Christmas — the word gives us Canadians visions of snowflakes, cozy pajamas and socks, bundling up by the crackling fire, hot chocolate, comfy sweaters, frost on the trees, and everything warm and cozy; but what about the other side of the world, where Christmas comes around mid-summertime? If you’re like me, you’ll find this to be one of the weirdest, most upside-down Christmastime feelings you can experience, in it’s own amazing way. If not for classic, cozy winter traditions, what do you possibly do at this time of year?
This year will be my third Christmas in Australia. While sparkling Christmas trees, the classic Christmas music, and bundles of wrapped presents are still the norm here, everything else is different. For many Aussies that I know, Christmas means a day at the beach — tossing around the football with your family, swimming in the ocean to get a break from the heat, barbecuing, seafood, and all the sun in the fun you can expect from a normal summertime day. This year, we will be travelling up to the Sunshine Coast to partake in our sunny, beachy Christmas traditions, just like we did last year at Magnetic Island.
When it comes to Christmas parties and events, there are even more differences! While at home in Canada we would stay inside with cozy treats, hot beverages, warm meals, and snuggles with our family members, Christmas parties in Australia mean outdoor daytime events, often near the beach, with cold drinks and hot heat. Seafood bars and cold beer are in abundance; light summertime dresses and skirts are everywhere. No one is bundled up inside, scared to leave the venue and enter the snowstorm (which is its own kind of charming and cozy — I love it all)! Rather than yummy peppermint and cocoa, cool-down drinks like sangria and lemonade are flowing.
It’s quite a funny opposite to the same Christmas tunes from Canada that also play in Australia, singing about the cold weather and snow. If you ever get the chance to experience an Australian Christmas, take it — the festivities, while so different from what we are used to, are just as merry and bright!
~ Taryn, Imagine Events