Christmas Boat Parade

In order to get in the Christmas spirit, we attended a local event on Australia’s Sunshine Coast called the Christmas Boat Parade. Local families gathered at the Mooloolaba Harbour at around 6 pm, decked out in their Christmas finery.Christmasy kids

Barbecues (and sparklers) were lit

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The boats began making their first rounds, even before the sun went down. Children waived frantically to every Santa that came by, even the plastic ones…

Plastic santa

Mother nature was the first to show off her lights…Sunset at Mooloolaba DSCF9330 DSCF9325

And then the boats began to light up the night. DSCF9340

These little ones were among my favorites.DSCF9339 DSCF9346 DSCF9352

This one had a mechanical device that allowed Santa (below) to send up a “match” to light the candle. When it reached the top, the flame came on and waved around. Amazing. DSCF9357

Lighted candle 

This one had a rock band on board that provided the soundtrack for the evening’s festivities.DSCF9354

The lights were inspiring and beautiful, and by night’s end I had a better feel for the unique possibilities offered by a summer Christmas.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

It is summer in the tropical area of Australia. Temperatures are in the low 90s and beaches are   bustling. We wandered in to the mall (me still in my bathing suit top) to find a notice that Santa will be available for photos next week. Aussies are busily discussing their plans for the summer “hols” (holidays). For them, Christmas means barbecues and watermelon and sweet corn and playing with your new frisbee on the beach. I’m finding it a little disconcerting to be browsing through shorts and flip flops while listening to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” on the in-store entertainment system. Maybe this is my big chance to pick up a Santa themed bikini… and actually get to wear it.