Christmas at Bondi beach Sydney

Christmas on the Nerang.

On this shot silk river tonight
the stars are cast in silver.
While gum smoke smudges
Christmas lights into sinkers.

I could tell you of leaf mould
banked where wild cats fight.
Where river dragons
rest on their glorious past.

Above the pontoon the
blue flicker of evening news.
Families come to rest,
contained in safe rectangles.

The clink of fork and day’s talk
Flows down from the decks
to bless me as I bait the hook,
release the line and wait.

Listen ,
there ‘s the steel heart -beat
of our ancient land.
Under quiet lapping,
distant cars soothe the surf .

Over all, Indifferent,
one bright star,
as that time in Bethlehem.

Vivienne Bibby 1997

See Christmas

'Christmas in Logan'
greetings from Winnie Cross

See Christmas
It is a stopping time
A drifting time
A time to forget the sharp hard facets of the world
and fold deep into the softness and warmth of home
A time when young minds go stretching eagerly forward
to touch the tantalizing rustles, sweet smells and bright colors of tomorrow
And older hearts reach gently back; softly turning precious memory painted Christmas pages
See Christmas
See the crystal magic of snow
Frosting the world with secrets
See children’s cheeks blushed pink with cold See their eyes washed clean with joy
Hear scuttles and whispers
Hear rattles and laughter
Smell roasting and cinnamon
Smell icicles and pine
See Christmas
See dancing and games and the wassail bowl steaming
See the tree standing proud decked with heirlooms and tinsel
See eyes wide at bedtime, socks hung by the fire
Hear music and singing and the Yule log spitting flame
Soft . . . .
Hear the story that changed the world

See Christmas
See it's light in the eyes of a child
See the love i n the heart of home.

Edwina Peterson Cross Christmas 1985

Christmas Day 2003.
Greetings from Soul Food Patrons from around the world.

This 2003 Advent Calendar would not have been possible without the support of all those people who have been associated with the Soul Food Cafe and who have so generously gifted me with their work. You each know who you are and know how much I have appreciated your enthusiasm and tangible support.

Soul Food has become such an exciting place because of the handprints of the incredibly creative and talented people who have congregated here. A day never passes but what I feel humbled by the response to this concept.

Breaking with tradition in December and creating an advent calendar from an Australian perspective has been an amazing experience. Every mille second has been a pleasure and I have been surrounded by the spirit of goodwill. The bounty that has been sent my way has been extraordinary.

Today, whatever the temperature, I will be with family, wearing my brand new, non-sedate leopard print stretch pants with high heels. It is all well scripted. I will be stirring up the rellies and enjoying a most traditional Christmas Dinner. We will sit down to roast turkey at my brother's home, pop the crackers and tuck in. After lunch we will have present giving and all look decidedly fat and full. We will have afternoon tea, despite the fact that no one can reasonably sqeeze another thing in and then it will be time to go home.

I confess that by around 4:00 p.m. I will be celebrating the fact that it is 366 days until next Christmas Day (it is a leap year thrill seekers). I will be very happy to come home, to my nest, sigh, kick off the heels and wait for Boxing Day to dawn. Think of me celebrating that it is all over and that the real summer holidays have begun.

Make sure that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you have a good day.

But most importantly, don't forget to come back tomorrow for the final page of the Advent Calendar. This page marks one of the best days of the year - Boxing Day in Australia.

love Heather Blakey

On Xmas Day we will walk down to Maccas in Surfers Paradise and have coffee with any of our walking friends who are there, then come home for some phone calls as all our family are overseas. I wil allso write an email to Musers at Soul Food. We will go out to some friends for a sort of BYO brunch and have a glass of wine or two. We will call into a couple of elderly friends, Eric and Doreen to say hello. I expect we will have a lie down and then finish packing to fly the Tasman early on Boxing Day, to Wellington NZ, to see a number of our family and to catch up on what they have done to the big house since we were there last.

I invite you all to have a cuppa with us on the day.
Love Viv Bibby - Queensland

"I like to walk on fresh fallen snow
The kind that whispers and speaks.
It sings a song as I walk along
With crackles and scrunches and squeaks."

Season's Greetings from the Creativity Portal!

A wonderful day to you all, whatever way you choose to celebrate it, and remember to give a voice to your alter ego this new year.
Augustine and Natalie

The 25 th, of December is a thoughtful day.

I thought of all the Muses
I saw you all in the smiles of the flowers
I felt you in the rhythm of the leaves
as they rustled in the breeze
I heard you call across the sea
I saw you in the freedon of the birds
as they flew by
I am at peace and happy to have found you all
For I know in some way you will always be there
Even if only in my memories.
For beauty that has been and is now never leaves me.

May all Musers have a wonderful day.
Lois Daley - Port Melbourne Muse

This is a photo of sixth month-old northern elephant seal Goodyear, named after the famous advertising blimp.We are caring for several here at the Marine Mammal Center this Christmas, but i wanted to send this picture of a healthy young seal, taken a few moments after his release on the beach. Elephant seals are generally fat, rather smelly, and unlovely, though they do have large beautiful luminous eyes. They move on land ungracefully, humping lumps of rippling blubber, like huge nightmare caterpillars; though they can be alarmingly quick in the sand.

The males can weigh well over 1000 lbs when mature, and develope a long rubbery lumpy nose, long enough to stick in their mouths when vocalizing, and they sound - forgive me - like a foghorn in collision with a giant fart.

The adult females are quite a bit smaller, and do not give the impression of leading happy lives.

The pups are born with wooly black fur to help them stay warm on the winter beaches while they nurse and pack on blubber; we call them "blackcoats."

In the winter and early spring we may have upwards of hundred blackcoats and older weaners here at the Center, storm orphans mostly. They cackle noisily like oversized demented chickens, day and night; when there are more than a few on site, i can close my eyes and imagine i'm in a poultry lunatic asylum.

A few years ago a film sound engineer from New Zealand came around, with a huge microphone in a fuzzy condom: the voices of the orcs, rising from the well in the Great Hall of the Mountain Kings in the first "Lord of the Rings" installment, are those of our very own elephant seal pups.

They are above all very naive and docile for their size, having none of the native fierceness of the sea lion and fur seal pups; so gullible and gentle and seemingly ill-equipped for a life in the wild that i'm often tempted to shake my head and wonder what Mother Nature was thinking. As you can see, there is nothing in all the world so innocently joyful as a happy young "ellie," and for that reason i think they are among the sea's best creatures.

This is exactly what Christmas means to me.
Happy Holidays, and love to all,

Lots of Love and Light,
from Nicole and the furry Christmas Elf who snuck in to my kitchen the other night and devoured my defrosting Christmas Roast. Ho Ho HO!!!!

I will be going to Cincinnatti, Ohio where my mother's side of the family gathers every couple of years or so for Christmas, although they have been dropping off over the years. They live all over the U.S., so this is the only time we see each other really. Beyond that, it's very simple. Open presents in the morning, eat Christmas dinner in the evening with turkey and the rest, and do whatever we wish to do the rest of the day. Of course part of that is preparing dinner! So everyone have a very pleasant holiday, however you spend it!
Joshua Parkinson

Associated Links

Working on Christmas Day
A Working Christmas
Emergency Workers Spend Christmas On The Job
Christmas in Antarctica
Christmas day on Bird Island.