The Unconventional Christmas —- by Lisa Henry

Last week I invited bloggers to write a Christmas essay that was unusual, and did I ever luck out when author Lisa Henry responded. I read her post and it was a winner all the way. I’m sure you will agree with me even if you enjoy cold weather at Christmas. 🙂 How about some meat sizzling on the barbie and lying on the beach, OR flicking mosquitoes????

Beach Xmas Tree

Have you ever noticed how so many Christmas cards have pictures of snow and sleds and rosy-cheeked children? That’s false advertising for a good half of the world, let me tell you. The only reason the kids are rosy-cheeked at Christmas around my neck of the woods is sunburn.

I live in north Queensland, Australia. At Christmas, our only options are stinking hot and humid, or monsoonal rain (followed immediately by stinking hot and humid. With added mosquitoes). 😮 It’s strange to me that the whole White Christmas myth is still so pervasive here, given that we’ve had over two hundred years of European settlement to realise that it’s just not going to happen. Maybe the English who first arrived were just resistant to change. I like to imagine it went something like this:

“Merry Christmas, Major-General Sir Beauregard.”
“Merry Christmas, Finch-Smithely. Still, ah…still hot outside, is it?”
“Quite hot, yes, sir.”
“No, ah, no chance of any snow at all, do you think?”
“I shouldn’t think so, sir.”
“If you’d like, sir, you can join me and the chaps down at the beach.”
“The beach?”
“Yes, sir. We’re thinking of having a barbeque and going for a swim.”
“At Christmas, Finch-Smithely? Have you lost your bally mind? Put another log on the fire, and see if you can’t get the convicts to build me a sled.”
“As you wish, sir.”

Despite the way it’s marketed, the real strength of Christmas is its flexibility. We get to make our own traditions along the way. Christmas will always be exactly what we make it, whether we’re rugged up in the snow, or playing cricket at the beach while we wait for the prawns to cook. It’s about our family, our friends, but mostly it’s about hope. It’s hope for peace, for love, and for goodwill to all.

I’m working on Christmas Day, and that’s okay. My day job is in a police station as a dispatcher, so it’s not exactly a 9 to 5. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the holidays when you’re stuck working them, but not Christmas. Never Christmas. On Christmas, you go the extra mile. So this year I’ll be tying tinsel to the aerials of police cars, handing out Santa hats to the crews, and making sure that everyone has a special day.

“VKR to 201.”

“201, VKR. Go ahead.”
“201, I need you to return to the station immediately.”
“Have you got a job for us, VKR?”
“Negative, 201, I’ve got cake.”

So whether you’re outside playing in the snow, inside trying to escape the heat, stuck somewhere in between or even stuck at work, I hope you have a great day with the people you love. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lisa’s Bio

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with a long-suffering partner, too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

You can find her blog here:


  • “Negative, 201, I’ve got cake.”
    I loved this. IF you’ve got to work on Christmas, you better make the best of it! 🙂
    I hope you got to celebrate sometimes though. Sounds enticing, Christmas on the beach, even though it was so warm here too that my man seriously considered a barbecue for Christmas Eve dinner!

    Happy New Year

  • Merry Christmas Lisa, and I was just whining about how the weather changes in the US and it is getting warmer here than it used to be. Australia is much warmer though 🙂 and your Christmas traditions sound wonderful indeed.

  • Merry Christmas from a fellow Aussie!

    It’s amazing that some of us continue with the tradition of hot roast turkey and rich fruit puddings, isn’t it?

    My family modifies things a bit, because serving hot food to hungry hordes is tricky, but we stick with the turkey (served cold), and although we have the pud, we also have fresh fruit salad and pavlova.

    The weather was a worry this year, with a 42C day just before the 25th 😮 , but we were lucky to end up with a perfect afternoon on the day. Christmas in Oz is pretty good, I reckon. 🙂

    • It is pretty good, Gaycrow!

      And oh yes, it’s not Christmas without pavlova…which reminds me, I think I have some leftover in the fridge! It was a fairly humid day here in NQ, with some afternoon rain. And today it’s stinking hot, even more humid, and not a cloud in the sky. We didn’t make it to 42C though! I think I’d keel over and die if we had those temperatures with our humidity!

  • I think the Australian Christmas traditions sound wonderful – swimming and shrimp, good combo. And you could, maybe, swim away from that annoying uncle/cousin/creeper who won’t go bug anyone else. I’d pass on the extra helping of mosquitoes though (send ’em here and we’ll freeze ’em for you!)

    Merry Christmas!

    • Hi Finn! I agree that our traditions are great, but one year I will have that White Christmas I’ve heard of in legend! I hope you have a great day with your loved ones (including the annoying uncle/cousin/creeper/ that every family has.)


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I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports - especially baseball
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