3.12.13

Christmas Traditions in Australia

Have you ever wondered how we celebrate Christmas in Australia? You can probably guess we have no white Christmas here! To enlighten you all on what we get up to down under on this very special holiday, I have put together this lovely list of Australian Christmas traditions. This is all from my perspective as I am sure there are variations on this in the households across Australia. 




A Red Hot Christmas:
Traditionally, Christmas day is often one of the hottest days of the year here in Australia so a large part of our Christmas celebrations circulate around the summer heat. We always have Christmas by the pool with the air conditioning on full blast, ducking in and out of the pool all day and heading back inside for a Christmas lunch. Some families even head to the beach for the Christmas period and spend the holiday by the sea side.


Christmas Lunch:
The food we eat is also influenced greatly by the heat. Our lunches usually consist of salads, as well as cold ham and chicken. We will also whack some steaks and sausages on the BBQ because it is too hot to cook on the stove. 
One of the biggest Aussie favourites over Christmas if you are a seafood lover is fresh prawns or ‘shrimp’ as you call them in America. Also unlike what you may believe, we are more likely to cook a steak on the barbie than a shrimp! Even if we don't BBQ them for Christmas, we sure do eat them. The favourite prawns to eat over Christmas would have to be the tiger prawns or king prawns and they must be eaten cold. Just peel them and eat them! 
When it comes to dessert time, we often opt for yummy pavlova and rum balls!




Christmas Lights: 
Many people enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit and choose to decorate their house in Christmas lights.  If you are really dedicated to decorating your house and turning it into a Christmas wonderland, you can join the 4KQ Christmas Lights Competition which is held in my home city of Brisbane. I’m sure there are similar competitions like this across the country also. 
When you join the competition, your house gets included with a whole list of other houses in the local newspaper and if you are one of the winners, your house will be highlighted on the list as a must see! Many families will grab the Christmas lights list from the newspaper, circle all of the ones they wish to see and have a night out with the family visiting all of the best Christmas lights our city has to offer.



Christmas Carols:
We love listening to the traditional Christmas carols here in Australia however there are a few traditional carols that we have altered and personalised to include some Australian lyrics, and we even have a few of our very own Christmas Carols. 
We have the Christmas carol titled ‘Six White Boomers’ which is a song about Santa riding his sleigh with six white Kangaroos, aka ‘Boomers’. 
‘12 days of Christmas’ is also a very famous carol over here that has been infused with a bit of Australiana. For example, the line ‘A partridge in a pear tree’ has been changed to ‘An Emu up a Gum Tree’ in the Australian version. Every line of the song has been changed to include native Australian animals. 
‘Jingle Bells’ is also given an Aussie touch with lyrics such as: Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way, Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day, Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut, Oh what fun it is to ride in a dusty Holden Ute”


Oh Christmas Tree:
Real Christmas trees are available in a few locations but everyone pretty much owns the fake ones that you put up over Christmas and pop back in the box for the rest of the year. Our Christmas tree tradition is much the same as it is celebrated in most parts of the world by decorating the tree with tinsel and decorations as well as placing all of our presents under the tree.


No Chimneys Here: 
How can Santa come down the chimney to deliver the presents to the children if we don’t have chimney’s? I don’t know what other children were told but when I was young, my parents told me that he had magic dust that made him very small so he could fit under the door. On his arrival we will leave milk and cookies for him and maybe even a hand written note if he was lucky.


What are your favourite Christmas traditions in your country? 

If you are from Australia, are there any important traditions here I may have missed? Please do share! :-)

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