Christmas Village

Monday, 14 December 2009

Ever since I was little, I have dreamed of owning a shimmering, bedazzling Christmas village that would perch in my living room and twinkle all through the festive season.

Even though Christmas Day is usually one of the hottest of the summer season here in Australia, I grew up in the 70s when everything Christmas was usually accompanied by a snow scene and Santa in a wintery suit.

Nowadays, of course, Santa wears boardshorts and goes for a surf after guzzling a coldie, and most of my festive seasons have featured platters of cold seafood, icy cold bubbles and an afternoon swim, yet a wintery Christmas is still so imprinted in my psyche.

I've been fortunate to have had a few white Christmases in my lifetime - one in Europe and three in Beijing (our fourth Beijing Christmas was actually spent in Vietnam) and I've loved every minute of the traditional festivities - the snowflakes, the roast turkey dinners, the mulled wine.

So, having my dream winter village stayed with me, despite loving the outdoor, summery Christmasses we enjoy here.

Before leaving Beijing, I managed to amass this small ceramic village at a local market. The prices were horrendously low, so I was able to amass quite a little town, which I dot with bottle-brush faux pines and sometimes stud with little ceramic Chinese girls.

I also push little buttons of blinking fairy lights up underneath the houses and through their back doors, to light up the scene and make it twinkle like the vista in my imagination. It's an uttery joy, this fairyland atop our piano, and I am loving taking moments to sit and stare at it, albeit with the airconditioning blasting from the ceiling.

I hope you, too, can take a moment to make a Christmas dream come true.

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