It having been pointed out to me yesterday that I've been growing increasingly slack on the blogging front, I thought I'd do a quick recap of how we do Christmas down in SA.
Things kick off early around here, with the Credit Union Christmas Pageant heralding the start of the Christmas season at the beginning of November. This year was the 80th Anniversary of the Pageant (one of my personal favourite Adelaide events I must admit) and I was lucky enough to be with me nieces as they experienced it for the very first time. Which of us was more excited its difficult to say (ok, it was me). Joining the thousands of people who arrive hours early to secure a spot along the route, I met up with the family who had got us a primo bit of road about half way along. A lot of sitting in the sunshine, watching the kids cover the roads in chalk drawings, chatting to the people around us and losing count of how many balloons were floating off into the distance later, it finally began, being led not by the Police Greys as we expected (though they weren't far behind), but by 4 bicycle cops in their spunky new dark blue uniforms. And then it was waiting for the 80 floats including marching girls, bag pipers and drum bands, clowns, fairy tales, monsters, pirates, toys and of course the old favourites, Nellie the Elephant, Nipper and Nimble to pass by until Father Christmas finally arrived and was safely escorted into the Magic Cave.
With 99% of the population putting up their Christmas trees on Pageant day as is mandatory, you know face a month and a half of walking around the Mall in shorts listening to White Christmas blasting from every shop. The suburbs also light up (to the great joy of the electricity companies) with clusters of fantastically decorated houses now springing up everywhere, thus eliminating the need for the delightful pilgrimage to see the Christmas lights at Lobethal (which is good cos I don't think I could pedal that far).
The big Christmas tree in Victoria Square gets lit up at the start of December, and just to make sure that no one has missed out on the Christmas spirit, everyone descends on Elder park for Carols by Candlelight on the last Sunday before Christmas (which I missed this year, boo).
Last but not least you have the Brewery Lights. These decorations have been brightening up the riverbank below West End for over 50 years now, and I strongly suspect that was the last time they got any new ones in. This year it was joined by the Christmas Tree Festival where groups came together to decorate Christmas trees in the park land to raise money for various charity organisations. But back to the brewery lights. Once again joined my nieces to wander along and look at all the old favourites; the jack in the box (now covered in channel 7 advertising, hmmm), the ferris wheel, the nativity scene, the black smith working away in his volcano and, of course, the blue whale, now extra secured in the river after his escape attempt during the floods a few years ago. Oh, also there are donuts :)
So there you have it, just a few of the Christmas traditions we have around Adelaide. When you have Christmas in the middle of a sweltering summer, you can't exactly go out building snow men and ice skating but I think ours is more fun anyway (not that I'm at all biased or anything). Hope where ever you were in the world your Holidays were just as much fun!