#AceNewsReport – Dec.03: This means a red fur-coated Father Christmas or Santa Claus riding a sleigh, songs such as “Jingle Bells“, and various Christmas scenes on Christmas cards and decorations. However, the timing of Christmas occurring during the Southern Hemisphere‘s summer season has resulted in the development of some local traditions as a result of the warmer weather…..
#AceChristmasDesk says Traditions in common with New Zealand: The traditional Christmas tree is central to Christmas decorations and strings of lights and tinsel are standard. Decorations appear in stores and on streets starting in November and are commonplace by early December says Kindness & Love❤️
An Australian Christmas dessert pavlova garnished with strawberries
Many homeowners decorate the exterior of their houses. Displays range from modest to elaborate, sometimes with hundreds of lights and decorations depicting seasonal motifs such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus, reindeer, or nativity scenes. Particular regions have a tradition for elaborate displays, and attract a great amount of pedestrian and vehicular traffic during the Christmas season. This is despite the longer days, resulting in sunset occurring after 8 p.m. in areas with daylight saving.
Most workplaces conduct a “Christmas Party” sometime during December, but rarely on Christmas Eve itself. As many people take their holidays between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and many workplaces completely close for that period, these parties are effectively an end of the year or break-up party and frequently feature little or no reference to Christmas itself. Likewise, schools, TAFE (vocational training), and universities break for summer holidays. Schools typically end in the week before Christmas, to recommence in late January or early February. Following Christmas, many churches will change their evening meetings to a less formal format, while many hobby clubs also suspend or alter their meetings in this period.
In the lead up to Christmas, many businesses and residential houses will be decorated with Christmas lights and arrangements. It is common to drive around of an evening to look at lights from the car, or for families to walk the residential streets to see front yard displays. Some local councils will hold street light competitions, and maps are regularly posted highlighting the best street light displays.
On Christmas Eve, the children are told, Father Christmas or Santa Claus visits houses placing presents for children under the Christmas tree or in stockings or sacks which are usually hung by a fireplace. In recent decades many new apartments and homes have been built without traditional combustion fireplaces, however with some innovation the tradition persists. Snacks and beverages may be left out for Santa to consume during his visit, often milk and cookies, or a beer. Carrots are also commonly left for Santa’s reindeer. The gifts are opened the next morning, on Christmas Day.
Families traditionally gather for a Christmas Day lunch. Traditions include decorated hams, roast turkey, roast chicken, salads and roast vegetables. Christmas crackers are pulled before eating. More recently, as appropriate to the often hotter weather of the day, it has become popular to serve local seasonal produce such as cold meats, seafood and salad.Similarly, dessert also includes a mix of traditional winter Christmas food (such as plum pudding with brandy butter, fruit mince pies, and trifle) alongside local traditions such as pavlova, and fresh fruit such as berries and kiwifruit. Candy canes are a popular confectionery for the children’s table during the Christmas period.
Christmas by Michael Bublé re-enters the album charts every year at Christmas time until the new year, generally reaching number 1 or the top 5. Similarly, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey re-enters the singles charts each year until the new year.
As Christmas falls in summer, televised Christmas specials are not a large part of Australian Christmas traditions, unlike in the United Kingdom, in which it is one of the most important days for television ratings. Television ratings in Australia are not taken during the summer and schedules are mostly filled with repeats of old programs or previously cancelled shows. Some locally produced programs have a Christmas special, though often it will be shown early December and not on Christmas Day itself. Many television stations rerun Christmas-themed films in the weeks leading up to and including Christmas Day, such as It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and various film versions of A Christmas Carol. Outdoor activities such as street cricket or swimming are popular ways to spend Christmas Day.
Traditions specific to Australia
“The average Australian Christmas” cartoon by Livingston Hopkins (c. 1900) – click to enlarge.
Some Australian songwriters and authors have occasionally depicted Santa in “Australian”-style clothing including an Akubra hat, with warm-weather clothing and thongs, and riding in a ute pulled by kangaroos, (e.g. Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris). There are also a small number of popularly recognised original Australian Christmas songs, including Paul Kelly‘s How to Make Gravy, Colin Buchanan‘s Aussie Jingle Bells and Tim Minchin‘s White Wine in the Sun but these depictions have not replaced mainstream iconography.
The tradition of sending Christmas cards is widely practised in Australia. The price of a Christmas postage stamp is lower than that for a standard letter; senders are required to mark the envelope “card only” when using the lower priced stamps.
Christmas Day and New Years Day are public holidays in Australia, along with Boxing Day except in South Australia. Proclamation Day (28 December) is a public holiday now held on 26 December to provide uniformity with other states.
New South Wales
Carols in the Domain has traditionally taken place in Sydney the Saturday before Christmas Eve exclusive. However, since 2016 it has been held on the Sunday next before Christmas Eve exclusive.
Special events for international tourists away from their families are held on Bondi Beach in Sydney. These may involve a turkey barbecue and such humorous stunts as Santa surfing in to appear to the crowd.
A popular tradition celebrated in Adelaide is the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. This parade is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting crowds of over 400,000 people. Begun in 1933 by the department store John Martins, the pageant is staged in early November every year, usually on a Saturday morning, marking the start of the Christmas season. It comprises a procession of floats, bands, clowns, dancing groups, and walking performers, all culminating in the arrival of Father Christmas.At the terminus of the pageant Father Christmas proceeded to the Magic Cave in the store (the event is no longer sponsored by a department store, and from 2019 the pageant finishes at the Adelaide Town Hall). Smaller scale pageants are also held in regional centres.
South Australia does not have a Boxing Day holiday. Rather, the weekday following Christmas Day being the Proclamation Day holiday. Christmas Eve, from 7:00 pm to midnight is now a Public Holiday.
Carols by Candlelight is a tradition that started in Melbourne in 1938 and has since spread around Australia and the world. At the event people gather on Christmas Eve, usually outdoors, to sing carols by candlelight in a large-scale concert style event. The Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight which takes place at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on Christmas Eve, is televised nationwide and it has become a tradition for many Australians to watch the performance.
Between 1999 and 2016, the City of Perth ran an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Since 2017, it has been replaced with the Christmas Lights Trail, in which various Christmas-themed light displays are put around the City of Perth. The event runs from late November to either late December or early January.
Here are their 60 Of The Most Awesome Christmas Traditions from Brisbane Kids Report:
I wrote this blog, because as a mum with a young family I think it is important to start traditions for all sorts of special events. It just so happens that Christmas is my favourite time of year and so I begin my search for traditions to help build my own family traditions and in turn help you build yours. Please let us know if you plan to adopt any AND if you have any new ones. These traditions have been gathered through our Facebook page and through my general chattering among friends and the Brisbane Kids team.
Weird and Wonderful Christmas Traditions
1. Track Santa on Christmas Eve using the NORAD app
2. Place a Gift under the Kmart wishing tree- then place the card you get on your own Christmas tree at home.
3. New pjs, clean bedding and a bubble bath for everyone on Christmas eve
4. On Christmas Eve, give the family a fun new board game
5. Host a Dec 1st Xmas Feast Extravaganza with all the trimmings as a prelude to the big day- also good for those that don’t get to host the big meal. Decorate the tree, watch elf and have a dec 1st feast.
6. Visit the Brisbane Christmas lights.
7. Make a Christmas playlist
8. Make cookies for Santa and put out reindeer food on the letterbox… (oats with glitter in it is a fun idea < edible environmentally friendly glitter please)
9. Watch Polar Express on Xmas Eve
10. Let the kids stay awake and go to midnight mass
11. Get green and red handprints from your child- save them as a record in a spiral-bound display book
12. If you have friends with lots of kids, start a tradition of gifting their family a new Christmas decoration every year.
13. Drink cold iced chocolates while opening presents. If you are lucky enough to be having a White Christmas (aka not in Australia) then substitute with hot chocolate.
14. Dad can the kids out to search for the sleigh in the sky while playing secret Santa Music you can find here.
15. Have a treasure hunt to track down the presents from mum and dad and just put Santas presents under the tree.
16. Pack tiny presents in MASSIVE boxes.
17. Put potatoes in the stocking for all the “naughty” times we had in the year”. The bigger the potato the bigger the present u missed out on
18. Have a real tree (at least once) so the house smells like Christmas
19. Go into the city each year and have the kids choose a new decoration
20. All the adults stay up on Xmas eve and have a drink and open their presents at midnight
21. Take a trip into the city to see the Myer Xmas windows
22. Dress up in your ‘Sunday best’ for Christmas lunch- even if it only stays that way until the end of the meal.
23. Make batches of rocky road/coconut ice (whatever) for friends and family.
24. Have the Christmas photo every year of the whole family, you will thank yourself later.
25. Whenever you drive around at night play the Christmas lights games which is similar to the Jacaranda tree game where whenever you spot lights you have to yell “Christmas lights” and score points.
26. Have a Xmas day novelty secret santa- everyone buys a $10 silly present and draw out of the hat to decide who gets what.
27. All the neighbours get together for a champagne breakfast.
28. Put a gold/coin surprise in a Christmas pudding for someone to find.
29. Have a family game of water volleyball/cricket (or whatever) after Christmas lunch.
30. Make your own bonbons.
31. Play board games or festive-themed Christmas Games with Kids.
32. Light a candle on Christmas Day for anyone no longer with us
33. Make sure Santa’s wrapping paper doesn’t match yours (more of a tip than a tradition- but we love it!).
34. Want, Need, Wear and Read Gifts.
35. A Christmas Eve feast followed by a leftover Xmas lunch where everyone brings a plate
36. Go to a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet
37. Take the dogs to the beach on Xmas day
38. Put the Christmas tree up November 1st and have the Christmas magic in your home for even longer
39. Watch the Grinch on Christmas Eve
40. Let the youngest put the star on top of the Christmas Tree
41. Attempt to make a gingerbread house every year
42. Gift everyone a Christmas mug on Christmas Eve and use for the entire month of December
43. Have stuffed eggs for Christmas Lunch
44.Challenge the kids to do a random act of kindness at some point in the month of December leading up until Christmas
45. Play cards in the afternoon/evening
46. Relish in a hot roast Lunch regardless of the heat
47. Enjoy chocolate for Breakfast
48. Bake something from the past like Nanna’s Trifle
49. Creaming Soda spiders on Xmas Eve
50. Help out a charity by donating some money or your time for their cause, Christmas can be a hard time of year for many
51. Having the kids make their own bauble every year
52. Read the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve
53. If you are hosting Christmas, get everyone to bring a salad or dessert so you can relax!
54. Go to church
55. Open one present on Christmas eve
56. Go swimming in the afternoon
57. Make an early batch of Rum Balls…and then several more batches..
58. Head to a local community carols event
59. Bring out the elf and the shelf (or substitute) and have fun moving the elf to different spots every night
60. Give the neighbours novelty jellybeans as a present.
Regardless of the Christmas Traditions you do OR DONT adopt- we wish you and your family the best, the safest and the most magical Christmas you could hope for.
#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Dec.03: 2021:
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