Sunday, December 10, 2006

Australia...

We went way south for Christmas in 1998, at least in imagination. My mother-in-law travelled to Australia and New Zealand that year and we coordinated our study with her trip. It was fun for the kids to have some picture books directly from Australia and I enjoyed reading a crafting magazine from "Down Under."

Our Australian doll, Joey, is dressed for a Christmas Barbecue. Because Christmas arrives in the southern hemisphere during the summer months, she is barefoot and wearing a sleeveless dress. Australia is something of a "melting pot" as is the US, so their traditions include elements from England and Scotland and other "motherlands."

We ate our Christmas Picnic on the living room on a blanket, near the Christmas Tree. I believe we ate "shrimp on the barbie" and other summer fare. The children were pleased to meet the Lamington Man, the Australian cousin to the Gingerbread Man, and to learn a few Australian Christmas Carols. This was particular pretty, and very Australian in its imagery:

North Wind

The north wind is tossing the leaves,
The red dust is over the town,
The sparrows are under the caves,
And the grass in the paddock is brown,
As we lift up our voices and sing,
To the Christ child the heavenly king.

The tree ferns in green gullies sway,
The cool stream flows silently by,
The joy bells are greeting the day,
And the chimes are adrift in the sky,
As we lift up our voices and sing,
To the Christ child the heavenly king.

That pretty carol, whose tune I had to improvise, makes me want to hang "joy bells" on my front porch to ring each morning... not just at Christmas time, but all year long.
photo by Aisling, 2006

2 comments:

karlanee said...

Do you make all of the costumes or do you find these wonderful dolls dressed for their country?

Aisling said...

Karla,

I buy the dolls (undressed)at the craft store and make the costumes myself and then add accessories that represent their country. A lot of years, I just dig through my craft bins for the fabrics, or even recycle something we have on hand.