So they dreamed of home,
the expatriates, lonely, not knowing
That they carried in their hearts
not snow, nor robins, nor holly,
But the age-old wish for belonging
Dorothy Drain

image courtesy of Fay Looney

Fay Looney is based in Oakura Taranaki and has worked as a professional photographer for over 20 years. With the release of her first book "First Light Last Light" (Hodder Moa Beckitt Publishers) a new photograpic direction in Landscape Photography evolved. A range of New Zealand landscape notecards has now followed the book and this range is updated regularly. Fay's unique range of New Zealand Christmas Cards was first introduced for Christmas 2000 featuring a live tree decorated and planted in New Zealand's Landscape at locations in both islands. From Christmas 2001 the range was extend to include Australia with many new innovations and designs continuing to be added each year.

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Christmas Letter From Australia

Tis Christmas, and the north wind blows; 'twas two years yesterday
Since from the Lusitania's bows I looked o'er Table Bay,
A tripper round the narrow world, a pilgrim of the main,
Expecting when her sails unfurled to start for home again.

Tis Christmas, and the north wind blows, today our hearts are one,
Though yu are 'mid the English snows and I in Austral sun;
You, when you hear the northern blast, pile high a mightier fire,
Our ladies cower till it is past in lawn and lace attire.

I fancy I can picture you upon this Christmas night,
Just sitting as you used to do the laughter at its height,
And then a sudden, silent pause intruding on your glee,
And kind eyes glistening because you chanced to think of me.

This morning when I woke and knew t'was Christmas come again,
I almost fancied I could view white rime upon the pane,
And hear the ringing of the wheels upon the frosty ground,
And see the drip that downward steals in icy casket bound.

I daresay you'll be on the lake, or sliding on the snow,
And breathing on your hands to make the circulation flow,
Nestling your nose among the furs of which your boa's made -
The Fahrenheit here registers a hundred in the shade.

It is not quite a Christmas here with this unclouded sky,
This pure transparent atmosphere, this sun mid-heaven high,
To see the rose upon the bush, young leaves upon the trees,
And hear the forest's summer hush or the low hum of the bees.

extract from Christmas Letter From Australia by Douglas B. W. Sladen

Recommended Projects

1. Calligraphy is the art of creating beautiful or elegant handwriting (or penmanship) using calligraphy markers or special pens with nibs dipped in ink. Before you begin your card and letter writing brush up on your calligraphy Find free calligraphy lessons and learn calligraphy and letter form techniques from these resources at the Creativity Portal.

2. Begin writing Christmas Letters and sending Christmas Cards to people overseas. Make sure to promote the joy of living in the Southern Hemisphere by using cards like these by Fay Looney.

3. Instead of sending tradional mail consider sending some mail art using interesting mediums.

Students loved it when we made postcards using shoe inserts. Finding a decorated footprint in your mail box would make a pleasant change.

4." Not an Australian? Are you living in the Northern Hemisphere? Still want to participate? Even between the varied areas of the United States you have different climates and landscapes. North Dakota has snow that builds and builds until the roads seem to become walled with snow while in Florida it rains all the time at Christmas. In Seattle, despite glaciers and snow-capped mountains there is a lot of rain in the winter. One year snow in Nashville, Tennessee stalled the entire city And this is only among the United States.

What differences there must be across our own Northern Hemisphere. All these differences and only one set of universal Christmas concepts? It seems rather odd even up here.

No matter where you are, try this:

Get or make a small journal. Now fill some pages with images depicting the Christmastime of your area. Capture the uniqueness of the land and wildlife, of the different customs, songs, unique town events, even just personal thoughts and family traditions. Maybe create a whole new tradition to start, and put it in the journal to spread around. Use poems, words, photos, drawings, sketches, whatever you can.

This will be a Christmastime traveling journal. Send it out to someone in a different area, even a different continent! Leave them instructions to add pages just like you, illustrating the uniqueness of their own Christmases and pass it on. Leave instructions to send it back to you when the book is filled.

What to do with it from here is up to you! If you have a website, what a joy it would be to have it meant to be put online once it is finished! And then let us know where we can see it!"
Joshua Parkinson

Associated Links

Write a letter to Santa
Postcard and Greeting Card Museum

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