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Hot Times In Sydney

(AP Photo/Glenn Adams)
Lest we forget, summer is just starting Down Under in Australia and New Zealand. Christmas is a warm-weather holiday there, like our Fourth of July, and the beach party season gets under way at just about the time that Santa comes to town.

It's quite something to see. The last time I was in Sydney at this time of year, I in fact watched Santa Claus ride up to the shore in Sydney Harbor on the deck of a motorboat. His jolly red suit and snow boots were entirely inappropriate for the 80-degree sunshine. And by the way he clutched the rail of the boat, he looked like he'd already had a few.

Right about now, the surfers and sun-bathers and beautiful people will be hitting the sands and waves at Manly and Bondi Beaches, the Australian equivalents to Venice Beach and Marina del Rey. And hopefully, the sharks won't, and the nets that Australia puts into place to keep them away from people will be strong and effective this year.

Ferries are coming and going from Circular Quay, next door to the famous Opera House, and people are gathering in the pubs and sidewalk restaurants along the waterfront. Yes, there are shrimp on the barbies. Yes, Fosters is being drunk by the gallon, along with all of that good Australian wine. Sydney has always struck me as a kind of non-stop party, and a great place to visit. Merry Christmas to all, mates, and pass the sunscreen. This holiday looks to be a scorcher.