Editorial December 23rd 2022
Welcome to this week’s editorial, December 23rd and I am excited. While Christmas might be prawns and stonefruits the big one for me is that Hot Cross Buns will be back in the shops along with Easter Eggs in just eight days time. Those who closely follow the annually recuring Christian calendar often observe that the shelves that usually stock the representations of the Cross (hot cross buns) and resurrection (Easter eggs) are taken up with other lines. The odd thing about Christmas in Australia is that we don’t actually have our shelves filled with traditional Christmas fare as they do in Europe where you can find all manner of Christmas cakes. Yes we have Christmas puddings and mince pies but they are well down the list of popularity in Oz. There seems to be a clear divide between Christmas lunch people and Christmas dinner folks. The lunchers go for simple. Seafood, BBQs Salads, cold meats, plates of fruit and cheeses and casual attire, hopefully by a pool on a sunny day. The dinner folk tend to go for the more traditional trimmings inherited from overseas. Turkey, carved ham, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, roast vegies and plum pudding with a blazing brandy presentation. By New Years Day the turkey makes retreat, the hams disappear back into obscurity, the left over Christmas Cakes find themselves on hard to find shelves at half price and the cranberry sauce disappears back into the company of the other weird conserves. And then… roll of drums…. out come the hot cross buns and the easter eggs to remind us all that in just four months time we have another annual holiday dedicated to the baby Jesus who, this time, is a full grown adult killed by some unscrupulous folks, but fear not, it is all OK because he didn’t really die. One thing I notice, and more so than ever, is that the Christmas and Easter is being overtaken by Santa and Easter rabbits, eggs and bilbies. The classic nativity scenes in shop fronts are being replaced by HoHo Santas, reindeer, elves, pine trees, tinsel, lights and fake snow. And as for being put up on a cross the only hint we have of this during Easter is the humble hot cross bun, that now, due to popular demand, is available pretty much all year round.
The figures from the 2021 census for the Bega electorate are quite revealing in that they show, probably for the first time in the history of the electorate, that there are more people who are not Christian than there of other faiths or have no religious affiliation. Maybe, just maybe, we might one day consider changing the name of Christmas Day to Santa Day to celebrate Santa, gift giving and family get togethers and then change Easter to Bilby Sunday where the country eats a chocolate bilby with 10% of all profits going to save the endangered bilby (along with all the others). If that was the case I would buy more foil wrapped bilbies all year round. We are a nation of folks who have a majority who don’t identify as Christians. Maybe it is time to recognise that we might identify Christmas as Summer Holidays and Easter as a well deserved break before winter sets in, and give them names that are a little less Jesus centric. My pick? HoHo Day (because we all believe in Santa) and Bilby Day because we really need to recognise their demise. And as for the Queens/Kings Birthday ? The King was born on 14th November, 1947. That falls on a Tuesday in 2023; the perfect opportunity for a very long weekend. Now there’s food for thought around your feastings. Until next—lei