The Christmas Plum Pudding

Over the years I have provided links to others who have written web pages on the subject of Christmas in Australia.

However some of these links have lead to confusion over the author of the page therefore I decided to eliminate all links to pages outside of my site.

But rules are only made to be broken. A vistor to these pages sent me a link to a page on the subject of
"The Duality of the Australian Christmas Pudding 1850-1950"
by Rhiannon Donaldson.
NOTE - 2011 the web site seems to have been taken down.

The site is so good that I have set up this page with the sole purpose of linking to the full discussion. It is a surprise to find that the subject of Christmas In the southern hemisphere generated so much discussion.

An extract from her work is provided below. Enjoy the read.

An extract from
The Duality of the Australian Christmas Pudding 1850-1950
by Rhiannon Donaldson. I had saved this copy in 2004 in case the web page disappeared.

Pudding Before Federation (1901) there were doubts expressed about whether the transfer of the Christmas festival from the winter of the northern hemisphere to the summer of the southern could possibly produce a successful or 'real' celebration.

In 1868, Marcus Clarke wrote with scorn of those people who felt constrained to keep up the traditions of England and stated 'it may be rank heresy, but I deliberately affirm that Christmas in Australia is a gigantic mistake.

Twenty years later, a newspaper editorial acknowledged that in this colony, 'Christmas' has been often stigmatised as a complete failure by people who have shifted their sky, but not their line of thought. Although the majority of the Australian population did not share Clarke's ideas, the continued celebrations existed within a public discourse which aired doubts well into the 1930s and 1940s. These doubts related to the ability of the English Christmas to survive in the Australian climate and environment.

The subject on which doubts were most often expressed was the hot Christmas dinner, particularly the Christmas pudding. This article will examine the transportation and acclimatisation of the English Christmas to the Australian colonies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through the study of this one particular element of Christmas: the plum pudding.