hopefully with some snow, to enjoy a hearty European Christmas feast. Some towns have a whole month, of Christmas in July tourism, and the town is decorated like Finland itself on Christmas Eve.
As I thought about it I started feeling nostalgic, and Christmassy and grateful and out flowed this poem. I’m not a very deep poet, my poetry is quite childlike, actually I grew up in a very childishly poetic family, lots of A.A. Milne, and A Child’s Garden of Verses, and Dr. Suess. I never appreciated W.H. Auden or the like, adult poetry is far too depressing most of the time, I’m sad to say.
As you read it, I hope those of you who are in the Northern hemisphere can enjoy a moment of empathy, for us Aussies. Enjoy your sweltering temps and think about celebrating Christmas! Maybe you can head to the beach, enjoy some seafood, and have a real Aussie Christmas while you’re at it!
Here is my little ditty, hope you are encouraged by it;
Thank You God At Christmas.
Thank you God at Christmas, for the angel Gabriel,
For the words he said to Mary, and to Joseph there as well.
Thank you that they listened, and believed that it was true.
Please help me God, to listen like that to you.
Thank you for the inn keeper, in Bethlehem that day,
Whose heart went out to Mary, when they had no place to stay.
Thank you, though it wasn’t much, he gave all that he had.
Please help me God, to give, and to be glad.
Thank you for the present, of that tiny little boy,
The wrapped up baby Jesus, brought the world it’s greatest joy.
Helpless in a manger, was Glory from above.
Let me, in my weakness, know the power of your love.
Thank you God at Christmas, for the shepherds on the ground,
Who heard it from the Angels, and spread the news around.
Thank you that the story, is a tale we all can share,
Of how you sent your only Son, to earth, because you care.
Thank you for the wise men, who travelled from afar,
In faith began a journey, based only on a star.
Thank you for the faith in us to fix our eyes on you,
To walk away from those, like Herod, who would your work undo.
Thank you for the life of Christ, that prophesies had told,
A life of love for others, predicted from on old.
A heart that put you higher, than everything in view,
A death that opened heaven, and gifted life anew.
God bless you, be encouraged today by a God who doesn’t care what temperature it is. He just loves you.
Lots of love,
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