As the founder of Canberra Cat Fix, a project to help people on low incomes to desex their cats, RiotACT columnist Alexandra Craig is naturally hoping people will donate to local animal welfare charities this Christmas rather than spending up at the shops. Hear, hear. Meanwhile, we love Alex’s story about how the neighbours all the way along her childhood street set out tealights to form a runway for Santa each year …
What I love most about Christmas is … catching up with family, the smell of real Christmas trees, and eating pavlova.
What I love least about Christmas is … how stressed out people become in the shops and on the road. I know it can be an intense time of year but I think we should all make an effort to ensure we get to Christmas safely and alive!
My best ever Christmas was … I actually can’t pinpoint one. The first Christmas after we got an inground pool at home was pretty memorable. I think I was in grade 4 or 5. I’m not sure how so many of us (and about 300 inflatables) were able to fit in the pool at once!
My favourite Christmas songs are … None! Working in retail throughout my high school years has really turned me off Christmas songs. I do like ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’ by John Lennon which is surprising because for as long as I can remember my dad would blast it through the speakers first thing Christmas morning to get us out of bed.
My favourite Christmas film is … None! This quiz is making me feel like a grinch! My partner is obsessed with Love Actually but I think it’s stupid except for the Hugh Grant dancing scene which is very endearing. So if you were to ask me what my favourite scene in a Christmas film is I would say the Hugh Grant dancing scene in Love Actually.
I celebrate on Christmas Eve by … spending time at my childhood home where everyone in our street (a really long street in a straight line) puts out tealight candles on each side of their driveway to form Santa’s runway. It looks super cool if you stand at the end of the street and look up. I’m not sure who started it but I remember getting a note in the mailbox each year reminding us about it. Once Santa’s runway is ready to go, I usually head inside to whip up the pavlova. Because it takes so long I often end up going to bed at 2am! This year I am celebrating Christmas in Canberra and on Christmas Eve we will probably go to the carols with some friends and their young daughter.
I celebrate on Christmas Day by … having a big lunch with my extended family (I have about 30 billion cousins and they all have children), followed by a swim in the pool and a nap! This year we are staying in Canberra for Christmas so we will have lunch with a couple of friends.
On Boxing Day I love … lounging around in the pool or sitting inside in the airconditioning thinking of all the manic shoppers at Boxing Day sales and appreciating the fact I am not one of them.
The gift I’d most like to give this Christmas is … a home to all the abandoned cats and dogs either waiting in animal shelters or fending for themselves on the street.
For Christmas this year I’d like … Nothing! I have everything I need. I would much rather people make a donation to a local animal welfare charity (Canberra Cat Fix, Flossie’s Kitten Rescue and Leah’s Pawsitive Future are a few of my favourites in case you are wondering!)
This is the last in our My Christmas series. We hope the columns have inspired you to seek out (or avoid!) festive films, songs and activities this December, and that you have a special day tomorrow. Join us from December 27 as we share our thoughts on and plans for the next few weeks in My Summer.