When I see our native West Australian Christmas trees starting to bloom in November, easily recognizable by their vivid orange blossoms, I think it is starting to feel like Christmas. I notice people decorating their houses with lights and shops are playing Christmas songs, stocking their shelves with toys and Christmas fare.
Escaping the Silly Season
Several years ago, we decided to sneak away for a pre-Christmas holiday to avoid the crowds, to get away from the commercialism and rush of Christmas shopping. As we headed south to camp at some of the iconic, deserted bays around Esperance, I admired the many orange Christmas blossoms we saw along the way.
In contrast to the city, it was tranquil and deserted in some of the bush camp sites around Esperance. Stokes Inlet, Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand would have to be some of the most picturesque campsites and beaches in the world.
As we drove along the wide sandy beach at Cape Le Grande we could see moving shapes ahead and wondered what they were. As we got closer we were amazed to see a couple of wild Brumbies who had come down to the beach. They were a delightful but unexpected surprise.
A few days before Christmas, we went into the local IGA supermarket to stock up on a few provisions. Being a Saturday morning, it was reasonably busy for a small country town. To save time, Bryan headed for the meat section to get something to cook on the barbecue, while I scanned the fruit and vegetables.
A Fascination of Flash Mobs
Suddenly a man walking past with a box of cereal in his hand started singing a Christmas carol. He was soon joined in the singing by a woman waving a packet of biscuits. Before too long, many ordinary looking people in various aisles all joined in the song. The Christmas song they were singing was “O Holy Night”. I was pleasantly surprised as it was the last place I had expected to see a Flash Mob in a small supermarket in a country town.
Ever since Flash Mobs came into vogue a few years ago, I had always wanted to be part of one but never had the opportunity. As I watched the many Youtube videos of people all around the world suddenly breaking into song or dance in the middle of famous public places, I thought what fun it would be.
As they sang the words “Fall on your knees; O hear the angel voices!” these unlikely Flash Mob singers all knelt down on the floor of the supermarket. As I followed their gaze to where they were looking, I got the surprise of my life. In through the front doors of the supermarket walked Mary and Joseph, dressed accordingly, carrying a real baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.
I wanted to yell out to Bryan to share my joy but he was down the back of the supermarket with his head in the meat freezer. Instead, I turned to the woman standing next to me who had tears in her eyes and was obviously as moved by this experience as I was. In an IGA supermarket in a small country town in Western Australia, we shared a brief emotional moment of inexplicable joy. In that brief moment, I felt as if I had experienced the joy of Christmas.
I hope you all find the joy in your Christmas.