Everyone knows Christmas falls on December 25th right? Did you ever stop to think why we all reckon that this date was the appropriate one? I mean, no one really knows the actual day Christ was born right? It seems that in order to keep things reputable, us Christians decided to calculate the date exactly nine months after his conception!
That would make it March if my maths is right and according to ancient Roman history, they declared March 25 the day of the Equinox. Now the Equinox was widely celebrated by pagans whose old gods like Bacchus, ruled. Now we all know what happens when alcohol and celebrations mix don’t we?!
So it seems baby Jesus was conceived at a Pagan office-party gone wild, who knew?!
It’s in this spirit of larrikinism and sense of Pagan-superstition which I propose we take another gander at Christmas, an Australian Christmas or ‘Chrissie’ as we know it.
We have a national tendency to end our nouns in ‘ie’ so why not Christmas? Maybe we should also refer to ‘Chrissie’ as a ‘Her’ not an ‘it’ for a start?
Look I don’t mean to be disrespectful to our tradition of Christmas however I do think its time to unshackle ourselves from the Northern hemisphere’s notion of it.
Firstly, the most obvious difference is that we celebrate it the middle of our summer. not the depths of winter. While I’m at it, what’s with all those unsuitable Christmas motifs and animals?
I mean, I love Reindeer as much as the next bloke, well not if the next bloke is Rene Redzepi, he really loves Reindeer but what do they have to do with
Dare to dream of a sled led by Emus and Santa’s rosy-cheeked and pointy-eared helpers replaced by rosy-cheeked and dishevelled Les Paterson look-alikes.
Also, Santa is definitely not dressed like as Aussie. If he was truly dinky-di his attire would resemble that bloke from the Jims Mowing franchise or in the very least look a bit like Scott Cam.
And instead of a Pine or Fir tree to put pressies under, why not have a giant sheet of fly-paper in which to stick the gifts? Now that’s SO Aussie! However if we really couldn’t do without the security of a symbolic sentinel in our lounge rooms what about a giant can of Pea-Beau or Mortein that could automatically spray a fine mist at intervals.
We should outlaw the roasting of meats, especially
which could now look forward to Chrissie instead of being terrified by it. The
dreaded plum-pudd shall be banished from this wide brown land and with it, its watery-custard
In its place, the Pavlova might get to take its seat at the table of venerable Christmas dishes, finally validating its rightful place and shaking off its hamstrung identity as a second-rung dessert. Also if we took it up as our national Chrissie dessert we could once and for all put to bed that old myth that the Kiwi’s invented it. Douse the thing with strawberries and other berries, passionfruit or bananas and pineapple and BONZA; it’s OURS! All of a sudden it’s vying for inclusion on our coat of arms!
All of us republicans could rejoice as we ditch the wearing of crepe and gold paper Crowns, toss the thruppence and six-pennies and replace them with Akubras and our unique fifty-cent coins in which we could break our teeth with a rejuvenated national pride
As an alternative to the Nativity Scene howzabout kids make a diorama of a suburban back-yard replete with Hills-Hoist and our three wise men, Paul Hogan, Steve Irwin and Don Bradman standing around that most hallowed of icons, the barbeque? Perhaps consulting with cultural icons like Reg Mombassa, Helen Razor, Christos Tsiolkas to name a few, could help re-shape our mapping of our very own Christmas?
We are, as Billy Connelly is fond of lampooning, ‘Girt by Sea’ so seafood should and must be front and centre on our groaning tables for an authentic Aussie Chrissie.
Prawns, Crayfish and Oysters-the holy trinity of foodstuffs should be in copious and conspicuous mounds.
Some other motifs we could incorporate: Sparkling wine will be shunned for bottles of Sparkling Burgundy, cans buried in bottomless eskies, the sprinkler on for the kids to run through and your Auntie being forced to ‘Lady-Remington’ her upper lip before kissing nephews and nieces.
The days shall not be complete without a game of cricket being played, bon-bons being replaced by REAL crackers and all the jokes to come from the late Maurie Fields Great Aussie Joke Almanac. An afternoon nap will be legislated for as will the banning of being forced to consume ham-off-the-bone into the last weeks of January just because your Dad says ‘Its such a waste’ and the misguided trust he places in the Big W ‘Ham-Bag’
I sincerely hope you take up my call for a very Aussie Chrissie this year, Merry Christmas!