Monday, January 4, 2010
Night falls prematurely, forcing temperatures to icy depths. While mutli-hued lights hang from homes, blazing color into frozen lands, pine trees are adorned indoors beside the warmth of the fire.
Revelers bundle in layers of clothing and holiday cheer, wandering decorated streets as they shop for gifts. With holiday spirit, decorations, and the ever-present chance of snow, Christmas in Chicago is a festive-infused sight to behold...and it's also very cold.
Bob and I have spent the past two weeks running around the States to visit family and friends. We've been snowed on in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennslyvania, and New York. I admit that the snow is beautiful and festive, but, like I said, it's also very cold.
When Bob and I left Sydney, bright orange flowers erupted in chandelier-like blooms, rose breasted parrots began to build nests, and the lovely Pacific Ocean warmed the turquoise southern shores. Two weeks and a day ago, we were snorkeling at one of Sydney's northern beaches spotting seahorses. Two weeks and two days ago we were surfing. Suffice it to say our bodies are now in a bit of shock.
However, it feels right to be freezing for the holidays. In Australia, Christmas falls in the heart of summer. While Sydney tries to embrace the spirit of Christmas, the 90 degree days makes decorations seem out of place.
On green lawns with palm trees, large inflatable snowmen wave with looks of grand disorientation. Families don’t huddle by fires in camaraderie of freezing weather. Instead they fan around the barbie, drawn by the sensational smells of prawns and lamb. After dinner is consumed with delight in the garden, families often end Christmas Day with a swim at the beach.
I admit the idea of a warm Christmas is slightly enticing, but the portrayal Santa wearing board shorts and carrying a surfboard is just too disconcerting.
Needless to say, Santa with a black mustache and coquettish pose is also, very disconcerting.