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!