Only in South Africa can you complain that you don't have enough holidays. It was so unfair that Christmas fell on a Sunday that the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) asked Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to give us an extra holiday. And he said yes. So in addition to yesterday's "Boxing Day" public holiday, today is a public holiday too which is great stuff for us. You gotta love it.
So after some serious blogger discussions on chocolate varieties a few weeks ago, I received this in the post on Christmas eve:
Thanks to Dean at Left Coast Guy who went to extraordinary lengths to get this particular brand of chocolate to me. I really appreciate the effort! The Chocolate with the Caramel centre is my favourite and half the bag is empty already lol.
For the most part, my Christmas was the same as it is every year no matter where I am. In one word: quiet. But this year, some friends felt it apt to make me their designated babysitter for the day, so I was stuck with this for the whole day:
Two year olds can kill you. They're cute, but they can kill you.
Now for most people in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas usually looks like this:
But for all of us here in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas usually looks like this:
Here's what Christmas looked like in other parts of the world (click on images for larger visuals):
Iraqi Christmas is blessed for its inter-communal celebrations. Muslims light candles at Church, wishing their Christian neighbours 'Kul Aam Wa Inta Bikheir' (wellness all year) - the greeting adopted for Muslim & Christian holiday alike:
A Christmas tree stands on Bondi Beach as Australians enjoy their summer in Sydney, Australia:
A Christmas tree lights up the gloomy skyline in La Paz, Bolivia:
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) speech from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Dec. 25, 2011. Benedict XVI called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in his Christmas message:
Arab Christians in Baghdad, Iraq attend mass at the Virgin Mary Chaldean Christian Church with Bishop Shlemon Warduni:
Athletes dressed as Santa Claus jump in the Mediterranean Sea as they take part in the Copa Nadal in the northern Spanish port of Barcelona. The Copa Nadal (Christmas Cup) is a traditional swimming competition that takes place in Barcelona every Christmas, where participants swim 200 meters in the open sea in the port of Barcelona:
Dubai indulges in the commercial side of Christmas, displaying shiny, decorated trees. A star or an angel makes it to the dizzy heights atop the tree, with the 'cave' at the bottom, in more traditional households in the Middle East:
Pakistani Christians make final adjustments to decorations on a Christmas tree at St. John’s Cathedral, during preparations for Christmas celebrations in Peshawar, Pakistan:
Manger Square, Bethlehem, West Bank of Palestine. The traditional birthplace of Christ attracts pilgrims and indigenous Arab Christians alike for public Christmas celebrations. In private, the whole family gathers in the house of the eldest male member, be it grandfather or the eldest son, and enjoys a meal rich in meat, fruits and vegetables:
Photographer Johan Caslin waits for customers next to a Christmas tree at an amusement park in Managua, Nicaragua:
Indian Christians pray at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Amritsar, India:
People walk by a Christmas tree and other trees decorated for illuminations in Tokyo, Japan:
A Syrian man dressed as Santa Claus plays with orphans in a Christian neighbourhood in Syria:
Arab Christians living in Jordan attend mass:
Mountaineers wear Santa Claus costumes while rock-climbing on Ansan mountain near Seoul, South Korea:
A father carries his son with a Santa Claus mask while watching the illuminated Sacred Heart's Cathedral on Christmas Day in New Delhi, India:
People dressed as Santa Claus take part in the traditional Christmas race in downtown Belgrade, Serbia:
Palestinian girls outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The church is built over the site where Christians believe Mary gave birth to Jesus:
An Indonesian girl lights a candle during a Christmas mass in Jakarta, Indonesia. Christians in Indonesia - the biggest Muslim country - celebrated Christmas along with the rest of the world on December 25, locally called 'Hari Natal':
A Christmas tree and lights decorate Bolivar square in Bogota, Colombia:
Arab Christians arrive to attend Christmas Eve mass at St Therese Christian Armenian church in Cairo, Egypt:
A Palestinian Christian man places the name of the owner of a destroyed house on the rubble of the Palestinian village of Iqrit during a visit on occasion of Christmas. The several hundred Christian residents living in the hilltop Iqrit village near the Lebanon border were ordered out of their homes in October 1948 amid ongoing fighting of the first Israeli-Arab war, in what the Israeli army said was a temporary measure and the villagers have continued their fight to return, but to no avail:
All images from Getty Images, Associated Press, Reuters & various media outlets.