Friday, 29 December 2017


Well, I told you what we got given for Christmas last year and no one complained, so here it is again a year later. In Australia, gifts are usually exchanged by families on either Christmas Eve, or more often on Christmas Day, as we do. Of course there are exceptions, with the changing nature of the family, in modern life.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. For years we have tried to abide by the second one, in some of our immediate family gifting. We give each other a mix of new and secondhand/vintage/antique items. This helps the environment in both reducing landfill waste, and reducing the extraction of new manufacturing materials from the ground. 

If some items are bought from op (opportunity ) shops , otherwise known as thrift shops, all the better, as the money goes to a good cause. Even buying from Ebay or garage sales and markets can help a struggling person, rather than a huge multinational.

Get yo dancing shoes on for this song:

 We get to save money, important as we are not rich, (and have ever more grossly inflated utility bills to pay. I believe the size of those bills is depressing our economy, as consumers can afford to spend less and less, while store keepers get hit both ways, as their bills are unsustainable too. )

Then there is the benefit that the vintage items may be rare, and the recipient, or their home, won’t end up looking like everyone else’s. 

Again, for the environment and saving money, many years we havn’t bothered to wrap gifts in our immediate family. This year we did, however, we only used paper, which is recyclable, not plastic.

Note, costume denotes jewellery that is not precious, just a bit of fun.

Acerules received a number of items that were collected and hidden the last 6 months:

* two pairs of perfect condition blue denim jeans from the op shop (thrift shop), one long, one shorter for Summer.

*A formal black chiffon dress with clear diamentes , fully lined, for her school dance next year, secondhand from Ebay. (It was popular, the bidding was heavy, but I knew she liked it so I hung in there. We had looked at a lot of dresses , new and used before that and she was Fussy! )

* a gold plated black and clear crystal costume ring to go with the above dress, new from Ebay.

 *A large as-new Oxford dictionary and coffee table style large format hardcover book on Wildlife from op shops. She loves animals. After Christmas dinner in the backyard, she played a dictionary game where she read out words and we had to say their meaning, some of them were hard, but it was fun!

*Vintage costume jewellery from Ebay. Some had a Scottish theme, which is part of her ancestry. 

*New pewter Celtic costume jewellery set from Ebay. 

* A new DVD horse movie Flicka, from the supermarket.

*New costume charm bracelet and charms from Ebay to suit her interests. They included Australian animals and flag, her pets, her laptop, pool table and balls, teenage junk food and drink, beads, music, dress, mask, Dr Who, etc. she had fun arranging and rearranging them.

*Bottle of nice perfume from our local chemist/pharmacist. 

*Beauty case of cheaper makeup and nail polish to “play with” from the local supermarket. 

*A pink mobile phone holder.

*Avon makeup and nail polish bought from Nancy in US, some for her party next year, so not to “play with”.

*A white fluted footed classical Wedgewood vase for her adult home. She collects Regency/Empire/Federal style homewares. The vintage vase came from a vintage  boutique/barber/dress shop in our town.

*black hair barrettes.

Hubby received items also hidden during the year:

*A hardcover autobiography by Stephen Fry , an actor he enjoys, from the op shop (thrift shop), in as new condition. 

*Assorted movie DVD s both new and second hand , from the supermarket and Ebay. 

*Two costume jewellery rings, one like an owl, his favourite bird, and one like a lion head, for his party costume. A lion is the mascot of Venice. Both new from Ebay.

* sensitive skin shaving cream from the supermarket.

*Packet of new Bonds jockettes (briefs)  from the supermarket, one for every day of the week! His friend was here when the presents were opened, who gave him alot of teasing about what size he is ;)

*A vintage carved wooden desk organiser. Probably from Asia. He doesn’t use a desk, so it will go on his bedside table (nightstand). I think it was from an op shop (thrift shop).

* he likes Vikings, so received a rare pre owned vintage set of carving knife and fork, and salad server, engraved with reliefs of Vikings , made in Norway, purchased on Ebay.

* a card drawn and made by Acerules 

* They both got notebooks. Not computers, the kind you write in. 

I received a CD of Midnight Oil, new, and a preowned 3 disc set of Glenn Miller from the thrift shop.

* Acerules drew and made me a card.

* From my friend overseas we received a box of beautiful masks from Italy and Venice, for Acerules party next year.

Lyrics of we had it all:

Link to article on an enormous electricity bill:


Going to church the night before meant I had time to play with tablescaping , before this Christmas lunch, our main meal. Now was a good time, with all the props for her 16 th birthday in the house, that would mostly be sold afterward. The weather was perfect for eating outside, in the mid 20s centigrade. 

I was looking through our linen cupboard for a suitably rich looking tablecloth , to cover the larger glass table in the backyard carport. At the last minute, hubby had finally pulled out the self seeded tree and weeds that were growing underneath it, and relieved it of its burden of upside down furniture awaiting our paint brushes. Acerules gave it a hot soapy wash. Hubby arranged a couple of shrubs in pots, on the perimeter. Unfortunately our lovely old apple tree nearby had died this year, which needs removing. I miss it’s blossoms, canopy of leaves and of course fruit. 

 I’ve always collected household textiles, often secondhand/vintage ones. I had a fruit patterned tapestry weave tablecloth in mind. Until I saw the spiders on it, that is. Forget that, I thought, and grabbed more recent purchases from the pile, some smaller red and gold brocade cloths made from saris, I had bought for our side tables in the dining room, cheap and pre owned, from an eBay seller who was cleaning out her mother’s possessions. To go underneath I chose a red tartan doona cover that’s seen better days, but I love tartan.  I grabbed some toning napkins too, mustard, gold, and burgundy,  giving the spiders a wide berth. Deal with them in the new year, I thought. 

Ok, I like a challenge, and I own a small collection of musical instrument playing dolls, from my music teaching days. I grabbed a gold sari wearing  Indian veena player and a Scottish bagpipe player, plus my daughter’s Indonesian vaguely renaissance gold wooden candlesticks, bought long years ago for her Mary Queen of Scots bedroom, from a wholesaler’s outlet in Sydney. I carted out one of the second-hand crystal Marie Thérèse chandeliers we bought on eBay to renovate for her 16 th party coming up, and brought home on the train from Melbourne. Hubby hung it from a hook, removed the globes (bulbs) and added battery candles collected for the 16 th party. 

Although I was using paper plates outdoors, I got out some lovely glass tankards we have in our leadlight cabinet, with fleurs de lys on them, and gave them a warm rinse to remove the light dust. (How does that get in a closed cabinet anyway?) The centerpiece was our blue and teal peacock vase we got for our wedding anniversary mid year, I picked some vibrant roses from our garden for that, saying hello to neighbours walking past. Some cheap turquoise second hand , hand painted ceramic coasters from Ebay to match the vase completed the colour scheme. 

The last few months I’ve been on the mailing list of several decorating blogs from the US. Their style is all about the modern French provincial/farmhouse, they make very nice , mostly neutral rooms. It’s pure escapism for me. Over Christmas they’ve nearly all pictured long drapings of greenery like magnolia, on dining tables or mantelpieces, so, tongue in cheek I got out a shiny gold swag of fake vine leaves set aside for Acerule’s baroque party. I wouldn’t cut it in their sensible blogosphere, but I was having fun, and so were the family, this is Aus, and we are a bit cheeky here.

The bon bons , or crackers, as they’re called here, were an unusual treat, filled with chocolates, not explosives and hats, I don’t eat chocolate so only bought two. I liked how I could get them individually, when the smallest box of traditional crackers available, carried 8. There’s a niche in the market for smaller families.

This Christmas I had decided to serve turkey, ham, supplied by hubby’s employer, and prawns. I’d bought most of the ingredients in the months before, to spread costs, and take advantage of sales. The turkey was a better size for a small group, a frozen rolled breast . It was quite tasty, defrosted in the fridge for two days, quick to cook, and no leftovers to find space for in the fridge. The instructions said “not suitable to microwave” and DO NOT REMOVE FOIL. As my gas stove (range) is still on the front porch, (the joys of renovating without taking out loans), I did remove the foil, squashed it into a dish , covered and microwaved it, for a third of the time listed for an oven. No worries, mate, it was quite tender, and because I was distracted by Acerules Finally decorating the indoor tree and putting the presents underneath, the turkey was “well caramalised” ;)  

I added American made cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Due to high utility bills , I’d decided to spread costs by having the large Aussie prawns on Christmas Eve, and ham with apple sauce from Boxing Day onward (after Christmas Day ) , and we didn’t buy any alcohol this year. 

Hubby playing with the props. I’d decided to call the theme British / French Colonial.

We had a traditional English style Christmas pudding heated in the microwave and served with ( reduced fat) cream and custard. 

We sat around outside , playing with Christmas presents and chatting with a friend that dropped in, had a light meal of our chook and duck eggs there for dinner, 

put on mozzie repellant, as it got dark quite late,  and finally went inside at ten pm, carrying our battery lanterns in last. After all, candles look great outside, but unless they are in hurricane lanterns or similar, they do blow out. By all means, have your fancy props, but have battery backup! Finally I turned off the stereo that had been playing CDs for hours, of Bing Crosby , Nat King Cole and similar, singing about Christmas in the snow, while we enjoyed our mild Summer weather.

Friday, 22 December 2017


An Aussie Bush carol- Carol of the birds by John Wheeler.

Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus moluccanus feeding in a flowering Corymbia ficifolia
Public domain, taken by Snowmanradio

Birds eggs in our backyard.

Acerules not far from our house.

Near our home, gum nuts in a native tree.

Family I love, 
places I treasure,
scent of gum branches,
senses unmeasured.

The birth of a Baby
be marked with feasting,
church going, singing,
bows on our beasties.

Still I’m not ecstatic
without your discourse.
My friends are essential
to treasure Christmas.

So write in the comments
beloved readers dear.
You know the procedure,
it’s just like last year!

(Copyright Runningonempty.)

Ceratopetalum gummiferum
NSW Christmas Bush

On the old rail trail.

A gum tree in the street around the corner.

Along by Merry Christmas Time 

Henry Lawson, 1913

      “Along by merry Christmas time they buy the aged goose,
      And boil the dread plum pudding, because of ancient use.
      But to sneer at old time customs would be nothing but a crime,
      For the memory of the Past is all bound up in Christmas time.

      Then Jim comes home from shearing, and he puts a few away,
      With Dad, perhaps, or Uncle, but they're right on Christmas Day:
      For be it on the Never, or 'neath the church bells' chime,
      The family gets together, if they can, at Christmas time.

      And, after tea at Christmas, they clear the things away
      And play the dear old silly games our grand-folk used to play
      And Dad gives a recitation that used to be the joy
      Of all the Western countryside, when Father was a boy.

      Along by merry Christmas time, and ere the week is o'er
      We meet and fix up quarrels that each was sorry for.
      Our hearts are filled with kindness and forgiveness sublime,
      For no one knows where one may be next merry Christmas time.”

    “Along by merry Christmas time, and ere the week is o'er
    We meet and fix up quarrels that each was sorry for.
    Our hearts are filled with kindness and forgiveness sublime,
    For no one knows where one may be next merry Christmas time.”
    Henry Lawson 1913

A blessed Christmas from the Aussie Bush in 2017.

lyrics and translation of Carol of the birds

Please all leave a comment or three below.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017


This is part 12 of the series I'm writing in the lead up to our daughter's sweet 16 Venetian Masquerade baroque ball early next year. Please read the other 11 parts. 

Well, we have had a change in venue, to a hall, and now I have to cook for the party, no caterers. Hubby is a qualified cook, (working currently in a different industry) but I need him to do security as he is big. I will be in the kitchen most of the time, so I cancelled my elaborate costume as lady of the palazzo, thereby saving money. Now my character is a housekeeper, I guess. I’m glad the theme is Italian, as I can do that cuisine. The good news is it will be much cheaper, especially as I can provide soft drinks from the supermarket much more cheaply, but alot of work for me after setting up while hubby and Acerules are at work and school. Then the garage sale is at the same venue next day to sell most of the props that were purchased. By the time I get home I will be exhausted, please say a prayer for me, as I don’t have very good health. The things we do for love, eh. Acerules is worth it, she’s such a nice , good girl. 

Before the party I have to remember to advertise the garage sale. That might mean walking a letterbox drop, and a newspaper ad. 

Thousand Foot Krutch - Welcome to the Masquerade

“I'm not afraid
I'm not ashamed
I'm not to blame
Welcome to the masquerade
I'm not ashamed
I'm not afraid
I'm not okay
Welcome to the masquerade
Welcome to the masquerade”.

Excerpt from Welcome to the masquerade by Thousand foot Krutch

Dean Martin - That’s Amoré

A friend from overseas blew us away by sending these masks below as a Christmas present, for the party, so kind and generous. They are much more beautiful in reality, and we gasped as we lifted them out of the box. Acerules was very excited trying them on. They all have tags saying made in Italy, or made in Venice, some have official looking seals. There are music notes on the big one, under the eyes. I guess maybe a couple will hang on the wall at the party and a couple we will wear, but carefully, not when we are eating anything, especially pasta! Acerules wants to keep some afterward for her adult house.

Copyright runningonempty

Two masks that I bought from Ebay earlier:

Copyright runningonempty

I kept telling her to smile, hahaha:

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


Enya- The Spirit of Christmas Past-

Christmas in Australia-

NFSA Films 

That film was made in 1958. I was born less than ten years later. Many things in the video I remember well, including the British accent of the narrators on our black and white tv and transistor radio.  We citizens had Aussie accents . The majority of us were white, as there was a government “white Australia “ policy.

In the two biggest east coast cities , Melbourne and Sydney, Myer and David Jones department stores would decorate their windows with mechanised puppets, a different storyline every year. It was a family outing for children to trek into the city central to see them. We didn’t, as we lived about 5 hours away, in a country town, in the days before the freeway that is in place now. 

We had a similar metal and plastic Christmas tree to that shown in the film, but bigger. As we had traditional English/Celtic style Christmas food every year, Mum would start the baking up to months in advance, of the Christmas fruit cake, and Christmas boiled dried-fruit pudding. This was done so that the flavours would merge. As Mum and Dad were teetotallers, she put orange juice in them instead of alcohol, as is normally done. I love Christmas cake, these days I buy mine to support a charity, (The Lions Club) I’m eating some as I write, it’s delicious, and “keeps” without “going off” in a tin, for weeks or months. One year Dad appeared in the kitchen after the cake batter was in the tin. Mum asked him to arrange the almonds on top of the cake. He opened his hand and just let them drop. He was never a cook, that’s for sure. 

A feature of our lives every Christmas, in what is known as the advent period, was Mum going to church choir practice one night a week, and also rehearsals for a Christmas concert that would be put on at different institutions. When I was very young it was a mental hospital, later when we moved to a different town,  a country hospital and nursing home. (Later when we lived in the city in my high school years, she visited a jail every Christmas Day to sing as part of a concert. )

A couple of days before Christmas, Mum would get the Christmas turkey out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge.  One time she threw the large frozen turkey to Dad unexpectedly, as he came in the kitchen door. Every Aussie is trained to “mark” (catch ) a football, so it didn’t land on his foot. 

The pillow case at the end of the bed for Santa to fill with presents on Christmas Eve was a feature of our childhood too. A great idea as it was completely reusable all year, biodegradable, and held more than a stocking does. There were also less toys given than now, as shown in the video, as overseas cheap manufacturing was less prevalent. Things cost more, were better made not to break, and we valued them more. Often as kids we would be given a craft kit , and a science kit. I received a jewellery box with a ballerina inside that went round and round to the music when the box was wound up at the back. 

I had dolls but only one Barbie, that didn’t bend its knees and elbows so I think it was a copy. It came with the clothes on its back, I made it’s other clothes. I had a baby doll, with closing eyes,  and a posh chrome pram for it from my Grandma , Dad’s Mother, which had a real wool blanket, edged with satin ribbon, like a miniature of the ones on our beds. In my primary school years I used to hide the hated tomato sandwiches Mum gave me for my lunch, under its mattress, going mouldy. One did not successfully stand up to my mother, although having been born a redhead, I often tried. 

I had a netball, tennis balls, drawing materials. My brother had footballs, both Australian rules and soccer. He had plastic soldiers, cowboys and “Indians”, also plastic, and a moveable male doll with small plastic survival accessories, called Action Jackson. We had plastic construction toys , both LEGO and another kind, after we grew out of the wooden blocks ,and also metal Meccano . We had a felt board with felt pieces to move around. We had a basic Spirograph* to play drawing. I remember a basic Kaleidoscope, and a YoYo.

We didn’t have loads of soft toys, just a few, and well made. I had a stuffed koala with some kind of real fur, which lost its plastic claws years ago. My brother had his panda, and I had my teddy bear, they were the same size and could sit up, they were very well loved, and each of us still had ours into adulthood. I think mine was loved almost to death by my kids in their turn. (They had lots of teddies though). Mum tried to teach knitting to my brother, (and me), he made his panda bear a scarf and tank top. When I visited his home as a young adult he still had it on a guest bed, with its knitteds on. 

We were always given books. (A bookworm family, I now have thousands, it didn’t help marrying another bookworm! ) Books I remember on my little white stepped bookcase were Little Golden Books including some Disney ones, my favourite was their Cinderella one. There were classic novels later: Little Women, What Katie Did, A Christmas Carol, Black Beauty, Bible Stories, The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, Seven Little Australians etc. There were books about science too. (In the house we always had non fiction books to help with our homework, and an encyclopaedia - one really large cumbersome volume; many art books, and large dictionaries). We had board games, which we played as a family, like scrabble, checkers , snakes ‘n ladders and parcheesi.

For ride on toys we were given tricycles, and a foot powered ride on metal car based on the Thunderbirds. Later we had two wheel bikes, and my Dad taught me to ride mine, on the public footpath outside our house. He also taught me to throw and catch my netball. We were given kites, and he taught us how to fly them at a nearby schoolground, where we also went to kick the football and play cricket, out of school hours. We had a medium sized yard where we also played those things. I had a skipping rope, and a hula hoop. There was a netball ring on the front of the garage, where I practiced.

We had plastic buckets and spades to take to the beach. We were half an hour drive from Lakes Entrance, where Dad had elderly relatives, so went there to the beach. Later we went to Wilson’s Promontery Tidal River, where I remember Mum swimming back and forth, in her one piece swimsuit.  My parents would enter the draw to rent a cabin there, which is done as it’s a National Park. Unlike the film, I never remember going to the beach Christmas Day, as our lunch was always a hot, English style one, eaten at the dinner table. 

A few days before Christmas when we were teenagers in the ‘80s in the city, Dad would take us a bunch of suburbs away to see coloured Christmas lights on houses. They were unusual in those days in our country, Christmas lights were usually found on Christmas trees inside.

My parents were religious Catholics, and both would be involved in Masses. My brother was a altar boy. 

Christmas Eve Mum would put the television on to Christmas specials which always included the outdoor Melbourne Myer music bowl Carols by candlelight, which was held to raise money for services to the blind. Mum always said that the singing was of much better quality than the singing at the equivalent Sydney concert. I went to the Melbourne one a few times as a young adult and can recommend it, but do take a cushion. 

Hallelujah Chorus (Messiah) - Carols by Candlelight 2010:

 I remember the coloured electric lights would always be lit on our modest tree in the loungeroom on Christmas Eve and the overhead lights turned off. Then one would realise it was really Christmas. Dad would be sitting in his armchair . Meanwhile, Mum would be showering and putting on her make up to go to sing at Midnight Mass. Often that would be a choir affair. We would go along too when we were old enough and my father would “do the readings” at the lectern. I started doing that when I was fourteen. 

When we got home, we would  have slices of Christmas cake , fruit mince pies and shortbread biscuits. Then we would go to bed, at this point there were usually no presents under the Christmas tree on Christmas eve when we were children. 

Although my parents were religious they did follow tradition when we were young children, of pretending that the presents in our pillowcases were put there by Santa. On the other hand there was not a following of Santa in our home, they did not put out cookies and milk or pretend that there were reindeers landing on the roof, or that he came down the chimney. Elves and the North Pole didn’t really get a mention. Santa was kind of a side issue.  Mum would stay up even later, in her room,  rustling bags and wrapping presents for under the tree. 

We would play with our gifts from our pillowcases before breakfast until our parents got up and, then the mad rush would begin for mum to go to mass again on Christmas morning, sometimes with us, sometimes without, as she was singing solo alongside the organist on microphone. As we grew up, sometimes my brother or I would man the overhead projector with the hymns written on acetate sheets, in the days after hymn books. People always talked to each other after mass, Mum would talk longer than most.

Returning from Mass, there would be more presents under the Christmas tree, not forgetting one for our dog. My father would often get me to wrap his in my bedroom, excluding mine, of course. Straight after mass, Mum would start cooking the big lunch . If it was a hot day she had a fan on, but there was no air conditioning in ordinary homes back then, especially in the kitchen, it’s a mystery why people continued on the English traditions as long as they did. The roast turkey , baked potatoes, simmered vegetables, gravy and apple sauce would take a couple of hours, so it was always mid afternoon before we ate. The pickled pork had been cooking in the slow cooker while she was out.

We had to be very patient to wait for the wrapped presents until after lunch. It was my job to set the table with the best things from the wall unit near the dining table, including the red glasses and best side plates and cutlery (flatware)., all on a best tablecloth. I would go out into the garden and pick some red roses etc to arrange for the table. (Dad didn’t cook all my growing up years, he gets meals on wheels since Mum passed away. )

Mum and Dad didn’t drink, so we would put bottles of sparkling non alcoholic cider and lemon squash, on the table. Lastly, crackers (bon bons) were placed on each side plate, containing a paper hat, small plastic novelty, and a paper joke. I was allowed to stir the gravy, but was discouraged from trying to snaffle some meat. Mum would plate up in the kitchen, there would be cranberry sauce from a jar to accompany the turkey and apple sauce she made for the pork. When we were teens she started making a cooked half pear with cranberry center instead of, or with the applesauce. As well as the roast potatoes there would be green beans or peas also a yellow and orange vegetable too. When she finally sat down, we would pull the crackers together , put on our paper hats and say our jokes. Then we could eat. 

The Christmas pudding, which had been carefully stored , was reheated on the stove and served with custard and ice cream. There were Christmas lollies (sweets, candy) to follow. We children would have milk and the grown-ups would have tea in the good teacups that went with the dinner set. Dad had a standard dinnertime joke. He would wave our milk back and forth in front of our eyes and ask us what it was. We would pretend he had not said it before and say “ I don’t know Dad what is it?“ He would say “past your eyes milk”. (Pasteurised milk. ) I get my corny sense of humour from him. 

Finally we would sit down all together in the lounge room to open our presents. There was a rule that only one at a time was opened, with the tag read out by the person closest to the Christmas tree,  who each gift was from and who it was for. All watched during each unwrapping, including any guests. This was to ensure that the presents were noticed and discussed, not taken for granted and quickly cast aside in a mad burst of consumerism. 

This was a vinyl album my father would put on the record player, on Christmas Day : Tijuana Brass. Man, this takes me back!

Then the washing up of the dishes had to be finished. I think my parents first got a dishwasher in the 1980s, I still don’t have one, which is one of the reasons I take so many short cuts compared to my mother, also because I’m from generation X and we are not as bound by tradition. We still do get to church almost every Christmas, except maybe one, the year I was doing a big project for a website I was on, and the deadline was Christmas Day.

Some years I do the hot English style meal, others I do a cold seafood Sydney style meal, with salad and/or hot veges, some years we eat out. We don’t usually leave opening our presents until mid afternoon, but we don’t do Santa either, we never have. We taught our kids to respect other families’ Santa tradition, and not to tell other kids the truth, but it wasn’t our thing. The only Santa feature I would seek out, was the shopping centre (mall) photo of the kids with Santa , as it was a professional photo for the grandparents, for relatively low cost.

Our kids would wake up to presents, Christmas morning, in a printed Christmas sack, but they knew they were from us. They would get more, often from relatives, and us , under the tree later. 

Their generation, in Australia, got far more toys than we did, though we were well provided for, it was not excessive. The removal or reduction of trade tariffs had made cheaper overseas things attainable for more families, by the time my son was born. Ultimately, of course, this destroyed our manufacturing industry, so that the well made few wooden toys in the video are now almost a thing of the past except for those parents and grandparents who try to seek them out for ethical or nostalgic reasons. 

Multiculturalism in Australia has meant that a Christmas meal with family and friends can nowadays comprise food from any country. I try to keep a link to my own family cultural background, but if my children choose later to do Indian, or Chinese, it will just reflect how our country has changed. What I can tell you  , I’ve seen with my own eyes. Walking through the city, we are no longer a “white Australia” and those days will never come again. As for the female slaving in the kitchen? Between the pressures of social media, Pinterest, and immigrant cultural traditions, it seems that many women still don’t get to rest at Christmas like Dad. 

Well, I’m off to open some windows , it’s a hot evening here. Merry Christmas, or as Mum would say Happy Christmas, as it was supposedly nicer, and “whatever you do”, she would say, “you shouldn’t write Xmas”. I suppose she meant, in not so many words, that Jesus is the reason for the season. It’s good to see that many things in the 1958 video havn’t changed , as we try to find our new Australian identity, let’s keep the best of the old traditions.

In memory of my beautiful, inexhaustible Mother. You deserve your rest now. I’m also remembering my two dear uncles we lost this year. 


Spirograph link

History of the Myer Christmas windows: