Waggs Walkabout

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas in the Outback

Even after five years here, the holiday season still leaves me feeling out of kilter.  I’m content to live without snow but I’ve never managed to get my head wrapped around Christmas trees, Santa Claus and cookie baking in the sweltering heat. But alas this is my life and Christmas tank tops must be embraced.

In the past week our calendar was full of holiday activities, such as the preschool Christmas pool party.  Dennis’school has big in-ground wading pool and they make a giant slippery slide and they play in the water all day while singing Christmas songs.  Saturday morning was a pancake breakfast with Santa.  Dave got called into work that morning and had to use the car, so Dennis and I just rode our bikes over to see Santa.

 I'm OK with no snow but playing on the monkey bars while waiting to chat with Santa seems seems SO weird.

Nothing like some grapefruit tossing to kill the time.
  On the way back we took a short cut through the sports fields and stopped to watch a couple innings of little league baseball and a bit of cricket.

We headed home when I was feeling over heated and I noticed that the Russian was getting sun burnt.  I had forgotten to apply sun screen to my kid before taking him to see Santa – go figure. 

The mercury continued to climb to a whopping 107F and Dave was still stuck a work, so my sidekick and I commenced on a board game marathon.  About an hour into chutes and ladders, Hi Ho Cherryo and Thomas the Train game, my brain was going numb so I decided margaritas might make keep me more amused.

A few shots of Patron did wonders for my enthusiasm and when Dave eventually game home, he found me doing a victory dance after a hard fought round of Dora the Explorer version of Chutes and Ladders. We all went to bed early that night.

Sunday was a very special day in the Alice Springs Christmas season.  That morning, volunteers with the APEX organization drove up and down every street in town honking the horn handing out icy pole (aka – popsicles) to anyone that wanted one.  We stopped breakfast and ran outside in our PJs to get an icy treat from Santa’s helpers.

 Once a year it seems perfectly acceptable to have an icy pole along with your Cheerios!

That night was the town Christmas carol concert held at ANZAC Oval (Oval is an Australian term for football field).  We had a fortuitous break in the weather and the high at day was only in the mid-nineties with a perfect breeze, so it cooled off beautifully.  Close to 1000 people turned up with their chairs and picnics to enjoy the evening.  The show kicked off with a few carols being accompanied by a didgeridoo, which is something you just don’t often see - or hear. Here is a short sample, it's not great quality video but you can hear the didgeridoo playing along for the Little Drummer Boy.

As expected, Santa made an appearance but the highlight of the evening was when the three wise men worked their way to the stage while riding camels.  The camels were even decked out with Christmas lights!  I don’t have pictures of that but it was VERY cool.

The camels were there to give the wise men a lift  but they were offering  rides to the kids before the show.
 The evening finished off with an amazing fireworks display.  It was a great evening with friends but Hawaiian shirts and banana pineapple ice cream just doesn’t quite ignite the Christmas spirit, but I keep working on that, because I NEVER have to shovel snow here.


Emily Bergkamp said...

Your son has the best smile Paula! I think that every time I see his picture. Happy holidays from Kansas :)

Kerry said...

We find that a good game of twister also goes well with adult beverages...Happy Holidays from Texas----Yeehaw !!