An Aussie ChrissieAn Australian Christmas is something very different to what a European would experience because of one significant difference- it's summer time! Yup, we get the best of both worlds as we can follow the traditional Christmas traditions whilst enjoying hot weather.
So what happens in the lead-up to Christmas, or as we say in Australia- 'Chrissy'?
People go shopping to buy Christmas presents for family and close friends. We have a lot of parties with friends and with workmates and it is common to send Christmas cards to all your relatives and friends.
Many people decorate the outsides of their houses with lights, every town has a Christmas Light competition and it is fun to drive around looking at all the beautifully decorated houses. In my city there is even a bus tour that drives people around to see the best houses. Inside each house there will always be a Christmas tree and other decorations around the house. Presents are placed under the tree but you can't open the presents (pressies in Australian slang) until Christmas Day.
Many Australians are no longer religious but Christians will go to church on Christmas Eve, the midnight church service is the most popular as it is done by candlelight. There are always Christmas carol concerts shown on the tv on Christmas Eve (24th December). Here in Spain your big Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve, but in Australia we normally wait until the 25th for that.
Is a public holiday so all the shops are closed. It is a day spent with family. People travel to be with their family and on this day all the 'pressies' are opened.
Christmas is celebrated in one of two ways, in the family home or at the beach. Everyone eats a LOT of food and kids enjoy playing with all their new toys.
Christmas food is delicious! People eat the traditional Christmas food that is associated with England, a roast meal of meat and vegetables, a leg of ham (different to Spanish jamon) is typical. However as it is summer and very hot weather many people also eat salad and seafood is very popular too.
There are also wonderful deserts that I miss being able to have here in Spain such as rumballs, fruit mince pies or Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, which are often served with yummy custard.
Boxing day is the day after Christmas, the 26th of December. Even more people go to the beach today! People eat leftover food from the day before too. I love Boxing Day as it is the day when the best sales of the year are on so I always go there early and buy new clothes etc.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year too!