Christmas gives us a unique insight into the Australia mindset… which is why I love it so much.
I love Christmas in Australia.
For a long-while I felt a little awkward or embarrassed about it – the way we import these European customs in an alien Australian context. Those traditions that celebrated everything the Europeans loved about winter – we picked them up and transplanted them in a nation famous for its brutal summers.
Its kind of amazing they took root at all really.
I mean, spare a thought for the bikies working side-gigs as the shopping centre Santa Claus at this time of year. Who would dress a poor bugger up in a woolly jumpsuit in the middle of an Australian summer?
Hang on Dymphna. It’s not wool. Those suits are pure polyester.
Like that’s better.
I hope they get hazard pay.
But not much of it makes sense. The pine trees, the fake snow on the shop windows, the reindeer and sleigh, the roast dinners.
I used to feel a bit awkward about it. Like it was proof that we had no culture of our own – a cruel reminder of how young the contemporary Australian culture was.
But I’ve come to love it now.
Like, isn’t it a perfectly ridiculous and Aussie thing to do to celebrate winter in the middle of summer? Singing Christmas carols and putting the kids on Santa’s knee, while all the while laughing into our hats about how silly it is?
There’s something perfectly Aussie about it. We are team players to a fault. We’re not ones to shirk off while our mates do the work. We pull our weight. And we support our traditions for the sake of having traditions that connect us all.
We might not care much about our place in the nation, but we care a lot about our place in the team.
And yet, at the same time, we’re hopeless anti-authoritarians. We instinctively resist authority and any sort of top-down control structures. We find the idea of ‘class’ disgusting.
We are team players who don’t want to be told what to do.
And so we clip the kids over the ear and tell them to listen to the priest’s Christmas sermon, at the same time as we’re sending a text to our mates: “How ridiculous does this bloke look in his mumu. Where did he get that? Katies?”
It’s a tension we carry in the Australian psyche, and it’s a tension we’ve learnt to be comfortable with.
And so we celebrate Christmas. We teach our kids about Santa, we put a pine tree in the living room. We follow these traditions for tradition’s sake – to give our kids the kind of Christmas we remember ourselves.
But we don’t take it too seriously. We know it’s just a bit of fun.
And to the Australian sense of humour, the sillier the better. “Come on Uncle Col, your turn to dress up as Santa this year.”
Straya. Got to love it.
Anyway, in that spirit, I want to send out a thank-you to everyone on my team and everyone in the I Love Real Estate community. It’s been another amazing year, and I’m proud to call you my teammates.
And I especially want to shout out to the students who refused to listen to what I was telling them. To those people who decided to still go their own way, who marched to the beat of their own drum, and who took the piss out of my mumu while I was on stage. (Seriously, look for it – the must-have fashion accessory of 2019).
I don’t want to be a leader, and I don’t want sheep to look after. I want everyone in this community to stand on their own two feet.
And to everyone who is doing that, or is learning to do that, I celebrate you. Well done.
So that’s us for the year. We’ll be back early in the New Year, ready to monster-stomp all over 2019.
I hope you’ll join us.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,