I have made up a new word and a new celebration! It’s called Cricketmas! Instead of Christmas, Cricketmas is my summer celebratory religion.
It was a letter from my daughter’s Quaker school principal that prompted me to rethink how I deal with Christmas which was turning everyone in a spin judging from the cars and frenetic level of crazy at the shopping centres.
The phrases of well-meaning folk asking, ‘Are you all organised for Christmas?’, and, ‘This time of year is so crazy!’ seemed to be following me around in the summer swelter.
It’s a Quaker belief that every day should hold the message of Christmas – that of love, peace and goodwill. I agree!
Walking with peace in our hearts and giving gifts of service everyday to others, and sharing meals together with those we love ought to be everyday, so there’s no reason to drive ourselves over the edge with Christmas pressure and feel the noose of family obligation tighten around our necks.
That’s why Cricketmas is a much better way to go.
My Cricketmas festival involved a backyard bush style bash on a farm in the Fingal Valley. It was a six hour rolling game of Christmas day cricket, on the lawn with towels on the line as the slips fieldsmen and many trips up the ladder to retrieve the ball off the farmhouse roof.
Balls were tonked into the spud patch, at the chook house, a rare six into the poppy crop and one ball almost landing in a bowl of pav. Cricketmas Day was my perfect way to celebrate food, family and love of life in general.
Boxing Day became Bowling Day when driving home listening to the Test on ABC Grandstand the kids and I heard the first wicket taken by Nathan Lyon. It was chorused by several thousand Facebook followers, all cued to shout ‘Nice Gary!’ on the third ball of his first over. The sound of the overjoyed Cricketmas crowd gave me goosebumps.
Cricketmas reached a final crescendo for the kids and I at the Big Bash. Here over 18,000 Christmas weary folk came to celebrate Cricketmas as the Hobart Hurricanes took on Melbourne Stars.
We were treated to seats in the Century Room decorated with buckets of purple soft cricket balls… so refreshing after all those red baubles around the shops! I was in a fog of festive season tiredness but I felt it melt away as I settled in to watch a solid partnership between Tim Paine and George Bailey.
As the match progressed and the Hurricanes fans got quieter as a defeat was imminent I was inwardly glad it wasn’t’ a tense finish.
After the Christmas rush, I’m sure there were a lot of mums like me. There was very little fuel left in my tank, so it was nice to just sit for a bit and be with my children and share the festive season with my cricket congregation.
Merry Cricketmas to you all!