The reindeer in Finland are getting nervous. Christmas is nigh.

images Christmas shoppers

In the local Highlands Newspaper I noticed an advertisement seeking volunteers to act as Santa. Experience not required, but joviality and those with a deep ho, ho ho given preference. Females with rich chest resonance and dark vocal qualities accepted too. Glass ceilings are being broken here!.

Christmases are coming earlier and with greater urgency. We don’t want to miss out. Business is business and it can’t be harmful if we get the consumer alerted out of their winter slumber a bit earlier. Soon, the heat will be upon us. The cicadas are bursting out of their seventeen year wait already.

The Big W store near us has unpacked the Christmas cards and the novelty store nearby is selling beards, holy tinsels and mitres for aspiring Santas. It took us a couple of years to get used to this tropical Christmas. Instead of Holland’s snow and fondant we were supposed to take to beer, barbequed prawns and gherkins pierced enfolded in ham. The first Christmas in church the solemn suit was replaced by singlets, shorts and sweat. The local priest was not unknown to exude alcohol vapours when giving communion at the mid-night mass. Huge bogon moths would swirl around the lights as well as the heads of this herd of pious but slightly inebriated parishioners. One could almost hear the refrain; ‘Rudolf the red nosed reindeer.’

It did not help Dad’s resolve to accept this different type of Christmas. The jolliness of Australian Santa wasn’t really any different from the more solemn North European version, although at the time when we left in 1956, I don’t think that buying presents and spending money was as yet a big deal. It was more atmospheric and certainly a celebration and time of joy in each other and family, including the community. We would go around shaking hands. I suspect that my parents would have missed their own country most at times of Christmas.

We, the kids, would of course be found on the beach and surf, get coconut oil sprayed to hasten the browning up, and eat hot chips when hungry. I had an enormous balsa wood surfboard which I would paddle beyond the surf and miraculously did manage to ride some waves back in. Now, sharks and high rates of melanoma have put a dent in that part of culture. The beaches are notably quieter. Many a surfie is seen scanning the water for any sharks while shark spotting aeroplanes circle overhead. It must be tempting for sharks to see those legs dangling from surfboards. It is their territory.

Perhaps, bush walking and outback adventures will now become more popular. It is rather nice to sit in the shade of a large coolabah tree, sip a cool beer taken from the esky while having a small fire on which to cook some cutlets of lamb or even prawns. At least, your worst opponents might be a snake that got disturbed by you. We are reassured that snakes generally are shy and tend to crawl away. That must be so reassuring. I would rather go bush than surf in the sea.

In any case, Christmas is still three months away. I find the whole idea of yet another Christmas coming a bit disconcerting.

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22 Responses to “The reindeer in Finland are getting nervous. Christmas is nigh.”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    Interesting, the surfboard and shark combo. Just today, I heard someone who clearly knows about such things calling the practice of stand-up paddleboarding “trolling for alligators.”

    We still have Halloween as a buffer between now and Christmas. It used to be that nothing related to Christmas would appear until well after Thanksgiving, but of course that sort of restraint is long gone.

    Funny, how our memories of celebrations are so deeply rooted in weather patterns. People down here try, but decorated palm trees just don’t do it for me. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I forgot about Halloween. It seems like yesterday we would take our grandkids on treat and trickle around the neighbourhood.

      Max especially used to be all red in the face with enough lollies to last till he became due for trips to the dentist.

      Some cruel health fanatics would commit the ultimate crime on Halloween by giving the little kids small boxes of shrivelled raisins. One person gave an apple!

      Now at twelve years of age, he would just scowl at the memory and bends over his IPhone…

      Many people now will take the Christmas tree out of the box again and screw on the plastic branches, put the lot on a heavy base. No water needed and the lollies survive just as well…


  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I’m with you on the thought of Christmas. I’m not one that cares about holiday celebrations. When my kids were young it was a different story but for the past 30 years I really don’t care about Christmas. All of it is too much work. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. algernon1 Says:

    I see the mince pies are in the stores already. It can’t be long now for the decorations and the Christmas trees.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jennypellett Says:

    Here in the UK we’ve just experienced the hottest September week for 100 years. Christmas cake and mince pies spotted in local supermarket. Christmas has become just a marketing opportunity. For me, it’s a festivity that has to be endured…with firmly gritted teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jenny. Let us stick together, shoulder to shoulder and overcome this blight of Christmas mania. Those mince pies are just the start of all that’s wrong with Christmas.

      Can you imagine that I always thought a pie to have at least a meat content.

      My first experience of biting a mince pie has left me with severe depression and anxiety.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yvonne Says:

    Bah! Humbug!


  6. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    The countdown must have already began. I am just enjoying the final days of cooler weather, whilst others are already planning and preparing their Christmas party invitations with BYO fly swat and aerogard written in fine print! No, not looking forward at all….

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Well. we stoically and bravely make the best of something that has gone totally off the radar. Christmas has to be fronted and overcome. Some just get a couple of good books, others load up on holiday brochures and travel somewhere remote.
      We will try and get a cabin or cottage somewhere in the bush and watch the birds cavort in total oblivion to Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    The neighbor just got a decorated Christmas tree, so she is well prepared to astound her new grandbaby. The local Costco is showing Halloween costumes beside all things Christmas including a display of room-size bears. The whole idea of Christmas has changed and I don’t think we can get it back. Another loss to progress. I will buy bags of Halloween candy at the supermarket, though we have never had a customer come to take any. Our weather seems to get hotter as the days get closer to the old “rainy season”. “Over the River and through the snow” would get us into the spirit I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Kayti. That is the ticket. They, the advertising gurus will try and associate all things consumable to the coming Christmas. Santa drinks Coke, eats McDonalds and buys Apple IPhone 7.
      I remember last year’s orgy of Boxing day sales. Shop windows were smashed in order to get discount T-shirts, screaming grandmothers kicking the crutches of other shoppers in order to get to discounted food-processors or meat-slicers. Sobbing husbands sitting along kerbs and gutters.
      It was total war.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. rod Says:

    Sometimes, not often, I am in places where people buy presents. Last week I carefully positioned myself near a group of women studying the wares and said to my wife in a slightly too loud voice, ‘Well, that’s the Christmas presents wrapped up!’ Thought I might get someone going.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      That would have been the catalyst, setting off the Christmas frenzy for 2016, Rod.

      You know, when on the farm we had about forty acres of mixed native forest but including many pines. Near Christmas, people in the dark of the night, would chop off some pines and flog them at the local markets.

      Simple honest country folk.


  9. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    We went to our local garden centre yesterday to buy some bulbs (winter approaching here), and half the enormous emporium was under reconstruction… for the Christmas display!

    Liked by 1 person

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