Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Australian-American Christmas

Our little Christmas tree...
Ornament pack, garland, and 1/2 off tree from Spotlight: $50
 Lights and blanket used as tree skirt: Free (gifts)
A feeling of Christmas spirit in our Australian home: Priceless

Zack was asked to contribute a written piece about how his country/culture celebrates Christmas. It's going to be included in a newsletter at work, and because he's so busy actually working, I wrote it for him in the form of a poem. I thought it would work for a blog entry as well, accompanied by pictures of the Christmas decor around our apartment. Since we have so many nice decorations back in the US in storage, I've tried to keep things cheap and crafty while we're here. On the left, you can see how I filled a glass vase I got from an Op Shop with some bulbs and bows for a low-cost coffee table decoration.
An American Christmas

In the United States of America,
Christmas is a big affair.
Starting after Thanksgiving in November,
red and green are everywhere.

Every store has a Christmas sale
and is decorated from bottom to top.
Carols are played around the clock;
the commercialism just doesn’t stop!

Every home has a Christmas tree;
some choose and cut down their own.
An angel or star goes on the top;
garland and tinsel set a festive tone.

Stockings are hung on the mantle;
cookies are decorated with sprinkles.
Nativity scenes show the birth of Christ;
indoor and outdoor lights twinkle.

A white Christmas with snow’s the ideal.
We drink hot cocoa, preferably spiked.
There are concerts, plays, and shows galore.
The Nutcracker’s one people have always liked.

A Christmas Story is on TV all the time;
Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun.
His mom warns, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
Feel-good movies are part of the fun.

Holiday parties fill the month of December,
and Christmas cards are lovingly sent.
Salvation Army workers ring bells near red kettles
seeking donations of dollars or cents.

Advent calendars count down the days;
kids can’t wait for Santa to appear.
They share their wish lists sitting on his lap
at the malls for a picture each year.

Some families attend church at midnight
or open gifts on Christmas Eve.
Others await Santa’s arrival,
so cookies and milk out they leave.

Christmas Day is spent with our families,
unwrapping presents and eating great food.
Eggnog and turkey or ham are served;
everyone’s in a jolly good mood!

It’s usually not until New Year’s
that the decorations are all put away.
And that’s how we celebrate Christmas
in my home country of the USA!

Rice Krispies are called Rice Bubbles here, and marshmallows only come in packs of pink and white ones. 
I painted a $4 canvas with $2 green glitter paint and glued on some shells I found on the beach. Go crafty me!


  1. Awesome poem. Is Zack going to try to pass it off as his own, or will he give credit where it is due?

  2. I love the crafts and rice krispie treats! And the tree is beautiful. Your poem covers many aspects of Christmas in the states- nicely done. Merry Christmas!

  3. Nice entry Aubree. This is stuff we take for granted and is the norm but you have to do without it in Australia. Great job on the poem and the craft Martha.

  4. Great poem, it has memories of you as a child written all over it . . . sprinkles on cookies!

  5. Justin, I got credit. It just said "Zack Keys' wife" in parentheses after my name. Glad you guys liked the poem. You'd be shocked at how un-Christmasy it feels here in Australia compared to the United States!