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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday, 18 December: Christmas exodus

What are the rhythms of Christmas in your part of the world?

Here it is the long summer holiday (about 6 weeks) for schools, universities, for the building and construction industry and just about anyone else who can take their annual leave. Smaller shops and businesses close between Christmas and New Year. The inland towns, cities, villages and farms empty as an exodus takes place from the interior to the cities and holiday resorts along the long and beautiful South African coastline, to camping grounds in the bushveld (savannahs) or to the blue mountains and lush valleys of the Drakensberg range and other mountain ranges. Folks with families in the rural areas board crowded buses, trains and taxis to travel home. In some parts of the country the population increases dramatically with holiday makers; here in the most industrialised and densely populated region roads are noticeably quieter, streets emptier and finding a parking place at the local mall is child's play.

It is hard to resist the enthusiastic drive to 'go on holiday'! But some, like myself, prefer a quiet Christmas at home. So here I am...and tomorrow the decorations go up!


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Have fun doing your decorations! And don't forget to let us see!!

Poetikat and the Hyggecats said...

It sounds so different where you are. Here, everyone is anxious for a few days respite from office jobs and we all huddle around our fireplaces and get together for indoor celebrations of feasting and festing.
The busiest store is probably the liquor store (sadly) as folks stock up "for the holidays" and guests, parties, etc.
This year, the malls are far less busy than usual since the recession is keeping a tight grip on folk's wallets.
Some travel across North America and beyond to visit distant relatives, but I suspect most stay home, like yourself, in the confines of their own spaces - turkey in the oven, cranberry sauce plopped out of a can, and the bird stuffed to capacity.

Ah, Christmas!

My favourite part of Christmas, is Danish kringle and coffee, BUT most important is being in my Father's house to celebrate the birth of his son.



Smilingsal said...

As I live in a giant megalopolis, I never see quiet. Well, during the summer months, it settles down a bit, but at this time of year, it's hustle and bustle.

Teaching of course, takes a break until after the new year, and my husband's work (tied to construction) comes to a sluggish crawl. I like having time to breathe and reflect on the reason we celebrate Christmas.

willow said...

It's fun to hear how different your Christmas is waaaay down there! I am putting the finishing touches on the baking and cleaning and the crew all arrives this weekend.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Our world here is very different! And yet, not so different ... at this time of year, as at all other times, we love each other, squabble, have lots of gleeful fun, celebrate the wonder of life and stick our necks out for our dreams. (And we probably eat a little too much!)

Love your blog, I've just found it via Willow Manor. Your garden looks enchanting.

Rowyn said...

Christmas in South Africa sounds very similar to Christmas in New Zealand. And like you, I like staying home best for a quiet Christmas with my family!

Ms.Daisy said...

We here in the Northeast USA are the traveling type mostly...going to and fro to visit family. I am having a great time with church activities before I pack up to leave for Virginia to visit my daughter Karen and her family for a few days. Back again on my birthday (27th) before a quiet New Year's that I'll spend with friends. I hope you have a very Merry and Joyous Christmas with your family!


Greyscale Territory said...

First I love your garden photo! Christmas for me in Melbourne, Australia is a quiet one. There is just my partner and I. Our children are interstate or in other countries. But we are happy together. We feel blessed to have each other and I feel very blessed that he does the Christmas cooking and I do clean-up duty!

A very happy Christmas to you!