Welcome to our Family Christmas
in Australia.

We live in Melbourne Australia, so we don't have a Winter Christmas. It's Summer here then
so unless the weather is extreme for the time of year, we usually celebrate Christmas time
with the air conditioner running to keep cool!! Very hard for some people to believe.

My parents came out from England in the late 1950's and so over the years, our Christmas'
were full of regular English traditions from a very cold climate. Things have changed a bit
over the years with a few compensations for the heat & changing times.

I'm now married with my own family and this is a typical Christmas for us:-

About two weeks before Christmas, I finally decide I should do the Christmas present shopping
and it's a mad rush from then till Christmas Eve. Every year I keep saying I will buy gifts
way in advance, but I never do and I think the rush and exhilaration is all a part of that
special Christmas spirit.

At the same time, a lot of the houses in our area decorate their houses and gardens with lights,
animated santas and other wonderful sights. The nights being quite warm (remember we are talking
Summer here), our family climbs in the car and drives round, windows down, looking at all the
lovely displays.Five years ago, we joined in this tradition, by placing 500 lights in a forty foot
gum tree in our front yard. No fancy colours or flashing, but the sheer height of it looks great.
How did we get the lights up that high? Would you believe we called in a favour from a friend who
has a Cherry Picker and another who is a lighting expert, and they strung the lights for us. Last
year we also added coloured lights right around all the eaves of our house. It looks very festive now.

decorations are quite elaborate
Some homes have full displays

We love real trees so we either use a live one in a tub or a branch in a pot. Decorated by the whole
family, it looks nice and welcoming. Presents are piled around it and we keep the animals away from
it. The cats do love to try and climb the tree!

A day or so before Christmas in the late afternoon, the local Fire Brigade drives santa around the
streets on a Fire truck where he waves and throws lollies (candys) to the children. This is very
popular!

santa on a firetruck
Santa throwing lollies to the children from the fire truck

Christmas Eve I do the cooking. Our Christmas Dinner will consist of Roast Turkey, roast potatoes,
pumpkin and other hot vegetables as well as salad,cold ham, cold chicken, king prawns and crayfish
(lobster).

yummy seafood at Christmas time
Seafood platter at Christmas time.

Dessert is always my mother's trifle recipe and a pavlova coated with cream, strawberries and
passionfruit. Mince Pies, lollies (candies] decorate the table. The actual table is adorned with
a festive tablecloth, christmas candles and maybe a poinsetta in a pot.

Christmas Eve is also spent watching the Traditional Carols by Candlelight at the Sydney Myer Music
Bowl in Melbourne on the television.

Choc chip cookies and a glass of milk are left out for Santa.

Christmas morning, the presents from Santa are opened and then we sit around the tree and share the
presents we bought for each other.

We have our main Christmas meal at lunch time. Turkey is served cold as are all the other meats
mentioned. However, sticking to tradition, we always have hot vegetables and gravy accompanying
the meal. The weather is variable at Christmas time and I remember one year where it was 40 degrees
Celcius (110 degrees farenheit). Another year, was chilly and there was actually snow in the alps
on Boxing Day. It was the only time I had ever heard of it snowing in Victoria at Christmas time.
With the climate, it didn't settle though.

The afternoon is usually spent, playing with our gifts, putting batteries in toys and feeling quite
lethargic after a huge and wonderful meal. Evening meal is leftovers from lunch. Actually I cook so
much, we eat leftovers for days . We either have friends visit Christmas night or we visit friends It's
nice to finish off Christmas with our friends and family together.

Again with tradition, we always make sure the tree and all decorations are down before the 12th day
after Christmas as my mother used to say it's bad luck to have them up after this time. Funny how
traditions stick even after all of these years...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Cheers Koala and her family.

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