A Sunny Kind of Christmas
Trying to find time to write Christmas cards and wrap gifts was quite tough during our busy pre-tour schedule. So it was no surprise when our company spent Christmas Day having one last dress rehearsal in preparation for our season premiere in Connecticut. Still, there was time to think about how everyone else celebrates Christmas. I guess Americans typically dream of a white Christmas, but for me, here’s what it used to be like…
The clear blue sky, the warm summer sun, the sizzling of steak, the only ice around was keeping our drinks cool…ah yes, a typical Australian Christmas. And for an Aussie spending Christmas in chilly New York, reminiscing about this scene is just about the most nostalgic feeling ever.
Born and raised down under, I lived my whole life without a single white Christmas. You see, this term doesn’t really even exist in Australia. But since joining Shen Yun and moving to New York, where we’re based, I had five consecutive white Christmases. I have to admit, though, that since the cold terrifies me, I still prefer a hot, sunny Christmas.
In many other ways, an Australian Christmas is quite similar to the American one. We set up the tree, hang wreaths on our front doors, put up lights and all sorts of decorations around the house. We, too, send out Christmas cards, hang stockings, exchange presents, play secret Santa, and have homey family dinners.
Of course, instead of hot pumpkin pies and eggnog, we barbeque and eat seafood and meringue-based desserts called Pavlovas. Kids play cricket in the backyard, go swimming, or both.
When we were younger, I remember one Christmas when all the kids I knew received massive water guns. We were thrilled. And thus we spent the whole afternoon outside water fighting. We went back in all sun burnt, but it was a very merry Christmas.
Now that we kids are all grown up, Christmas parties back home are not as extravagant as before. A few days ago, I called and asked my mum what the family would be doing for Christmas. She replied, “Your father and I will be going to your aunt’s house to eat hotpot.” I couldn’t help giggling. For my parents, who grew up in China, the way to celebrate the Western holiday in Australia was by eating authentic Chinese hotpot… I wonder if they will eat Pavlovas and play cricket for the Chinese New Year.
December 27, 2011