There are some elements of Christmas which, even though they seem absurd in a hot Australian summer, are nice to include nonetheless. I try not to go overboard on the white christmas stuff because, resonant though it is of the northern hemisphere Christmas symbolism, it’s not got a lot to do with what happens south of the equator.
It’s hard though to eliminate all signs and symbols when they’re so inherited, so much a part of the memory of childhood Christmases so I try to apply a personal barometer to choosing my own symbols for Christmas. No snowmen, no reindeer and a real minimisation to the whole Santa thing. None of those mean much to me. I find colours are far more meaningful as symbols so I’ll decorate food, cards, trees etc in colours and so on in a way that calls up Christmas imagery, without resorting too much to images that are empty to me.
If that sounds at all like I give it serious amounts of thought – I don’t. I give nods to Christmas in small gestures. A small tree, a few seasonally appropriate cake decorations and a playlist on my ipod that’s as devoid of cheese as I can make it.
To that end, the snowflake decorations in these photos were a gift from RoseRed last Christmas. I tucked them away at the time, saving them for this year. I love them because they’re handmade by a friend, they’re delicate, clever and add a personal touch to a tree largely laden with the cheap shop bought baubles I have previously collected, although in the mix are a growing collection of decorations that have been given to us that we love.
They’re perfect and in years to come will mean far more to me than the bits and pieces I threw in a basket one lunch time in Big W a couple of years ago. It’s in these small ways I inject personal meaning into a festival that seems intent on being large, overblown and impersonal every year.
Thank you, RoseRed. I really love them. Anyone else care to share ways they infuse Christmas with personal significance?