28 November, 2011

What are Australia's Christmas traditions?

After my somewhat negative post last week about Americans sharing their traditions with us, I've been asked to share my Christmas traditions with the Grade One class, my youngest son's class. A little bit ironic, don't you think? I'm sure the two things are independent of one another. Nevertheless, I'm encouraged that the class is studying Christmas celebrations around the world and it is an honour to be asked to go.
Backyard cricket last time we were in Oz at Christmas

So, ideas Aussies, I need ideas. 

As I think about it, the big factor is the season. Australian Christmases are very much influenced by it being a hot time of year and many things happen outside, like Carols in the park and fireworks. BBQs, beach, swimming etc. Food too, while some people cling to the old northern hemisphere traditions of a hot meal on Christmas day, more often I've seen cold meat, salad, cold desserts etc. Also the school year has an influence, it being the end of the calendar year and school year, there are many end-of-year/Christmas parties. And children are off school for six or more weeks, rather than just a couple of weeks, so families are taking summer holidays.

But what should I share with the Grade One-ers, most of whom have never experienced a hot Christmas?


Helen said...

I see lots of hot meals still. Here's what I think of, apart from what you said -
Backyard cricket (emulate in the gym?)
Carols by 'candlelight' outside, with glow sticks because it's the middle of summer
Christmas lights tours
Prawns - cold or on the barbie (can you do this somehow?)
Plastic, not real, Christmas trees
Air conditioning.

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Definitely Carols by Candlelight outside!
Boxing Day test match.
Trying to keep cool on hot Christmas Days.
Food - well, I think this is so varied that there's no real answer, although "White Christmas" would be distinctly Aussie treat, if you can get hold of the ingredients (I imagine Copha would be almost impossible and Rice Bubbles might be a challenge as well). Our family was still a hot Roast Turkey dinner, with a traditional Christmas Pudding for the last Christmas that I was home (that was 5 years ago I have to admit).
I also remember post-Christmas trips to visit family not living close enough to get together for Christmas dinner.
Growing up it was lunch with one side of the family, then dinner/tea with the other side.
Definitely some Aussie Christmas Carols - "Six White Boomers", "Out on the plains". Have you got Colin Buchanan's "King of Christmas" CD. It's got some good stuff on it.
Have fun anyway!

Helen said...

If you don't have it, buy Aussie Jingle Bells off itunes (it's a Colin Song).