See, you may not realise it, but the term 'holiday story' is an American thing. Where I come from, 'holiday' doesn't mean Christmas or Easter or whatever - it means what Americans mean when they say 'vacation'. Sure, those days are 'public holidays' - but it generally just means 'take a day off'.
And of course, we don't take the American holidays, such as Independence Day. We have our own. We've got Australia Day, January 26th, which generally involves barbecues and beer. Not much of a story in that. There's Queen's Birthday, which isn't actually on the Queen's birthday, but hey, it's the thought that counts, and Liz won't care so long as there's gin.
|Melbourne Cup Day. Enough said.|
But Australia isn't known as 'the land of the long weekend' for nothing. We love our extended weekends, and we get a bit miffed when the government decides to enforce a public holiday on the actual day, instead of the closest Monday or Friday.
Unless it's Melbourne Cup Day, which is always a Tuesday. It shall not be moved. Wash your mouth out with soap, you holiday-mover you.
As for Christmas stories... well, you have to understand that Christmas down under is a little different. Having lived in Alnwick in northern England for nearly two winters now, I get what a northern Christmas is: it's an escape from the long chilly darkness. We cook up a feast, hang coloured lights in the trees, burn candles and sing songs about reindeers and dashing sleighs to take our minds off the freezing cold, the icy roads, the 18-hour nights and what a miserable bloody time we'd otherwise be having.
|Christmas lights in Alnwick (Photo by Kevin Temple)|
So Christmas stories? All that snow, twinkling lights, mistletoe and sex on bearskin rugs... ahem, I mean mulled wine and mince pies? I'm not feeling it, not in Australia. Give me the beach and a barbecue and the Boxing Day Test match (that's cricket, for those sorry souls who don't understand).
So if you want a cuddly winter romance? Stick to the north. Aussie winters are mostly just wet and boring. Then again, if you want a Christmas tale about hunky surfers or brave firefighters? Come on down, crack open a cold tinny (that's a can of beer) and grab a snag (a sausage. Not a shrimp; no one barbecues shrimps, and they're called 'prawns' anyway) from the barbie. Beats mulled wine and fruit pies any day!