Ripper Little Christmas (an Aussie Christmas Song)

I finished writing my annual Aussie Christmas song earlier today. I left it a bit later this year but I’m happy I got it done.

This is my eighth song now and this year I settled on doing an Aussie version of Holly Jolly Christmas called Ripper Little Christmas.

I chose it as it’s very recognisable and should be an easy one to follow. I also chose it as it’s just a fun song and we could all use a bit of fun after this year, don’t you think?

It’s more inspired by the original song than a true parody (I changed the rhyming and structure a bit as I didn’t want it to seem too cutesy) but it also lets me tell a bit more of a fun story, which is what I wanted to do too.

I hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions for next year’s song, let me know. 😀

Kangaroo Bauble

Ripper Little Christmas

Have a ripper little Christmas
It’s a beaut time of the year
We’ll have lots of fun in the sun
And a glass or two of beer

Have a ripper little Christmas
And when you go to the beach
Say hello to mates you know
And shout em a cold one each

Oh oh look how the lights glow
So pretty on the tree
Grandma’s baked a cake again
Save a slice just for me

Have a ripper little Christmas
Enjoy the fun and cheer
And make sure you have a ripper little Christmas
This year!

Oh oh look at Uncle Joe
He’s fallen asleep by the tree
The kids are playing in the yard
While we enjoy a cup of tea

Have a ripper little Christmas
Hold your loved ones near
And make sure you have a ripper little Christmas
This year!

My other Aussie Christmas songs:
The Aussie 12 Days of Christmas (2008)
Aussie Jingle Bells (2009)
We Wish You An Aussie Christmas (2010)
Deck the Ute (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2011)
Have Yourself an Aussie Kind of Christmas (2012)
Santa Matey (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2014)

I’m Dreaming of an Aussie Christmas (2015)

Sitting by the Tree

The Two CJs by the Tree

Lights, music
Gifts under the tree:
Another Christmas
Has come again

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating today. I hope you have a wonderful day with much joy and laughter and have a peaceful rest of the year.

I took this photo last night for a bit of festive fun. I was trying to think of what I wanted for Christmas, then it hit me – I could really use another pair of hands around the house, so I asked Santa for a clone. My wish came true!  Thank you Santa. 😀

CJ and Friend

I took this one too which was fun. We have three of these mice, they’re very cute. And mischievous as you can see.

CJ by the Tree black and white

And this one too. I try to do a photo in front of the tree each year. I like how this one came out in black and white.

Merry Christmas. I’ll have my annual Aussie Christmas song posted later tonight as well. 😀

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016

Christmas in Photos

15 Frederick Street

Christmas light panorama from Frederick Street, Randwick

These are some of the other photos I took over the Christmas period. I had meant to post them before Christmas but didn’t get a chance to sort through them all in time, so I thought I’d post them now instead.

Most of the photos are from around Sydney, except for the first few which I took during my trip to Melbourne last month. The Christmas lights are all from houses in Frederick Street in Randwick, near where we live.

My favourites are the ones from around the Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD, which was beautifully decorated this year. I had coffee there with my mother on Christmas Eve and was spoilt for choice, walking around, trying to work out what to photograph.

There are quite a few photos so I’ve split them after a page break to make it load faster and you can click on any of them to make them larger as well. I hope you enjoy them and that you had a wonderful festive break. ~ CJ.

Melbourne at Christmas

The Melbourne CBD, decorated for Christmas. I wish I’d spent more time wandering around as there was a lot I didn’t get a chance to photograph and the decorations were beautiful. Next year, I guess.

Melbourne Christmas Windows

Myer’s Christmas windows in Melbourne. This year’s window displays were based on Rob Scotton’s “Russell’s Christmas Magic” and there was also a separate window with a nativity scene.

Melbourne Christmas Windows

“Russell’s Christmas Magic” is about Russell the Sheep, who comes to the rescue when Santa and his broken sleigh are left stranded in Firefly Wood. It really felt like the book was coming to life.

Myer Melbourne Christmas windows

The sheep, Santa and reindeer were fabulous and most were fully articulating. The frogs were my favourite though – very cute.

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Have Yourself An Aussie Kind of Christmas

Christmas Salad

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating in their part of the world today. I hope you are having a wonderful day with your family and friends.

We did things a little bit differently this year. We can’t cook much in our kitchen at the moment as our stove has pretty much had it, so we had our main Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve instead and went out for a meal at a local restaurant which was lovely. A work-friend of my father’s joined us as well and it was nice sharing the Christmas cheer. We had a quiet day today, opening a few presents and then had a light Christmas salad for dinner. It was simple and all we really wanted to do this year. I don’t think any of us wanted to make much fuss after an eventful year.

We visited my uncle, his partner and my cousins last Saturday as well, which was a lovely trip. They spoilt us rotten and it was fun being around children and a young family at Christmas again. I got some great photos of the surrounding bushland while we were there as well which I’m looking forward to posting at some stage.

In any case, as has become something of a tradition on my blog now, to celebrate Christmas I’ve written another one of my Aussie Christmas songs. Last year I wrote Deck the Ute, an Aussie version of Deck the Halls, and this year I settled on Have Yourself An Aussie Kind of Christmas, an Aussie version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

I’ve written five of these Aussie Christmas songs now and this was by far the hardest one. It took me a long time to choose a song and I think I’m starting to run out of well-known songs as most of the best known ones don’t really suit an Australian translation (Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! for instance), so I’ll have to think carefully about which one to do next year. In the end I chose Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas because it’s one of my favourite Christmas songs and also because I wanted to do something a little different this year and try to show what it feels like for Australians spending Christmas overseas, longing to be home with their families and friends. Given the number of Australians who have to leave home for work every year and also our soldiers currently deployed overseas, I thought it suited the rather melancholic feel of the original song.

The two best-known versions are probably by Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra; Garland’s is personally my favourite as it’s more serious and sombre in tone (although nowhere near as depressing as the original lyrics written for the song in Meet Me in St. Louis, which Garland had changed), which often reflects my mood at Christmas, but I like Sinatra’s version as well and so decided to combine the two to reflect both versions and make it a bit longer as well.

I hope you enjoy it. And Merry Christmas. 😉

Aussie Santa Xmas Train

Have Yourself An Aussie Kind of Christmas

Summer sunshine is far away
This cold winter has set in to last
I’m dreaming of a place I loved but could not stay
And warm Christmases of the past…

Have yourself an Aussie kind of Christmas
May your winter days be bright
Some day soon this longing will be set right
And you’ll be home

Have yourself an Aussie kind of Christmas
Tell Santa Claus g’day
One day you’ll see him fly over Sydney in his sleigh
Once again

Here we are in this new century
These happy years of promise and awe
I long to see my loved ones once again
And to hold them close once more

In my heart I know they won’t forget me
And one day I’ll be home if funds allow
Until then I’ll just have to save up somehow
And try to have myself an Aussie kind of Christmas now

So have yourself an Aussie kind of Christmas
Throw a shrimp on the barbeque
One day soon you won’t feel so blue
Anymore

Have yourself an Aussie kind of Christmas
Grab a beer and watch the kids play
They’ll be all grown up one day
As life moves on

Here we are in happier times
These memories we cherish and adore
I find myself thinking of old friends
And wishing I was near them once more

Over the years good mates always stick together
So even when distance won’t allow
We’ll still find a way to celebrate somehow
And try to have ourselves an Aussie kind of Christmas now

Christmas Light Painting

Christmas Light Painting

Lights shine brightly
Under the moon’s
Silent gaze:
Christmas is here again

This photo is from Frederick Street, about fifteen minutes away from where we live in Randwick. The houses in Frederick Street are well known locally for their Christmas displays; almost every house in the street gets into the festive spirit at this time of year, decorating their houses and gardens with amazing Christmas displays, and it’s something I enjoy seeing every year.

I will be posting some photos from Frederick Street tomorrow but I found this photo rather interesting as it’s a bit different. It’s of a small bush decorated with colourful lights outside one of the houses. When I took it, all the lights blended together, creating a colourful mosaic that reminded me a little of a painting. I then edited it to remove more of the detail and this was the final result. I quite like it – it’s familiar but not immediately obvious what it actually is and I like that effect.

The original photo is here as well if you want to compare them.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree 2012

Lights and carols
Smiles everywhere
But my heart misses you
This Christmas

Our Christmas tree for this year. We were going to buy a new tree as our old tree broke last year and this spare one is really a bit too small for all our ornaments but as we’re going to be moving soon, we thought it was better to wait. We still managed to get everything on it in the end, more or less.

Putting the ornaments up I found several my grandmother had given us, as well as some beautiful embroidered Christmas pictures she had made for us that I’d forgotten about. I was thinking of her and everything else that’s happened this year when I wrote the haiqua.

With the photo I wanted to try to make it look a little like a Christmas card, so I edited the photo to remove a lot of the detail and make it look more like a painting. I like how it turned out and think I’ll get it printed on canvas at some stage for next Christmas.

The collage below shows a few other angles of the tree as well. I used the Diptic app to create the collage. It’s one of my favourite apps and well worth checking out if you haven’t tried it – would make a good Christmas gift for someone if you’ve run out of ideas too.

Christmas Tree Diptic

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012

Deck the Ute (an Aussie Christmas song)

Christmas Roast

Christmas Dinner

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating today. I hope you’re having a wonderful day with family and friends, wherever you are in the world.

I had a quiet day with my parents today; it was just us as most of our family live overseas and we don’t see our Australian relatives that often. We had a lovely roast for dinner, then opened a few gifts afterwards. It was actually the first time we’ve had a roast in about ten years as we normally have a salad instead; it was delicious but typically we picked the hottest Christmas day in years to have it on. Must be Murphy’s law.

My parents gave me a set of beautiful plates to go with my Egyptian collection and a new mouse for my MacBook. My father bought it from the Apple store and the salesman must have got a bit technical as apparently he was amazed to find out that Dad doesn’t use a computer at all… then flabbergasted that Dad doesn’t own a mobile phone either! I think he thought Dad was some kind of eccentric hermit. 🙂

In any case we had a nice day and I thought I’d post another of my Aussie Christmas songs to celebrate. This is the fourth song I’ve written now after The Aussie 12 Days of Christmas, Aussie Jingle Bells and We Wish You an Aussie Christmas, so I guess it’s becoming something of an annual tradition!

This year I did an Aussie version of Deck the Halls. Originally I wanted to do Frosty the Snowman or Silver Bells but they were hard to translate to Australia. I think Deck the Halls works better and it’s also easy to sing along to as everyone knows the tune.

I hope you enjoy it. And Merry Christmas. 😉

Deck the Ute

Deck the ute with lights and wattle
Fa la la la la la la la la
We’ll take it for a drive and go full throttle
Fa la la la la la la la la
Kids are singing in the back seat
Fa la la la la la la la la
Spreading Christmas cheer to all we meet
Fa la la la la la la la la

Soon we’re pulling up at the rellies
Fa la la la la la la la la
And getting ready to open the pressies
Fa la la la la la la la la
Hope it’s not more socks from Aunt May
Fa la la la la la la la la
Oh well guess I can sell them on eBay
Fa la la la la la la la la

Come one o’clock and we’re by the pool
Fa la la la la la la la la
Drinking beer and trying to stay cool
Fa la la la la la la la la
Jamie’s pulling on Susie’s hair
Fa la la la la la la la la
While Dad’s nodding off in his chair
Fa la la la la la la la la

We say g’day to the neighbours
Fa la la la la la la la la
Hear all about their yearly labours
Fa la la la la la la la la
Tom and Amy are getting married
Fa la la la la la la la la
No wonder they all look so harried
Fa la la la la la la la la

Everyone gathers around the table
Fa la la la la la la la la
Eats as much as they are able
Fa la la la la la la la la
Aunt May’s brought a giant fruit cake
Fa la la la la la la la la
Tastes just like Grandma used to make
Fa la la la la la la la la

Soon it’s time for everyone to go
Fa la la la la la la la la
We say our goodbyes and Ho Ho Hos
Fa la la la la la la la la
Pull out of the drive and speed away
Fa la la la la la la la la
Waving behind us to Aunt May
Fa la la la la la la la la

Back home and the kids are fast asleep
Fa la la la la la la la la
Carry them to their beds without a peep
Fa la la la la la la la la
Quietly we turn off all the lights
Fa la la la la la la la la
And sleep away another Aussie Christmas night
Fa la la la la la la la la

Christmas in Randwick

Randwick Town Hall, decorated for Christmas

As it’s Christmas Eve I thought I’d post some of the Christmas photos I’ve taken near where I live. Randwick comes alive at this time of year, with lots of houses and businesses putting up decorations and it’s a lot of fun walking around and seeing what’s new. These are some of my favourites from this year.

Most of the houses are from Frederick Street, which is known for its Christmas displays and has won awards in the past; there are a few photos from Bondi Junction as well which I took while shopping. There are about 20 photos so I’ve split them after the jump; you can click on any of them to see larger versions as well.

I’m just finishing my annual Christmas song now as well… will have it posted sometime tomorrow. This year’s is an Aussie version of “Deck the Halls”. Should be fun! 🙂

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Another Christmas

Westfield Reindeer

Another Christmas
A time of mirth and laughter:
My heart misses you

Listening to carols
Thinking of old friends:
Must be Christmas
Again

Sphere and Reindeer

I took these photos on Thursday night in Bondi Junction. Every year the two Westfield centres are beautifully decorated for Christmas and this reindeer display is my favourite; it hangs down across all six levels and is exquisite when the light catches it just right.

It always amazes me how quickly the season seems to come around each year… it hardly feels like more than a few months since last Christmas. Time goes by so quickly these days.

I enjoy the time of year but it always feels a little bittersweet to me as well as I often think about family and friends overseas and others who are no longer in our lives. I guess that’s what was on my mind when I wrote the haiku, the mixed feelings the season often brings.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011