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AlmiraGulch

A question for our friends down under

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My kids just asked me if people in the Southern hemisphere sing the same Christmas carols and winter songs that we sing.  They swear you don't because it just wouldn't make sense.

 

They have a point.

 

Frosty the Snowman, Let it Snow, Jingle Bells.....not quite the same when it's hot outside.  Then again, they didn't make much sense when we lived in Miami, either, but still.....

 

So, what's the story?

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Oh, I so miss the Australia Christmas songs. Boomerang of Flowers is one of my favorites. 

 

Bucko and Champs Aussie Christmas gets a good workout every Christmas!

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Yeah, we do. Just another reason why Christmas doesn't make sense here!

 

We do have some Australian carols, but the shopping centres are blaring out all the traditional stuff.

 

Idk. We must be good at the cognitive dissonance stuff.

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There are Aussie versions of various songs, Jingle Bells has a couple.

 

I think this is the most popular one:

Dashing through the bush

In a rusty Holden Ute

Kicking up the dust

Esky in the boot

Kelpie by my side

Singing Christmas songs

It’s summer time and I am in

My singlet, shorts & thongs

 

Lots more verses http://www.kidspot.com.au/kids-activities-and-games/Christmas-activities+26/Christmas-Carols-Aussie-jingle-bells+12356.htm

 

This verse was also pretty common when I was a kid:

Dashing through the sand, in our bathers and our thongs

Laughing all the way, singing Christmas songs.

Relaxing in the sun, and having lots of fun

Swatting flies and eating pies

On a sunny Christmas day

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But it's not like those are the accepted 'official' songs - at carol night you'll have a couple of Aussie versions for fun and the rest are just normal.

 

 

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please remember that thongs in Australia are flip flops in America

 

I am really glad you cleared that up!  I definitely was scratching my head a bit.

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Ah, the Wiggles. It's nice to have such cultural exports...gag...hating the Wiggles and their freaking Big Red Car. Sorry. Back to Christmas.

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DD and I had our minds blown some years back when we saw the Wiggles celebrate xmas with a beach picnic and little paper crowns.

Do you not get paper hats in your Christmas crackers?

 

Actually, do you have Christmas crackers at all? I just discovered carols by candlelight is unique to Australia so now I'm wondering what else is!

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please remember that thongs in Australia are flip flops in America

 

You know what's weird?  When I was growing up we called them thongs.  I can't remember when it changed to flip-flops.  

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Ah, the Wiggles. It's nice to have such cultural exports...gag...hating the Wiggles and their freaking Big Red Car. Sorry. Back to Christmas.

 

They're better than Vegemite.  Blech.

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Do you not get paper hats in your Christmas crackers?

 

Actually, do you have Christmas crackers at all? I just discovered carols by candlelight is unique to Australia so now I'm wondering what else is!

 

I don't think carols by candlelight is unique to Australia, unless it's something other than...well...carols by candlelight.

 

No, we don't do paper hats or Christmas crackers.  We do Christmas cookies, though.  

 

What are the crackers like?

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Vegemite is my life's blood - repent!

 

Seriously, nobody else has Carols by Candlelight ? Huh. Surely the Brits and Canadians do the little paper hats ?

 

I've heard the Grandma song. I liked it.

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No, we don't do paper hats or Christmas crackers.  We do Christmas cookies, though.  

 

What are the crackers like?

 

They are not edible (though the name might make an American think so).  They are tubes filled with small gifts.  Each person takes an end and pulls.

 

Here's a Wikipedia entry.

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

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They usually have a joke, paper crown, and a small toy. In our family at least you pull them at the start of lunch and then must wear the crown for the rest of lunch.

 

You do have carols by candlelight in the US? It was Wikipedia that told me it was an Australian thing, which surprised me.

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Do you not get paper hats in your Christmas crackers?

 

Actually, do you have Christmas crackers at all? I just discovered carols by candlelight is unique to Australia so now I'm wondering what else is!

I've seen crackers, but ours seem to be small, junky little things, and do not contain crowns. Also not a Christmas thing.

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They usually have a joke, paper crown, and a small toy. In our family at least you pull them at the start of lunch and then must wear the crown for the rest of lunch.

 

You do have carols by candlelight in the US? It was Wikipedia that told me it was an Australian thing, which surprised me.

Those are the same kind of crackers we buy here in the U.S.  Lots of grocery stores sell them (at least where I live).

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We have Christmas crackers in Canada. I figured everyone had annual holiday photos of the whole family wearing paper hats sitting around the dinner table.

 

Do you open your Christmas crackers before dinner or after? We usually do them at the start of dessert.

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Not Australia, but Southern Hemisphere, and yes, in Brazil they sing the usual carols (although, of course, in Portuguese) and even decorate with giant Snowmen. It cracks me up. 

 

One fun thing they have here is Santa on a hang glider :) Lots of folks put him up on their balcony like that ('tis a small one, about 18" tall at the most), as though he's gliding into their balcony to access their high-rise apartment. Reminds me, I want to get one to bring home....

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You know what's weird? When I was growing up we called them thongs. I can't remember when it changed to flip-flops.

It changed about the time that the other sort of thongs started to enjoy rising popularity. I called them thongs too, then switched to flip-flops, then moved to Australia and it feels really weird to call them thongs again!

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Those are the same kind of crackers we buy here in the U.S.  Lots of grocery stores sell them (at least where I live).

 

:iagree:  You can buy that kind of regular Christmas Cracker with the paper crown, joke and cheapo gift in my part of the US.  I think of them as a British import, though - although you can buy them, they aren't a part of the "regular" tradition here.  A friend of mine always gets them for her New Year's party.  Most people wouldn't know what they are or what to do with them.

 

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I remember seeing Christmas crackers in the stores in the US but I always thought they were actual crackers, to eat. I didn't look closely enough at the package I guess. It wasn't until I had my first Christmas in Australia that I realised they weren't what I thought they were. I sat at the table wondering where everyone had gotten their crown until someone showed me. So now we have that annual picture with the paper hats. Wouldn't be Christmas without them!

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They are not edible (though the name might make an American think so).  They are tubes filled with small gifts.  Each person takes an end and pulls.

 

Here's a Wikipedia entry.

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

 

Well that sounds fun!  I think we should try it.  

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Vegemite is my life's blood - repent!

 

Seriously, nobody else has Carols by Candlelight ? Huh. Surely the Brits and Canadians do the little paper hats ?

 

I've heard the Grandma song. I liked it.

 

There's an Australian bakery that specializes in all sorts of meat pies that we like to go to.  One wall is lined with jars of Vegemite.   My kids kept asking what it was so I had them try it one day.  The looks on their faces was priceless!  

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Those are the same kind of crackers we buy here in the U.S.  Lots of grocery stores sell them (at least where I live).

 

I've never heard of it!  What part of the country do you live in?

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I'm not Down Under but we sing them here in Florida, where they also don't make sense.

 

For the record, I'm never dreaming of a White Christmas even though I used to know them. I love a Warm Christmas thankyouverymuch.

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I'm not Down Under but we sing them here in Florida, where they also don't make sense.

 

For the record, I'm never dreaming of a White Christmas even though I used to know them. I love a Warm Christmas thankyouverymuch.

 

Yeah, we sang the when I lived in Miami.  I'd love a palm tree Christmas tree right about now.  And I'll take sand over snow any day of the week.

 

P.S.  It's cold here, and I'm cranky.

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You know what's weird?  When I was growing up we called them thongs.  I can't remember when it changed to flip-flops.  

 

Growing up, flip-flops were rubber and cheap; thongs were more substantial, made with fabric, maybe some rattan, etc.  Of course, at the time, I had little idea that thongs included butt floss, so perhaps the terms diverged to avoid confusion when grandpa asked for his thongs.  It's also before anyone would wear flip-flops to work, or to a wedding.

 

There was also a sea change sometime with the growth of those Addidas sandal thingies with the velcro, which my nephews live in, but I wouldn't imagine wearing at that age, because navy blue nike's with knee socks was way cooler in the 70's.

 

I'm old.

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In stores you mostly hear traditional Christmas songs, including some religious ones. When ds was in Kindy they sand Six White Boomers, which was very cute.

 

I'm originally from South Africa, so we were also celebrating Christmas next to the swimming pool, but I don't remember any unique summery Christmas songs. I think the ones people would sing at Christmas events and concerts etc would mostly be ones that didn't emphasise snow, but again, in the stores, they'd be playing the really traditional songs by Sinatra or Bing Crosby.

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You know what's weird?  When I was growing up we called them thongs.  I can't remember when it changed to flip-flops.  

 

For me they changed when we moved from NJ to Florida. In Jersey, they were thongs, and they were always the cheap rubber things mentioned in other posts. They were worn when you went swimming or down the shore. When we moved here, no one wore those, but everyone wore flip flops. Flip flops can be plain or fancy, rattan or not, but they're rarely the cheapy kind. They are everyday footwear and they double as house/bedroom slippers (as you probably know if you lived in Miami).

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For me they changed when we moved from NJ to Florida. In Jersey, they were thongs, and they were always the cheap rubber things mentioned in other posts. They were worn when you went swimming or down the shore. When we moved here, no one wore those, but everyone wore flip flops. Flip flops can be plain or fancy, rattan or not, but they're rarely the cheapy kind. They are everyday footwear and they double as house/bedroom slippers (as you probably know if you lived in Miami).

 

Flip-flops are my favorite shoe group.  Unlike some of my friends, I hate when the weather starts to turn and I have to put on footwear that actually covers my feet.  I get pedicures year round.  I don't look forward to boot season.  I've gotten to the point that I really don't like to wear shoes at all.  

 

Flip flops, though?  I have a million, from the dressiest to the cheapies.  I love them.  I really need to move back to Florida.  Or Hawaii.

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Flip flops, though?  I have a million, from the dressiest to the cheapies.  I love them.  I really need to move back to Florida.  Or Hawaii.

 

If you move to Hawaii just remember to call them slippers--some people still call them zoris--but never flip-flops.

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If you move to Hawaii just remember to call them slippers--some people still call them zoris--but never flip-flops.

 

Really?!?  I had no idea.  Now I know that I absolutely looked and sounded like a tourist when I was there based on my shoe vernacular.

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I grew up in HI and we still sang Jingle Bells and all the traditional songs. We also had Mele Kalikimaka--here we know that Christmas will be green and bright! But I hadn't heard Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer until I went to college on the mainland. And I hadn't even heard of Christmas crackers until many years after that. Fir trees were shipped in mid to late Nov and if you didn't get one before the end of Nov you didn't get one. And Santa makes his appearance by surfboard.

 

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Seriously, nobody else has Carols by Candlelight ? Huh. Surely the Brits and Canadians do the little paper hats ?

 

 

We have both Carols by Candlelight and the little paper hats in crackers in England!

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You don't have Christmas Crackers in Australia? We have always done them at my parents house. My Granny was British so we do a British themed dinner for Christmas Eve at my parents. It is much easier now to find Christmas Crackers in the US. When I was a kid my mom had to order them in the mail. I still don't know anyone else who does them and people usually look at me confused when I mention them. They always think they are food until we explain. ;)

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If you move to Hawaii just remember to call them slippers--some people still call them zoris--but never flip-flops.

 

They were zories in Guam, too, when I lived there in the seventies.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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In Argentina, they go in for Christmas trees and fake snow (and crank the AC way up) in the malls. It's also the end of the school year and as soon as Christmas is over, everyone hits the beach. They eat the usual Spanish or Italian food which is very heavy for summer heat, but it's traditional and only one night.

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We have both Carols by Candlelight and the little paper hats in crackers in England!

 

Based on Wikipedia, Carols by Candlelight involves "people gathering, usually outdoors in a park, to sing carols by candlelight, accompanied by a band." The closest we have around here involves a group of people gathering outdoors and singing carols door to door, although that has faded quite a bit since my childhood when our church group used to do this around the neighborhood. No band, maybe a pitchpipe. I have been to other somewhat similar activities: the Presbyterian church I grew up in usually had a Christmas Eve service with lots of carols and candles with the little paper ring around them to catch drips, the Episcopal church I used to attend had a Lessons and Carols service that might have included candles (can't remember), the UU church I now attend will go caroling to an assisted living center and  have a Christmas Eve service that usually includes lot of carol singing (I'm not sure if they have candles or not, don't remember as we rarely make this one), and when I was in college, the local Moravian church has a Lovefeast on campus, which includes lots of carols and little beeswax candles wrapped in frilly red paper (http://www.homemoravian.org/tradition/moravian-lovefeasts/), along with a traditional brass band and the slightly sweet hamburger bun with the coffee that was half cream and sugar.

 

Crackers have been available on a limited retail basis here in North Carolina (southern US) since maybe the 80's? Initially only in specialty import stores, but in the last few years I've seen some available in more mainline stores. They are more of a curiosity, I think, than a Christmas tradition.

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You don't have Christmas Crackers in Australia? We have always done them at my parents house. My Granny was British so we do a British themed dinner for Christmas Eve at my parents. It is much easier now to find Christmas Crackers in the US. When I was a kid my mom had to order them in the mail. I still don't know anyone else who does them and people usually look at me confused when I mention them. They always think they are food until we explain. ;)

 

We DO have Christmas crackers in Australia, I think you must have read someone's post incorrectly.  ;)

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White Christmas is one of my favourite Christmas songs... I've never had a white Christmas, so I guess it's apt.

 

We sing them all, we just don't think too deeply on the irrelevant weather references!

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We DO have Christmas crackers in Australia, I think you must have read someone's post incorrectly.

I must have. I thought for sure you would. :) I realize now that it was the OP who hadn't heard of Christmas Crackers. I was all mixed up when I read this earlier. :lol: For what it's worth we live in Oregon and you can now buy crackers at several places locally.

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