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December 23, 2002 - 11:38 a.m.

the last christmas i spent in australia was H-O-T. i wore a short-sleeved button-up shirt in some gauzy fabric and a short skirt. i was boiling. we popped the christmas crackers and put the flimsy plastic crowns on our heads. in my photographs from the day, you can see the bands of sweat on all forehads that worked like glue in adhering the crowns for the rest of the day.

i thought i'd be smart this year and start a new tradition. instead of eating hot food on a hot day (imagine eating thanksgiving fare on the fourth of july), which is what many australians do, i decided to make an assortment of salads. so we made up the menu and planned everything out. i was determined to win the best-daughter-in-law trophy.

then i read the weather forecast this morning, and it's only going to be 70 F during the day, not in the hundreds like it has been recently. whoops! funny melbourne weather. let's hope simon's parents will be too hungry to think too much of my shunning of tradition. (maybe they think it's a stupid tradition, too?)

if we had kids, i told simon, they would get new thongs in their stocking every year, and maybe new swimsuits. and none of this pine tree stuff. if you thought they turned brown quickly in a u.s. christmas, you haven't seen anything.

now i'm off to finish the grocery shopping and get some last-minute christmas cards. i might grab a mango for myself, too, because mangoes are all i can think about lately.

<<<��� - ���>>>

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