|Christmas Tree in Galeries Lafayette.|
There is something magical about the Christmas season in Paris. I am not entirely sure what it is. Maybe its the Christmas lights that are popping up everywhere, or the Christmas markets that sell everything from vin chaud to ugg boots, or maybe its because it is freezing cold.
Growing up in Australia, it is not unusual to have a Christmas day above 40°C. You get together with family and friends and have a BBQ outside or at the beach. Everything else is still the same though. Same Christmas trees, same Christmas carols, we just do it with a beer in hand whilst relaxing in the sunshine.
Today in French class my teacher asked me if it was strange that we sing carols about Christmas in winter like jingle bells and 'dashing through the snow' and to be honest, I had never really thought about it. I definitely didn't think about it when I was a kid. I didn't care if Father Christmas rocked up in a T-shirt and boardies, as long as he came! The magic was still there.
The one thing that most Australians dream of though, is to experience a white Christmas. The idea of snow at Christmas time is just so foreign to us, it is something we crave to experience. Actually snow in general is so uncommon, you can be guaranteed when an Australian sees snow, it doesn't matter how old, they revert to a child like state of excitement and giggles.
A few years ago when I was living in London, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first winter Christmas, and it wasn't just a cold Christmas either, it was a white one. I was invited to spend Christmas with the family of a friend that I worked with when I lived in Sydney. She is from Germany and was planning to spend the Christmas season with her family so she invited me to come along.
It was every bit as magical as I had imagined.
Having grown up in a little traditional German town in the Adelaide Hills in Australia, I was well aware of the German Christmas traditions, however getting to experience this IN Germany was a whole new level of awesome.
As my friend and I had met in Australia, we thought it would be a nice idea to try and mix the two cultures together and have a sort of 'Australian Christmas in Germany.' To this day I am still not sure whose bright idea it was, but at the time we decided it was genius! So bright and early on Christmas day, we got changed into more Australian Christmas appropriate attire and went out in the snow to celebrate our Australian/German Christmas and this is what happened:
Yes, we decided that stripping down to our bikinis, drinking German beer and holding an Australian flag whilst outside in the snow was the perfect 'mélange' of our two cultures. I don't know if it was the beer or the freezing temperatures, but then we decided this was a good idea.
SITTING in the snow.
As crazy as it was, we didn't stop laughing from the moment we got into our bikinis until the moment we went back inside. In our minds we were victorious, we had just celebrated the perfect Australian Christmas in Germany.
Oh and there is one thing for sure, I will never forget my first winter Christmas.