Happy Christmas. It has been a very happy family Christmas here and instead of going to the country, the country cousins have come to us for the first time. Despite dire long-term predictions, the weather was warm and we ate our hot lunch outside. But it was not a scorcher, there were no bushfires and we did not swim. In fact the only words from C.J. Dennis' A Bush Christmas that applied were
Ah, well," says Dad. "I got to say I never spent a lazier day."This poem first published in the Herald on Christmas Eve in 1931 tells the story of an outback family who invite a lonely neighbour to join them for Christmas. Although it is a hot day, and the family struggles with heat and the hardships of rural life they enjoy the neighbour's tales of Christmas in the colder climate of the Northern hemisphere. This poem has been made accessible to young children through Dee Huxley's illustrated picture book. It depicts a Christmas that is far removed from the urban, multicultured Christmas most of us enjoy, but it is good to be reminded of rural Australia and what it was like for early settlers.