Please welcome another Australian Author to my blog today to share Christmas in Australia. Welcome Meredith Resce.
1. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
If you mean in my actual street, it’s the house down the road that is lit up like….well, like a Christmas tree. A spectacular light display that has cars driving by just to stop and look at the lights. If you mean in our city of Adelaide, it’s the hustle and bustle of getting everything sorted to wind up the end of school year, have Christmas/end-of-year parties for businesses and clubs, and the onset of warm weather. For your northern hemisphere readers, we don’t switch the Christmas lights on until 9pm, and we take a walk in the warm evening to look at things going on in the neighbourhood. If you mean in the state of south Australia, being as I’m originally from the country, it’s harvest time, and I keep close monitor on how the crops are yielding. We watch out for bushfires, and get our BBQ’s working. We love a good open air carols-by-candlelight night. (Jenny here I love the open air carols too.)
2. Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
Every second year, we gather at the family farm with the whole of my family – about 30 of us now. On the other year, we do a city Christmas, and those of our family in the city get together and walk around the streets singing Christmas Carols. Our family have a tradition of eating Port Wine Jelly with Cherries and ice-cream for Christmas breakfast. I’ve always done it, and I asked my mother where that tradition came from. She told me it was from when a travelling green-grocer used to go from farm to farm, and stopped by our farm every week, he would sell cases (wooden-box) full of fruit for preserving. My mother always bought a case of cherries, and would preserve them in her Fowlers preserving jars. She would always open the first jar of preserved Cherries on Christmas eve, make the Port wine jelly, and we would have it as a treat Christmas morning.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
Can’t limit to just one – Joy to the Word – Love the words. ‘He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love.’
Silent Night – The most beautiful carol, and evokes all sorts of memories from a wonderful childhood of faith.
4. If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?
We almost always celebrate with family. I love to have a Christmas Eve service, acknowledge the wonder of God with us in the Christ child. I am such a traditionalist, I love to celebrate the way we have always done it.
5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
The majority of my memories of Christmas are special. When we were kids, it was great, everything just happened magically. Now I know that the magic was really my mother, grandmother’s and aunt. They made everything happen. O Joy, I get to make it happen now, and I love to know that the kids are having a wonderful time, but it is a lot more hard work than it used to be. My mother used to always organise a small Christmas concert for the grandparents after Christmas lunch. We would have costumes, and do little plays, sing songs and play the piano. Our grandparents always clapped and told us we were wonderful.
6. What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you.
Christmas Eve – a church service, and singing carols somewhere, somehow.
Christmas Day – even though my children are now adults, we still get up early, as my nieces and nephews are still young, and we have to do the Christmas thing all together. My father readers a Scripture and prays, then we share presents. Then we eat our Jellied cherries, and the grown up mothers get to start lunch preparations. The kids play. We have a traditional roast lunch, even if it’s 40 degrees (110 degrees F) outside. We eat our Hot Christmas pudding, and the works. Then the grownups get to clean up lunch, and the kids play some more. The grownups sleep, and then go ahead and fix leftovers for tea. We use cold ham and cold chicken, and just have salad for tea.
7. Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
The Nativity; It’s a Wonderful Life; Miracle on 34th Street; I’ll Be seeing You (old movie with Ginger Rogers and Shirley Temple); The Christmas Card (New movie with unknown actors). I like to watch these with the Christmas lights switched on. (Jenny again, I enjoy the Christmas Card also I have it on DVD)
8. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
Christ is the whole reason the Christmas celebration began, but it is so easy to remove Christ, or shove him aside while we indulge in all the other Christmas things that have developed over the years. Make sure you keep Christ front and centre, and remember that Christmas is always followed by Easter – his work and victory over sin.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come – don’t forget, He’s still here in the person of the Holy Spirit, so, come, let us adore Him.
This is Meredith's latest book and one I can't wait to read.
When Sarah Montgomery finds a man lying half-dead in the snow, she doesn’t stop to think of the consequences of trying to save his life. But being a Good Samaritan yields nothing but trouble. In her parents’ absence, she struggles against a deadly fever and a vicious snow-storm, doing her best to save the life of a stranger. But when her self-righteous neighbours eventually come to see how she fared during the storm, they draw a very different conclusion. Before she knows it, her reputation is in tatters, and she has been cast out of the church and her home.
Alone and destitute, Sarah is determined to seek work as a servant from the man whose life she has saved. But all is not well for the master of Mellington Hall.
Someone wants Lord Alan Mellington dead, and he doesn’t know who or why.
The only person he seems to be able to trust is the gamekeeper’s daughter, Sarah Montgomery, who has intervened to save his life not once but twice.
This story blending mystery, scandal, murder and romance comes from one of Australia’s best-loved authors, Meredith Resce.