Skip to main content

Cue cultural exchange

Thank you to Deb from Not Inadequate and my Ohio-an friend Jane for inspiring me to share a bit of Aussie Christmas culture.

It's a weird kind of situation in here in Australia. We are warming up to summer and singing about White Christmas's and Dashing through the Snow!! It's up to 40 degrees (celcisus! I know - we're weird like that too) outside and we are humming along to Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.

We do actually have a couple of semi-famous Aussie Christmas carols! The most recognisable is the imitable Rolf Harris' Six White Boomers (boomers are big kangaroos!):

And it is quite common in primary (elementary) schools to learn the alternate lyrics to Jingle Bells:

Now, I realise that some of our slang is not just in case you aren't up with all the Aussie words, here is a bit of a translation for you:

bush - scrubland or brush
ute - utility or pickup truck
esky - cooler for storing food and drinks (mostly beer)
kelpie - breed of Australian cattle dog
thongs - no, not a g-string! Flip flops or jandles!
swaggie - swagman (probably closest to a hobo)
barbeque - bbq or grill

I heard on the radio that Carols by Candlelight  is a uniquely Australian tradition - we light candles and sing all the snowy carols. There are big versions in both Sydney and Melbourne and many around the country. Can anyone confirm or deny this - do you have Carols by Candlelight in the US?

I love Lucy Durack - she was Glinda in Wicked!

And apparently Boxing Day is not a big deal either, but we have a number of huge sporting events - the Boxing Day Test (cricket - 5 days to play and maybe not get result!) and the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (you can win line honours but not actually win the race). And we have big Boxing Day sales in the stores (which I do tend to avoid).

Increasingly, we see Christmas in July celebrations popping up - particularly in the colder parts of Australia (the Blue Mountains make a big deal of it) so we can enjoy a hot dinner, without the heat and maybe with the chance of snow.

And now to go cook up some leftover ham and eggs for breakfast (brunch?)!


  1. I've never heard of Carols by Candlelight, but I don't get out much. We do not have Boxing Day at all, and I only know vaguely what that is. That's the day you Box up something? A present? To the less fortunate? Or something?

    Sadly, I am just another ignorant American. Darn it.

    Now, I'm going to make notes of all those words so I can say I speak Aussie AND Canadian.

  2. Boxing Day used to be the day when the wealthy would give their servants a gift. Given my lack of servants, it is a public holiday where lots of tv watching and eating of leftovers occur. An afternoon nap is a tradition in this household too!

  3. Darn it is very American too! We would say "bugger". I was well into my teens before I discovered the other, less salubrious, usage of that word.


Post a Comment

Bloggers LOVE comments! We are pretty needy that way, so go on, leave some love :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Pssst...wanna be a fly on the wall?

My Students + Curriculum + Learning Spaces + Real Life = A Day In the Life

This Day is from last week when I thought it was A Day In The Life but it was Learning Spaces instead...probably just as well, because the last few days have not been worth blogging about (or maybe there's a big blog post in there lurking away, but I just can't deal with it right now)...anyway...

This week is the last of our Aussie NBTS posts and a's a long post!! So if you stay to the end, you have done well and earn bonus points.

I think a lot of people who don't homeschool are curious as to what our days look like. Those 6 panel Facebook memes have been doing the rounds, and of course there was a Homeschool one:

He he he!

The night before the Day in the Life: I should preface this Day with the fact that we had a late Night watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was on TV, but we got out the DVD to skip the ads. I feel that some movies are just a compulsory part of any child&#…

I see...

We've had a couple of interesting weeks here. Video Boy has inherited his mother's shocking vision - he has myopia (commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness). It occurs when the eyes focus light in front of the retina, leading to unfocussed vision.

Close up is usually OK, but distance vision is pretty fuzzy:

For me, even the couple would have been blurry! I was "medically blind" which meant I got my optometrist fees covered by Medicare (yay!).

So, Video Boy has had glasses for a couple of years now - he has broken one pair and then lost the replacement pair (grrr) and so for a couple of months, his world has looked like the picture on the right...and he was squinting to watch TV, read signs, pretty much all the time.
So, we went off to the optometrist last week to get us some new glasses!
The optometrist is up on all the latest research - with Wombat Girl, we bought a software program with special "lenses" and she had to do a practice session…

52 Ancestors - So Far Away

This week's #52ancestorsin52weeks is Father's Day - but of course, it's not Father's Day in Australia, so I'm going to do the theme we had a couple of weeks ago when I was away - So Far Away.

When you first start doing your family tree, it's exciting to see how "far back" you can go with your branches. Until last weekend, the furthest back on my direct line was Benjamin Broome, my 9th great-grandfather born in 1646 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England (grandfather of John Broom in my carpet story), which I thought was a long way back!

Last weekend, I was searching back to see if I could see a link between the Freemans on my Dad's side and the Freemans on my Mum's side (spoiler alert - not yet). Anyway, I was having a search on Joseph Freeman (my 5th great-grandfather born in Gloucestershire, England in 1765) and his wife - Sarah Arkell (my 5th great-grandmother also from Gloucestershire, England, born in 1767). Well, I had her father John…