Why an Aussie Christmas is like no other!
Christmas Down Under must look a little odd to the rest of the world. No frosty snowmen, one-horse open sleighs, or snow angels being carefully crafted on Christmas morning!
But we have adopted a few weird and wonderful traditions of our own over here in the land down under, and anyone who’s spent the festive season in Australia will recognise at least a few of the signs that you’re having an Aussie Christmas.
If you are used snow, frozen toes and ugly sweaters during the December month, our Aussie Christmas might be a shock to the system! First off, Christmas falls right in the midst of the dry Australian summer, with temperature rising to 40+ degrees. So grab yourself a lot of sunscreen, some cold ones (beers), a hat, and enjoy the festive season!
Christmas Day is all about family and food. People getting together to exchange presents and meals. In Australia this is often done outdoors, and it always includes a barbeque. While our British and American friends are feasting on roast turkey, baked potato and hot chocolate, us Aussies are packing up the Esky for a picnic or setting up folding tables to eat outside.
From fresh oysters and prawn cocktails to potato salad and glazed ham, Christmas is truly a special affair Down Under. Eating Cherries, watermelons, mangoes, apricots and other stone fruit during Christmas is also an Aussie thing to do. In December the stores are filled with sweet and fresh stone fruit which probably will end up in the fruit bowl or served fresh in desserts on Christmas day.
Traditional Santas wear bright red fleecy suits, lined with white fur and big black boots to fight off the northern winter.
In Australia, it’s summer at Christmas time so you’re much more likely to see a boardshort-wearing Santa on a surfboard. He’s also been known to enjoy a nice cold beer instead of milk and cookies to help him recharge before heading off to his next delivery.
Festive Road Trips
Depending on where your family lives, Christmas Day may involve a long road trip. It’s an accidental tradition at best, but lots of Aussie families’ Christmas celebrations include a drive with the kids jammed together in the back seat.
Lots of Australian children spend many hours squished in back seats with piles of pillows, siblings, presents, the Esky and a basket of food around the Christmas holidays. If you’re travelling solo or missing the family drive this year, jump on our Great Ocean Road Tour to experience one of Australia’s favourite road trips.
Carols by Candlelight
Most cities in Australia host their own Carols by Candlelight and there will usually be a few celebrity performers. Families pack picnics, blankets and mosquito spray and spend the evening outdoors listening to music.
If you’re in Melbourne, don’t forget to visit Sidney Myer Music Bowl for Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight. Carols by Candlelight is an annual Christmas concert and fundraiser for Vision Australia’s children’s services. Held on Christmas Eve, 24th December, at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, 10,000 people attend each year to celebrate the magic of Christmas. See here for tickets and more info.
Check out the video post card by Chris Tangey below for some incredible Australian landscapes.