A typical Aussie Christmas, in pictures

At this time of year, I start reading and hearing about the wintry Christmas experiences all my friends in the northern hemisphere are gearing up for. And we start to sing songs even down here in Australia that feature snowmen (something many Australians have never had the pleasure of creating!) and warming yourself by the fire … yet Christmas falls right in the middle of summer for us and it’s not unusual here in Perth to have temperatures around the century mark or even higher.
Typical Australian Christmas
So I thought my northern hemisphere readers – of which there are many, hello up there! – might get a kick out of seeing a few pictures of my recent Christmases Down Under. Yes, it’s hot and we either stay indoors in air-conditioned comfort, or head to the water outside – a paddle pool isn’t usually enough but it’s better than nothing!

As for food, I know some Australian families still do a more traditional-style meal (traditional being what the English brought here when they colonised us, but which means people spend hours in a hot kitchen when they really would rather be in the pool) – but in my family and many others I know, seafood is a big winner. When we head to my mother’s place, she knows that most of us adore nothing better than a big plate of prawns!

And over at my father’s side of the family, guess what? Prawns too! The focus wherever we are tends to be on finger food, buffet-style meals and lots of stuff that just needs to be pulled out of the fridge and laid out on the table – so that nobody has to get too hot and sweaty during the heat of Christmas Day.

I must admit that after spending several Christmases in Europe, including my favourite-ever Christmas in Finnish Lapland, Christmas in Australia just doesn’t really seem quite right any more. A “real Christmas” should involve snow, or at the very least cold, grey weather made bearable by the excitement of the season. As soon as we consider our toddler old enough to make the long flight to Europe again (it was so easy the first time!) I think I’ll be very tempted to arrange a German Christmas.

What are your family’s Christmas traditions – and the important part of that, of course, is what do you eat?


  1. I must put our order in for our Xmas prawns! It’s seafood for us too though it would be fun to experience a white Xmas one year.

  2. Jenny, yes, if you’ve never had a white Xmas I highly recommend it! Even though 90% of my Christmases have been far from white (more like red hot), I still consider a “real” Christmas is a white one.

  3. Usually the extended family brings a dish. It runs the full gamut from roasts to seafood and salads. My fav ever Christmas was spent with friends eating prawns, drinking beer and swimming in our pool all day!

  4. Jan, that sounds very similar to my favourite Aussie Christmases – prawns and a pool are great combination 🙂

  5. I grew up and have always lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Until last year, I’d never had a White Christmas! Here, it depends on the year: There have been years where it’s hot enough to wear shorts on Xmas, and some where it’s 20ºF. Fortunately, we use usually have Traditional Xmas dinner either way.

  6. Bret, I’m disappointed, you’ve shattered my view of the northern hemisphere Christmas!!! I’m glad you finally got a white one though – hope you do again this year!

  7. I live in Arizona, so at least it’s winter here. But it’s still too warm for a real Christmas! Snow is only two hours away, though.

  8. We usually have cold meat and salad and lots of chocolate peanuts. My breastfed son reacts badly when I eat chocolate so this year might be tricky.

  9. @ Justin – two hours to snow sounds pretty good to me (and probably more convenient than actually living in it?) Enjoy!

    @ TME That’s really sad about the chocolate! I couldn’t eat choc while pregnant as it gave me awful heartburn, it was a very difficult few months!!!

  10. Those shrimps. YUM!!!

  11. They really are tasty, Lola! And we had them again this Christmas – of course!

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