'Christmas in the Sun'

'Christmas in the Sun'
Christmas at the National Library
6 December 2016

Christmas morning! And Jennifer woke to find the sun pouring in through her bedroom window and a magpie on the veranda rail quite near her bed singing so loudly that he must have known it was no ordinary day.

Joan Phipson & Margaret Horder, Christmas in the Sun, 1952, Angus & Robertson, p.21, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1560781

Christmas at the National Library is always a special time of year. We – staff, volunteers, our readers near and far – observe and celebrate the season, together and individually, in ways as richly varied as our community. It is a time of reflection and relaxation, of gratitude and joy, quietude and peace.

Christmas Day crowds on Manly Beach, New South Wales, 25 December 1930

Christmas Day crowds on Manly Beach, New South Wales, 25 December 1930, 1930, Fairfax archives of glass plate negatives, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6301844

This year, we hope you can be part of our Christmas celebrations as we count down to Christmas Day. 

Stories, Song - and a Picnic

Bring the children and enjoy some festive stories with our Christmas Storytime on Wednesday, 14 December, 11.30 am.

Join us as choir Igitur Nos present a lunchtime Christmas Concert

Our always popular Wordplay family space reopens Saturday 17 December, and will be open daily throughout the school holidays (except for Christmas Day!).

Group of Aboriginal children attending a Christmas party in Darwin, Northern Territory, ca. 1955

Don Edwards & Australian Information Service, Group of Aboriginal children attending a Christmas party in Darwin, Northern Territory, ca. 1955, 1955, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6136921

Planning a Christmas lunch or dinner? Our award-winning Bookplate restaurant may be just the thing (take a look at their delicious Christmas menus). Or how about simply dropping in to PICNIC, Bookplate's outdoor venue, for an informal catch-up with friends? It’s one of the best open-air locations in Canberra…

 

Christmas dinner at Innamincka Nursing Home during a dust storm, South Australia, approximately 1937

John Flynn (1880 - 1951), Christmas dinner at Innamincka Nursing Home during a dust storm, South Australia: a lantern slide used in lectures on all Australian Inland Mission activities, 1937?, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2447276

A very Book-ish Christmas

If, like me, you believe the best Christmas gifts are books (and more books), our fabulous Bookshop is stocked to the brim with tomes for all tastes and ages. Here are our 'Christmas picks’ to help you out: 

Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler

A beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.

Everywhere I Look  by Helen Garner 

Everywhere I Look includes Garner's wonderfully wry essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother, and extracts from her diaries. A book filled with the wisdom of life.

Living with the Locals by John Maynard & Victoria Haskins 

Remarkable stories of white people who were taken in by Indigenous communities of the Torres Strait islands and eastern Australia between the 1790s and the 1870s. This fascinating book provides fresh insights into encounters between Indigenous people and the white people who became part of their families.

Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon

The follow-up to Hetty McKinnon’s immensely popular cookbook Community – a great favourite of staff here at the Library and the perfect cookbook if you are feeding a crowd.

A Single Tree: Voices from the Bush compiled by Don Watson

A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson’s award-winning The Bush. Comprising diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction, this is an essential companion to its brilliant predecessor.

Ducks Away! by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek 

A quacking new classic from the best-selling team of Mem Fox and Judy Horacek.

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Robert Ingpen and Jane Jolly 

A delightful, heart-warming story from NLA Publishing that will intrigue and captivate readers of all ages.

General Post Office employees sorting Christmas parcels, Sydney, 1929

General Post Office employees sorting Christmas parcels, Sydney, 1929, 1929, Fairfax archive of glass plate negatives, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6329056

Give the Gift of Friendship

And, finally, for the family member or friend who has everything, why don’t you share your love for the National Library? A Friends Gift Membership supports the Library, and includes exclusive benefits (and a welcome gift, too!). For more information, visit the Friends online at: http://www.nla.gov.au/friends

The Library wishes you and your loved ones health and joy this Christmas . May you have an endless supply of good books to read – and plentiful time in which to do so! I leave you with some more favourite Christmas images from our collection. Happy Christmas. We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

 Rainbow, Beryl and Jean Cazneaux on Christmas morning with their Christmas presents, 25 December 1912

Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953), Rainbow, Beryl and Jean Cazneaux on Christmas morning with their Christmas presents, 25 December 1912, 1912http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn5882084

Display of lunch buffet, including watermelon, sponge cake and cupcakes, during Christmas celebrations at Elderly Chinese Home, Parkville, Victoria, 13 December, 2009

Dave Tacon (1976-), Display of lunch buffet, including watermelon, sponge cake and cupcakes, during Christmas celebrations at Elderly Chinese Home, Parkville, Victoria, 13 December, 2009, 2009, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4766902

Music practice for Christmas Midnight Mass in Croatian language at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Braddon, 1996

 Music practice for Christmas Midnight Mass in Croatian language at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Braddon, 1996, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn754682

Christmas Day in the Antarctic Circle, 1929

Frank Hurley (1885-1962), Christmas Day in the Antarctic Circle, 1929, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn776517

A woman reading to two children in a room with Christmas decorations at the Villawood Migrant Hostel, New South Wales, 17 December 1968

Ern McQuillan (1926-), A woman reading to two children in a room with Christmas decorations at the Villawood Migrant Hostel, New South Wales, 17 December 1968, 1968, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn5983215

Christmas dinner table in the men's quarters, Davenport Downs Station, south west Queensland, ca. 1925

Christmas dinner table in the men's quarters, Davenport Downs Station, south west Queensland, ca. 1925, 1925, Oliffe collection of photographs of Queensland and South Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4736968

Cricket played in the main street of Millthorpe, NSW on Christmas day

Wendy McDougall (1961-), Cricket played in the main street of Millthorpe, NSW on Christmas day, 2000, http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1623454

Comment: 
I've always thought Christmas is for children, however, as time passes I find it more and more a time to relax and reflect on family and friends. My Dad passed away 2 years ago, however, my grandson, now 15 months fills that loss for me every day - he is a joyful boy and we are very blessed. Merry Christmas and safe travels.