Unlike most of the Western world, Australians celebrate Christmas at the height of summer.
This means that we’re as far as we can get from the traditional mode of Christmas celebration: no snowmen, no evenings spent cuddled in front of the fire, and no white Christmas morning.
Despite this we continue to celebrate Christmas as if we were living in another hemisphere. We like a good Christmas roast, insist on having plastic pine trees decked up with lights, and hang fake holly and mistletoe around our houses.
Christmas in Australia is as unique as it gets, so why not embrace the difference of a summer Christmas, instead of kicking it by the wayside?
We’ve got some inspiration and tips for you this year to change the way you think about Christmas, and bring a little more summer loving into your celebration.
1. Tree Matters
Plastic pines are great, but don’t you ever get sick of dragging that old fake tree out of storage and setting it up. It’s always covered in cobwebs, and filled to overflowing with lights and tinsel it’s a pretty serious fire hazard. Instead of falling for the fakes, why not bring a bit more life into your summer Christmas? We love the idea of using a native eucalyptus instead of a Christmas tree.
Not only does it make the space more alive, but it gives off a very Australian Christmas smell. Alternatively you could use a palm tree,
For a truly tropical Christmas, or even rethink some simple branches for a minimalist Christmas statement.
We particularly like this example of using branches, where the branches have been wrapped in yarn.
Of course if you want to go full Australian, the flip flop tree is the only way to go.
2. Decorating For Summer
Let’s face it, Christmas in Australia is not about holly and mistletoe, it’s about sunlight and life and things growing and in bloom. Use this as inspiration for your Christmas decorating by doing away with the plastic plants that aren’t really Australian and embracing our own local flora. There are so many gorgeous Australian plants, particularly wildflowers, that can be made to feel at home in an Aussie Christmas. Use them in centrepieces,
Or simply spread around the house!
At the same time, don’t forget how much we love the beach in Australia. Coastal items can be purchased in many craft stores (or collected yourself in sustainable amounts) and used as indoor Christmas decor,
And even tree decorating.
3. Change Up Your Cooking Style
Don’t let the stuffy English roast put a sweaty damper on your Christmas Day. An Australian Christmas meal should celebrate the summertime, with lots of light foods and seasonal goodness. We’re talking about lots of seafood,
A nice piece of meat served as cold cuts,
Balanced with a great variety of salad,
Some BBQ friendly items,
And of course, some traditional Australian desserts like pavlova
And summer trifle.
Always remember those little Christmas details, they can make all the difference.
4. Turn Tradition Upside Down
Traditions are made to be broken, especially in Australia where many things appear to be upside down. This Christmas, instead of missing out on the traditions of the colder Christmas, twist them a little to fit you. Can’t build yourself a snowman that your kids can decorate? Head to the beach and make a sandman that they’ll love,
with a chance to cool off in the ocean afterwards. Feeling like a snowball fight should be on the cards? Keep those bathers on and do water balloons instead.
When you look around you’ll find there are lots of traditions you can turn on their head to make them more Aussie appropriate!
5. Embrace The Outdoors
Cold Christmases are all about getting indoors and soaking up the little Christmas details that make you feel warm and fuzzy, literally. But Christmas in Australia shouldn’t be celebrated locked away from the world, it should be enjoyed out among it! This Christmas, instead of getting locked into the traditional idea of what your Christmas should be, embrace the difference. Set up your tree on the balcony or verandah,
Set up your Christmas dining table out in the shade
And just enjoy the wonderful summer that’s before you. Friends, family, food and the lovely Australian sun!