“When is it going to snow Mum?”
As a child growing up in Australia, the Christmas images of people frolicking in the snow always seemed really magical and mysterious. In fact, this notion stayed with me till I first saw snow at age 23. Christmas has and probably always will be envisioned within the snowy, wintry northern hemisphere context. Sure you get the occasional card of Santa in shorts surfing or Kangaroos pulling a ute in the night sky and even sometimes the words are changed to suit the Australian context in some popular Christmas carols. However, the overriding imagery is snow and cold. So for a kid sweltering in 40 degree heat these traditional scenes always seemed rather magical, romantic and inspiring.
Growing up, we need to be more careful of sunstroke than frostbite.
Traditional images of Christmas are also taught at school as my kids bring home a billion pieces of art work that they have made. You could open a small pharmacy that solely sold cotton buds with the amount that comes home glued to their snowy scene montages. Meanwhile, we are covering our kids with sunscreen and preaching to them to drink lots of water to prevent heat stroke. Despite, the obvious environmental differences our Aussie kids view Christmas in a snowy context. My kids are fascinated by this strange thing called “snow”.
“Will it snow today?”
This past Christmas we had the opportunity to travel to the other-side of the world and experience a cold Christmas. Every day my kids woke up and immediately looked for this mysterious white substance that falls out of the sky. While I went about in 50 layers of clothes and checking that my nose hadn’t blown off from the numbing arctic wind, my kids were energised. They skipped and greeted everyone with “G’day mate”, to help further foster the stereo-typical Aussie image. Their excitement at the novelty of a snowy Christmas was contagious to all the experienced weather-beaten folks. It was fun to step back and watch.
“It’s really cold and wet”.
The problem with expectations are that we build up illusions of how something will be but seldom does it match the reality. Thankfully, when my kids woke up one morning and looked out onto a snowy landscape and were excited. Their expectations were met which was a joy to behold. Although I suspect that they expected snow to be fluffy like cotton wool the cold wet reality didn’t dampen their enthusiasm.
Building lasting memories.
Throughout this whole holiday experience, both my husband and I felt delighted that this holiday would result in lasting memories. They are at an age were they will be able to recollect these experiences when they hopefully have children of their own. This is obviously in the distant future but as parents we feel proud that we have been able to give them this travel experience.
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