Here in Australia, Christmas comes in the towards the beginning of the summer holidays! Children have their summer holidays from mid December to either late January or early February, so some people might even be camping at Christmas.
Because it’s so hot at Christmas time in Australia, there are quite often massive bush fires across the country. Many volunteer bush fire fighters are involved in saving people and property and travel from all over Australia to help in other states.
Australians hang wreaths on their front doors and although some sites you may check out about Christmas in Australia will tell you that sometimes we go out Christmas carol singing on Christmas eve, I have never heard of people doing this.
People also decorate their houses and gardens with different Christmas decorations the blow up ones are very popular around my area, my brother has many in his front yard and of course Christmas lights are popular.
Some Australians also decorate their houses with bunches of ‘Christmas Bush’, a native Australian tree with small green leaves and cream coloured flowers. In summer the flowers turn a deep shiny red over a period of weeks (generally by the week of Christmas in Sydney).
In each State capital city there is a large Carols by Candlelight service. Famous Australian singers like The Wiggles, John Farnham, Anthony Warlow, Colin Gery, Niki Webster and many more help to sing the carols. These carol services, held in different cities, are broadcast on TV across Australia. There are also huge Christmas pageants in each state capital city, that are also broadcast across the country. Most towns and cities have festivals and parades. In some places, there is a fireworks display at the local park.
Many towns, cities and schools also hold their own Carols by Candlelight services, with local bands and choirs sometimes helping to perform the Christmas Carols and songs. As it is the middle of Summer in Australia at Christmas time, the words to the Carols about snow and the cold winter are sometimes changed to special Australian words! There are also some original Australian Carols.
When he gets to Australia, Santa gives the reindeer a rest and uses kangaroos or ‘six white boomers’ (a popular Australian Christmas song!). He also changes his clothes for less ‘hot’ ones!
On Boxing Day most people go and visit their friends and many hit the beaches it is also the start of the famous Yacht race from Sydney to Hobart in Tasmania.
The Flying Doctor Service has to work all though Christmas. On Christmas Day the people who live in the outback send Christmas greetings to each other over the radio network.
Most families try to be home together for Christmas and the main meal is normally eaten at lunch time. Most people now have a cold Christmas lunch or some have a barbecue with seafood such as prawns and lobsters along with the ‘traditional english’ food.
On Christmas Eve, fish-markets are often full of people queuing to buy their fresh seafood for Christmas day.
Many Australians often have Christmas Crackers at Christmas meal times.