Christmas in Australia

I really wanted to write a blog about Australia and Christmas but I really had no idea where to start. Christmas is one of those sacred times with family yet we all celebrate it so openly. I wanted to bring you all Australia’s traditions with a mixture of some of my friend’s traditions. Because, what is it really like having Christmas in Australia? I was a bit stumped on where to start and if my family really even had any traditions. Since I moved out of home just over a year ago, I make sure that I head over to the parents place on Christmas Eve so I can wake up with the family on Christmas Day. As I walked in the door with my washing basket full of presents, I started to remember all of these things we do every year. Like every year my Sister and I make a gingerbread house (we are very average at it) but I have so much fun doing it. Or my Mum always uses my Nan’s gravy jug (to remember and include her in the festive day) and it plays as a centre piece on the table. This is just how my family’s traditions are.  They are different. They are what we have created over the years and what we will continue to do.

 Christmas lunch instead of dinner – unlike the rest of the world, Australia is very casual when it comes to its Christmas meals. For my family, we still have a typical roast (chicken and ham – we don’t really eat turkey) with lots of roast veggies. It is a huge meal. We also have bon bons that must be pulled before we start to eat (lame jokes and hats are a must). Our routine in the morning is opening presents (we each take a turn so we can see what everyone gets) and then my Mum is back into the kitchen to prepare lunch. A lot of the preparation is done on Christmas Eve so we only have to do minimal prep on Christmas day. Our special Christmas dessert is quite unique and I love it. When we were little my Mum decided to do a fruit and nut ice cream pudding but us kids were not fans of the fruits and nuts. So like the epic Mum she is, she substituted it for chocolate bars (Mars Bars, Smarties, Crunchies, Cherry Ripes etc). We still have it today and it really is something that I look forward to every Christmas. Not everyone has a traditional roast though. One of the other popular lunch time meals include cold meats (great in Australia’s heat) and seafood. Seafood is something that needs to be pre-ordered weeks in advance so you can actually get it as the shops sell out very quickly! Christmas breakfast is also on the rise and I have been told that egg and bacon pie with champagne is delicious! Any Christmas meal is usually followed by a nap (usually with a fan on).

 Activities of the day – who doesn’t love a good game of cricket, badminton or maybe a board game to bring the family together? After the afternoon nap, a good game doesn’t go astray. For us, it usually depends on what we got for Christmas but we will play cricket, badminton, kick a footy around, board game or cards. I love it and it just really means more family bonding. Another popular way to end the day is a water fight!! Whether you use water bombs, a hose or a bucket – just get involved. Christmas is hot and nothing beats cooling down by throwing a balloon full of water at your Brother! Another option to beat the heat is to get a little pool with a pump so you can just wallow around in it.

 Escaping Home – also on the rise is going on holiday. For us living in Canberra, the coast is one of our favourite places to visit. Whether you head down the coast just after opening pressies or on Boxing Day, you know that you are going to enjoy swimming at the beach. Quite a few friends of mine pack up and head down the coast just after present opening or first thing on Boxing Day. I spend Christmas at home but I do try and make sure that we have a coast trip in January (for the beach!).

 Decorations – like most places around the world, Christmas lights go up around the outside of the house. There are some spectacular looking lights down the end of the street. This isn’t something that is big in our family but as kids we use to beg our parents to take us to look at all of the Chrissie lights on Christmas Eve. It use to be a big outing for us and we use to start nagging in the early afternoon (bit of an issue when the sun doesn’t set until 8pm). Santa sacks are also huge in our family. Our parents made one for each of us kids (there are three of us) with our names on it. My Sister (the youngest of the three) constantly complains that hers is not as beautifully decorated as my Brother and mine. I take great joy in teasing her about it – you know, standard older Sister really. When decorating the tree you might want to try some eggnog with Kevin Bloody Wilson playing in the background instead of Christmas carols.

Our Christmas tree

 Boxing Day – Australia is a country built on sports. On Boxing Day you will probably either see the Boxing Day test match (cricket) or the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on the TV. Both are worth watching and are a part of a lot of families traditions. We always watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart but once they get out of the heads then we will switch it over to the cricket. Usually a barbie (barbeque) is followed with a game of backyard cricket with Dad leading it all.

 Game to try next year – this one is a cracker and I find it to be very Australian! This game is called ’knock down bottles’. Line up empty wine bottles on an elevated wooden plank in the backyard and then use a giant Frisbee (the rubber hoop from an old washing machine) to try and knock them all down for a distance. Think of the competitions you could have! The glory to be had….

 Activity to try next year – this one came from a friend that has four beautiful girls with her partner and there tradition is to get a Christmas Eve box. Now this box involves a new pair of Christmas PJs and a Christmas movie. They all watch it together before bed on Christmas Eve – how sweet is that!

 Whatever the tradition is that you have with your family on Christmas please just enjoy it. Christmas is a time to spend it with loved ones with food and games. From Through an Aussie’s Eyes to you all, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

P.S. If you have any more traditions please contact me about it.

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20 Comments

  • Angie (FeetDoTravel)

    July 29, 2016

    I spent Christmas in Southport by Surfer’s Paradise when I was backpacking around Australia and loved it! We had the cold meats as you mentioned and jumped in the swimming pool to cool down, we even did secret santa as we were all away from home so were forming a temporary family to share the day so reading your traditions was lovely! I have to ask though, can I come to yours Christmas Day for dessert ??? 🙂

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      July 30, 2016

      Fantastic! I grew up in Southport so it is the perfect place to experience an Australian Christmas. I am so glad you enjoyed your Christmas abroad and my blog. Haha! You can definitely come for dessert! Although I think you might have to fight the rest of my family to get a decent piece!

  • Travel Lexx

    July 29, 2016

    I loved Christmas in Australia – it was so different to what I am used to. I was living on a farm in Queensland and spent the day with the family I was staying with. It was around 33 degrees and we had an incredible Christmas lunch followed by ice cream and punch. On Boxing Day, we rented a couple of small boats and took them to the nearby sand bank and had a bbq. Amazing memories! Christmas in Aus is definitely unique!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      July 30, 2016

      That actually sounds like an amazing Christmas! Different from my own but it did bring a smile to my face as that is what our Christmas use to be like when I lived up in Queensland. I am glad you have some awesome memories about it!

  • Ben

    July 30, 2016

    Pretty accurate depiction of a west aussie xmas dinner/lunch too- minus bon bons and presents as we are all adults.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      July 30, 2016

      Glad you liked it and thought it was an accurate depiction!

  • Carmel jansen

    July 30, 2016

    I smiled as I read your post, it sounded like you were writing about my family and I was your sister. Australian Christmas is awesome because it is hot. We often spend the afternoon after lunch at the beach. Great post

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      July 30, 2016

      Your comment brought a smile to my face as I was hoping that everyone reading this could see their own family in it Thank you so much. I really do appreciate it.

  • Lisa

    July 31, 2016

    It sounds like what the southern states in the US experience in December,hot and beach time while the rest of us are freezing. Enjoyed reading this post

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 8, 2016

      I have heard that our Christmas is quite similar to the US southern states. I love that Christmas for us is nice and warm, although one day I would like to experience a white Christmas! Thanks for the comment!

  • Alex Datsev

    July 31, 2016

    Great post! I really had no idea how Christmas is celebrated in Australia, so this was an interesting read.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 8, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. I am glad that you found it interesting on how we spend Chrissy together!

  • Marcelle

    July 31, 2016

    I love that one of the ’knock down bottles’! I’m sure I can manage that one … maybe 😉

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 8, 2016

      Knock down bottles was a game that my friend plays so I think I will have to get my family involved this year. Like you, I hope I can manage 😉

  • Elisa

    August 1, 2016

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 8, 2016

      Thank you! I am glad you found it interesting!

  • Travelling Tom

    August 1, 2016

    I spent Christmas in Brisbane four years ago. It was definitely strange having hot weather instead of the cold I’m accustomed to. Was a great experience and it was nice being able to relax in the pool! The BBQ Christmas dinner in the hostel was really good as well!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 8, 2016

      I am happy to hear that the hostel had a great Chrissy dinner! I find Christmas in Brisbane very different from my hometown of Canberra. Canberra is a very dry heat and Brisbane is so humid so it is beautiful to swim. If you decide to go outside here it feels like the sun is burning you as soon as you take a step outside!! So I love Christmas up north! Thanks for the comment!

  • travelling chingrita

    August 1, 2016

    I am hoping to make it to Australia but will be missing Christmas down under. However, I’d love to experience it. I will admit that I got a bit homesick when I spent time in Florida during the holidays in the blazing heat vs. the freezing cold.

    Looking forward to spending time in Australia 🙂

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 8, 2016

      I think I would feel a little bit homesick if I was to experience a white Christmas as well. But I am glad to hear that you are heading over to Australia to explore!

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