I love Christmas. Absolutely adore it. Wearing tinsel as a feather boa, breaking out into songs in shopping centres, sure I can do those things the rest of the year too but in December I don’t get odds looks from strangers.
I’m going to cause a bit of controversy here and come out and say I love tinsel trees. Yes the real trees are beautiful and I grew up on a farm where we actually had pine trees so every year we had a real tree, smelling of fresh pine needles. But I feel so sad seeing the tree drop its needles and slowly fade away, that now I always go for the tastefully fake option. Plus it means the tree goes up on 1 December and stays up all the way to the 12th Day of Christmas. In fact last year it made its appearance on the 30th November, just because I couldn’t wait anymore.
You’ll be pleased to know I managed to hold off until the 5th December this year, mainly because I was in Melbourne at the start of the month where I visited all the Christmas sites, from the exhibition of Christmas trees in Federation Square to the Myers window along Bourke Street.
While I was travelling in Europe I had many long debates about the most pressing issue of the day: is it better to have a white Christmas or celebrate with sand, surf and sun?
I’ve had the best of both worlds this year, travelling in Europe at the start of winter meant I could see Christmas markets in Budapest with brightly coloured matryoshka dolls and gingerbread and lights being installed in cities all around the continent.
I felt a particularly frisson of pleasure in Cardiff seeing the lights hanging all around the city, waiting for the switch to be turned on. Last year the cast of Dr Who threw the switch and the city went wild.
But just as I was feeling all aglow with the Spirit of Christmas, I discovered the dark secret of Cardiff’s Yuletide enthusiasm.
A street away from the city centre are the Cardiff markets and here was the sign below, advertising exotic meat. I admit I scoffed a bit at seeing kangaroo, it’s hardly exotic, I’d call it more ‘road kill on the Tuggeranong Parkway’, but then my eye went to the top of the board and I saw…reindeer!
Run Rudolf run, don’t look at the pretty lights, it’s a trap!
However you are choosing to celebrate this year, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
And don’t forget to come back and visit this blog in 2012!