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Christmas in July

Accidentally, one winter evening in 1977 a tradition was established in the Pudding"Blue Mountains", which are only two hours drive from the centre of Sydney, NSW, when a group of Irish visitors, experienced a fall of snow. It reminded them of Christmas back home so they asked the management if they could arrange for them to have a traditional Northern hemisphere winter-style festive dinner.

The next night they were served their hot Christmas dinner, complete with all the trimmings, and were so delighted that the group returned again the following year.

Santa
Ham image courtesy of
KR Castlemaine

In 1980 the Blue Mountains commenced a winter attraction titled A Yulefest Celebration which runs for the months of June, July and August, the coldest months of the year.

Tourists staying overnight enjoy the delicious Yulefest dinners, roaring log fires and might be lucky enough to experience the occasional winter snowfall or a visit from Santa.

This winter entertainment has spread to many parts of Australia as "Christmas in July" where a Christmas style function is held.

It takes the form of a lunch or dinner with all the traditional northern hemisphere Christmas foods including colourful streamers, party hats and whistles.


A Report of A Probus Club
Christmas in July Function in a small town.

There was not much room in the Tavern car park last Wednesday, due to the sleds, snow mobiles and skidoos in attendance, plus the several one-horse open sleighs.

The occasion was, of course, the Combined Probus Annual Christmas in July luncheon.

Forty one Probus members and guests were present, including Jill Robson who was celebrating her birthday. Some of us dressed for the occasion in traditional yuletide garb. Others preferred mufti on the day.

Before long Christmas cheer and goodwill permeated the room.

In the absence of President John, it fell to Secretary Vince to call the group to order and present his, several pages long, impromptu welcome. He called upon Mark to say Grace prior to us attacking a sumptuous three course Christmas meal.

Above the clatter of the clinking of knives and forks the only other sounds heard were the popping of Christmas crackers and the raucous laughter when the jokes within were told and retold.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (strong head winds, gout and a hangover) Santa was unable to attend this year’s function.

Fortunately we had the talented Gwen to sing us an appropriate seasonal song accompanied by Yvonne (I've had classical training) on the silver plated gum leaf. With difficulty, Graham had the revellers assemble for a group photo and it was then time to mount our sleds, etc, and canter off home.

Thanks to the Tavern management, catering and staff for creating such a well run and memorable luncheon.

Explanation

  • Probus Clubs are a world wide organisation for retired or semi-retired professional or business people.
    See Wikipedia for more information.
  • Sleds, snow mobiles, skidoos and one-horse open sleighs. The author is setting the scene for a light hearted report of the luncheon. Most Australian have not seen let alone own any of the before mentioned.
  • Mufti - Refers to ordinary clothes, especially when worn by one who normally wears, a military or other uniform. In this case Santa type clothing.
  • Gum leaf - The gum tree leaf can be used to produce a musical (?) sound. It is held against the lips and blown so as to act as a vibrating valve.
This small report provides you with an example of the Christmas in July functions. They are just an excuse to have a happy gathering.

The jolly group, note the white hairs and bald heads.

Christmas in July
A link to Other Australian Traditions

Sand Snowman Santa

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