in Winton celebrates Christmas in a different way - and especially
so if you live in a Winton on the other side of the world.
We've been in touch with some of the other Wintons
to find out how they are spending theirs.
Some Wintons are hot, some are cold. Some are in
the Northern Hemisphere and some are in the Southern.
They all send their very best wishes for Christmas
and the New Year.
Here is what they told us.
Greetings from Winton in Western Queensland,
Forget about snow and ice, roast
turkey and plum pudding, and your thermal underwear, when you
think of Christmas in the Queensland outback. Its more likely
to be 40ºC or hotter, so airconditioners, a shady tree or
the town swimming pool will be very popular.
Christmas lunch, think prawns on ice, cold ham and turkey or chicken
with salads, followed by ice-cream and tropical fruit. Maybe a
watermelon for the kids. And of course a cold beer or three for
the oldies, or some bubbles! At night, a barbecue on the lawn,
and a game of backyard cricket or a dip in the pool.
The Winton districts major income is from
sheep and cattle grazing, so well be watching the skies
for signs of rain a wonderful Christmas present would be
black clouds, thunder and lightning, followed by drenching rain.
The kids would race around throwing mud at each other and sliding
in the water, the adults would know that soon green grass would
appear and the Mitchell grass plains would be transformed.
A midnight service on Christmas Eve, and an early
morning one on Christmas Day, will remind us of the reason
for the season. We have already held our Carols by Candlelight
celebration in the park, with carols, readings and song and dance
performances from our two local schools.
A verse from the Australian carol, The North Wind,
sums up Christmas in Winton, Western Queensland.
The north wind is tossing the leaves,
The red dust is over the town.
The sparrows are under the eaves,
And the grass in the paddock is brown,
As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ-child, the heavenly King.
Season's Greetings from Winton House, Scotland
House celebrates a Scottish Christmas. As you can see, it can
be a snowy one.
It tends to be a quiet family time. The noisy celebrations
take place a week later at Hogmanay (New Year's Eve).
The house is traditionally decorated with green.
Instead of artificial decorations, the walls and doors are adorned
with sprays of holly, reed and mistletoe.
Gifts are exchanged around the Christmas tree and
the main ingredients of Christmas dinner are usually turkey and
On one evening in the week before Christmas, carol
singers make their way around the estate. The tour ends at Winton
House where the singers are refreshed with mulled wine and mince
Hogmanay is celebrated with singing, dancing and
merry making. The whisky flows and the main meal of the day usually
features game such as pheasant or venison.
Merry Christmas from Winton, Minnesota, USA
It is very unusual NOT to have a white Christmas
here. Northern Minnesota is very close to the Canadian border
and gets a lot of snow as a general rule. The temperature this
December is already down to around minus 25 degrees F.
family's Christmas traditions tend to have a lot to do with national
origins. The predominant national customs in the Ely-Winton area
come from the descendants of Finnish and Slovenian workers who
arrived in the late 1800s to work as loggers or iron ore miners.
The resultant Christmas celebrations are often a
mix of these and other national customs. The Finns brought delicious
cardamon-laced bread recipes while the Slovenians introduced potica,
a form of strudel, to the region. Both are still Christmas favourites.
Every home has a Christmas tree, but in some the
main Christmas meal is on Christmas Eve, after which St Nicholas
arrives with gifts for the children.
Last year they held a pre-Christmas celebration
at the beginning of December in the old Winton Church which was
built in 1902. There was singing by the Slovenian Choir, a lighting
contest for residents of Winton, a visit from Santa Claus, and
lots of food and hot drinks.
Despite a temperature of -20 degrees, the highlight
of the event was a hayride which led to a live nativity scene. The
pre-Christmas celebration will continue to be a tradition in the
years to come.
a report of the event in the online edition of the local paper
The Ely Echo - Voice of the Wilderness.
This year the Ely-Winton area is making a determined
effort to combat the recession. Locals are being urged to support
their local businesses. Read this
editorial in the local paper.
Happy Christmas from Winton, New Zealand
here is usually quiet and peaceful and still
based on the English model. The main difference is the weather.
It may be dull and grey in Dorset, but in the Southland area they
are enjoying warm summery temperatures.
In November the town has a pre-Christmas Sunday
celebration known as Winton Open Day. The morning starts with
a non denominational open-air church service held in the
Winton Oval. Following that all the shops stay open. This year
there was live band music, vintage machinery, mini jeeps and car
displays, bushcraft competitions, an auction, performances by
a magician, and the ever-popular teddy bears' picnic. Read
this report from the local newspaper the Southland Times
As in England, Christmas presents are given and
received on Christmas Day - often from under the Christmas Tree.
Until recently a brass band would march around the town playing
Christmas dinner varies. While some families like
to stick to turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas
pudding, others prefer salads, barbecues and fruits that are more
fitting to the climate and time of year.
Nearly every home has a Christmas tree and recently
some residents have started putting decorations on the outside
of their houses. Because of the long summer days around Christmas,
the illuminations are not really visible until after 10pm.
Children may or may not catch a glimpse of Father
Christmas but one person they will see is Mr Whippy. His ice cream
van tours the area all over Christmas.
According to the local paper the top ten toys that
kids want this year for Christmas in Winton, New Zealand are:
- Bakugan Range action figures.
- Baby born
- Beados Super Studio
- Ben 10 Alien Force + Ben 10 Scooter & Skateboard.
- Bikes Hollywood & Tracker with Easy Push Handle.
- Fisher Price waterproof digital camera.
- Hannah Montana toy, apparel range.
- High School Musical dance mat.
- Leapfrog TAG Reading System.
A quiet Christmas from Winton in the Cascade
With hardly anybody living there any longer, Christmas
in this Winton is pretty quiet. For those few living in the area
its likely to be a matter of digging snow away from the door before
visiting a neighbour to share a little seasonal cheer.
nearest town is Leavenworth which about 20 miles away and has
the distinction of being a unique reconstruction of a town in
Bavaria! It's a major tourist attraction all year round with a
full calendar of activities over Christmas. The highlight of the
official Christmas festivities is the annual Lighting Festival
that runs through December.
On Friday night the town is in darkness awaiting
Saturdays Lighting Festival when everyone gathers to greet
Saint Nicholas. On Saturday and Sunday the aroma of food booths
and roasting chestnuts fills the air; holiday music plays across
the village while youngsters sled in the park and Santa, St. Nicholas
and Father Christmas all make an appearance.
At dusk everyone gathers to sing Silent Night
and witness the illumination of the village and park as they are
transformed into a magical wonderland of lights. Children carry
their lanterns and follow the wise men and the star to the Festhalle
where a Living Nativity is staged.
here to read more about Wintons around the World