Christmas time is nearly here! In Australia that means it is hot. The last few days have been what I would class as a heatwave. Three days of temperatures about 35°C, getting up to 38°C. I don’t cope very well with the heat when it’s like that. I’m really a 27°C girl, where I can still wear a cute cardigan if I want to and I can go outside without a shimmering sweat coating my body.
We bought a fan, but boyfriend seems to be even worse with the heat than I am.
‘We need the air conditioning on,’ he moans. He even offers to pay more than half the electricity bill. So on it goes. I wake up at 2 am shivering because the room has become an ice box. Wash rinse repeat. For three miserable days we complain.
We go shopping in air conditioned malls, but the Christmas rush is almost worse than the oppressing heat.
Not to mention the air conditioning in my car has given up. So I’ve been driving around with the windows down, a dry gusty wind belting my ears and eyes. I can literally feel the hair on my arms and legs singeing as I drive in that little black hot box. The thermometer is showing around 40°C inside the car. On the plus side, I’m getting excellent fuel economy.
The heat has broken today. We had a few drops of rain. It’s so beautifully refreshing to feel a little bit cold. There aren’t many people at work. Everyone has started their Christmas holidays. I’m trying really hard to feel the excitement that Christmas used to invoke. The lights are on and the decorations are out. I’ve wrapped presents and made eggnog, gone looking at lights and listened to carols. But I just can’t seem to find the festive spirit.
Because there is not a single present under the tree for Dad to open. And I haven’t heard him play carols on the guitar. We haven’t heard his silly jokes, or eaten his Christmas coconut balls, or laughed about the mistletoe that he didn’t need to put up because he forgot to take it down from last year. Because Christmas Eve dinner was his tradition, and this year we’ll eat it without him at the table. We won’t eat chocolate and mince pies for breakfast together on Christmas morning. The carols will still be on, and Christmas Day will still come and go without him.
I was watching ‘The Grinch who Stole Christmas’, and Cindy Lou Who sings ‘Where are you Christmas?’
I have changed this year. When Dad died I grew up a lot, and I’m very different to who I was a year ago. But some things can live on. So I made a donation to Oxfam in Dad’s name. I made the coconut balls and the eggnog and I booked the Chinese restaurant. The spirit of Christmas is in the people who you love, but maybe if they are no longer be with you, the spirit can live on through their traditions. I hope so.
This is Julia, being grown up and finding a new meaning of Christmas.