Adventures & Insights

One man's adventures in the physical and intellectual worlds…

Christmas. Typical?


I live about a thousand miles away from most of my family. I’m not hyperbolising either. While I do live very near my Wolf Brother, the remainder of my immediate family is approximately 1700 kilometres (1000 and something miles) north of me.

Each Christmas I try to catch up with them. I miss my family and always love seeing them and Christmas is a fantastic time of year to take the opportunity in. I get a solid week off work and the two hour flight is more than easy to deal with in order to spend some invaluable time with my family.

While no Christmas is ever exactly the same, there are a few things that make the occasion special and unique to me. Besides the overarching Spirit of Christmas, it just wouldn’t be the same if the following things weren’t present:

1. The heat – Christmas in Queensland is not white. Christmas in Cairns can be quite uncomfortable even if you’re accustomed to the weather. Temperatures average around 30 degrees Celsius (approximately 86 degrees Fahrenheit) and with humidity somewhere in the 69-75% range, there’s a very good chance that you’ll spend Christmas Day hot and sweaty, even in the shade. Of course, swimming pools, fans and air-conditioners are very popular as a result.

2. The family – A rough guesstimate of any given “OpentoAdventure Clan” gathering puts the number of seats required at the festive table in the vicinity of 22. It’s not a huge gathering, but it certainly makes for lively conversation and brilliant, if not slightly insane events. We all usually get along famously, but with that many people enduring the heat there’s always the possibility of an incident. Especially if Santa hasn’t seen fit to deliver the appropriate gifts for the little boys and girls who believe they were good all year long.

3. The pool – I’m not sure how we ever celebrated Christmas without a pool nearby! Thankfully now, no matter where we meet for Christmas lunch, there is always a pool in close proximity to the festivities. The Annual Aunty Aquatic Extravaganza has become something of a tradition now, and it’s always fun to take a dip in the cool waters of the pool before or after lunch.

4. Dad’s trifle – A few years ago my Dad decided to make a trifle to contribute to the Christmas Day meal. I’m not sure exactly where he found the recipe but it was one that tickled his fancy and so he set to work creating this delicious dessert. Of course, it was a hit and is now a standard addition to the menu.

5. Roses chocolates – In addition to all the other delicious food that is brought to Christmas lunch there are the Roses. For as long as I can remember, there has been a box of Roses delivered each and every Christmas to accompany any other gifts. I can’t look at a box anymore without thinking about being at home with my family.

There are many other things that I could add to this list. Christmas Day for me is a day shared with family that I don’t see nearly as often as I would like to – and it’s often a day that packs about a year’s worth of insanity into a 12-hour block. But I wouldn’t trade my Christmasses for anything; I only hope to be able to share them each and every year. As much as I’d like to see a White Christmas, I just don’t know if it would be the same for me.

Are there any particular things that make your Christmas truly yours?

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10 responses to “Christmas. Typical?

  1. Blisstrack December 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I understand you with the weather, here is almost the exact same weather all year long. It goes from rainy to sunny but that’s about it. Yet I prefer it… I think I could not stand a -15º temperature.
    In my family my uncle dresses like Santa Claus and gives the little ones their gifts at midnight.
    Merry Christmas! and blessings 🙂

    • OpentoAdventure December 22, 2010 at 11:02 pm

      I’m with you Bliss. I’d love to have a White Christmas once in my life but I don’t know if I could do it every year. Your uncle is awesome!

      I hope you have a brilliant Christmas and a wonderful New Year, thanks for reading!

  2. bearyweather December 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I have never had a Christmas without snow … we came close once, but mother nature brought the white stuff just in time. The snow makes me feel like it is Christmas time (I am trained like Pavlov’s dogs I suppose). Unfortunately, December brings us very short days … it is dark and usually very cold (we just made it through about a week of 20º F below zero temps.
    Although the thought of being able to wear all those fun looking Christmas dresses and such instead of bulky sweaters, coats and big pack boots at this time of the year sounds fun … I can’t imagine Christmas feeling the same without the snow.
    Hope you have a great (cooler than normal) holiday!

    • OpentoAdventure December 17, 2010 at 9:08 am

      I hope you have a great holiday too!

      Shame about the shorter days though, and I imagine that it can’t be too exciting when you’re so rugged up it’s hard to even move.

      -20º F?! That’s amazing! I’m having trouble imagining that sort of temperature is even possible; maybe in outer space?! 😉

      • bearyweather December 17, 2010 at 10:28 am

        Yep .. you guessed it, I live in outer space. -20º is not bad … we function pretty normal then. -40º degree weather is yet to come, we always get that cold at least a few days each year. (you don’t go outside, then .. unless you have to)
        We have about 8 hour days now … the shortest day is just about here (Dec 22) then it will gradually work it’s way back to 16 hour days.
        This summer, when I have short 8 hour nights and warm temps … what will it be like there?

        • OpentoAdventure December 17, 2010 at 11:24 am

          I am truly astounded by the teperatures you endure through Winter. I have trouble operating at anything under 15º Celcius (59º Fahrenheit)!

          I think your Summer is the same as our Winter! From June to August our temperatures are I think roughly equivalent to yours – although we might get a little colder but hardly anywhere near your regular weather I imagine.

          To give you an idea about our coldest weather, the lowest temperature ever recorded in Queensland was -11º C (12º F). Of course, the further south you go, the colder it gets, but I don’t think we’ve ever been as cold as you get!

  3. The Edmonton Tourist December 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I had the good fortune to spend one Christmas in your part of the world- sort of- Echuca actually. And it was freaking hot! It was awesome! But you are right, it wasn’t the same and that was fab for one year. Like you, I need snow and more importantly my family if muppets near by.
    This was a lovely tribute to your family 🙂

    • OpentoAdventure December 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      I’m glad you got the chance to experience a similar Christmas to my usual, I’m looking forward to seeing what a cold one’s like!

      Family is great to have around at all times, and being away fromt hem most of the year just makes me appreciate them all the more when I do get the opporunity to be with them.

      I hope you have a fantastic Christmas this year!

  4. educlaytion December 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I was just wondering what the weather is like in your part of the world this time of year. I had that thought earlier today as I walked a mere 1/2 mile through 5 degree wind on a high hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Your talk of pools and warm Christmas lunches is making me jealous. Hope you have a great time!

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