The Surprising Truth About Celebrating Christmas Down Under
Christmas is white and pristine everywhere, isn’t it? Not so Down Under! For the Aussies’, Christmas is about hot sunny days, icy drinks, a cold, Christmas smorgasbord-style lunch shared with family and friends.
For us, Christmas falls right in the midst of some of our hottest summer weather. It’s a time when beaches and swimming pools are at the top of our lists.
Most Aussies dream of having a ‘white’ Christmas… just once in their life! We are in love with the idea of snow! Throwing snowballs, building snowmen, and warming up by the open fireplaces while toasting marshmallows sounds so romantic. But it’s so far from our reality.
Australians Are Beach Lovers
In truth, Aussies really do love our warmer weather. December is the beginning of summer and it’s often a time when we take our annual holidays. We pack up our families and head to the nearest lake or beach to soak up the sunshine and revel in the warmth!
Australia is a big island, and most of us live around the coastal fringe. The rest of us, who live inland, head to the beach every opportunity we can! There’s something special about waking up to the smell of the ocean on Christmas morning!
Christmas Day – the Aussie Way
Live Christmas trees are not so popular in Australian homes. Our summer heatwaves cause trees to wilt and drop pine needles long before Christmas Day.
Most Australian homes don’t have chimneys, so sometimes, the discussion of the Santa involves creative thinking to convince a small enquiring mind of this mysterious feat!
Children head off to bed early on Christmas Eve, ensuring their Santa sack is at the foot of their bed and ready for Father Christmas to fill under cover of darkness.
A light snack of fruit cake and an ice cold beer is often left beside the Christmas tree for Santa, just in case he’s hungry after traveling so far.
Christmas morning can be very noisy as the household comes to life. Children squeal with excitement and drag their treasures into Mum & Dad’s room to show off their loot.
In our house, we always waited somewhat impatiently for breakfast to be over with so that we could gather around the Christmas tree to see what other spoils were hidden away. It always seemed like such a very long time to wait!
Christmas Day is the day when family and friends get together to exchange gifts and enjoy our traditional style Christmas banquet.
Typically, Christmas lunch consists of a cold smorgasbord lunch with way too much food. Many feature a fresh seafood platter of prawns and oysters as well as cold cuts of ham, pork and chicken with fresh salads.
For a brilliant finish of the meal, we have a beautiful homemade trifle and the traditional Aussie Pavlova for dessert!
Wine and beer are usually part of the day’s celebrations although sometimes we amp things up a bit with a sangria or a fruit punch. Almost always we spend the afternoon under a beach umbrella at the beach or floating in the pool like overstuffed whales.
Christmas Far, Far Away
If you happen to be visiting another country at Christmas time, don’t stay inside. Instead, go exploring, be sure to connect with the locals and check out what they’re up to.
Christmas is always wonderful, no matter where you are. It’s a time to spend time with family and friends and remember the important things in life. It’s wonderful to watch the excitement on children’s faces and families and friends spending the day together.
It is a growing trend for international visitors who are visiting Sydney during the festive season to join other beach lovers at the popular Bondi Beach. It’s been recorded that up to 40,000 people visit Bondi on Christmas Day. Will you be there this year?
Spread the Christmas cheer! Ho-Ho-Ho! Merry Christmas to all… everywhere!
Have you ever experienced a Christmas Down Under? Do we really do things so different? Please share your observations below!
Ann Owen is a fun loving empty-nester travelling with her husband Trevor. They are living life’s adventures and sharing their experiences on Territory Mob, their travel blog. Ann and Trevor are road trip lovers, “5 star campers” and soon to be grey nomads exploring Outback Australia. Ann loves traveling, good food, great wine, cycling, watercolours and her stress-free lifestyle.