Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Sydney - A Reflection!

It's different for me to spend time in Australia or any other country in the southern hemisphere during the Christmas season. Frankly, it's a tad bit odd to walk around during the onset of summer with all of the spark and energy that is characteristic of that warm season and know Christmas is knocking at my door back in the U.S. Somehow, the warm and tropical weather makes me feel like something other than Christmas is going on .... Yeah, I know I'm merely a product of my environment. I'm frequently reminded by friends and family members that Jesus, the religious epicenter of this holiday, was born in Bethlehem, and it seldom snows in that part of the world. That usually brings up the whole St. Nick story and the commercial discussion..... you know the rest of that story.

Never less, having spent most of my life living in cool to colder climates, I suppose I just grew to equate Christmas with snow and colder temperatures. The whole Los Angeles thing hasn't really resonated with me either. It's a bit warm here in the winter time. But at least it cools down at night and we get the occasional rain during the season making it a bit more wintry. (Can I admit that seeing all of the photos at Dickster's and Bowie Mike's blogs has made me a bit homesick?)

I'm sure I've been a victim of all of the commercialization as well. Years of television and media influences have convinced me that -

Christmas = Icicles, snow, and cold!

Not so in Sydney, Australia.
Christmas = shorts, tank tops, sandals, and swimming pools. It's the beginning of summer.

A Christmas tree in Darling Harbor. The center of social activity and a great place to stroll and people watch.

It was 75 degrees F.

But if it's Christmas, there's shopping to be done. And one of the big destinations for shoppers in Sydney is Paddy's Markets.

Lots of retail items for sale by a variety of vendors.

So many T-shirts for sale. I couldn't force myself to buy one. I need another T-shirt like I need another bear market. I'm guessing none of my friends or family members are longing for a shirt that says Sydney either. But I could be wrong.

Another shopping destination is the Queen Victoria Building. AKA, the QVB. The QVB is a late nineteenth century building designed by the architect George McRae and constructed in the central business district of Sydney, Australia.

A photo of the southern side of the QVB which opens to Bicentennial Plaza facing Sydney Town Hall.

The inside of the QVB.
In addition to retail shops, there are eateries and coffee shops.

Note the summer attire.

So the bottom line is this: Many people live in the Southern Hemisphere or in warm and tropical climates. For those that celebrate Christmas, it's quite normal for it to be nice and warm during the Holiday season.

But for me, I'll keep dreaming of a White Christmas and hoping for snow!


Mish said...

I hope you enjoyed your time in Sydney, my home town! I've only ever had one white Christmas (during travel in Europe), and as beautiful as it was, I prefer my Sydney Christmases :)

Jane Turley said...

Happy New Year Mr I!I look forward to reading all your musings in 2010. (Not too much Sponge Bob though; I can only take so much!)

Here's a new year smacker for you XXXX!

Ps -It's okay I brushed my teeth:)

Bowie Mike said...

I didn't realize I was contributing to your homesickness. Your Australia post makes me a bit envious.

Footsteps said...

Great photos and tour! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! I have only spent Christmas in Florida a few times and it was a bit strange wishing people a Merry Christmas while walking the beach in flip flops and a bathing suit! I would still take that over a white Christmas and shoveling snow!

intrepidideas said...

Hey Mish, yeah... I had a nice visit to Sydney. I hope your Christmas was special.

Thanks Jane... I'm digging up some really special Sponge Bob episodes just for you. Thanks for the New Year Smooche. Back to ya,..

intrepidideas said...


Yeah... Just a little bit. :) I get back East from time to time. So it's okay. I don't think I'll need couseling.

Thanks Footsteps. A very Happy New Year to you!

Hey Sandbox, it's good to see you again. Sounds like you know what I mean. Take care and have a great year!