Australia’s summer Christmas オーストラリアの真夏のクリスマス

2013.12.05 (Thu)

800px-Pavlova_dessertIt’s not Christmas without pavlova! オーストラリアのパヴロバ

I can’t believe that it’s nearly Christmas! I’ve never had a white Christmas before, so I’m looking forward to this year’s mid-winter Christmas. In Australia, Christmas is spent with your family, in the middle of the hot summer, celebrating the end of another busy year. These days, it doesn’t have much to do with religion. As you’d expect with Australia being a nation of immigrants, there are many ways it is celebrated, but I’d like to tell you a bit about how my family does it.

When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was spent with my family, preparing for the next day, like cooking and cleaning, carefully wrapping presents, or realising “Oh no, we didn’t buy a present for that person!” and ducking out for some last-minute shopping. These days, now that I’m an adult and married… I spend Christmas Eve with my family or my husband’s family, getting ready for the next day. Wait, what? I guess things haven’t really changed.

We try to have a bit of a sleep in on Christmas Day, and have a bit of a nicer breakfast than usual, something that suits the hot summer weather, like fruit and yogurt, orange juice, iced coffee etc. Then the family gets together, and it’s time for the event the kids have been waiting for – the present-giving! When I was a kid, because both my parents come from big families, each year they would have to organise present for over 30 people! Since I’ve grown up, we just give presents to our immediate family, which has made it much easier.

On the other hand, my husband’s family of six have started doing a kind of game with their presents, called “secret Santa”. Before Christmas, people draw names out of a hat to decide who will become whose secret Santa. They get a present for that person, but instead of their own name, they write “from Santa!” and slip it under the tree. Of course, working out who was your secret Santa once you open the present can be pretty easy, but pretending that it wasn’t you or trying to convince people that it was someone else is part of the fun!

And then it’s on to the most important event of the day, Christmas lunch! In an Aussie summer, it’s all about seafood and salad. Prawns and crab, potato salad, green salad, antipasto and things like that, washed down with a cold beer or white wine. Dessert could be a traditional Christmas pudding (like a fruit cake), or the famous Australian dessert pavlova (sorry New Zealand). The truth is, not many people actually like Christmas pudding, but my dad complains if we don’t have it, saying “you have to have Christmas pudding or it’s not Christmas!”

By the way, this year my parents, brother, sister-in-law and little niece, wanting to have their own white Christmas, are planning to come to Yurihama. So it looks like, as always, I’ll spend Christmas Eve with my family, getting ready for the next day. Better look for some Christmas pudding!

もうすぐクリスマスだということが、信じられません! 私はホワイトクリスマスを経験したことがないので、今年は真冬のクリスマスをとても楽しみにしています。オーストラリアでは、クリスマスはあまり宗教と関係なく、家族と一緒にゆっくり過ごし、真夏の暑い中で忙しい一年の終わりを祝う日になっています。やはり、移民の国であるということで、祝い方は各家族によって違いますが、私の家族の祝い方を紹介したいと思います。




そして、クリスマスの日の重要なイベントは、ランチです! オーストラリアの真夏の料理といえば、海鮮物とサラダです。冷た~いビールや白ワインを飲みながら、オーストラリア人が大好きなエビやカニに合わせて、ポテトサラダ、グリーンサラダ、アンティパスト(イタリア風前菜の盛り合わせ)などを食べます。デザートは伝統的なクリスマスのフルーツケーキに、オーストラリア独特のパブロバ(生クリーム入りのメレンゲケーキ)になります。実はフルーツケーキの好きな人が少なくて必ず余りますが、これがないと父が「ええ、なかったらクリスマスじゃない。」と文句を言います。



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